The session begins with a cutscene…
“There are certain truths…and once you know them, it’s like slipping through the cracks of the world. You become lost in an alien place full of rules you can’t fathom and dangers you can’t know. Your life ends and you have to forge a new one out of ashes and forgotten things.”
“Eyes open soldier!”
You’re weak, like you’ve been in bed for a month, or maybe rehab. It takes a few minutes to remember where you were, which gives you a shot of adrenaline the moment you realize you don’t know where you are. You open your eyes, which is no small feat, considering they’re glued shut from misuse.
Rubbing the crust out of your eyes, you look down to the end of the bed at Boober, who is cowering there, his little pom-pom tail shaking in terror. That’s new. The insufferable asshole is never anything but judgemental. The events from Mason’s apartment come back to you, and a twinge of real fear seeps in.
“Boober?” you croak – your voice hasn’t been used in a while either.
“I’m glad they finally let you wake up,” he whimpers. “Susan…I think we’re fucked….”
You blink some stinging gunk out of your eyes and he’s gone.
You’re in a cell, which certainly wouldn’t be the first time, but this is no normal cell. The six by eight room seems to be made of a single poured material. Greyish, extremely smooth, a little mottled like a polished countertop. Everything is made of the stuff, from the toilet bowl to the shelf you’re laying on. There is no table or shelves for personal effects like in long-term lock-up. Fold-down sink over the commode is typical stainless-steel affair, and the roll of toilet paper looks normal. There’s a little mirror above the sink that looks embedded into the wall. Light is coming from a fixture in the ceiling embedded in the same way. There’s a panel on the wall made of the same stuff that you’re assuming is a door, but there’s no indication of that, it’s just a door-shaped seam in the wall.
You’re on a three-inch slab of memory foam and covered by some sort of synthetic blanket. You’re wearing coarse white Dickeys prison scrubs with a six-inch forest green stripe running around your body at chest-level. Sports bra and underwear made of the same stuff.
It’s comfortably cool, and there’s fresh air flowing but you can’t tell from where. It’s also dead quiet. You tap on the wall and discover the material is anechoic, so it feels like you’re in a coat closet. You sit up, but you’re extremely weak and know better than to try to stand very fast.
You jump as three loud tones ring out. It’s not a harsh sound, but it’s loud enough to wake up the dead even with the muffling of the walls. Right after the third tone, the door panel in the wall retracts into the ceiling shockingly fast.
Lesson one: don’t get in the way of that door coming down.
The door reveals another door, this one made of some inch-thick transparent material with a bunch of one-inch holes. The air pressure in your cell changes slightly as air flows in through the holes from the higher-pressure room beyond. From where you’re seated, you can see what looks like a large common room made of the same material, a large table and benches molded out in the center, and a number of other transparent “cell” doors like your own.
As to the rest of you – you’re all stirred awake by the buzzer, you find yourselves in identical circumstances, minus the hallucinatory muppet. Anyone yelling loud enough will be heard by the others. The stripes on the dickeys are different though:
-Daphne’s is forest green.
-Seamus, Mike, and Jamie’s are a light green.
-Emily, Hugo, and Emma have navy blue.
-Cole’s is a little wider, it’s dark brown with one-inch trim in bright red on the top and bottom.
-Margaret has no stripe.
The party stirs awake and begins the slow process of discovering their environment and introducing themselves to each other. After a time, the outer cell doors open and they are free to explore the common area. A number of discoveries are made through the discussion:
- All of the party have been kidnapped from their lives around the world. All of them report the same individual – “Dennis” or “Mr. Jones” – associated with the event. Seamus is the only one who doesn’t remember Mr. Jones, but Mike reports he was there after Seamus’ injury. Those who choose to discuss it report some sort of supernatural event, from the relatively mundane “his neck was obviously broken” to the extreme “there was a dead dragon that came back to life”.
- The prison notifies the prisoners through a series of sounds. The party has identified “food delivered”, “food doors closing”, “wake up/cell doors opening”, “cell doors closing”, and, most alarmingly “knock-out light” which renders the party instantly unconscious wherever they may be.
- Audio and, presumably, surveillance, seem to all be embedded in the light fixtures, which resist tampering.
- The party fails to make a correlation between the stripes on their clothes and their situations before becoming imprisoned.
- Jamie claims that a kiss from Daphne six months ago started his supernatural journey (that of being able to photograph some other parallel world in stead of his own). Daphne doesn’t recall meeting him.
- Hugo reports seeing Cole, very injured, strapped to a gurney in the hold of a container ship in the Gulf of Aden. Hugo was hired to get off the ship with Cole or, at a minimum, get a photo. He also reports that during the incident, Mr. Jones referred to Cole as a “bullet sponge” and strongly suggested not making Cole angry.
- Everyone has been unconscious a very long time, judging by their weakness. At one point, watermelon juice and clear broth is delivered through dumbwaiters in the wall of the common area.
After a period of forced unconsciousness, the party is served breakfast and discovers a simple digital camera waiting for them in the common area. There are no photos on the camera, nor is there a current date set, but the camera’s manufacture date is in March, at least a month after.
Jamie uses the camera and demonstrates his ability, which proves to be extremely alarming. The parallel place in his photographs reveals a horror show of tortured people scrambling madly at the closed doors of the prison. The camera behaves normally for everyone else who tries it.
Some time passes, then the large double-doors exiting the common area snap open a crack, there’s the click of a silenced firearm, then the doors snap shut again. The party looks around, trying to figure out what has happened, and discovers that Emma has been shot in the chest.