OPEN SIGNUPS Black Noise (Chronicles of Darkness)

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Excession

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#1
From 1953 to 1973, the CIA ran a staggering number of mind control experiments as part of Project MKULTRA. A combination of drugs, torture, and more dubious tools were applied to citizens of the USA and Canada, frequently without their consent or regard for their safety, until Director Richard Helms had the project stopped and ordered the destruction of all files.

When the inquiries and prosecutions began, precious few files were available. It was only in later years some of the missing tapes and documents were recovered, and in 2001 further documents were finally declassified. By then, only conspiracy nuts were paying attention - the project had largely been a failure.

It's 2018, now, and you figure MKULTRA will make a great documentary topic for your filmmaking class. It's also a great excuse for a roadtrip over an otherwise dull summer: one of the decommissioned research facilities is still abandoned, out in Nevada somewhere.

----------------------------------------------------------------
Four players: two film students, a chemistry/pharmacology student, and an acting/fine art student who knows their way around illegal substances.
As long as the characters fit those molds, they'll be fine. No prior experience necessary, but welcome. No existing knowledge required, but useful.

Film A: Kobold Kobold
Film B:
Pharma: Zarko Straadi Zarko Straadi
Production: Alexandra Alexandra
 
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#2
hello hello i study film and 16mm projection and i would be interested
 
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#3
"Pharma:"



Name: Imojen Periwinkle

Age: 21

Gender: Female (bisexual)

Personality:

Imojen delights in the paradoxical and the strange. She is constantly delving into the literature of the paranormal, the occult, and Fortean "High Strangeness" in search of ontological adventure. She is a practicing Chaos Magician and Hermeticist (no paranormal powers in-game unless the GM wants to include such things in the game; otherwise, her experiences are like those of an occultist or shaman in real life). She often speaks in odd koans and peculiar vocabulary, or does things intended to make people question their notions of reality. She's never malicious about it; it's all meant to be fun and even helpful, handing out Red Pills like candy.

Her interests include sacred geometry, shamanism, Gnosticism, art, and electronic music (she plays the Eigenharp), but her true passion is the expansion of consciousness. She studies chemistry both in college and on her own through online learning programs. She uses this knowledge to synthesize DMT, 5-MeO-DMT, LSD, MDMA, and mescaline. She has also explored traditional "plant teachers" including psilocybin ("magic") mushrooms, ayahuasca, and ibogaine. She is also looking into the use of the latest electronic and digital technologies. She keeps her psychedelic explorations secret from anyone she doesn't know well and trust (and share her interest in such matters). She dreams of establishing a high-tech Mystery School for the modern age.

Bio:

Imojen was born to hard-driving, competitive parents. Her father, Quinn, is a high-profile investor; her mother, Madeline, a prominent socialite who advanced with him by making sure he was at all the right soirees and charity fundraisers. Together, they planned to have The Perfect Family, one boy and one girl, both of whom would excel, become popular, and proceed onward to financial and social success.

Their plan got off to a good start when their daughter was born. Danae was charismatic and socially adept even as a little girl, good at gymnastics and dance. However, instead of the boy who would have made their family complete, they got Imojen. Imojen came with a birth defect, unusual bifurcated feet. Her first two toes and the other three are fused together, with a split between them. In the custom-made shoes she needs, they resemble cloven hooves. They also reduce her dexterity when it comes to tasks involving speed and balance. Her "Devil feet" made her a laughingstock among other children from a young age.

No matter how hard she tried, Imojen could never measure up to Danae, or to her parents' standards. In school, she was a millstone around her sister's neck, the unwanted little tag-along who always made Danae's efforts to be the Queen Bee extra difficult. Her parents made Danae take her to parties and social functions in hope that she'd catch on and become a younger version of her sister.

As their careers advanced, Quinn and Madeline had less time for their children. For Danae, they could make time, especially for important events like recitals and birthdays; for Imojen, not so much. When Imojen joined her sister at Winslow Preparatory School, the elite private high school where her parents met, her life took a turn for the worse. She was quickly singled out as the school weirdo, which only made Danae hate her more. Children of rich and powerful people who were used to getting away with almost anything subjected her to an escalating spiral of cruelty.

Then, she got a break, of sorts: Danae got pregnant out of wedlock, causing a scandal for the family. For a time, Imojen became the favorite...until Quinn and Madeline found out that Danae was going to have a boy. The Perfect Family would be complete at last. Danae's star rose again at home, and it was readily apparent that The Baby would take over the universe as soon as he was born. Meanwhile, at school Danae scrambled to rescue her popularity by joining the others' attacks on Imojen.

