We'll See The Sky Again One Day...

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We'll See The Sky Again One Day...

Post by Masquerade on Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:26 pm

New York City, New York, United States of America, Earth, 2XXX

The regularly scheduled programming showing on the big screen television in the small apartment's living space cut off to commercial and some rather telltale fanfare started playing as images of the world's polluted cities began to flash across the screen.  People walked the streets wearing gas masks.  Colossal buildings rose high above into clouds of smog.  Toxic water spewed from magnificent fountains and flowed in large rivers beneath mechanical bridges.  They were the same images played every year around this time.  The music continued to play but a voice started its standard monologue as it always did.  The same droning male voice that insisted on jubilee when all there really was was despair.

"Greetings, Americans.  As you all know the time for celebration draws near!  In a few days it will be the anniversary of the Mechanical Age, an era of technological, mechanical, and scientific wonder that was only allowed to begin thanks to the defeat of the evil Guardiani Terrene and their harbinger of destruction, the so-called 'Mother Nature', who, through some magical means, aimed to destroy this world through natural disasters.  Our heroes of the Citta del Avvenire marched upon their hallowed Sanctuaries 25 years ago and quashed every feeble attempt at rebellion, claiming what was left of nature as our own, and rightfully so!  The bravest heroes of them all, Athos Diogenes IV, Adrianna Vione, and Clarissa Delacre, challenged Mother Nature's chosen heroes among them the infamous Familiarus and defeated them all, effectively ending the assault on our world and paved the path to our glorious evolution!

To praise and give honor to those heroes who safeguarded our advancements and prosperity, we will be holding the largest of festivities in major cities around the country and invite all people to travel and enjoy this momentous celebration togeth--"

The television was turned off.  An audible sigh was elicited from the female that sat upon the black futon in the living space.  She had long golden locks tied back in a ponytail and wore a yellow ball cap atop her head.  Her eyes were blue, dark circles beneath them from lack of rest.  Her skin was typically fair but it was a little dried out at the moment--lack of moisturizer and clean water being the culprits.  Her lips were pressed together, pale and set in a straight stoic expression.  Disdain clearly showed on her face as she arose, golden bangles jangling together loosely on her wrists.  She wore a cropped t-shirt, yellow in color like her had with a big white flower design on the front of it.  A beige traveler's vest rested atop it as if she were going hiking or something, the front being filled with small pockets for utility.  She wore short denim shorts showing off her slender legs, and white tennis shoes with goldenrod laces and soles adorned her feet.

"Lucia, where are you going?" the voice of an older woman called out from the kitchen, having heard the television cut off.  The voice's owner knew of the younger girl's contempt for this time of year.

"Out, Mama," the youth replied, making for the door to leave the apartment.

"Don't forget your suit and mask, honey!"

"Wouldn't dream of it," Lucia replied, grabbing a set of keys off a hook near the door.  She reached into one of her vest pockets and retrieved a small round machine with a large red button on it.  She slammed the thing into her chest causing all the skin on her body to be covered with a strange stretchy black substance that formed a suit, the only thing spared being her face.  It was nice because she could wear her clothes over it.  She remembered the earlier models where you had to be naked and wear an actual skin tight suit as your clothing every time you decided to go outside.  From the shelf above the hook she retrieved her dark green gas mask, slipping it over her face.  It had a wreath of artificial daisies around it--her own form of personalization.  Other people decorated their masks as well, at least some did.  Most people were content with being just another mask in the crowd.

With her body covered, Lucia opened the door and stepped outside, shutting the door quickly behind her as to not let any of the polluted air into the apartment.  She found herself on the third floor walkway of her apartment building which was nestled into a much larger apartment complex estate with a multitude of large buildings all suiting the same purpose--habitation.  As she walked to the stairwell, she cursed in her mind in anger at the sight of all these buildings.  All of them the same.  Same height--11 floors with accessible rooftops.  Same material--cold hard steel mostly.  The main office rested in the center of the complex with a huge parking lot and a playground that remained empty most of the time.  Any concept of "playing outside" was hugely frowned upon but the staff in the office seemed pretty intent on at least providing the option despite the lack of greenery to accompany the area.  Trees and bushes had been replaced by twisted metal "works of art" that were nothing but complacent and lackluster replicas of the original plant-life.  No living plants could survive here.  It was always a wonder to Lucia how living
beings could actually survive here.  

