MRCZ: Cult of the Moving Image (Tier 1)
Purpose: Help others achieve enlightenment through the appreciation of motion pictures.
Tags: Ephemera, Enlightened, Criticism
Needs: Space for a theater, Sarcophagus to bury former leader, Stop Long John Silver from burning celluloid.
Isaac (Ra-worshipping film enthusiast)
Geneline: Pharaoh (Grandiose, Bird Head, Loquacious)
Experiences: Ephemera 1, Negotiation 1, Shaping 1, Thin Slicing 1
Interface: Ra’s Glory (Ephemera, Bird Head, Awe Inspiring)
Technology: Staff of Ra (Social Engineering, Egyptian Staff, Ostentatious), Ra’s Eyes (Wetwork, Glassy Eyes, Laser Beams)
- The time I watched Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times” with my father, Tito, in his theater.
- The time I left my former MRCZ, The Lollipop Guild, and dramatically donned Ra’s Glory for the first time.
- Long John Silver burned my only copy of “Modern Times”.
Isaac, a 1st Generation freemer, wakes up in one of the shared bedrooms of the co-op where he lives. He immediately checks his feed for station news and sees that his application to create a new MRCZ has been approved by the Aggregate! His MRCZ, Cult of the Moving Image, aims to improve people’s lives through the appreciation of an outdated art medium: movies. Before Isaac can look to see where his new living accommodations are located, he notices that “Modern Times” seems to be trending across the station. Thousands of comments fly across his feed, all mentioning how great “Modern Times” is and how good a lead performance Tito gave.
Immediately suspicious about how his dead father is starring in a film that was destroyed yesterday, Isaac pings a random commenter, Squee, to ask what’s going on. Squee tells him that everyone’s talking about a new exhibition going on that’s organized by a MRCZ called CerebroPlex. Squee starts to talk about how cool the exhibit is but Isaac ends the call immediately. CerebroPlex is Long John Silver’s MRCZ.
Isaac stalks across the Donut to Graham’s Cross where a huge crowd has formed and a DJ is blasting house remixes of ragtime songs to synchronized strobe lights. People who wander into the lights are suddenly overcome by the “Freemarket Stare” as they’re flooded with CerebroPlex’s version of “Modern Times”. Looking around the square, Isaac spots Long John Silver dancing at the DJ booth, feeding off the crowd’s energy.
Isaac wants to sneak up to the DJ booth and grab the microphone without catching the attention of Long John Silver (Ghosting challenge, 3 Flow). Long John Silver is scanning the crowd, taking great joy in seeing the faces of freemers light up after they’re flooded by the strobes (Go For It). To distract him, Isaac uses his Staff of Ra (Social Engineering, Egyptian Staff, Ostentatious) to conjure a scene from the film which is holographically displayed above the crowd like roiling ocean waves (Engage Tech). Long John Silver immediately takes notice and uses his Pirate’s Patch (Thin Slicing, Cool Eyepatch, Poor Depth Perception) to try and find the source but he’s unable to pick Isaac out in the now surging crowd (Engage Tech). Having sneaked through the crowd, Isaac is able to grab the mic but Long John Silver notices him right away (Call, Win, Effect 1).
Isaac gets the crowd’s attention by thanking CerebroPlex for promoting Cult of the Moving Image and claims that CerebroPlex will be building him a new theater where he’ll be showing more films like “Modern Times” (Negotiation challenge, 6 flow) **. Long John Silver grabs the mic and claims that a theater isn’t needed now that his MRCZ can flood you with the essence of a film in mere moments (Go For It). Isaac ignores him and uses his Staff of Ra to project a hologram of the pyramid-shaped theater that CerebroPlex would be building (Engage Tech), much to the crowd’s excitement. Long John Silver responds by hitting a button on the DJ’s control board which causes a donation link to be projected up next to the pyramid (Go For It) – the numbers under the link quickly begin to swell as friend and contract requests begin to pour in. Isaac tries to steal back the crowd’s attention by projecting an image of his father, Tito, and asking for a round of applause (Engage Tech) but his voice is nearly drowned out by the roars of the crowd when Long John Silver brings out Tito himself and promises autographs for everyone (spend 2 Bugs to Go for It). Finally, Isaac overcharges his Staff of Ra to project an incredible 3D fly-through of the pyramid theater that stuns the crowd into a momentary silence (Burn Tech, 3 > 0). The crowd erupts in cheers and applause; Long John Silver rolls his eyes, defeated (Call, Lose, Effect 3). Both parties spend 6 Flow and the Aggregate pings them with recognition of their contract.
