Behind the Door: February, Alternate Reality

“I refuse to allow an ancient evil to rise,” Tobin said. “We are the only ones who know this evil is coming. We are the only ones who can stop it.”

“That’s ridiculous,” Sally said. “This is the sort of thing that needs as many people as possible. We’re not the solo protagonists of some epic novel. We’re just a bunch of randos who stumbled into it.”

“That’s who those protagonists always are.”

“Yeah, but we don’t have plot armour, so we need to be smarter about this.”

“What do you want us to do? Put out a post that says we need to gather people to help stop the rise of an ancient evil? Create a Facebook invite and leave it open for people to invite everyone they know?”

“Yes.”

Tobin paused, thought about it, and then nodded. “Okay, yeah, that could work. We don’t necessarily need people to fight. We just need people to be there, to be focused on stopping the evil.”

“Exactly,” Sally said. “They’ll probably think it’s some publicity stunt or a piece of an ARG or something like that. We’re not going to win if we make a private stand. What we need is something big, something public, something that will get as many people out there as we can.”

“Hell,” Tobin said. “What we need is to turn reality into an ARG. I mean, we’ve done all the legwork. We’ve just got to entice people into doing the same. Get that going and they’ll pull other people in, and we’ll get the big event announcements out to have people who are curious to join us. We tie everything back to those events, and we then we do some extra legwork to make sure anyone who hasn’t joined from the start can still help.”

“Glad you see it my way,” Sally said. “It shouldn’t take long to add some breadcrumbs of our own. We can make sure the real evidence and clues aren’t removed, or are easier to find. So first things first, make sure everything is protected and copies are available. Step two, start leaving things for people to find, with a bread crumb to the start of the research. Then put up the social media ads and events to try and draw people in.”

He nodded. “We don’t have to worry about anything interfering, unless someone closes the park, but I don’t think we’ve got a cult or anything working against us. I suppose we’ll find out. But I think if they were out there, they would have tried to stop us already. No, I like this. Let’s get it going.” Tobin went to his desk and gathered all the information they’d found. Together, he and Sally went through everything they’d found, every link they’d put together.

Then they started preparing for the game. Anything that might be damaged, they copied. Anything that might be moved, too. They prepared alternate routes to the information, and then they started putting their breadcrumbs around the city.

There was one month in which to gather the people they needed. If they had to, they’d do this alone. But they might not have to. Three days after putting up the signs and posting the event page, they knew they wouldn’t have to. The new game was a hit.

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by | Feb 12, 2024

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