This Is Our Halloween



Encounter Conditions

During Halloween 2011, first appeared on October 7th

Initial Text

You run across a fair crowd in the middle of the Quad, about a hundred students. Most of them are waiting intently while an older man, presumably a teacher or administrator speaks. A few people in back are arguing loudly, however, to the chagrin of the listeners behind you.

The man finishes his remarks as you approach the scene and is replaced by a female student. He heads immediately off the stage past a woman you hadn't noticed, seeming quite out of place in the shadows with her clipboard.

In any case, the speech is about to start and, knowing these students' attention spans, probably won't last too long.

Summary of Choices

  1. Listen to the speech
  2. Follow the administrator
    1. Tell me about Midgard's involvement
    2. I heard something about a band
    3. What happened the last two years?
    4. Who's that girl speaking?
    5. Sorry, nevermind
  3. Check the back
  4. Approach the watcher
    1. Who are you?
    2. What do you want with her?
    3. You work for Midgard?
    4. Leave her be
  5. Ignore it all

Choice Text and Results

Listen to the speech

She takes the microphone with a practiced hand, taking a moment to sweep her eyes across the crowd, lingering just long enough to get that click of eye contact.

"Hello. I already know most of you, but if we haven't met, I'm Emily Davers, our student council president this year." A few girls to your left cheer loudly and she waves at them.

"Two years ago, Halloween ended in tragedy. Last year, Midgard had to knock some heads together and bring in a big name band so we could even have Halloween."

She pauses for a moment and, except for the students arguing way in the back, the crowd grows quiet. "This year we get to stand on our own feet. We fundraise like our
lives depend on it. If there isn't money, we build the animatronics ourselves if we have to. If there aren't enough parts, we hide behind paper mache tombstones in scary

"And I will be damned if you don't have more fun just getting to our Halloween party than you'd have at any other party in the whole city."

"So," she raises her voice, leaving it to echo from the buildings, "call your parents, your family, your friends, and your enemies. We're going to need a lot of credits and even more pairs of hands. Watch this space."

A few people here and there in the crowd clap. She flashes them a quick smile and leaves the stage.

Follow the administrator


You follow the man as the speech starts. He glances back as you approach through the crowd and stops among the throng of students. "Yes? Did you need something?"

Tell me about Midgard's involvement

He sighs heavily. "No, for the last time, there is no official Midgard involvement this year. The president of the student council happens to have a few friends that work for Midgard, that's all."

The denial is an obvious opening, so you press a bit for information about these friends. He gestures at the woman you noticed earlier in the shadows. "The woman, she's first generation in from Eurasia, but you'd never guess it by her accent. Barsukov is her name, I believe."

"There's also the doctor who treated her while she was hospitalized two years ago. I've only met him in passing. Older guy who hasn't realized you don't wear bow ties anymore. You can't miss him."

He quickly makes his excuses and slips through the crowd before you can get in another question.

I heard something about a band

"No, absolutely not," he shakes his head while reciting what's obviously a rote answer.

"The University can't afford to bring in a band like that and Midgard isn't interested in wasting it's money on another party. If the student council wants to invite a big name band, they'll just have to fundraise for it."

He shrugs. "So, unless you've got a couple million credits lying around, no Emerald Gift."

What happened the last two years?

He shakes his head. "God, what a nightmare."

"Two years ago, some students snuck a bunch of drugs into the punch. A riot broke out, some students died and others were hospitalized for months."

"Thankfully, Midgard smoothed it over. If they'd let the parents push, we'd have lost our accreditation for sure. But they stopped them and saved our asses."

He glances around to make sure none of the students heard him swearing. "Anyway, last year Midgard pushed and got us to have a party. It went fine, so we're approving this year's."

He makes his excuses and slips out of the crowd before the speech finishes.

Who's that girl speaking?

"Emily?" he glances up at the stage.

"She's a senior, student council president, fast tracked to work at Midgard. Even after missing half of last year, she's on track to graduate this spring."

"If our other students only did so well," he laughs bitterly.

"Anyway, as long as she's running things, I don't have any concerns about Halloween. Next year… well, we'll see."

Sorry, nevermind


Check the back


In Southside, if two groups of people dressed in matching outfits were facing off, it could only be a gang war. The dynamic on campus seems to be a bit different, though.

The two groups facing off in back seem more concerned with insulting each other than having a proper brawl. The group on the right is clad in faux leather and the latest fashions. The group on the left is dressed as fashionably as you can be while still pretending you weren't trying to look fashionable.

Nobody's paying them much attention, but the "punk" group is loudly declaring that the other group ruined last year's Halloween. Apparently their "whisper band garbage" made the party unbearable and they're idiots for selling their souls to Midgard to get the band.

The other group is pretty quiet until the words "sold out" are uttered. Then they all begin talking over each other, insulting the punks' choice in music, along with the usual digs about their parentage and rutting with barnyard animals.

Even so, their heart doesn't seem to be in it. As their leader says, they "just want to 'clipse out and freak at the decorations."

After a few more exchanges of insults, local security comes by to send the groups back to their dorms. Yeah, totally different dynamic.

Approach the watcher


You make your way to the side of the stage. You were right to pick out the woman as out of place.

She looks a little older than the students, but the tailored suit is a dead giveaway. You've seen students in suits, but it's rare and the suits never fit right anyway.

Even looking down at a clipboard, scribbling away, she has a noticable presence out of line with her appearance. From the way her whole body looks tensed and ready to lunge in any direction, it might be cybernetics.

She glances up at you over her clipboard. "Yes?"

Who are you?

She looks you up and down again, appraisingly. "I don't see what concern it is of yours."

Knowing your time is limited, you ask again, a little more forcefully. She sighs. "My name is Janet Barsukov. I'm here as a personal friend to Miss Davers. If you please."

She gestures you to the side, but the movement lets you pick out the faint outline of a holster.

What do you want with her?

She looks you up and down. "Well, I suppose knights in shining armor come in all shapes and sizes nowadays."

"I'm here as a personal friend of Miss Davers. I met here during her hospitalization two years ago this month."

She returns to her work for a moment, then looks you in the eyes. You can't say for sure what she sees, but her eyes are bottomless wells confidence and uncompromising self control.

"If you are her heroic protector, it might interest you to know that one of the other patients from that incident went missing a few days ago. One," she glances back down at her clipboard, "Charles Freese the Third."

She returns to her work, apparently having decided she's done talking to you.

You work for Midgard?

"How could you tell?" she responds with a voice that could freeze Lake Metroplex in the height of summer.

"Someone in this city wearing a decent suit and you assume they work for Midgard? Congratulations, Watson."

She shakes her head dismissively. "I work for Midgard, but I'm here as a personal friend of Miss Davers. I'm helping with party planning."

She flashes you the clipboard to demonstrate her point. Although you can see some justification for "preliminary wiring" and even "secure site," it's harder to say what "tune instruments to residual markers" has to do with party planning.

On the other hand, she seems a little too self-aware to show you something by accident. Hmmm.

While you're trying to sort out what exactly you saw, she's slipped into the crowd.

Leave her be


Ignore it all


See Walk Away?

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