Cycling across a high bridge on her way from school, the idea struck Imojen: she could jump, end her misery, and leave her family happier in her absence. She dismounted her bike, climbed the railing, and looked down into the water below. Danae and her friends drove up, and pulled over. The others started shouting "Jump! Jump!" and goading Danae to join them. Danae, angry with her sister for resorting to such a ploy for attention, gave in and joined them. When she heard her sister's voice, Imojen turned and looked her in the eye, and that's when Danae knew she'd made a horrible mistake.

Imojen looked down into the water again and spread out her arms, preparing to jump. But as she stood there, letting go of her life and all the pain it contained, she had a sudden awakening to the beauty of the river and its gorge, the trees, and the pattern integrities of nature. The boundary of her self fell away, and she felt a sense of oneness with all existence. Could she really give up all the beauty in the world for a bunch of mean school children? Filled with awe, she broke into laughter.

"You think this is funny, bitch?" one of the boys said as he ran up, and gave her a shove.

Imojen hit a patch of water without any rocks, but she nearly drowned before a group of rafters pulled her out of the water. After a near-death experience, she awakened in an ambulance filled with joy and zest for life. Adopting a "lemonade from lemons" attitude, she decided to hold her freak flag high, take the stage and make people laugh on purpose. She abandoned all efforts to measure up to Danae, and instead set out to discover and manifest her authentic self. She talked her parents into letting her stay home and learn from private tutors and online education platforms, which gave her the freedom to explore her increasingly wide-ranging interests.


Imojen at 15, after the accident

Her mystical awakening and NDE led her to an interest in altered states of consciousness and the paranormal. In an effort to make her own money and become less dependent on her parents, she started a YouTube channel that covers topics ranging from Fortean High Strangeness to advancing technology and the Singularity (basically, a combination of "Shots of Awe" and "secureteam10").

Entering college, she took a major in pharmacology and a minor in chemistry to gain the skills she'd need to become a modern alchemist of higher consciousness.

Her study of the paranormal led her into the realm of conspiracy theories around agencies like Majestic-12 and MK-ULTRA, the Stanford psi experiments, and more. Though she's leery of conspiracy theories because they can lead to a cognitive death spiral of believing that everything, including evidence against a conspiracy is proof of the conspiracy, she's also not so naive as to think that the Deep State, the Military-Industrial Complex, and powerful people looking for more power would just ignore the realms she's exploring.

So, when she started taking a filmmaking class to improve her skill at making YouTube videos, her class' documentary project became a perfect opportunity to investigate an abandoned MK-ULTRA facility she's heard about.

Theme:
Best viewed in full-screen mode


Reference:

Shots of Awe: Shots of Awe with JASON SILVA
Secureteam10: secureteam10
Eigenharp: http://www.eigenlabs.com/product/alpha/
 
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Excession

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#4
Oh boy, Imojen is definitely going to have quite an... enlightening experience.
 
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#5
Should I be getting the impression that this is going to be one of those grimdark games where everyone dies horribly or gets reduced to gibbering madness in Lovecraftian style?:aaah::octopus:
 

Excession

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#6
We'll call that a strong possibility rather than a guarantee
 
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#7
"Cinder"

Name: Janek "Jake" Hasegawa
Age: 20
Sex: Male
Personality: Not only did he inherit his father's bipolar disorder, but high concentrations of cortisol in his system led to the development of ASPD and anxiety. His lifestyle is based around activities which raise his dopamine levels. His anxiety isn't of the social sort - he gets agitated when he doesn't have control over his surroundings. Because of this, he avoids mind-altering drugs but relies on cannabis, alcohol, and nicotine to reduce stress. He tries to mix the cigs and booze up between each other to reduce potential health problems. He has a fascination with fire.
Bio: Cellulose nitrate, the material which all but the most modern film is comprised of, is exceptionally flammable.
Jake was born of a Polish father and Japanese-American mother. His father had moved to Portland from Krakow to inherit his uncle's movie theater, and there met and married his mother. They fought often, but stayed together for financial reasons. Jake had grown up used to this, but it was a constant distress to hear yelling and breaking dishes every other night. He easily made friends at school, but could rarely keep them. Other children grew uncomfortable around the tense or outright hostile home environment, and did not want to visit their household above the theater often, and Jake's parents rarely let him visit the houses of other kids. His performance at school began to drop. His mother got a job as a diner waitress, and was gone almost all day. Eventually, she moved out.
Jake's father was busy opening when the boy left for school, and was running films at night until the theater closed. He rarely spent time with his father, who began to berate and belittle Jake for his poor performance at school while barely reacting if the boy managed to do something well. He didn't even teach his son to project - Jake learned that himself while passing time learning to operate older 16mm projectors the historic theater had used before the 35's better picture took the world by storm. He watched a good deal of movies in this manner through his childhood, especially Fritz Lang's Metropolis, which he'd watched more times than he could count.
One day, his dad tossed him a box of polaroid photos and undeveloped film, and dropped a steel flip lighter on top.
"Burn these in the back lot, kid," he grunted.
Inside were many pictures of his mother, as well as their marriage, honeymoon, and opening of the theater after its remodel. He was sorrowful, thumbing through them, but felt a spark of joy as the first one flared up beneath the struggling flame of the zippo. Such heat, destructive power, turning the old papers and chemical strips into nothingness. In the end, intending to keep some photos for himself, he burnt them all. Reaching for the pile, he felt only grass, and cried.

