They walk as Banished.
Were I to die tonight, all my desires but for these words to be written would be fulfilled.
That possibility need not be considered hopeless.
October 23rd, 2011. 3:04 AM. Blood has been seeping through the roof for nine hours and forty-three minutes. Screams for nearly twice that. Sleep is a pleasure I cannot allow my eyes. Sleep is a pleasure for the innocent--my eyes have witnessed that ultimate thief of innocence. I will not rest until my suddenly limited time upon Earth is complete.
They have yet to discover this basement. 'They' is a pronoun I sorely yearn I could specify. They appear to be no more than silhouettes, bounded by two dimensions. Yet they stand upright. They stalk the shadows. They are shadows themselves, of deformities monstrously hellish and otherworldly. They are the curse not even the devil wishes upon the Enemy.
In a single night, my own New Mexico has fallen. A week will see America's crumbling, a fortnight the world's. I have no doubt that death will span the planet as a demonic flood with in an angel's blink. And I can do nothing for my brethren but watch them fall prey to this ungodly menace.
There is no hope in idleness. Dear reader--I write this eulogy for you--there is little hope at all. Faith is a lie, I promise you that. Abandon your children and your lover and take up arms, for only in resistance can you find momentary survival. Or swift doom.
Doom, though, is imminent. It can only be staved off.
* * *
November 24th, 2011. My food source was depleted two weeks ago. Due to quite literally nonstop battle this is the first free moment I have found when my body was not possessed by an unholy urge to drift into unconsciousness to resume keeping this diary. Several others besides myself have found equally safe--or something reminiscent of it--hideouts, and faced equally challenging circumstances. We have been forced to fight, as I predicted. We have formed a sort of First Resistance--I use that title with the definite knowledge that others with emerge. Time will leave them with no option but retaliation, or death.
The Hive knows no mercy.
Several days of warily scouring New Mexico's grounds in search of like-minded survivors have revealed that there truly is no safety. The path of carnage is more focused in certain areas, though, and it seems to be leading towards a central sort of a headquarters--there is a plain near the center of the state from which the creatures originated. The sun sheds no light over it. Fittingly, it is perpetually night there. Sidney MacIntyre, a 33-year-old ex-soldier and resistance member who has proved particularly adept with a gun, has nicknamed it the Evergray. The name has caught on with the troops.
That word has become instinctive. We grow less and less like feeling individuals and more like an emotion-drained army with each passing settling of the sun behind that bleak horizon.
* * *
January 19th, 2012. MacIntyre defected three days ago. Well, formally defected. He'd mentally been on a vastly different plane than us from his entrance.
The First Resistance's battle technique is one primarily concerned with stealth. We value, by unwritten law we have all learned to accept in this anarchist reality, the survival of our own troops above that of the Hive's, and so we fight guerrilla warfare. We adopt their technique. We keep to the shadows and lurk in the corners of the night. MacIntyre preferred a much more...direct approach. He has brought seven men to their deaths in a two-month period due to recklessness, or as he labels it, 'fatal efficiency.' Nonetheless, his defection gained him followers. Our numbers dwindle by the day, whether it be due to starvation, defection, or murder.
I suppose this marks a certain point in the history of the event. A new faction has been formed. I sincerely hope it is more effective than suicidal.
The Hive is spreading.
* * *
May 19th, 2012--A breakthrough! At last! A remarkable, albeit violent encounter with one of the Hive revealed to me th[fragment ripped from entry]
[Next page--]Imagine the implications! Humanity may emerge victorious at last!
* * *
December 31st, 2012. If there is a single thing that is definite in my mind, it is the survival of mankind in the face of even the most wicked and supernatural of evils. I have seen many terrible things and grown ancient in a single year, yet have been graced by the presence of beauty. The sheer will of man is unwavering, unending, and it is this that carries him to high heaven.
The army has become an accepted form of living. Children are raised with knives in their pockets, and as sadistic as that first appears, deeper analysis reveals a sort of beauty to be admired in that. The First Resistance has born witness to the emergence of MacIntyre's forces as well as that of the scientist Klaus Heizenbaum, whose technological revolution in warfare weaponry is unprecedented.
It is a sad world where war is life, but when that is the only one you know you learn to seek out beauty in the shadows.
