The Panopticon arcology is peopled with a growing rogue’s gallery of functionaries, monsters, and fugitives. Here is an incomplete list of the current inhabitants:
FEARGIRL: a nameless heroine with only a confused tumble of memory fragments for a past, who ‘wakes’ into the dark dream of The Panopticon, over and over again…
NEW CHARACTER – SLEEP: SLEEP is the name of a hypno-droid that is proxy-controlled by unknown members of the Panopticon Elite, seemingly for research into the psycho-sexual power of dreams as a control/behavior modification tool. As is true of the entire Panopticon arcology, the exact nature of the SLEEP research parameters is intentionally obscured, so as not to affect the results of the experiments.
NEW CHARACTER – SHOCKER: A “SHOCKER” is the designation given to any Panopticon researcher who becomes a flesh-and-blood ‘receiver’ of broadcast power within the research facility. These individuals must be rigorously screened and monitored because of the sudden power and dangerousness associated with becoming a receiver. Stability and predictability are of the utmost importance when creating, even within a research environment, a human weapon.
KAY LARGO: Kay Largo is a Freelance Explorer/Adventurer/Salvager/
ELLE MAXX: ELLE MAXX comes from the upper echelons of the Panopticon Elite. So high up in the hierarchy that little is known about her, even among the Elite population. Is she the daughter of one of the Creators? Or a perfect vat-grown clone, a ‘personal project’ of one of the Inner Circle? Regardless, possibly because of her mysterious origin, Elle Maxx has a nose for trouble, continually making her way down into the Panopticon labyrinth, to thrill-seek, scavenger hunt, and explore. Constantly in peril, easily seduced, she somehow manages to emerge from her adventures unscathed.
CHRYSEIS KENT/AMAZON ARROW: Chryseis believes herself to be the noble, swashbuckling, vigilante archeress known as “The Amazon Arrow.” She does not know how or when she became trapped within the confines of the Panopticon, but she has vowed to destroy the Creator, and to free the innocent victims trapped within the dreamlike labyrinth. While Chryseis has inadvertently and repeatedly led FearGirl and other women to their demise, she believes that she will inevitably find a way to escape. Is The Amazon Arrow the heroine that she believes herself to be? Or is she just another tool used by the Creator to inspire hope where none truly exists?
HALO: Beautiful and seemingly innocent, what exactly is Halo doing in The Panopticon? Is she another tormented subject, lost and frightened and wandering the labyrinth? Or is that an illusion, perpetuated by the Creators, to gain FEARGIRL’s trust, to manipulate and seduce and betray her?
SHRELL: Shrell is a Panopticon test-platform fighting android, intentionally made very human in capabilities and vulnerabilities, so as to maximize its usefulness in field-testing security measures, armor and weapons systems, and as a combat opponent. Shrell specializes in grappling, in suffocation holds and joint locks, and is merciless in the strategic application of low blows.
“O”: “O” is a random element injected into the experiment. Chaos Theory incarnate. She is cruel, childlike, VERY sexy and sexual, voracious, rapacious, experimental, and somehow charming in her own way. Is she actually a wayward, short-circuiting, unpredictable force in the petri dish of The Panopticon? Or, like Jessica Rabbit, is she “just drawn that way”? Is the cruel, unpredictable nature of her character a hard-wired, integral part of the vision of the Creators? Or a personal idiosyncrasy? She can appear any time, in any guise, anywhere within The Panopticon. She is chameleon-like, but variations on Cyber-Goth are her look of choice.
GIRL X: Inspired by Racer X from Speed Racer and Robert De Niro’s “Frank Tuttle” in BRAZIL, Girl X is the ONLY character in the Panopticon that we know FOR CERTAIN is on FearGirl’s side. She is a guerrilla fighter INSIDE the Panopticon arcology, a one-girl uprising, a shadowy figure with baffling evasion and survival skills who can be seen taking out sentries, rescuing FearGirl, and generally attempting to bring down the nightmare labyrinth. She can be captured and tortured, she can be forced into gladiatorial combat with FearGirl, she can be cornered and seemingly destroyed by the forces of the Panopticon. However, there is never a body, unless it turns out to be the unfortunate body of a Panopticon functionary, somehow killed wearing Girl X’s costume. Often, in place of her body, there is only an empty costume, a discarded wig, and a generic latex face-mask… Girl X could even be the alter ego of another character within the Panopticon roster.