Lucia reached the ground floor and skirted around her building to an alleyway between her building and the next.  It stretched on to the next pair of buildings, and even further to the pair beyond until she reached a large concrete wall which was roughly half as tall as the apartment buildings in the complex.  It was a dead end.  Beyond it was the actual city but she had no interest in going that far out else she would have left via the front exit gate.  No, she was after something else.  She placed her covered palm flat on the wall, thinking of a world covered in flowers--a world that used to exist that she had never had the privilege of seeing.  She felt herself sink a bit before being sucked down into the slide that rested just beneath the surface.  She had been down this slide a multitude of times and she smiled as her body was sent swirling down and down, deeper and deeper until it ended sending her flying through the air and landing on a worn out, dirty mattress.

Taking a minute to stretch, Lucia rose from the mattress and walked down the short cavernous passage into an actual underground cave lit only by small glowing yellow spheres that danced about the area whimsically, shedding their pale light on the rock walls, the small patch of light green grass in the center, and the large canvas tent atop the patch.  A middle-aged man emerged from the flap and the glowing spheres became excited, rushing through the air towards him and swirling all around causing his rugged face to elicit a smile, something he didn't do often anymore.

"Leave it to the fae to be the only things that make you look so happy," Lucia said, greeting the man.  She took off her mask and took in a deep breath.  The air smelled richly of earth and nothing more, but at least it lacked the pollution that possessed the air above.

The older man rolled his pale red eyes, adjusting the black cloak that shrouded most of his body but his bare lightly muscled chest.  He shooed the glowing spheres away and they reluctantly resumed their lazy drifting through the air.

"To what do I owe this visit, Lucia?"

"You should know.  It's the third time this week I've been here."

"Oh yes, they're playing more ads for the anniversary?  Every time you mention it I find it hard to believe it's been 25 years already.  Then again I do feel a lot older than I was back then..."

There was a long silence after that.

"I...I just don't understand how you guys could have lost...," Lucia finally spoke up, looking down at the ground uneasily.  "Mother Nature armed you to the teeth right?  How could humans win against magic?  How could they subdue the spirit of the very planet?"

"Their weapons were poison.  Even through our magic they melted everything that was thrown at them and burned the Sanctuaries with fire, or poisoned them with the blight of their toxic waste," the man replied with a defeated sigh.  Having to think back on the events of the past were always draining, and sadly it was a pastime for him now.  He spent most of his time meditating and there wasn't a day that went by that the fateful day of his defeat didn't somehow cross his thoughts.  What could he have done differently back then that might have spared this world its fate?  There was no changing the past so it didn't matter now.

"I know.  I know there was only so much you guys could do being as outnumbered as you were," Lucia finally responded after some careful thought.  She walked over to the patch of grass and sat down--the only vegetation she had seen in her entire life that was real and living.  The man stooped down and knelt beside her placing a strong hand upon her shoulder to calm her.

"Is there really no hope for us now?"

"I'm not sure.  For as long as it has been, I still want to have hope.  Humans may have found a way to survive for now in the midst of their waste, but that won't save them forever.  At some point the world will be rotten to its very core, and it will truly die.  And when the planet crumbles it will take all remaining life with it.  I can look at things now and know that there isn't much time left.  I'll probably be dead by the time it happens, but even still."

"What can we do, if anything?"

"Without Mother Nature, barely anything.  I haven't heard Her voice in 25 years.  I may have survived but I'm afraid Her spirit did not.  There are still pockets of magic scattered across the earth, but just pockets--nowhere near what the Sanctuaries were.  And I retain most of my magic as well, but alone as I am, I can do nothing."  The man frowned as he watched Lucia's expression melt into one of immense and hopeless discontent.  "But we know the true cause of this endless spiral, or rather we know the source.  Without Citta del Avennire's influence in the government, things would not have ended this way.  Even to this day I never figured out who was in charge of that secret society, but I imagine should we be able to lop the head from the beast, then the body would die off.  It would be the first step to a long and arduous journey to recovery."

