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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Academia With a Gas Mask

There was a Steampunk LARP listed on Sunday morning. I didn't get in per the game shuffler, but showed up regardless in the fond hope of extra space and was not disappointed. I ended up as Lillian Gallagher, the alchemist. The game had an interesting suggestion - the sheet tells you what the device you invented is called, and you make up what it does. This led to a really creative morning.

The Esochemical Filtration Unit was a device that filters the blood. Initial results were promising and I could successfully remove heavy metals - lead, mercury - from the bloodstream using a small device and quick procedure. I'd also had some success with biologicals, successfully tuning the device to remove the bacteria that causes cholera. I hoped to soon be able to tune it to treat the zombie plague and viral vampirism. The device was compact and portable and not prohibitively expensive. In fact, the cost of the procedure was generally completely offset by the value of the elemental mercury collected from the patients. With a few more years of research and refinement, I hoped to revolutionize the public health system.

But I was also hiding a terrible secret. I was a vampire, and my research was driven primarily in hope of restoring myself to humanity, as well as helping others. Meanwhile, I'd developed an elixir that masked my true identity from others who could normally tell that I was a dangerous vampire. Unfortunately, it didn't make me look human. It made me look like I had no aura at all. Worse luck, one of the other scientists was demonstrating his new camera that could photograph auras, and I wasn't sure if it would expose me as a fraud. When I didn't fall in line for the group photo, suddenly everyone was suspicious. That I had to keep drinking my elixir every 15 minutes didn't help matters either. Before long, much of the game centered on figuring out what the heck was up with me. By the half-time break, the other players were actively saying, "You're up to no good." and "I think you're a bad bad woman." I blinked, looked as innocent as possible, and professed my desire to help the poor and sick of this world for the greater vigor and productivity of the empire. I spent the next few hours lying through my teeth, trying desperately to hang on to my one goal of not revealing my vampire nature, while still trying to promote my device and win the competition.

Well, I didn't win the competition, but I didn't give up my secret to anyone and no one could prove a thing. After years in hiding, this weekend scientific meeting was a social experiment for me to see if I could pass in society, and well, it was time to go back into hiding for a while, maybe work on a complementary elixir to simulate a human aura. And it was definitely time to leave town.

At the end of the game, everyone else felt really bad about how much they'd picked on me. Truth be told, I'd had a really great time.

2 Comments:

  • Sorry I missed that one! I did have a great time being your pawn (or was it play thing?) in the 'Goldengate' LARP though.

    Justin

    By Blogger Justin, at 7:10 PM  

  • By the way, I'm 'mrboy' over on LiveJournal, although I don't post much.

    By Blogger Justin, at 1:46 PM  

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