We will kill the Hive to the last demon-spawn.
--Dr. Jameson Carter (1963-2013)
[THE HIVE banner here]
The year is 2065. Fifty-one years ago, the Hive attacked. Terrifically monstrous, hive-minded creatures who take the form of vaguely human silhouettes, their purpose is unknown, but their modus operandi is clearly merciless onslaught. The popular theory is conquest--they emerged from the Evergray, a onetime-plain in New Mexico trapped in perpetual night, to eradicate mankind and take possession of the Earth.
Mankind, though, has done an efficient job of defending itself. The battle is restricted to the American shores. Three factions have formed as separate armies. Originally, they served as allied entities, but the horrors of wartime have placed brother against brother, and rivalries have formed. Allegiances are in title only, and friend is no more friend than enemy.
In The Hive, you play as a member of one of the four factions--the troops of Carter, MacIntyre, Heizenbaum, or the Hive itself--or perhaps you will invent and popularize a new faction entirely. Under constant threat to survival, you can choose to take part in the present war or start your own, or seek to end it, abandoning the harsh reality of bloodshed to discover the origins and weaknesses of the Hive, uncovering secrets more horrifying and ancient than time itself.
The Hive is madness incarnate. Their intent is clear--world domination--though even to themselves, their origins are unknown. Their memory is limited to their emergence from the Evergray, and prior to that they recall only swirling, chaotic shadow. It has been speculated that to discover their history is t discover their ultimate weakness, the ultimate end to the war. They spawn from the Evergray, a plain in central New Mexico where it is permanently night, and spread throughout America in search of human blood. Once any area they attack has become wiped of all human life they establish a sort of fortress. They need no rest or nourishment, however, so these bases appear to be simply marks of territory. They kill their victims by rendering them immobile--their touch is pain--and literally swallowing them, absorbing their life force. Though they appear two-dimensional, a shadow can be effectively killed by blade or gunshot, as a human.
As the name suggests, the Hive monsters are hive-minded--they share a single consciousness, yet countless shadow-demons exist. One mind, many bodies. In terms of RPing, any RPer at all can come along and make a post for the Hive--no need for a profile, since the Hive is technically really one character. As such, although the big plot-twists initiated by the Hive will be set up by yours truly, activity of the Hive is controlled primarily by every single member of the RPG (RPer's note--be sure to check up on all the Hive's posts by your coworkin' RPers, highlighted in grey [check out the rules down below], to make sure you haven't missed any of the action!).
The First Resistance
Founded by the original rebel, poet, psychologist, and philosopher Dr. Jameson Carter, the First Resistance operates in the shadows, fitting for a world overrun by them. Stealth is their priority, efficient both in areas of effectively dispatching the Hive and maintaining the lives of their own members. Upon formal entrance, your previous identity is erased from all governmental files and a nickname is adopted--the current leader of the FR is known as Wild One. To maintain anonymity, the FR is not based at a particular headquarters; rather, troops are based at hundreds of smaller, more inconspicuous locations nationally. A majority of these mini-bases are disguised as abandoned houses or other such regular sightings that detract attention from them.
The FR's weapons department distributes to FR troops what the boys in the basement refer to as 'stealth auxiliary weaponry,' more commonly referred to as SAW. SAW is, as the title suggests, less commonly used and less direct weaponry more suited to the techniques of the FR--devices that render the user visually similar to his surroundings for camouflage purposes, trackers and hidden cameras, blades that don't make a mess, and the like. The FR's mission has adopted to being more concerned with infiltrating the Evergray and other minor Hive fortresses so as to uncover their secrets than with the war itself, though their members are just as much trained soldiers as any other in modern America.
The Bloodsworn are recognized by a three-pronged, slash-shaped brand on their forehead, worn proudly as a symbol of their membership of MacIntyre's regiment. MacIntyre himself, at 84, is hardly fit to fight, but he has carved a militarily beautiful army from his residence in the Pentagon, the onetime-US military base in Virginia. As he has preached in his famously vigorous speeches on innumerable occasions, the Bloodsworn is not just an army, it is a lifestyle. A soldier is not served food from a plate--he hunts for his meals, and similarly builds every other aspect of his life. The highest-ranking troops in the Bloodsworn are those who expended blood sweat and tears to get there. MacIntyre's typical soldier views the general as near-godly, holds his own value in a near-arrogant esteem and pride, spends his mornings and evenings increasing his physical bulk, and his afternoons viciously eliminating any and all creatures of the Hive.
