Jan. 16th, 2014

birthright_npc: (Las Vegas)
[personal profile] birthright_npc
The Desert Queen, the city’s newest boutique hotel, went from concept drawings to physical structure in record time. Local magazines hailed it as an architectural marvel. A newspaper columnist referred to it as a tourist’s wet dream. Behind closed doors, it was called worse things: a rush job, a fool’s errand, the hotel that dirty money built. People suspected that contractors cut corners to meet the deadlines of anxious city developers, and more disturbing, that building inspectors were bribed to pass it with flying colors.

The hotel was a modern work of pink-tinted glass and polished steel. Though only seven stories tall, its towers rose at sharp, impossible angles meant to mimic the shape of a royal crown. Hotel rooms pitched diagonally over a landscape of bubbling fountains, rippling pools, and greenery so vibrant that gardeners joked it had been painted. Even the marble tiles around the toilets were imported from Italy.

It opened with a flourish at the end of summer and was booked solid through Easter. All were poised to breathe a collective sigh of relief until the first sign of trouble: a crack in the foundation, first reported by a maintenance worker on New Year’s Eve. Then a second crack… this one in a load-bearing column in the lobby.

When the first spire buckled, the steel yawned loudly, sounding like the bellow of an exotic beast. Chunks of plaster plopped into the water. Jagged cracks appeared in the windows. Then flooring began to spill out, and bits of wire and pipe. A squadron of fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances wailed and honked as they approached on Las Vegas Boulevard. A lone news helicopter circled overhead in the night sky.

Then a second spire snapped like an insect wing. A mixture of building materials, furniture, and people teetered precariously over the stone plaza. Guests shouted and pointed. Some took pictures. Within moments, all hell broke loose.

[Thread: Open]

Science!

Jan. 16th, 2014 02:24 pm
birthright_npc: (Searchlight)
[personal profile] birthright_npc
It started with science.

A bunch of overworked, underpaid lab geeks were cooped up in a government facility, using their impressive IQs to conjure the truly macabre: drug-resistant bacteria, super viruses, chemical weapons. Then came the animal testing and, along with it, injections of toxins and elixirs. When the work was complete, the scientists patted themselves on the back for a job well done. They had created supplements capable of turning soldiers into super-humans, weapons that could turn enemies into piles of lifeless goop, with a few weird 'experimental accidents' along the way.

Satisfied and slap-happy, they waited for their just rewards. Except that no bonuses came.

It was inevitable that a guy named Randy would get good and pissed and steal a random sample from the lab.

He hid it in his metal coffee thermos and left the facility. He arranged to meet with an interested party at an out-of-the-way diner in Nowheresville, USA (aka Searchlight). When questioned, he unscrewed the cap to show the product for sale, his hands shaking as he passed the thermos to the buyer.

Getting the dropsies wasn’t part of his plan.

The glass casing shattered. Liquid met air, contents crackled and fizzed, and the chemical went airborne. Suddenly Randy was not Randy anymore. The whites of his eyes turned iodine-orange. Boils popped to the surface of his lips. His tongue swelled. All of it culminated in a red haze of rage that saw him lunging across the table to pummel and gnaw on his buyer, who had the same idea at the same time.

In less than a minute, the entire dining room was hell-bent on carnage. A glass window shattered. A trucker ran into the street.

[Thread: Open]

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