Jake was now seven years old. He frequently took newspapers from the recycling bin to burn, or pieces of wood from old palettes. Sitting around his tiny campfires with imaginary friends, the lonely boy found respite talking to pretend companions and watching in fascination how various materials reacted to heat. Summer ended, however, and the nine months of rain that accompanied any city in the Columbia River Basin arrived. This put an end to any hope of an outdoor fire, and marked the beginning of the school year. Barely a week into classes, he was caught with his box of matches - they were confiscated, and he was sent home. His father yelled at him, not for the matches, but for having been caught and having to come home as a consequence. Jake was old enough now to suspect that his father merely wanted him out of the house as much as possible, leaving him feeling sick and guilty. His father took to smoking, and began bringing strange woman into the house. They made weird noises in the bedroom, which Jake didn't understand but felt uncomfortable hearing. The children at school started calling him firebug, and said that their parents saidd not to let him be their friend.
Over the course of the year, he learned to play with fire in the theater's disused basement. There were no alarms in there, and he could be alone to play pretend without rude comments from his father. It was there that he wondered what film would do as it burned. Each scrap of film he had in the attic was too precious to him to dare touch. But down here were movies that had melted from blown bulbs or stuck gears. Movies that had ripped or failed to make money. Here, he dangled the loose tip of a faded reel to the match and cried out in shock as it flared up with brilliant light. The igniting nitrate burned his hand, and he flung the film away in panic. It hit the ground with a shower of sparks, flaring up as the whole reel caught fire, and these sparks landed on nearby cans. They began to smoke. He stared in shock as more and more flares shot up, cardboard boxes catching fire too, and smoke and cinder filled the room. He ran outside, remembering school fire drills. A few minutes later, his father stumbled out the front door, coughing raggedly and sweating, as sirens filled the air. He gripped Jake by the collar and begin hitting his face with the back of his hand as people in the street stopped to stare at them and them and the theater as it went up in smoke.
"What did you do, boy? What did you do?"

Jake was sent to live with his mother in a single bedroom apartment. The boy slept on the couch.
His mother was distant, and while buying him toys and taking him to the playground she struggled to connect. He had become a strange boy, not touching his toys except to burn them in the trashcan. Eventually, she stopped trying altogether. The two lived in a quiet house, each keeping to themselves. Jake did chores, his mother cooked dinner, and they spoke only of trivialities. He'd regularly get letters from his apologetic father, which he did not reply to.

Jake turned twelve, and that year his mother got a new job as a bartender. She was gone by the time he got home from school, and when he woke up in the morning she'd be asleep until long after he'd departed. For evenings and weekends, she hired a neighbour's daughter to babysit him for cheap. She was named Jules and she spent more time smoking and watching horror movies than actually sitting, however, and it was during these times burning discarded envelopes and receipts. When he was caught by the girl, he expected a scolding but took interest instead, showing him how to make origami (which he burned). By now, Jake had become accustomed to being on his own, and did not talk much. But he felt comfortable around her, and talked about lots of things. It felt good to talk about all the troubles he'd locked away inside. Jules, apparently, was in a similar boat. Her father was a priest, and did everything in his power to take the reigns over her life. Babysitting was the only time she could be alone and do what she pleased, save for rare occasions of sneaking out or staying late after school. She taught Jake many useful things - that cigarettes (which he wouldn't manage to be able to obtain enough of to smoke regularly until he was 16) helped calm him down, that she was old enough to rent him tapes and DVDs from the video store, and what sex was. Jake decided that he loved this girl, and told her about how he accidentally burned down the theater - and that, secretly, he felt proud of having created that much fire by himself.
He did not see Jules again. People in the apartment complex began to call him firebug, and his mother wordlessly took his matches and lighter away while he was at school.