Despite the apparently demanding lifestyle, the Bloodsworn have attracted vast numbers of recruits--they have proved highly efficient in their method of winning their war, if one disregards their initiation of a dozens of minor quarrels with other factions. The nightlife of a soldier as well is one of total freedom--where as other factions generally 'turn their men into robots,' as MacIntyre has eloquently stated, 'we have the most fun.'
Founded by Klaus Heizenbaum and currently headed by his utterly brilliant 19-year-old son Albert, Nucleus specializes in nothing more than global revolution. To make an understatement, 'zealous' best describes their members, though 'obsessed' may be more accurate. Their technological advancement is astonishing and progresses at an uncanny rate--and they're not sharing. To join Nucleus, a test on all basic and higher-level sciences must be passed, so its membership is disturbingly genius, albeit small.
To give a basic idea of the kind of technology and knowledge Nucleus members have access to--rocket ships, jet packs, lasers, breakthrough research on subatomic particle chemistry and physics, and fantastical items found only in science-fiction novels of those naive authors of the first decade of the second millennium. Several members have joined purely out of a lust for knowledge, and have emerged from a short year of intensive training hardened scientist-soldier hybrids. Heizenbaum Jr. has been criticized for his role in what he's referred to as the 'New Future,' but that role is indisputably one of the most relevant of any individual on the planet.
Pumped to play? Easy answer! Fill out this profile for every char you wanna RP with in The Hive and PM it to me, Riisiing Moon, and I'll either approve it and post it here and let you know you can begin playing, or let you know what you've gotta edit for it to get approved. Remember, no need to create a char for a Hive creature, as anyone can RP as one. Here's the submission form--
Name--The name of your char. Feel free to pick something generic, like Jim, or something that sounds like the baby of a Star Wars-Harry Potter marriage. If your char's a member of the FR, pick out a nickname instead.
Appearance--What's your char look like? No need to get too detailed, but paint us a vivid enough picture of just who your char is and who our chars are RPing with.
Faction--To what allegiance--at least, officially--is your char loyal to? FR, Bloodsworn, Nucleus, or neutral. If the latter, give a couple of words about what your char's fighting for and how he/she fights.
Weaponry--Which weapons does your char carry around at all times for self-defense? FR members, list your SAW here; Bloodsworn, you guys generally have more aggressive weaponry, but exceptions do exist, long as you don't cross into FR/Nucleus territory; Nucleus members, you guys get access to some seriously jacked-up tech. I'll be the judge of what's too advanced for non-Nucleus members.
Bio--Give a short summary of your char's history, how he/she got to where they are now and the events they've faced in the present wartime circumstance have shaped them. This'll help define who your char is and make them more personal and easier to connect with, really bringing them to life in color when you RP with 'em.
--PM me your profiles for char submissions to play!
--Use IC, in character, as the introduction to any of your posts within which you're RPing for your char, a different IC for each char. Use OOC as an introduction to anything you've got to say about the RPG that's not an actually role-playing post.
--The setting's all of the United States of America, but nothing beyond that. If you ever need help with geography, just check out a US map.
--The Hive is everyone's char--simply begin an IC with 'IC--The Hive' to RP as a creature or a number of creatures of the Hive. Don't go over the top with this rule, guys--no trampling over a rebel base with thousands of troops. Leave the big stuff to the staff.
--Since the Hive is everyone's char, it's crucially important to read every post where an RPer makes a Hive IC, so to prevent someone from having to mow through every single post, it's a rule to post all of your Hive ICs in the font color 'dark grey.' If you don't, you'll get a notice informing you to edit your post.
--Don't mess with any o' these rules, or something nasty and highly creative will likely befall your char...
--Start a war, make a faction, lead your own plot arc--do something revolutionary, do something big! Can't have fun hiding in the corner the whole time!
I'm currently the only member of The Hive staff--if you'd like to have to have the ability to cynically mess with the outcome of events in the RPG, PM me a short paragraph on why you're remotely competent!
Thanks to Zar, Dovy, and Inferna for constructive commentary!