The Fallout Fields Incident

Current Phase: C-002
Phase Type: Story

Version Beta

Secrets of the Beta Worlds

The Paradigm has been rebooted, updated, improved. It is a new metaverse, with countless unexplored worlds appearing like stars in what had been an infinite black void. Under this new order, three Factions rise to seize control, power, and influence. Will one secure dominance over the others, or will they together bring about the end of The Paradigm?

These are the secrets of Version Beta.

Version BetaSecrets of the Beta Worlds

Story 4

The Fallout Fields Incident

Liaison of Records


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Written by itsTerris

This transcript documents the events experienced by three members of the Winners Circle Faction within the Fallout Fields Zone, located in the desolate expanse of the Waste Land! area of the Beta Worlds. The transcript remains untouched and unaltered, presented as it unfolded. Henceforth, this extraordinary sequence of events will be referred to as "The Fallout Fields Incident."
LOCATION: Somewhere in the Gamma Gutters Zone

Terra from Vader: What’d that Beta Worlds tutorial video say again? “The ultimate post-apocalyptic theme park”? Fuck that. “Waste Land! Where Every Day is a Blast!” my ass. More like Zone designs so nasty they would make a cockroach think twice. And MOBs that redefine the term 'unfriendly locals.' This place is gnarly. What sick Architect thought it would be a blast to trudge through radioactive sewage sludge?

Elon Serene: You know, you're way too talented to be a Leftover. You would have made one hell of an Ad Buddy.

Terra from Vader: Not having a Talent ain’t so bad. At least it gives me plenty of time to waste on you.

Elon Serene: Well, I’m loving the glowing sewer aesthetic.

Terra from Vader: You couldn't even handle the carousel at the Carnival of Carnage. That Terror-Go-Round did a number on you. Doesn’t surprise me that our leisurely stroll through the bowels of Waste Land! is more your speed.

Elon Serene: I had to sit on that damned carousel for what felt like a cirxit solving that riddle so we could find this place. Ugh, I'm getting nauseous thinking about it. You're welcome, by the way.

Terra from Vader: “With your entry, this riddle was solved. Claim your prize swiftly, lest your fortune devolves. Now awaits the true test of resolve.” Yeah, yeah. But who was it that scored us the day passes we needed - our ‘entry’ that came with the Sewer Scone sample vouchers? And let's not forget who won us these hazmat suits at the game booth, huh? I had that decontamination race down to an art.

Elon Serene: “Thanks, Elon, for finding the hidden entrance to the sewers under the Sewer Scones booth. Thanks, Elon, for putting in a good word for me with the Winners Circle. Thanks, Elon, for coming with me on this d-mezz mission to Fallout Fields so I can suck up to Guildleader mr_ir0nic.” See? Not that hard.

Terra from Vader: Oh sure, all hail the mighty Gunter of the Winners Circle.

Elon Serene: Ha, very funny. You know, for a theme park where none of the bathrooms actually work, they sure did code an… elaborate sewer system in this Beta World.

Terra from Vader: "Labyrinth" is the word you are looking for. These sewers are a Puzzlemaster’s paradise. Platforms and walkways. Ropes, pulleys, and ladders. Hidden chambers and unexplored passages…

Elon Serene: Well, I guess we answered the question of why they were called Sewer Scones. I'm glad I didn't eat one.

Terra from Vader: They were actually pretty good, all things considered.

Elon Serene: ….Do you…never mind.

Terra from Vader: What?

Elon Serene: I can't shake off this feeling of being watched. It's like the shadows have eyes.

Terra from Vader: Or this place was programmed to be uninviting.

Elon Serene: Or there are more Brokers out here looking for the same mysterious payload the Winners Circle has us searching for. That freaky cult, Shepherds of Whatever. The Wayfarer Bureau. They have the backing of the Paradigm Council, you know.

Terra from Vader: And we’re in the fucking Winners Circle. As elite as they come. Don't start debugging out yet. We'll be fine.

Elon Serene: Hey! Look there, across the way. Those look like…glowing footprints…leading to that dark, creepy tunnel over there. You think that’s the way out of here?

