Chapter 1

You wake up in a dark room, it doesn't take you long to adjust to the lack of lighting. There's a slit of dim light on the far right side of the room. You try to move over to it and find you're chained by your wrists to the wall.

What do you do?

> Look room

You look around the room. The walls seem to be very thick on three sides. On the side facing you there is a barred door with a lock on it. There are scattered rocks at your feet ranging from pebbles to large stones. There are a few rags in one corner of the room and a stack of foul-smelling hay in another.

What do you do?

> start screaming profanities

You scream profanities into the dark hoping to be heard and also hoping to hurt someone's feelings but nothing but echoes return.

After a few moments you heard some shuffling around and then an unintelligent voice barks back "SHUT YAR ASS UP."

What do you do?

> make a pile of rocks with feet

You gather all the nearby rocks with your feet and find there are a few that might be able to help you out of the chains. There are a few that you think may be sharp enough to break the chains, a few that may be big enough to bludgeon the cuffs, and a few that may be small enough to pick the lock.

What do you do?

> PICK LOCK

You try to pick the lock but you can just barely slide the cuffs far enough to get your hand to touch the other lock. It's barely out of reach.

What do you do?

> attempt to break chains

With the sharp rocks you see if you can find any damaged or weak chain links to break. Finally a link on the chain of your right arm snaps. Your right arm is free.

What do you do?

> break the left chain

YOU ARE FREE from the wall. Also, you found $20!

What do you do?

> check for guards. Bribe them.

The guard who previously yelled at you seems to have gone. You try yelling for someone and you hear shuffling again. A man comes down a set of stairs at the end of the hallway.

"EXCUSE ME WHAT ARE YOU DOING" he very politely asks.

"I've been imprisoned by mistake, I'm not sure where I am or what's going on but I need to get out of here."

"YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE LOCKED UP" he unecessarily yells in your face.

"Would a nice Jackson change your mind?" you hold up the $20.

"YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE LOCKED UP" the guard repeats.

He begins fumbling with a set of keys to get into the cell. The key clicks and the lock drops.

What do you do?

> low blow

Punching his balls is a good move. This guy's got balls the size of your fists, which means there's a lot more pain to go around. He crumples to the ground in agony and you use your entire body to ram your elbow into the back of his head, rendering him unconscious.

What do you do?

> don guard attire and steal keys.
> chain guard to the wall.

You quickly create a makeshift chain out of the broken pieces on your cell and hang up the guard to look like a prisoner. Then you trade clothes with the unconscious guard (they're a bit loose, but you'll roll with it) and pocket the keys. You check these clothes and a nearby desk for any goodies.

You got $40!

You got Prison Keys!

You got a handgun (ammo: 0)!

What do you do?

>look at surroundings

The lighting is still dim but you can easily see down to the end of the hallway. You are standing outside your cell which is one of 6 cells in this hallway. Directly to your left is a small open room with a desk and a lamp in it (where you stole the items from). To your right are the rest of the cells and at the end of the hallway is a doorway leading to a staircase that goes up.

Judging by the placement of the window in your cell, you figure your cell is on the outer rim of the building. The cells facing your cell do not have windows.

What do you do?

>free other prisoners

Your first thought after looking around is "these other cells must have people like me who are trapped!" You set to work unlocking the cages. You peer in the cell directly next to yours, and find that it is empty. After checking all the remaining 4 cells, you only find one other person, hung by his wrists like you, but he's unconscious.

You unlock his cell and walk over to him to try and wake him up. He looks a lot worse off than you feel, and after failing to wake him up you're afraid he might be dead. Just as you're about to leave you hear one desperate gasp, like he's woken up from a nightmare coma.

"WHERE ... am I?" he manages.

"I don't know, a prison of some sort. I don't really know what's happened to us."

That's when it dawns on you. Where the hell are you? You have absolutely no memory of being captured, or a struggle or ... anything. You can't remember your last birthday, you can't remember where you live, you can't even remember your own name.

"I don't know ... who I am?" you ask helplessly.

