CRT

Type: Boutique

Entrances: Channel Pi, an immense wooden cabinet television located
in the back of a fire-damaged TV repair shop in Peoria, Illinois. The
dial must be tuned to Channel 3.1415926535897 (pi to the 13th decimal
place) by rotating the dial like entering a safe combination. Crasher
rumor tells of a special remote control supposedly lost in [[[the
cushions of Callus Detier Drogovich's couch that could do the trick on
any television anywhere, but that's likely horse shit.

Transit Access: In Blister-Twist, just off of Main Street/Route 616,
there's a boarded-up department store with falling-down letters above
it spelling out BLO_MI_G_AL_S. Sitting in the display window are six
enormous televisions that light up with static and noise only when a
storm rolls in, opening up a portal through the manhole in middle of
the street. There's also rumored to be some way to escape the Creeping Dollhouse into CRT via a faux television and couch on the
second floor, but nobody alive knows the key to activating the
connection.

Citizens: CRT is populated by damned that drew some sadistic, vain,
or otherwise impure pleasure from having their evil depicted on video:
a chuckle at the sight of their victim's grief-stricken families
imploring the public to help find their daughter; a stir in the pants
when the local news showed that beautiful burning building again.
Recent arrivals to the domain demonstrate that this applies to video
in any form of telecommunication, bringing in sexting child
pornographers along with assholes who uploaded clips of their date
rapes to their Face-Pages. The screws of CRT don't know or care about
each baby-raper's handiwork, and nobody gets show their own highlight
reel as punishment, but the many of the damned cringe with fearful
anticipation every time a ghostly glowing TV hisses to life, worried
that today will be the day. So far it's never happened.

The Place: CRT is a twisted and claustrophobic labyrinth laid out
like a dysfunctional sewer system constructed of old TVs, electronic
garbage, and rotten wiring instead of brick, mortar, and pipes.
Completing its sewer-like nature, a slick coppery-clear fluid drips,
sluices and pools in varying volumes throughout the place, smelling
like an even mix of tears, battery acid, and diet cola. Constituted
entirely of cable-crusted catacombs, there is no known "outside" to
CRT, although occasionally entire banks of TV screens will depict
idyllic exterior panoramas in high definition, just to be mean. The
whole place feels like it is deep underground, but it occasionally
sways and shudders as if it were rooted to the top of a skyscraper
being blown around in a wicked storm.

Most laws of physics work normally in CRT, although anything
electrical brought in from outside is buggy at best, and any magnetic
or electronic recordable media - whether utilized during the time
there or not - is always overwritten by anything from simple static to
big-budget commercials for snuff films that never aired anywhere.
Sometimes the screws of CRT will deliberately use this overwriting
phenomenon to taunt, intimidate, or deceive gullible crashers with
altered or entirely fabricated content.

Most principles of medicine and physiology apply unaltered when
spelunking CRT's cramped passageways: wounds bleed, that battery acid
liquid stings, and you get hungry. Junk food and sodas can be
scavenged from decrepit vending machines which are incorporated into
the walls, and there's amazingly nothing wrong with the snacks,
although the locations of such precious caches are carefully guarded
and doled out by the screws that use them as rewards for loyal
viewers. The critical exception to all the rules is that during "tube
time" (see below), the fast and loose logic of hack TV plot writing
may apply. A person in "tube time" may be told that "it's just a
flesh wound” and that diagnosis seems to stick once (if) they get back
out. A crasher on the other side of the silver screen might even be
brought back from the brink through a miracle experimental surgery or
their evil dimensional twin brought over through a rift in the
space-time continuum for a blood transfusion, but the cost for such
procedures would be astronomically high.

Shackles: The insane feng shui of CRT seems intent on planting a
glowing wall of hissing television screens in your face every ten
feet, providing the omnipresent experience of sitting way too close to
the TV. Every navigable passageway is densely lined with stacks upon
stacks of old boxy televisions and the floor is clogged with a tangled
carpet of corroded extension cords and a dusting of shattered glass.
The place is mutable but maintains the same general characteristics:
televisions regenerate eventually if broken and the layout shifts
unpredictably as walls drift together, areas flood, and new paths open
up. Expeditions working their way through the maze constantly trip,
bottleneck, or just get stymied at dead ends. Stuck right in front of
the relentless flicker and drone, citizens and crashers alike are
constantly tempted to just watch what's on for just a minute while the
way ahead clears.

The TV "programs" of CRT are usually take-offs of topside television
shows that have been altered by the screws, and all are harmful and
entrancing to some degree. At the very least, one can expect vision
problems, hearing loss and a bit of ear-bleeding from prolonged
exposure, even if the program is a seemingly straight-up rerun of Lets
Make A Deal. More extreme programming, which is common, can cause a
person to be mesmerized, paralyzed, or damn near lobotomized.
Citizens stumbled upon in the twists of CRT can often be found staring
slack-jawed at the devil's reruns, but they can be shaken out of it
and most break the spell on their own at an eventual commercial break,
only to move on and get stuck again a short while later.

Those who don't snap out of the boob-tube trance may fall victim to
absorption, also referred to "uploading", "soul-jacking", or "getting'
cable-fucked". This is usually directed by a malicious screw with its
attentions focused on the person, but can happen without deliberate
purpose at the whim of the domain itself. Oily black wires and sharp
copper-pronged cables cautiously emerge from the floor and slowly
snake up the person's body, worming their way into veins and orifices
until the person is hopelessly plugged in and firmly rooted to the
spot. Removing these wires prior to full absorption is possible, but
causes injury since all that shit is really in there. Once fully
plugged in, the person discorporates in a buzz of bright static
through the wires and is transported literally into the program which
had transfixed them, appearing on the screen in "tube time".