Jake quickly deteriorated. He had not realized until now how much of his internalized stress and anger he had been putting into the flame. He began channeling his anger elsewhere, only further ostracizing himself from the social scene of other students. While not cruel nor a bully, he was quick to retaliate against even the slightest perceived slight against himself. The term 'firebug' especially set him off. He was suspended, to which his mother merely said-

"You could be doing better."
Guilty, he took to researching his feelings in the school library upon his return. Through this process, he incorrectly concluded that he had anger management problems. He returned to his love of film, and began taking photography classes.

In high school, he was able to access a darkroom and, eager to get familiar with this medium, sold the digital cameras his mother had bought him for classes in order to get an older film model. He made some of his first school friends in a long time, fellow photographers such as he. While he now shoplifted matches to resume his pyromania, his main focus was on photography - and by junior year, it was on motion picture. He'd gotten a 8mm film camera for his birthday, his mother having purchased it using her tax refund, and quickly took to recording film.

His films were not received well by peers or staff. They were mostly short footage of walks through abandoned houses or different objects burning. Dreafully afraid of losing the people he considered friends, he quickly stopped this practice and joined the drama club, instead filming their performances. 8mm ran in silent, of course, but others were wowed by the sheer novelty. It was here that he made real friends, not just people who considered him a strange acquaintance. And it was here that he dated the first time. Dating, he discovered, was a powerful source of dopamine and became one of his primary focuses for the rest of his time in public school. He dated four girls, each ending more disastrously than the last. They often found his aloof and abrasive nature was not a facade put on to look cool, but his constant state. Additionally, he struggled to empathize and process social issues - he simply couldn't understand the plights of his peers, as to him issues such as what clothes to wear or what people think of his hair to be trivial concerns. However, exposure to this sort of mentality of course took hold of his anxiety. He became by the third girlfriend extremely concerned about his appearance. By the fourth, who simply took advantage of his desperation for her own benefits, left him fairly exhausted and disenchanted by the whole ordeal. He reached the conclusion that simply accepting that he was unlovable would settle the whole matter, and wrote himself off as such. By entering every social situation with the expectation that any connection made would sputter out and die, he could avoid the heartbreak that came with endings. This was certainly not good for his mental health, but he believed it was better than the alternate.

Jake moved out as soon as he graduated, and began using the tuition assistance his employers offered to start exploratory classes at his local college. He started in fire science, but quickly grew board of it given its predisposition for the field of fire fighting. He moved on to photography, then journalism. Not liking the bulk writing involved with journalism, he decided to pursue a degree in the field he'd always adored - film. This school did not offer film, but so driven was he by this fixation that he found the effort to apply to seven scholarships, film a music video for Timber Timbre's Bad Ritual, and have it get him accepted to a university renowned for its arts programs. The scholarship pays for his classes and fees, and FAFSA his dorms, meal plan, and books. And he still burned within. In a new neighbourhood, he was not known. He saw this as an opportunity to wear different masks of personality, to make friends and find people he could feed off of socially to feel good about himself. He feared that burning trash in a smaller college town would be much less likely to be ignored than in a huge city renowned for its weirdness. Jake would rather not be accused of arson and expelled. He felt free, independent. He did not want to lose this. He would do anything to not lose this.

Inspirations: Oyasumi Punpun, Timber Timbre, Hozier
Sorry for writing a like full length wall of text biography!
 
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#8
Added a musical theme for Imojen (best viewed in full-screen mode). :)
 
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#9
Huh. The High Strangeness has already begun. Somehow, Jake's video substituted itself for Imojen's in her bio. Fixed, I hope. :D
 
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The usual cliche stuff. I really do love cyberpunk though.
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#10
Huh. The High Strangeness has already begun. Somehow, Jake's video substituted itself for Imojen's in her bio. Fixed, I hope. :D
Oh, I saw your video on its own from the start. Sorry for making such a wall of text! It started off much shorter, but I kept finding gaps between life events that seemed too jumpy. In the end, I spent three hours on it - listening to that song on loop because I was too focused to change it.
 
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#11
No apology necessary. I think my bio is about as long. I'm looking forward to the interaction between these characters.
 
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One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week, Slow As Molasses
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Passive or agressive. Depends on what's needed of me or the character I'm trying to play.
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The usual cliche stuff. I really do love cyberpunk though.
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#12
Any news?