You realize after a moment of silence that your comrade has fallen into unconsciousness again. You decide to get him off the wall. You run through the skeleton keys in a hurry, trying to find one that matches the size of the cuffs. After finding the right one and unlocking the cuffs you see just how badly this guy has had it. His wrists are worn from escape attempts almost down to the bone. He weighs about 20 pounds less than he should and feels as brittle as glass.

This guy's going to definitely slow you down, but you feel like he might be able to help you if he ever gets his health back.

What do you do?

>tear clothes and bandage any wounds he has, make him comfortable, and then go on up staircase

You decide he's not worth bringing along, at least for now. You tear off what little clothes remain on him and tie them up as bandages on his wrists and any open sores.

After tending to him, and hearing the beginnings of the guard waking up, you decide to go up the stairs.

The stairs are made of stone but they don't look very worn. You get to the top of the staircase and find a closed door. There's light coming out from the cracks of the door and you can hear faint voices and sounds on the other side. It occurs to you that even with your disguise you could be caught and returned to your cell.

What do you do?

> silently sneak in. if caught, killing is allowed

You try to open the door but it's locked. You fumble through your keys and find the right one. You gently open the door but what you see you never expected.

In front of you is a huge office room full of cubicles which are filled with people in the same kind gray-blue uniform, working at desks. There's a closet directly to your right which has been left open that is labeled "JANITORIAL." You look above you to see what the door you've just come out of is labeled.

"PRIVATE."

What do you do?

>find water for prisoner

"An office?" you ponder. Your first priority is getting some water for your comrade downstairs so you look around to see if there is any sources nearby. After walking out from the door and shutting it behind you, you see a water-cooler on the wall halfway across the room. You notice some strange glances as you pass some of the office workers, but most of them keep to themselves and ignore you.

You fill two cone-shaped cups with water and calmly make your way back to the staircase. You go to open the door and find it's locked. When you look down to see where the keyhole is, you find there's a numpad where the lock should be.

What do you do?

>Go to JANITORIAL and scan area for items that can interacted with in this game

You focus on finding a code to get past the door. There are mops and cleaning material all over the shelves. On the walls there are laminated lists of procedures and steps for emergency cleaning situations. There are also at least five sticky notes posted around these laminated lists, each one written in the same very neat handwriting. They are all dated, and have different strange messages.

"April 4, HOME is where the heart is!"

"April 5, Make like a TREE and leaf!"

"April 6, Don't let the DOOR hit you on the way out!"

"April 7, I get lost in her EYES!"

"April 8, All you need is LOVE!"

You also find another set of clothes on the shelf, same size as the ones you're wearing, folded up neatly.

What do you do?

>Put on neatly folded clothes, put other clothes you were wearing into inventory. Loot some PineSol, it might come in handy later. Take a mop to make the disguise complete.

>Also, save the game in case we get a game over and have to continue from last save poitn

You got Janitor/Office uniform!

You start mopping around the entrance to the PRIVATE staircase so you can more discreetly try to gain access to it.

NUMPAD ENTRY:

_ _ _ _

>1337

Invalid entry.

_ _ _ _

Also the keypad is set up like a phone, not like the num pad on computers. That is starting with 1,2,3 etc and 0 on the bottom.

1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
* 0 #

>2102

Invalid entry.

_ _ _ _

>4663

Expired.

_ _ _ _

>5683

Access granted. The door opens.

You run down the stairs to bring water and hopefully a disguise to your comrade. You find him like you left him, unconscious and frail. You shake him gently to wake him but it does nothing. You lift him up into a sitting position and put the cup of water to his lips. He drinks it all. You give him the second cup and he drink that one as well. He starts to come to.

"Whaaa?" he grunts.

"You're in a prison, I've freed you but you're badly injured. Can you tell me what happened here?" you ask.

"You have to hurry, he's watching you." He still seems incoherent, but at least he's awake.

Suddenly you hear a loud crack. You turn to see your friend the real janitor has woken up from his nasty sleep and broken free from his faulty shackles. He's still behind the bars but he's not very happy and about to do his best to come after you.

What do you do?

> Time to put his ass DOWN.

You decide to take him down once and for all. Now that you have your bearings you remember you still know how to fight.

The janitor is livid and is using all his massive strength to bend the iron bars so he can get himself partially out. You wait for an open moment and give him to flat ones across his face. He doesn't like that at all. He puts his entire life force into one last shove and shatters the bars he was stuck between.