"Science can head in the right direction then," Lucia affirmed, her lips pressed in determination now.  "I honestly believe it can be done.  Someone has to have hope.  It starts with a seed right?"

"Yes, and that seed will sprout and grow as we nurture for it.  And in time we will have a forest of wonder spreading before us as we reclaim our lost world," the man replied with a warm smile.  He gasped as the girl wrapped his arms around him, and he reached down to pet her golden locks before looking up at the dancing lights in the cavern.

"Yes, we will see the real blue sky again someday...somehow..."

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*Thanks to Mayari for the wonderful avatar/signature combo

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Re: We'll See The Sky Again One Day...

Post by Masquerade on Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:24 am

Okay.  So just to reiterate what's going on, 25 years ago in the United States there were two groups: the Guardiani Terrenne and Citta del Avvenire.  The former endeavored to save nature from the clutches of the latter who was avidly pushing for the advancement of technology, machinery, and industry with little care for environmental protection laws which they ultimately got abolished by infiltrating the various governments of the worlds powerhouse countries.  The two groups clashed in key confrontations over the last remaining Sanctuaries--untainted nature--in the world, and by the end of it all, Mother Nature's chosen, the Familiarus, was supposedly defeated and Citta del Avvenire claimed victory, paving the way for them to poison what little nature remained in the world.

However, when Citta del Avvenire won, they did not realize that they had failed to quash the Guardiani Terrenne in its entirety.  Key members had survived the ordeal and took shelter in pockets of pure earth deep beneath the surface of the planet.  Protected by magic, they continued to dwell until either a time came for them to act once more, or their death or the death of the planet finally came to be.

Many people have gotten used to the polluted world in which they live.  The government, although having abolished environmental protection laws, passed a variety of acts to protect the people from the waste that came to take hold of inhabited zones.

Smog Survivability Act - This act made it mandatory for every building in construction to contain an air purification system such that gas masks would not need to be worn indoors.  Most buildings possess a little entrance chamber that immediately drains smog that gets into the building through open doors.

Standard Issue Act - This act makes it mandatory for the government to provide standard Black Suit Devices (BSDs) and gas masks to low income families.  BSDs are a technological marvel that when pressed onto the skin, and after hitting the button upon it, sends a protective layer of biomaterial crawling over exposed skin to protect it from the dangerous atmospheric conditions of the outside world.

Water Substitution Act - This act enforces from small towns to the biggest cities to contain water filtration systems in order to remove the largest and most dangerous pollutants from the water.  Unfortunately, the immensely tainted water cannot be purified completely and it retains an unsightly color and odd taste, but has been proven to be safe enough to drink...for the most part.

Averse Water Effect Act - This is a sub-act to the previous act that provides free medical attention to those who may have had averse effects from the drinking water.

Black Market Eradication Act - This is an act making it a federal crime to make profit from selling wholly pure water (water in a state that is was before all of the pollution) and air (typically found in tanks.)  This act also requires such items, if found, to be turned over to authorities such that they can be shipped to the respective seats of power in each country.

So there's a little background for what's been going on in the world as of late.  And now the long awaited character profiles so you guys can do your shit.  I'll just do Lucia's as an example so I can get that shit out the way.

* * *

Name: Lucia Carlamine
Age: 19
Gender: Female
Appearance: "You already described that.  Please don't bother boring these people again."
DOB: April 24
Profession: "You mean like paladin, thief, etc?  No?  Oh, like what I actually do.  Get outta here.  I'm totally a druid.  You're serious, gotcha.  Sorry.  I'm an intern at the Pollution Reversal Institute of New York.  Yeah, not as interesting as druid, but you asked for it."

