WORDS BY BRUNO BAYLEY
PHOTOS BY A P STURROCK
Everybody knows that Live Action Role Playing is the funnest way to turn your pointless existence into a thrill ride of unbounded possibilities and constant adventure, right?
But imagine if you took LARP out of the forests and Quasar centres and transported it into the most exciting environment there could possibly ever be: a nightclub in Leicester!
THEN, imagine what it would be like if the bar was fully licensed and there were DJs, dancing and futuristic bounty hunters drinking pints of Caffreys and fighting human/cat hybrids from space all night long?
Wouldn’t that be like surgically implanting a galactic space engine to the part of your brain that makes you produce the fun chromosome, which then would launch your brain out of the front of your head spraying everybody around you with blood, skin and splintered bone fragments?
The answer is: “Affirmative, Corporal Zeeks! And what’s more, radiation took out the riggercom relays and three AVs went down in the hot zone. Headshot 12!” *
Welcome, ladies and gents, to SINergy!
*This is SINergy speak for “Yes, I absolutely agree with that statement.”
These are the guys that make up SINergy and they had come from as far away as Brighton, Leeds and London to Leicester’s Rack & Roll club to pretend that they were living in a place called “New Rome City”.
Set, fairly unambitiously, a mere 33 years in the future, New Rome City is built on top of a concrete plate set on top of the old Rome. In their minds, tribes of cannibals roam around the rim of the plate, huge corporations battle with anarchists and cyborgs suffering from “cyber-psychosis” shoot innocents. The big news in December 2040 was that a cloud of radioactive smoke had puffed out of the Vatican’s chimney spelling disaster for all who live nearby, so that was the kind of shit we were dealing with. Fucking heavy.
This is the DJ. The big tunes of 2040 seemed to be anything by Static-X. He dropped “Protect Ya Neck” too, but that was a one-off. One guy spent most of the night rolling across the dancefloor dressed as a cat. His feline grace was undermined by the banging of his huge goth boots which was audible above the music.
The game started out calmly. These guys were engrossed in a high stakes poker match. The chap dressed like Chun-Li was only 16. He said his parents thought he was on drugs and out getting high, but actually he was a swordsmith from the future out gambling. We are not sure but it seems that Lucozade is a valued commodity in 2040.
This was a tense moment. The guy with the huge gun was a cyborg, he was suffering from “cyber psychosis” and was violently shaking and mumbling. The other guy was slowly inching toward his sidearm while trying to pacify the cyborg with a hearty smile. Eventually an off-duty bodyguard stun-gunned the troublemaker from behind.
This is a very important parcel. It was delivered by one of the refs and had to be signed for. It was a huge Tupperware full of loose wires with a BlackBerry Blu-Tacked to the top of it. The recipient even had a SINergy identity card to prove it was for him.
This situation turned very ugly, very fast. Mandell, in the leather jacket, is a CSWAT (Cyborg Special Weapons and Tactics) officer employed to keep trouble out of the bar, but it seemed this line of work had earned him enemies. This ponytailed hulk came out of nowhere and started pumping rounds into him.
Thankfully there was this S&M Indiana Jones character nearby who we hid behind. He was a bodyguard and was pretty handy with his 9mm. In spite of what seemed like a huge disparity in firepower, he had the attacker wounded on the floor in seconds.
As the assailant lay on the floor he was tended to by a medic called Dr. Cecilia Evrington-Wraith. She had a surgery kit that consisted of a manicure set. Unfortunately her hard work was wasted when the bodyguard leaned over her and shot the guy in the head.
Mandell was injured, but thanks to his high armour points and his equally high ability to absorb damage he survived. It looked touch and go for a bit, but he was soon back on his feet and back to his double-hard self.
The guy in the mask was a dominatrix in New Rome. He said he favoured a cat o’ nine tails with metal hooks on the end of its tassels for inflicting the maximum damage to a client. He kept his mask on for the interview, which I found unsettling. He was 16 and a close friend of Chun-Li. It was his first time at SINergy and he seemed to keep to himself and was more into chilling than fighting.
This guy is a surgeon who had turned his girlfriend into a cat. She was very sensual and practically deepthroated my brand new dictaphone while purring. The operation was apparently done in “Chinatown” where “you can get away with anything.”
This is Onager. He was disfigured by a nuclear accident and had to wrap his face up in tape. He is the master of the New Rome City pit fighters. His real name is Darren and he met us at the train station to guide us to the venue. He was extremely nice, but seemed a lot more violent when in character. It was him as another character who attacked Mandell, and soon after this picture was taken he got into a scrap with one of his errant employees.
This is her. They fought because she was shocked to see him and claimed she thought he was dead. For a while it looked like there was going to be a sledgehammer showdown. But eventually they made up and locked arms in a touching show of unity. People were crowding around gaping. It was clearly a big shock to many that Onager was alive. On this happy note of reunification we ran away back to the year 2008.
Larps Of The Near Future
WORDS BY BRUNO BAYLEY