You take the opportunity while he's on the floor to check for breath and heartbeat. He's still alive. You decide to clear out before he comes to again.

You put him back in the cage and chain him back up but there's still this problem of the broke bars. If anyone else comes down here they will see there has been a struggle and will check the cell to find the prisoner is actually the janitor.

Meanwhile your comrade has been babbling nonsensically, seemingly unaware of his surroundings but you catch something that sparks your memory for just an instant.

"...then I heard it. We're being taken, all of us, all at once ... to be silenced."

What do you do?

>"Listen to me. What is your name? Can you walk?"

The man stop mumbling and looks at you. He suddenly seems quite lucid.

"We're here because we know something. I never spilled, I guess you didn't either."

He goes silent and leans up against the wall in his cell.

"I need food," he says sharply.

When he mentions this, you realize you're actually really hungry as well. There may be more important things to worry about at this point.

"Can you walk?" you repeat.

"No. Maybe." He doesn't seem like he wants to cooperate.

What do you do?

>Give him clothes from inventory to put on. "Stay here. Stay alive. I'll be back with food for both of us."

>Leave. Start wandering around looking for refreshments.

As you head up the stairs to find something to eat you wonder about what he said.

"We know something? I know something? I don't remember anything. Whoever did this, they must've wiped my memory, and maybe they planted a fake memory in this guy's head. Maybe this is a trap!"

You go back out to the office, get out your mop and start moving towards the other end of the room. Again there are occasional glances but most of the workers ignore your passing through. At the end of the room in the center there is an elevator, and a set of stairs on the right side. There is also a restroom and a room labeled "BREAKROOM" on the left side.

What do you do?

> save, then search for food in breakroom

Game saved.

Auto-saving enabled.

You make your way over to the breakroom. There's a small TV coming from the ceiling. It's muted on some news station. There is a fridge, microwave, two vending machines for candy/food and one vending machine for soda. You head over to one of the vending machines when you notice something. One of the cabinet was left open a crack and inside a flash of red caught your eye. You open the cabinet to find a pile of napkins. On the napkins in bold red and black you see "Revolution Corp."

You remember the revolution. No, but you remember the word. You remember the soldiers and the screams. You remember the thousands of people set on fire in a pit.

"What IS THE REVOLUTION!?" you yell aloud.

You look around to see if anyone heard you, but most of the desks are pretty far away from the breakroom entrance, so you figure you're probably safe. You pocket one of the napkins to check out later. Then you stick the $20 into the machine to get some grub.

What snack foods do you want? You may choose 3.

A-G, 0-12

>A0
>C6
>G12

You got half a ham & cheese sandwich!

You got Cooler Ranch Doritos!

You got Ice Breakers Gum!

You have $56 total.

What do you do?

> pop a piece of gum in mouth in case of ladies, return to cell to feed duder

You head out of the breakroom and make a b-line back to the staircase. You're just starting on your way when you practically run over one of the office workers standing in the isle.

"Excuse me?" he asks, bewildered.

"Oh I'm ... sorry," you sputter.

After a long suspicious silence the man asks,

"I've never seen you around here, what's your name?"

> "Worzzlekins. Shnobbly Worzzlekins."

"Wor...zzl.." you trail off something with "kins" at the end.

"Ward." you decide after a pause. "Just call me Ward, my real name is too hard to pronounce."

The man stares in silence, then shakes his head and continues to the breakroom.

You continue your trek back to the stairs, being more careful of what or who is in front of you. You enter the passcode and go downstairs. You walk over to your comrades cage and find it empty. You spin around, expecting to see an enemy holding his dead body, but the hallway is empty. You notice some dust on the wall of his cell. Before he left, he wrote something in chalk:

REMEMBER THE RAPTURE

What do you do?

> Remember the rapture

You ponder the message, and try to remember everything you can about a "rapture." Nothing at all comes to mind. You've never had an association with that word, yet you have such a strong feeling about "Revolution."

What do you do?

> Return to office, enter bathroom (preferably the male one)

You decide to explore upstairs a bit more to find some more clues. As you make your way to the bathroom a man in a nearby cubicle shouts out,

"Hey you janitor, someone's spilled coffee all over the floor here, would you mind cleaning it up?"