Isaac, basking in his success, decides to wander the station in search of coffee but it interrupted by his new MRCZ Mates who sought him out when he didn’t show up to their new shared accomodations. They introduce themselves as the COMBOTS and gift Isaac with a Buzz Lightyear (Wetwork, Laser Beam, Rescue Astronaut) which nearly shoots out his eye. He thanks them and promises to see them later. For now, Isaac needs someone to repair his Staff of Ra.
He pings the Aggregate and gets directions to a nearby pop-up market where the Mr. Fixit MRCZ is doing repairs. Once Isaac gets there, the market is unexpectedly crowded. Pushing through the fray, he sees that Billy Broadway, a prominent member of The Lollipop Guild, Isacc’s former MRCZ, has been deathed. A few members of the Operators, a MRCZ dedicated to old school detective work, are present, wearing fedoras and trench coats, and trying to hold back the crowds while another of their members dusts for fingerprints around the body.
Isaac hears a cheery voice call “Next!” and looks to see a smiling Mr. Fixit member waving at him from a nearby cart. The Mr. Fixit member, Dopinder, offers to repair Isaac’s Staff of Ra in exchange for Isaac screening a film for The Lollipop Guild in order to cheer them up about Billy being deathed. They both spend a point of Flow to register the contract and the Staff of Ra is repaired. Isaac heads back to the murder scene where Billy Broadway is coming back to his senses after being revived by a sweep. Isaac asks one of the Operators, Ford Deckard, if they know who deathed Billy yet. Ford replies that the Operators are still waiting on footage from Aggie but promises to share it with Isaac when it’s received.
In the meantime, Isaac helps Billy up and offers to walk him back to The Lollipop Guild’s (very nice) accommodations. On the way, they discuss Isaac’s desire to have Billy star in a musical mystery improvisational docudrama in which Billy investigates his own death. Billy agrees and in exchange, The Lollipop Guild will get an exclusive run at the Egyptian Theater for 10 days plus one Sunday per month for 12 months. They each spend 1 Flow to register the contract and go their separate ways.
Now that Isaac has his star, he needs a movie crew! With Aggie’s help, he tracks down Ribbit Redford of the Oscar Bait MRCZ (Tier 2. Ephemera, Union, Gossip). Ribbit Redford agrees that Oscar Bait will supply the cast and crew for Isaac’s next 10 films in exchange for Isaac hosting an awards show at his theater annually for the next 10 years.
After registering this last contract, Isaac heads to his new accommodations: a decommissioned trash compactor room. Just as Isaac collapses on his cot he gets a ping from Ford Decker; a gift! The message contains video footage of Billy being deathed by what looks like a biker from Mad Max. As the wetworker flees the scene, it appears that the video feed was hacked to blur his face. The noise on the video intensifies to spell “VULTERROR” before disappearing altogether.
** Isaac’s goal: “I won’t embarrass you in front of the crowd if you fund my theater.” Long John Silver’s goal: “I won’t burn any more of your celluloid if you give me another movie.”
Long John Silver (Underhander, R2, Greasy / Charismatic / Double-Crossing). Young, thin, leather-clad, mascara, pirate themed, eye patch, greasy hair.
- Technology: Pirate’s Patch (Thin Slicing, Cool Eyepatch, Poor Depth Perception).
** Ghosting 1
** Social Engineering 2
** Ephemera 1
** Flood/Bleeding 1
- CerebroPlex (Tier 2. Flooding / Breaking / Ephemera. Needs: Movies, New flooding tech)
- Lollipop Guild (Tier 4. Organizes flash mobs for musical numbers)
- Mr. Fixit (Tier 3)
- Oscar-Bait (Tier 2. Ephemera / Union / Gossip. Needs: Awards consideration, large audiences, scandal)