Crotch Dubard once described "tube time" not as being teleported to a
complete fictional reality, which would be awesome, but rather getting
stuck on the fake and garishly-lit set of a shoddy TV show, which
sucks. The "set" is usually a full production complete with red-eyed
cameras, zombie gaffers, and an eerie studio audience of
expressionless but enthusiastically appreciative mannequins. Therein,
the person is incorporated into the script in the role of a central
character and is tormented by the screws, subject to the tropes of
hack writing and cheap melodrama. It's possible to play along and
occasionally succeed during "tube time", however, and a few savvy
citizens actually prefer it, attaining an exploitable mastery of its
cheesy conventions. It's also possible to die in there, and the
screws aren't shy about "writing off" crashers who are no longer
entertaining. Several citizens cling to the hope that that there's a
way out of CRT through "tube time", but nobody knows for sure where
such an exit might lead, or whether you'd get your body back when you
got there. Those who do survive a stretch in "tube time"
reincorporate in the spot where they left, birthed bodily out of the
screen in a vomit of static, unplugged but usually bearing some mark
of their exploits from the other side.

Screws: The screws here are all sinister mock-ups of TV personalities
that inhabit every channel of fiendish programming and control what's
on. They don't have bodies outside of the shows, but they do have
some limited control over the physical environment which they can use
to prod, injure, or trap people. They get especially rowdy with
anyone who gets the bright idea to start smashing screens, as that
seems to be one sure-fire way to draw the terrible ire of dozens of
screws at once. On screen, the screws aren't confined to just one
program or area, and regularly channel surf at their leisure,
inserting themselves as Special Guest Appearances in whatever they
please. Each screw does have their chosen genre and they are fairly
territorial amongst each other, preferring to dominate their false
little worlds and play God over anyone whom they can ensnare.

Mr. Fabulous Prizes is the lord of game shows, appearing resplendent
with his perfectly coifed hair, brilliantly white smile, and
uncomfortably orange spray-on tan. He delights in tempting crashers
and citizens with rewards just out of reach, directing those who play
his games to small caches of food or temporary shelter, always
dangling the promise of information on how to escape the domain as the
elusive Grand Prize. A total egomaniacal sociopath, he is recognized
as the most powerful screw in CRT, and can strike some serious
bargains for those willing to risk it all in his games of skill and
chance.

Scrambled Porn Sally is the queen of adult entertainment, and is by
far the most successful screw in the whole place when it comes to
grabbing the attention of interlopers with the lure of her surely
perfect tits which you could almost make out if only that damn fuzzy
wiggly bar of static would drift up just a little bit more… She
commands an inhuman cast of hard-bodied extras that really do it all,
and those citizens or crashers sucked into "tube time" under her
control emerge violated and disease-ridden, often experiencing a
tragic loss (or shocking gain) of genitalia.

The Weatherman is the nicest of the screws, or at least he ranks as
the least deliberately malicious. His corny but cheery descriptions
of beautiful weather in far off places just tend to be depressing,
given the fact that things in CRT don't change or get better. His
broadcasts often include a news ticker scrolling at the bottom which
details road conditions on Route 616 and scores for how many people
got fisted in Lash last night. If given an offering of natural
rainwater from topside, he is capable of forecasting the movements and
activity of the Shuddering Storm with respectable accuracy.

Dozens if not hundreds of other distinct screws inhabit CRT and plague
its inhabitants, including ShitCom, REALLY FUCKING EXCITED INFOMERCIAL
GUY, and the Public Service Announcement Players.

Landmarks: Open space is a rare luxury in CRT, with all its tiny
rooms and narrow corridors clogged with cancerous components and
permeated by the incessant prattle of stacks of droning boob-tubes.
The exception and largest known clear room in CRT is The Devil's Dome,
a basketball court-sized cavern roofed by the immense upside-down bowl
of a rusty parabolic satellite dish. Pointed downward towards the
heart of the Bad Place itself, the crooked antenna of the dish sparks
and buzzes with satanic signals received from all over. The floor of
the place is littered like a black sand beach with worn-out cell
phones, broken headsets, and the diarrhea of a billion Radio Shack
bargain bins. Crashers speculate that some serious intel could be
culled from the garbled noise that gibbers throughout the cavern, but
the last crew that tried to make sense of it went batshit insane after
only about ten minutes in there setting up their gear. Turns out
being exposed to the unfiltered informational radiation of all the
atrocities of the Underverse is some pretty bad juju.

Hidden somewhere in the bowels of CRT is The Orchard, a cramped but
heavenly maze of gleaming office cubicles decked out in clean white
plastic and pleasant user interfaces. Slick, soft-lit, and sterile,
The Orchard is a stark digital contrast to the rest of dirty, analog
CRT, and deludes many into thinking that it is a separate realm or
even a divine respite. It's really just a little slice of Damnation
for Mac users, and is twice as insidious as the rest of the domain.
Citizens - many of whom believe they have half-escaped their previous
torment to a place where they can work off their damnation through
menial data entry - loll pacified and stupefied in anti-ergonomic
office chairs, instant-messaging out TPS reports and Skyping the Screw
simulacra of Internet celebrities who congratulate them on joining the
ranks of the enlightened.

Notable Demons: Some theorize that Mr. Fabulous Prizes is actually a
full demon and not just a screw, but so far there's been no way to
classify him/it for certain. Others claim to have seen a dark
serpentine shape rippling underneath the ever-present static visible
on TV screens throughout the domain, hissing the name "Snow", but it
only seems to be noticed by those completely alone, and so far hasn't
done anything verifiable to indicate it lays claim to what goes on in
CRT.

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