You hesitate, suspecting a trap, but decide it would be too suspicious to run in terror to the bathroom now. You approach the man and there is indeed a coffee spill on the floor. You set work on cleaning it up and the man sits in his chair directly next to the spill.

"Some of us went down and some of us went in," he says, almost in a whisper.

"Looks like you're the only one going out." says, turning to look at you.

"What?" you reply thoughtlessly.

"I thought you were done for! Get back to work and get out of here while you can!" His face is excited, but it falls to disappointment as you stare blankly at him.

"I don't know what ... you're talking about." you finally say.

"Oh no, they've fucked you up. I'll make this quick; to get out of this building go down the elevator to Basement 3 level. Take a trash bag with you and give the machine today's password, except do it in letters. Wait until you're out of sight and run! After that it's anyone's guess where's safe, just stay out of sight."

"What is going on here? What is Revolution Corp? What's 'rapture?'" you demand.

"They'll see us if you stay here and chat. Take this." He hands you a folded piece of paper. "Don't open it if you're not alone. Show this to someone you trust and they can give you the answers. Finish cleaning up this mess and take the trash out just before closing at 5." With that he turned around in his chair and continued working.

You finish cleaning up the coffee and move into the restroom.

What do you do?

> Go into stall, read note

You sit down in one of the stalls, close the door and lean over the note. You're about to open it when you get a really bad feeling.

"I shouldn't open it here." you think to yourself.

You leave the stall and look at the time. Nearly 4:30, you've got to get moving. Before doing so you'll need a trash bag. Luckily, you're in a bathroom, so you're covered. Now just a little bit of exploring to see if there are any goodies in the restroom.

You got toilet paper 5X!

You head to the elevator and press the down button. After what seems like a century, there's a bright ping and the doors open. You get inside and press the "B3" button. You notice there are at least 50 floors and the building you're in must be huge. The elevator doors close just after you see the worker giving you the thumbs up from the other side of the room.

After a few seconds, the elevator doors open again, revealing what looks like a parking lot, except instead of cars there are filing cabinets. On each cabinet is a lock and there's a faint red shimmer outlining each one. One the far right side of the lot there's an opening barred over with several gates and a similar red shimmer. An ATM-looking device is propped up just outside of the gate. It has a standard keyboard on it.

What do you do?

>examine ATM

The first thing you notice about the ATM is a small compartment jutting out of each side. The compartment seems to be able to sprout out at will and you're concerned they may be weapons. If you're going to put this password in you decide it would be best to do it right the first time.

On the screen there is one window open that says:

"PASSWORD:"

Instead of four blanks it leaves a longer text-box space open. Also you eat all the food to gain back sustenance automatically. Yeah, even the gum, gross.

What do you do?

>type "LOVE"

The red shimmer disappears. You take the trash outside and walk out from the building. You glance back and your suspicions are confirmed; the building is massive. It's not the tallest one by far. There are a dozen sky-scrapers, all of them with similar formats. None of them have windows, just lines that must be the slit you saw from your cell. All of them are perfectly white with a red ® on one side. You make your way around a street corner and make a break for it.

Where do you run?

>Duck into nearest shop

You duck into a coffee shop about 3 blocks away from the building you just left. Everyone stares as if they've never seen your outfit before. The staring doesn't stop. Someone gets up and asks, "Boy, are you alright?"

What do you do?

> Exit shop, continue running towards trees

You make a break for it, but it's too late. The shopkeeper is standing in your way.

"I ain't never seen one escape. What do they do to you in there?" The shoppkeeper asks while reaching out at your face.

You hear whispers around the shop from the customers.

"It's true..."

"... I told you ..."

"This isn't right ..."

"He's a phony!"

The man who had gotten up before touches your shoulder.

"Let's get you out of here son, it's impolite to make people stare."

He takes you out of the shop and pulls out a large bandage.

"Let's start with that forehead." he says as he wraps the bandage around your head a dozen times.

You never even noticed your own appearance. You look down at your arms and see long scars from cuts you don't remember getting. You ask the man

"What's wrong with me?"

