It’s not the same, when you dream on Prospit.
The scene, the culture, the feel of the whole place is just… off. Similar enough to tease, different enough to drive in the uncanniness. Your favorite soda shop’s doppelganger sells the self-same chocolate malt milkshakes and egg creams, but your favorite licorice malts are all but unheard-of. The first time you asked, you felt as if the entire room just turned to give you a baleful stare; all the little noises (clinking spoons, shifting chairs, coughing, laughing, chatting, the whir of a blender or distinct hissing of a drink fountain) stopped dead until you apologized and fled. The Jazz club you liked? Plays Disco. And, it’s more than that. The smell of coffee and clove cigarettes, the comfortable armchairs and cozy round-tabled booth seats, the burnished wood, polished until it presumably gleamed under some tastefully lights to set the mood… those are all gone, replaced by an atmosphere that you can only describe as bright. Strobing lights, disco balls, fog machines, and the like buzz and click and hum in a discordant, untimed cacophony to contrast the throbbing beat of the music. The polished wooden floor is replaced by a paneled, probably color-strobing dancefloor; a nightmare for you to try to navigate. The bar, where you could order the best one-am snacks with a quiet request, is now crowded with carapacians shouting and clamoring for any number of mixed fruit beverages. It’s… not home, and it’s not comfortable.
Which is why you banked so much on that one, special week. Masquerade, where Dreamers and Carapaces alike were allowed to wander where they pleased, soaking in foreign culture, brushing elbows with royalty and vagabonds alike, and all the while cloaked in masks that were programmed to give the wearers perfect anonymity.
You listen carefully to the news, checking day in, night out, talking to coplayers and carapaces alike to keep abreast of the dates. And as soon as the masks start to be passed out, you snap up the first one you can, and don it. You have no idea what you’re wearing - a Skaian cloud-and-sun mask? Or maybe a moth, or butterfly, or cat - the edges make the mask feel like a collection of jags and curves, and whatever is painted on it is lost on you. Still, it doesn’t matter, not really. It’s the excuse you need to hop portals to Derse and catch up on the nightlife you crave.