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Freedom College, Harbridge Dorm Common Room Monday, December 1, 2014 3:59 AM Thanksgiving had come and gone, finals season was on the horizon, and no one was forgiving. There weren't many finals coming Eliza's way - half her classes were working on the idea of term papers and final presentations. But the other half did have some sort of exam component to the home stretch, and she wanted to be ready. And something about the encounter with the muggers on the night's patrol had left her wired and unable to get to sleep. With little else to do, she decamped to the common room and assembled flash cards from her textbooks, the TV blaring on in front of her. "Feeling restless?" Eliza looked up - it was Samantha, one of the RAs. She was clad in a bathrobe and clutching a mug of cocoa. "Your first finals season. It happens to all of us. Don't worry, you'll survive mostly intact." "Yeah, well," she said, "helps to make sure." Samantha plopped down on the couch behind her as she kept assembling cards on early playwrights and their works. "You usually watch TV when you can't sleep?" "Helps to lull. Always been hypnotic, since I was young. Never seen this one before, though..." Temperance looked up at the screen. A cheery yellow font advertised Five by Five!, backed up by a jaunty riff with trumpets. Going by the opening credits, it was a sitcom about a military family of five growing up in somewhat cramped on-base housing. "Maybe it's one of the short-lived ones," she said, as two of the family's kids flinched after a chance encounter with the gunnery sergeant descended into wordless shouting. "Sometimes they do that. Package all the forgotten classics of yesteryear --" 'Yeah, well, it looks interesting," said Samantha. "Looks like it would've been early Eighties, so while 'Nam was still hanging over everyone's head. Trying to normalize and lighten up the military while the shadow of a bloody conflict still hung in the popular consciousness, not unlike that Enlisted show last season - sorry, Media Studies student. This just comes naturally." Eliza smiled, then turned back to the screen. The credits didn't seem to be ending yet, even though the opening montage had now segued to the father in a live fire exercise. Something seemed to flicker on the screen, a motion out of the corner of the frame. "Wait. Did you see that?" "See what? I didn't --" And then, to that same jaunty Eighties soundtrack, the soldier right next to the father went down in a blaze of bullets, blood gushing from the wounds. The father turned in panic, only to take a round right in the temple. "Oh, Jesus!" As the music played on, the base was attacked by unseen foes, dressed in regalia Temperance didn't recognize. In that same montage style, the base was sacked, the soldiers and their families taken out one by one... and Eliza swore she could see something flickering through the static, lurking behind the scenery... "Change the channel!" Samantha reached for the remote, just as the wife's hand touched the camera, leaving a bloody handprint as she slid out of view. The channel flipped... to an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, already in progress. As if testing the waters, Samantha flipped back to find a rerun of Friends where Five by Five! had been. "...the **** was that?" "Probably some sort of prank. Like that creepypasta stuff that goes around the Internet." But Eliza couldn't shake the sensation that she had seen something in the broadcast. Something guiding the imagery...
Wherein Temperance, Fast Forward, Hologram, Asad, and Miss Grue learn that it takes a lot to make a stew... Feel free to describe your character encountering a television program in the wee hours of the morning that descends into utter madness and bloodshed.