"You've got a piece of your face missing son. A piece of your forehead too. I wouldn't worry about seeing it, you really don't want to know what it looks like."

You're in shock. How could you blend in so easily at the office while missing pieces of your face? Did the real janitor look just as mangled? You never really saw him, it was so dark down there...

All at once you feel pressure and pain on your head and jaw.

"Let's get the rest of this on your cheek." The man wraps the remaining bandages around your jawline and overtop your head. You can feel where your flesh is missing where your jawbone is exposed. All at once you realize that you're a mutilated escapee with amnesia in a world full of secrets.

You pass out.

Chapter 2

You wake up lying down, staring at a ceiling fan. Your first thought is to jump up and make sure you're not trapped, but as you go to do so your muscles contract but nothing moves. You look down to find yourself very snugly constrained to a bed by strong leather bindings. You can barely wiggle, let alone move. Other than that, you feel quite comfortable, but you've got to get out of here.

What do you do?

>use what limitations of your arms to reach for a buckle or look for something sharp nearby

You move in each direction trying to grasp on something sharp to free yourself. Suddenly you feel very tired and you can't quite make yourself move as fast as you want to. You look up from your wristbands to find someone standing over your bed, staring at you. It's your comrade from the jail, except he's even worse off than before. He has cuts all over his face and is missing an eye. You watch in horror as his facial skin melts off and his remaining eye falls out onto your stomach. He opens the remains of his mouth and screams a terrible, spine-shattering scream.

You use all your strength to free yourself, but it's no use.

And then you wake up.

Again you're in a bed, staring at a ceiling fan. Again you are indeed still strapped in to the bed by leather bindings, but when you look up for your comrade, you see the man who bandaged your head at the coffee shop. He's looking at you in almost fear.

"Why did you tie me up?!" you scream at him.

He startled and flinches slightly. Then regaining composure he says, "I don't know anything about you. You're obviously a criminal and while I don't usually abide criminals, you seemed more like a victim. I brought you to my home but in case you were a psycho-path I strapped you down. At first I only had one of your legs chained to the bed but you kept flailing and screaming in your sleep. You punched a hole in the wall and knocked over and shattered a lamp. I had to keep your 'night terrors' to yourself."

What do you do?

>ask about revolution corps

"What is Revolution Corp?" you ask.

The man stares at you and then goes to open his mouth, stops, stares again and squints at you.

"Don't be playing games with me, son. If it's one thing I can't stand it's a liar."

What do yo do?

>Tell him about your escape

You summarize your story as far as you know it. As you're telling it the man gets more and more still. When you finish he is completely motionless.

"That there is one far-fetched story, son. Revolution ain't a torture den. It's paradise, everybody knows it." He looks at you as if he's trying to see through you, as if he's trying to decide if you're lying, or just crazy.

"It's the truth!" you yell, still trapped in the bed.

"When I saw you I figured you was a bad egg of Revolution Corp. You know, one of them wrong-doers you hear about that manage to get accepted just to mess things up. No one's ever seen one get out before, they usually get taken care of real good. I figured best I could do was clean you up, hear you out and have you taken off, but you're tellin me ... You're tellin me you don't even know what Revolution is?"

"That's right, I swear I have no idea what's going on."

The man stares off into space for a moment and then gets up.

"Well that just don't add up. I'm going to go think about this for a minute." He gets up and leaves the room.

What do you do?

>look around the room

You use this time to study the room. You seem to be in a children's bedroom. There's baby-blue wallpaper with cartoon bears and hearts on it. There's a small empty crib with toys hanging above it on the other side of the room. There is one window to your left that might be in reach of you could move. On your right there is the doorway out of the room and a closed door that you assume must be a closet or a bathroom.

The man walks back in the room and stands in the doorway. He's holding a metal bat.

"I'm going to let you free, if you make even one harmful gesture, I'll knock you solid and report you back to the prison you came from. I don't want anything to happen to my family."

"Yes of course, I won't do anything!" you try to sound innocent, but you realize it probably came off sounding insincere.

"Look, I'm not a bad guy. I'm just stuck here and like I said, I don't remember anything about myself. I don't even know my name, I just made one up."

"What is it?"

"Ward."