Background: "Hey this is MY story.  Why don't you let me tell it?  Ahem.  The world was already screwed up when I was born.  Citta del Avvenire had already claimed absolute and uncontested power across the globe.  It was considered a...privilege?  To be born in New York anyway, the society's old stomping grounds before they wound up moving to the good old Washington D.C.  As I grew up, I saw it really wasn't a privilege.  New York is one of the nastiest places you can live with pollution so thick that taking off your protective gear is pretty much like suicide.  Papa, before he passed away, told me that New York had always been nasty, just never so bad.  He'd always get a laugh out of that when he said it.  It led me to reading some books at the school library--books that showed the world in a time where people lived without wearing suits and gas masks.  They were times when you could see an actual tree!  Yeah, it's that much of a rarity.

In middle school, I read a lot of books about nature.  I was surprised so many were kept.  Citta del Avvenire's views on nature were pretty clear.  They don't teach certain things in school.  Science is big, but only certain fields and topics.  I can guarantee you there isn't any environmental science anymore.  You can't really study something that just doesn't exist anymore really.  But yeah, so I became super into nature.  It really called out to me.  Because it didn't exist anymore, it was just magic now, and thinking about it made my heart flutter!  Eck, I sound like a romantic saying stuff like that which couldn't be farther from the truth but I'll save that for the personality section.  There...is one of those, right?  Yeah?  Okay, good.

Papa passed away near the end of middle school.  Me and Mama wound up moving to a different neighborhood.  Trading the house for an apartment seemed like a downgrade to me but I know Mama would just be tormented by the memories at the old house.  It was a tough time for me.  A few months passed and I started high school.  I didn't have many friends.  Most people thought I was weird because of my mask's design.  The fake flowers put people off.  They thought I was loony having such a love of nature.  Some even went as far as to say the Citta were going to kill me for it, which at the time I might've welcomed it.  A couple years passed and I wound up making a true friend, even though he was much older than me.  I like to visit his little hole in the ground as much as I can but he told me to not do that so often.  He told me a lot about the conflict between Guardiani Terrenne and Citta del Avvenire and some of the cruel stuff the latter had done in addition to their poisoning of the planet.  I grew such a heated contempt for them, and yet there was nothing I could do about it.  Just hate them.  And every time their stupid anniversary celebration ad comes on the television I just want to break it!  It pisses me off so much!

Bleh.  I graduated high school with that hate in my heart and now I do nothing but laze around the apartment most of the time.  I recently went out and got an internship at this neat lab that's studying how to reverse the effects of pollution.  Figured I could learn more there than at any college and they were pretty open to teaching.  I've been there for almost two years now.  When the internship is up I'll actually be able to make some money, and with that money maybe I'll actually try and make something of myself."


Personality: "How would I describe myself?  I'm not focused at all.  I'm so all over the place.  Apparently I've got my head in the clouds, too, with all my nature-loving mumbo jumbo.  But I'm really a nice person.  I'm not the most patient person, and I might not be like, the best listener or anything, but I am nice.  People just don't give me a chance.  I guess you could say I was lonely.  You know what?  I don't like this.  I feel like I'm talking to a therapist or something.  We're done here."

How about some likes and dislikes?

"I guess that's okay.  You can just list them or however you wanna do it."

Likes:

+Nature
+Mama
+Non-existent environmental science
+Ereth
+Strawberries
+Reading
+Horror movies, specifically occult
+some RPG games
+Decorating, arts and crafts
+Word puzzles

Dislikes:

-Citta del Avvenire
-Therapists
-The current state of the world
-Romance genre
-Bullies
-Chicken
-Spiders (good thing they aren't particularly common anywhere anymore)

Personal Funds: $50

* * *

That's the long and short of it. Honestly you can dress the profile however the fuck you want.  Keep the basic information presented, but the format can be different and you can add shit if you feel like it.  I'll post the actual thread either tonight or tomorrow.

_________________


*Thanks to Mayari for the wonderful avatar/signature combo

WhippedCreame wrote:oh god yes eat my spaghetti confetti
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