Terra from Vader: Yeah, anything that leads us to places we wouldn't want to go sounds about right.

Elon Serene: But uh, look down. Does the toxic sludge river seem to be getting more toxic sludge-y? I swear the sewage is getting higher by the minute, and I do not want to get d-mezzed. No way I’m coming back down here. Screw this mission.

Terra from Vader: There's a ledge up ahead. We can use that to cross over it.

Elon Serene: Good eye. Looks like that tunnel is leading upwards. Hopefully, we’re almost out of this d-mezz trap.

Terra from Vader: Honestly, I don't care where this leads, as long as it's away from this sewer.

Terra from Vader: I think we're getting closer.

Elon Serene: Not sure how you came to that conclusion. I can't see a thing in here.

Terra from Vader: Exactly, I want out of this tunnel even more than I wanted out of the sewers. I’m manifesting our exit.

Elon Serene: Huh, is that what I think it is?

Terra from Vader: If you're thinking it's a better situation than we're in right now…probably not. But if you're thinking it's the end of the tunnel…you’re probably right.

LOCATION: Entrance to Fallout Fields Zone

Terra from Vader: This place...there's a kind of twisted beauty to it.

Elon Serene: And it's probably just as twisted in danger too.

Terra from Vader: Where are we headed exactly? I know the transmission from Guildleader mr_ir0nic said there have been rumors of some giant payload in Fallout Fields, but now that we are here, do we have a heading?

Elon Serene: Our instructions were pretty open-ended. We just know there have been massive spikes in radiation here, and we might need to crank up our rad-protection gear to make sure our rad meters don’t max out. Overall, Fallout Fields is one big question mark, so we should be ready for anything as we look for this payload.

Terra from Vader: What even is this fucking payload?

Elon Serene: Beats me. But if we snag it, it's a one-way ticket to the top of the Winners Circle. So we’re going to find out, one way or another.

Terra from Vader: Finding shelter would be a good start. The sky's telling me a rad storm's about to roll in. And these hazmat suits can only take so much radiation.

Elon Serene: Over there, you see that? There's a light in the distance. My Gunter’s gut is telling me to go there.

Terra from Vader: You mean that eerie glow on the far side of the kilometer-long pit of doom?

Elon Serene: Exactly.

Terra from Vader: Shouldn’t we avoid unidentified light sources?

Elon Serene: And miss a potential clue? We didn’t come all this way for nothing.

Terra from Vader: Of course, there's a kilometer-long pit of doom. Where else would you install one?

Elon Serene: You muttering about something?

Terra from Vader: Nope! Let's get a move on.

Terra from Vader: Catch sight of that?

Elon Serene: It's a bit hazy with all this smog, but seems like a metallic camper of sorts…glowing with that light.

Terra from Vader: Always fancied a camping trip. Do you reckon it's abandoned?

Elon Serene: Doesn’t matter. We've got to hole up in there before this storm hits. If our rad meters max out, we’re dust. Instant d-mezz. But keep your guard up. Lights usually mean someone’s home.

Terra from Vader: Well, we are about to lock ourselves in with whoever it is. The storm is here. Guess we should have timed our little Waste Land! vacation better.

Elon Serene: Quick, shut the door before that nasty smoke gets inside.

Terra from Vader: It’s a mess in here. Look at all this dust. What is all this crap? Looks like a Hacker’s lab threw up in here.

Elon Serene: Walls have been scribbled on, too. Symbols...riddles…“Authority's echo does not always speak the truth”...What do you make of that? It's written all over the place.

Terra from Vader: Hey Captain Enigma, seems like someone created a digital replica of Fallout Fields in this ‘gram. That's the storm, right over us. Not gonna pass anytime soon. If we're gonna continue this payload hunt, we’re going to have to brave that storm.

Elon Serene: We won't last a tix out there. Visibility will be zero, and Asherah-forbid we come across any MOBs.