"Ward? My name is Grant. God help you if you're telling the truth."

He unties the leather and your arms and legs are freed.

"Your stuff is over in that corner, next to the crib." Grant turns and walks out of the room. He shouts from outside the room, "You slept through the night, it's breakfast time now if you'd like to eat. Hurry downstairs when you can."

When you stand up to go get all your inventory back, you immediately feel dizzy. While your wounds certainly feel better, you feel like you've been hit by a train. You take a few minutes sitting up before you stand, then you get your inventory.

What do you do?

>check inventory

Inventory:

$56
CigarsX3
Porno Mag
Prison Keys
Handgun
Janitor Uniform (wearing)
PineSol
Toilet PaperX5
Note

What do you do?

> Check the bathroom/closet/whatever

You open the door to find a closet.

"I probably shouldn't just swipe stuff from here, but I'll take a look."

The closet is mostly full of boxes, which after inspecting one you find are full of papers. The papers look like Grant manages some sort of business account, and these are old files. While looking at the dates on these files, it occurs to you that you have no idea what year it is. The dates on these files range from 1982 to 2001, but what year was it now?

You strain your memory to think of the last year you have a connection with.

1985.

You remember you were born in 1985. That's all that you can manage. Moving on to the rest of the closet, you find there are a few articles of clothing in some of the boxes, all baby clothes.

"No, not baby clothes, these must be infant clothes. I guess the baby grew out of them."

That's it for the closet.

What do you do?

>go downstairs first
>ask about Revolution's founding.

You decide to go downstairs for breakfast. When you arrive downstairs you see this house is quite small. The bedroom you were in was one of three rooms upstairs, the other two being a bathroom and the master bedroom. The downstairs has a kitchen/dining room, a bathroom, and a spare room, which you mange to see has been turned into a bedroom.

You sit down at the table at the only empty seat and get a good look at Grant's family.

Grant speaks up "Ward, this is Charlotte, my wife. Charlotte, this is Ward, he's had some tough luck with Revolution."

Charlotte looks concerned "Is that what this is all about? Oh you poor dear, barely anyone gets in these days, don't worry about it."

You look at Grant in question and he gives a very subtle nod to go along with it.

"Yea-yeah, I didn't get in the, uh, Revolution and I got carried away with it." You look longingly at the piece of toast on your plate.

"Well you can always try again, isn't that right Erika?"

A girl on the other side of Grant grunts.

"That ray of sunshine is Erika, our daughter." Grant smiles despite Erika's obvious hatred of the subject of her introduction.

Feeling more comfortable you ask "Where's the baby? I didn't see a baby in the crib upstairs."

Everyone freezes. Erika was in mid-bite of her toast, which hangs for a second at her mouth before falling to the plate again. Charlotte quickly gets up and tends to something at the kitchen. Grant leans over the table and says, "We lost him. Please don't bring it up again." You look up and Erika is gone. Grant yells "don't forget your lunch, little girl!" But it's too late, she's slams the door behind her.

Now the kitchen is full of silence and low cooking sounds. You eat your toast and start on a bowl of beige-colored hot cereal.

What do you do?

>ask about the revolution

You finish eating your breakfast. Charlotte calmly walks upstairs and you hear a door slam and a thump like a person just collapsed. You look to Grant with concern but he shakes his head.

"We've been able to cope with this loss for months now without bringing it up. She'll be fine after she's had a good cry."

"I'm so sorry I--"

"You didn't know, it's alright."

You sit in silence for a moment.

"What is Revolution? People get accepted there and then get tortured?"

"No no, only the criminals get punished like I said. Not tortured. Anyway Revolution is a group of people who have 'earned' a higher social status. To put it bluntly they're Hitler's master race, except instead of judging based on skin, hair or eye color, they judge you based on genes and achievement."

"What? So it's a colony of evolved people? They live in those buildings?"

"No no, well, yes they do but ... well it's complicated. When a baby is born it gets tested for potential. You get ranked in 7 areas; intelligence, innovation, resourcefulness, work ethic, physical health, emotional/mental health and loyalty. If you get a certain score in each one, you get automatically accepted into Revolution, and you get to live a perfect life.