GLADE: GLADE is a stalking, stealthy Panopticon enforcer. Female, ninja-like, a shadow warrior, a finisher. Tricked out with all manner of futuristic devices for tracking, surveillance, and camouflage. As feared as CLOAKER, but sleek and darkly seductive . She is expert with firearms, hand-to-hand and close-combat weapons, bondage, and all manner of non-lethal subdue-and-control devices. Taser, stun gun, trank darts, chemical sprays, goo-guns, you name it. FearGirl can fight her, but she can’t win. A ‘victory’ would be breaking contact and eluding her. But, as with CLOAKER, that is unlikely.
THE MINOTAUR: The Minotaur is a classic “boss”, loose and roaming the labyrinth of The Panopticon. He is Pyramid Head from SILENT HILL, The Executioner or Nemesis from RESIDENT EVIL, or even Leatherface from TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. He is hulking Mayhem (possibly with a blunt, sexually-curious, Frankenstein-monster component) to smash, crush, strangle, stab, carry, smother, eviscerate whatever waves a red cape in front of his face.
SPIDER: Spider is a cyborg of superior strength, mobility, and stealth, inhabiting an otherwise abandoned sector of the nightmare labyrinth. She is half predator, half art project, one of the many creatively-deadly ‘experiments’ that stalk the ever-changing maze-world of The Panopticon.
DOLLMAKER: Belmer, better known as Dollmaker, is an artist of illusion and mind control. Using puppets, hypnotism, mesmerism, dream manipulation, and psychic powers, his life’s work is the creation of ‘human dolls’ by taking complete control of his subjects’ minds and bodies.
NUL: Initially a mercenary hired to patrol the outside of the Panopticon arcology by a fictitious front company, the man now known only as NUL encountered an escaping FearGirl on the exterior shell of The Panopticon containment. Rather than re-capturing her, he attempted to help her escape, showcasing his remarkable skills against a variety of Panopticon assets. Both were captured, and, because of his demonstrated value as a fighter, NUL was made an indentured servant to the Panopticon’s ruling elite, forcibly addicted to a psycho-active gas which only the labs of The Panopticon can provide.
STRANG: From the upper echelons of the Panopticon’s ruling elite, Strang is a woman of privilege and power who prowls the labyrinth for her own personal pleasure. Bored, cruel, protected by her high status, in search of ever-more-stimulating experiences, Strang is an unpredctable danger to anyone beneath her in the arcology’s hierarchy.
CLOAKER: CLOAKER sort of plays the role of the Big White Balloon in that 60’s TV show, THE PRISONER. Basically he/it is a looming, gliding, hulking shape of indeterminate size (but seemingly BIG) that is nothing but hanging, draping, blowing, floating cloak, and he/it will attempt to totally engulf any other character in the folds of the cloak. As long as there is one limb or strand of hair still out in the light, as long as the victim can still be seen at all, they can fight with all their strength, guile, and weapons. But if the victim is engulfed in darkness, even for an instant, they are literally GONE — falling eventually into another place, another moment in time, still within the confines of The Panopticon.
THE CONTROLLER: Basically The DJ from THE WARRIORS — That Voice, over the intercom or whispering into your ear-buds, surveilling the various trials and exercises that FEARGIRL goes through, mocking, taunting, sexy, occassionally-possibly-helpful — If You Can Trust Her. This is the Quintessential MEAN GIRL, as sexy and hip and treacherous as we all know they are.
THE DEAD: Extremely pale, white-haired or shaved-headed, with a brutal physique, The Dead is your favorite Serbian Interrogator, Bomb-Maker, or MMA Fighter. Think Robert Shaw in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, or Albert Wesker from Resident Evil, or an aging, scarred Dolph Lundgren, or some sort of middle ground between Solid Snake (of Metal Gear) and Georges St Pierre. He stalks, he lurks in the background, he can suffocate you with a huge bare hand or break a helmet with metal-studded gauntlets. His expression would remain unreadable whether he was peeling melted skin off his own hand or sticking his fingers in your mouth. Everyone (and I mean Everyone) is afraid of The Dead.