Terra from Vader: Wait a blox. Check this out. There's a path mapped out here, leading straight through the entire Zone to…hey, I think that’s the Waste Land! respawn node.

Elon Serene: I didn't see any signs of a path when we were-


Elon Serene: Uh oh, we’re about to have company.

Terra from Vader: Should I put some coffee on?


Elon Serene: Hold it right there. Don’t come any closer or we’ll send you straight to the respawn node. Identify yourself.

???: You're the one party crashing my mobile command. Who are YOU?

Elon Serene: Let's start with you.

???: How 'bout I ditch this tacky hazmat poncho and respirator first?

Terra from Vader: Oh my fucking Asherah. No fucking way. Guildleader mr_ir0nic?

Unironic Ken: In the digital flesh, babe. Didn't think I'd cross paths with another Broker reckless enough to head into this forsaken wasteland in the middle of a rad storm. That kind of crazy, you've gotta be Winners Circle, huh?

Elon Serene: Elon Serene, Gunter. And Terra from Vader, Leftover. Fresh Winners Circle recruits, ranking-

Terra from Vader: You here looking for the payload too?

Unironic Ken: Damn straight. Wouldn't feel right sending my Faction grunts to this hellscape and not getting my own hands dirty. Found this rundown camper a while back, and it's become my makeshift headquarters. But let me tell you, the previous occupant must have been a conspiracy theorist on a whole new level. See the walls? Total loony tunes stuff, if you ask me.

Elon Serene: Don’t want to intrude, Guildleader, but mind if we keep you company until this storm lets up?

Unironic Ken: That might take a hot minute, sweetheart. What about I show you a trick or two instead? Been romping around Fallout Fields long enough to pick up a few survival hacks. Beneath this rust bucket on wheels, there's a tunnel system. It can get us moving while the storm is overhead. Let me show you something…oh, and call me Guildleader again and I’ll flood your Inventory with an endless stream of virtual cabbages. Call me Ken.

Elon Serene: Any cirxit of the cycle, I'd take these tunnels to those sewers.

Unironic Ken: Ah, you took the Gamma Gutters to get here, huh? Fastest route without fast-travel setup, but it sure as hell isn’t the prettiest. These tunnels here always pop up right when the radiation storms kick-off. Everything might move around on the surface after the storm, but the tunnel’s path seems hard-coded.

Terra from Vader: What do you mean by “move around on the surface”?

Unironic Ken: After the storm passes over, some stuff disappears. Some stuff appears. And sometimes things are just…different. That’s what makes it a prime spot to stash this payload our code-crackers unearthed. Ah, here's our first pit stop!

???: Step right up up up. Step right up up up.

Elon Serene: What's that sound? And what is this place?

Unironic Ken: It always gave me an underground military bunker vibe - kind of reminded me of what my friend said about Drifter bunkers…ah, forget it. A better question you should be asking is how did these pixel puppets get here?

Elon Serene: Are those…NPCs?

Unironic Ken: As real as the code they're scripted from. None of them are meant to be in this Zone - I cross-checked with our Hackers. Yet here they are, milling around down here in some time loop. Same lines, over and over.

Carnie NPC: Step right up, step right up! Try your luck, win a three-eyed teddy bear for your sweetheart! Step right up, step right up! Try your luck, win-


Terra from Vader: What the fuck is that?!

Unironic Ken: Mutant Menagerie Zone. My bracer says it’s called an Atrotross. But the NPCs aren’t the biggest problem. Meet Ziva the Cooing.

Elon Serene: She’s…she’s a Broker!

Unironic Ken: She's actually the main reason I’m here. She's part of the Winners Circle, headed out here a few cirxits ago, just like you two, in search of the payload. Then, out of the blue, we lost her signal. No trace on any of our channels. I got worried. Last time someone vanished without a trace...well, they didn't end up anywhere good. Followed her last known pings and found her here, caught in this glitchy limbo. Phasing in and out. In and out.

Elon Serene: What’s wrong with her?

Unironic Ken: Looks like she got d-mezzed. But she's stuck somewhere between here and the Waste Land! respawn node.

