On the flatscreen, she's a figure of power, arms crossed and shoulders straight. The red streak in her dark hair falls over her right eye, and her wicked grin suggests that she's challenging you, the viewer: want to see if you're good enough to beat @SARAHPHIM, jackass? You're not, but I'd love to see you try. On the flatscreen, she's wearing the bodysuit, a shifting series of stained-glass designs that make her look like she just strode down from the windows of St Martin's on Jefferson, and her ChRB drones fan around her head in a disquieting halo. Her feed scrolls at the foot of the flatscreen, reminding you that she's streaming patrol tonight. Pity whoever gets in her way.
Sara gives her alter ego an approving nod as you walk past. In public, she wears a dizzying array of names: a Maryam lightweave scarf that's in this season, an immaculate Dior blouse under her signature black leather jacket, and aviator shades by AtlasTech. (An intern regularly drops purchase links with flash sale discounts on her feed, and she goes out of her way to namedrop the brands in interviews.) That's part and parcel of the brand: being sharp as hell, on and off the beat. She took to it quick, though; it's an outlet. A way to tell the world that she's the best. That she deserves this. Keep up, idiots.
@SARAHPHIM's audience loves her for being dangerous and self-confident, vicious with the put-downs mid-stream and yet, simultaneously, enough of an artist that fans take hours reconstructing her patterns, looking for the loopholes. She's brilliant, knows how to wield her smoldering voice over the mic, and is (with the help of a gym regimen that sometimes has her face-down on the floor groaning) stunning in her photo-ops. Her fans tend to ask for autographs, the chance to try to beat one of her patterns (on low power), or to be pinned against a wall while she roasts them and then tells them to scram.
The advantages of her audience include the fact that she is connected to her various social media accounts easily and can elicit feedback with little more than a casual comment on stream, as well as the fact that she has fans from all over the world; those parts of it that are connected to the net, anyway. She's considering a New Zealand convention next year, actually; you'd be surprised how big she is over there. If you are into eheroics, you've heard of @SARAHPHIM at least once.
Her audience demands novelty and brand new action, improvements on the patterns and new ideas; they're surprisingly understandable of mistakes, as long as they're ambitious mistakes that back the narrative that she's an ambitious, cocky genius of aesthetic. Nothing worse than a boring stream, right? Speaking of boring, her audience has a sizable shipping community that constantly buoys her popularity, but if she ever picked somebody- game over. The flame wars would be uncontrollable. ("we popping the BIGGEST bottles when fireworks becomes canon tomorrow")
Stage-Fighting: when you Directly Engage a Threat with an audience watching, mark a condition to roll +Superior instead of +Danger.
Cold and Cruel: when you shut someone down, roll +Superior. On a 10+, inflict a condition, shed their Influence or take Influence over them. On a 7-9, mutual condition infliction or mutual Influence loss, your choice. On a miss, they gain Influence over you.
The gossip mags: when you tap into the gossip and rumor of the celebrity industry for information on an important city figure, roll +Superior. On a 10+, ask 3; on a 7-9, ask 1:
- What are they up to?
- What or who do they most care about?
- What allies do they have? Enemies?
- Where and when can I find them?
- How could I make them vulnerable to me?
On a miss, ask one anyway, but they hear about your interest in them.
Are you watching closely?: when you mislead, distract or trick someone, roll +Superior. On a hit, they’re fooled, at least for a moment. On a 10+, choose 3; on a 7-9, choose 2.
- You get an opportunity!
- You expose a weakness or a flaw!
- You confuse them for some time!
- You avoid further entanglement!
On a miss, you’re hopelessly embroiled in it; mark a Condition.
The Audience: when you accept what the audience says about you, clear a condition. When you reject what the audience says, mark potential and expect retribution.
Audience's Help: when you seek help from the audience, roll +Superior. On a hit, someone in the audience can hook you up. On a 10+, their demands are small. On a 7-9, their demands are a lot higher. On a miss, you've screwed up, and they won't help you until you redeem yourself in their eyes.
Triumphant Celebration: when you share a triumphant celebration with someone, declare whether it's all part of the show or not. If so, you shift labels. If not, then they can shift your labels, and you can clear a condition or mark potential.
Vulnerability: when you share vulnerability or weakness with someone, ask them if they will tell anyone the truth about you. If they agree to keep it a secret, clear a condition or mark potential. If they don't agree, the GM shifts your labels.
- When did you first appear onscreen?
"Oh, god. I was so cheap back then, don't even make me think about it. I was still using a janky iTell 47m headset and smart-lens assemble when I tried streaming for the first time, and that only after word got around about me going after the Lensky mob. Figured I might catch someone's eye, and even if nobody had the brains to notice me, it was fun keeping up commentary while I worked. Puts me in the zone. The part of my brain that does the work can focus while I run my mouth. Don't ask to see the old streams. I don't save them. Besides, you want to see the best, watch yesterday's stream, moron."
- What do you tell people about how you got your powers?
"I caught the devil sneaking into my house and beat his ass until he offered me superpowers to save his skin. His first offer was plastic stretchy body, Elastigirl style. You believe that? I broke the coffee table with his pointy weaselbeard face and told the asshole to try again. So he offered me all the stars in the sky. I told him, look, I could do better than that- so he offered me the power to do just that. Bing bang boom, and now I'm cleaning up the streets. Too bad he's too chickenshit to ever come crawling back, I think I could squeeze him for flight this time with my #gymgains."
- Who, outside of the team, supports your burgeoning star in every way possible?
"Mami. She didn't raise no quitter! Any of you genetic cesspits say anything about her, anything at all, and I'll shove a bar of soap so far down your throat you're shitting bubbles tomorrow, got it? Then I'll kick you from stream, jagoff, see if I don't."
- Who, outside of the team, loathes what you represent?
"Hey, @JuneBird, if you listening, call me when you can handle a spinning helix of laser spheres with enough precision to knock someone flat on their ass without incinerating them and then make every single one of them go poof without so much as scorching the wallpaper, and then we can talk. Oh, what's that? You can't? Then shut up and stop whining about my sponsors and let me do my damn job."
- Why do you care about the team?
"What, these idiots? I guess somebody's got to take care of them. Might get themselves hurt if they bite off something too big to chew. Besides, they make me laugh. Ha. Ha. You hear that? Proof."
[the entire comment thread is just pictures of @SARAHPHIM holding hands with her teammates, draping her arms possessively over their shoulders, and generally violating their personal space]
[also, gifs of that one time she ate an orange during an interview without peeling it first, and arguments about whether she actually knows how to eat an orange]
All three of you idiots get Influence on @SARAHPHIM.
As a team, we attracted the attention of a major media outlet in the city, thanks to our efforts. Who are they? Why do they support us?
In Sara's nightmares, her fingers don't do anything in the dark. Two walls over, somebody's crying, rain's slapping against the window, and she's lying on the mattress snapping her fingers over and over again, trying to ignore the gnawing teeth of her hunger tearing her apart from the inside out, and nothing breaks the dark this time.
Britney Spears - Circus
Panic! At The Disco - Hey Look Ma, I Made It
Dorothy - Missile