Terra from Vader: But that’s horrible. The pain of getting d-mezzed...

Unironic Ken: I can't say for sure if she's experiencing it repeatedly. If she is...damn, that's a rough ride. Being d-mezzed...that’s a kind of pain that makes getting your Inventory burned look like a minor inconvenience.

Terra from Vader: I’d even take the respawn sickness over the hell she’s stuck in any cirxit.

Elon Serene: Is this related to the payload? This...strange temporal echo?

Unironic Ken: The time loop, the misplaced NPCs...I don't know, they could all have something to do with the payload, whatever it is. Maybe it’s so powerful it can mess with pre-programmed Paradigm stuff. According to our Hackers, this payload is a massive chunk of data, with its claws deep in the code of the Beta Worlds, so it's possible it could be altering things. Trouble is we don’t have access to the actual data it holds. But none of that helps with how to sort out Ziva here.

Terra from Vader: Can’t we just, ya know, run her through? Finish the d-mezz for her?

Unironic Ken: Her HP meter is already at zero. Her Inventory has already been burned. She is d-mezzed in every sense of the word. But for whatever twisted reason, she's not popping up at the respawn node.

Elon Serene: Maybe my leftover Sewer Scone will help her.

Unironic Ken: Your Sewer Scone?

Elon Serene: Sorry, was that joke in bad taste? Too soon? You see, I never was good with the heavy stuff-

Unironic Ken: You mean to tell me you waltzed through the Gamma Gutters without eating your RADtions?

Elon Serene: RADtions?

Unironic Ken: The Scone, man! You need to eat the Scone to get through Gamma Gutters. It's all part of the riddle, you numbskull. “Claim your prize swiftly, lest your fortune devolves. Now awaits the true test of resolve.”

Terra from Vader: And if he didn't?

Unironic Ken: If you don’t eat the Scone, you're not supposed to get through Gamma Gutters in one piece. That's what the Gunkgorger is for.

Terra from Vader: I'm pretty sure we would remember something called the Gunkgorger.

Unironic Ken: Power levels off the charts. Sneaks up and hauls you into the sewage. Between the rads and its attack tactics, you're pixels in a matter of tix. The only way out of Gamma Gutters is that Sewer Scone - it won't touch you if you've had it.

Elon Serene: Well, Terra did have hers, maybe that's why...

Unironic Ken: Nope, nope. That doesn't track either. It's a per-Broker thing.

Terra from Vader: Hold on, what’s that rank smell?

Elon Serene: Ugh, nasty. Smells just like-

Unironic Ken: Run.

Terra from Vader: Wait, it does smell like the sewers.

Unironic Ken: Stop sniffing and start hauling ass, you noobs! MOVE IT!





Unironic Ken: IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE!


Elon Serene: Where are we heading?

Unironic Ken: The tunnels will take us straight to the respawn node. Our best bet is to reach the Safe Zone at the initial respawn point before Gunkgorger here d-mezzes us, and we potentially end up like poor Ziva.

Terra from Vader: And what's the deal with the respawn node in Waste Land!? I'm guessing it's not as simple as the Era Novum node, where all you have to deal with is a mind-numbing stack of paperwork.

Unironic Ken: It’s an abandoned nuclear power plant. This tunnel will lead us straight underneath it, through a secret entrance. Once we're in, it's an all-out sprint to reach the control room where the initial respawn point is located.

Elon Serene: What’s the catch? Every respawn node has a catch!

Unironic Ken: Getting back through Fallout Fields is the catch! Damn, and I thought you were the Gunter. Those rad storms that constantly reshape the environment every few hours? They turn this place into a twisted, never-ending obstacle course.

Elon Serene: How much-

Unironic Ken: No time for questions, up the ladder!

Terra from Vader: Guyyyyyyyys, it’s gaining on us. Climb faster!

Elon Serene: Which way to the control room? Where's the Safe Zone?

Unironic Ken: Follow me, you grunts. This way! A few…more…meters. I’ve got the door-



Elon Serene: Terra! No!

Terra from Vader: Oh, fu-