"If not the only thing you can do to get in is to apply. You can apply every year, but instead of testing genes, they give you trials. These trials are always extremely difficult, and most people don't think many, if any of the current member of Revolution could complete them. Still a handful of people manage to do it every year.

"That's what I thought you were. One of those guys who pass the test but is bitter about living his whole life in a lesser society, so you try to bring the whole Revolution down with you. It happens, not very often, and you don't always hear about it, but it happens."

"So is this legal? Is this the government doing this?" you ask, shocked.

"Well of course it's legal. Things have been this way for some time now, every city's got their Revolution sites. As far as the government, yes and no. There's still a government here, but there's another one inside there and most folks think they're the real ones in power. Ours are just puppet and figureheads. Then again, most folks spend most of their lives trying to get in and don't really care about who's controlling what out here."

"Is this America? What about other countries?"

"Other countries are the same. All of them have their cream of the crop, but they usually get sent to live in Revolution sites somewhere else if they're not near one already. But they're building more all the time.

"Listen I don't want to cut you short and I'm sure this seems pretty shocking to you but I've got to get to work. I kept you in for a night but I'm not sure you'll exactly be welcome here tonight. When you're ready to head out, find somewhere safe to stay. If you're trying to stay away from Revolution eyes, hide in plain sight. Don't travel at night and don't sneak around no where. Whenever you see and escapee getting caught it's always at night in some God-forsaken place with no folk 'round. Get yourself some new clothes and get something to hide them wounds. That's all I can do for you."

Grant gets up to leave and then stops.

"If I hear you done anything illegal, I'm going right to the police. I trust you won't."

Grant folds up a newspaper and heads out the front door. You're now alone in the kitchen.

What do you do?

>read the note, THEN grab a small knife, any minor food necessities that won't be notice/missed and head out

You decide now's as good a time as any to open the strange note you received from the man at the office. You think back to what he said when you talked to him now that you know what Revolution is.

"Some of us went down and some of us went in"
"Looks like you're the only one going out."

If everyone's trying to get in to Revolution, why did he seem so adimate about you getting out? How the hell did he know you? Was Revolution Corp different than Revolution?

You open the note and suddenly a flash of pain radiates through your back and down to your legs. Your brain doesn't have any connections to what's written on this piece of paper, but your body sure as hell does.

The folded note only contains two symbols: one a backwards R, and it's signed at the bottom with the greek symbol for Omega.

What do you do?

>take time to recover, then unobtrusively look around the kitchen for a lighter or some matches.

You're startled by your reaction to this note, because it means absolutely nothing to you.

"Is this some sort of Revolution propaganda?"

You decide to tuck it away until you can find "someone you can trust." In the mean time you've got some priority items to find: matches, a small knife, and some to-go food. First stop, pantry.

You got a bag of raisins!

You got a box of matches!

You got a cutting knife!

You got a small package of cookies!

Just as you're about to leave the pantry something odd catches your eye. There's a brick behind some of the food you were just moving around that looks out of place. It looks shifted farther forward than the wall. You move the food out of the way and pull on it. It moves and finally comes out. Dust pours from the opening. As it clears you see a gray notebook covered in dust and cobwebs.

On the cover it says "Grant - 87x." You open it to find most of the pages have been ripped out. From what you can tell, this used to be a diary, but there's nothing written anywhere besides random scribbles and sentences crossed out on pages that didn't get ripped out. You're about to close it when you see imprinted on the inside of the cover at the very bottom, a small message.

"The future is in the Revolution."

You realize there may be more to this guy then you previously thought. You pocket the notebook, put the brick back and run out of the house.

What do you do?

>Look North

>Look South

>Look East

>Look West

Grant's house looks smaller on the outside than it did on the inside. The house is up on a hill surrounded by trees with a path that extends farther than you can see. Not much in each direction, just trees and grass. Looks like you have a couple of options.

>Go shopping for clothes and a disguise. You need to stay unnoticed.

You decide it would be too risky to follow Grant to work; after all he told you if you did anything suspicious he would turn on you. And now that you know he's in with the Revolution (or maybe was?) things could get really ugly really fast. You decide to heed his advice instead and find something besides your Janitorial Revolution suit to wear.

You walk down the path and realize the primary form of transportation here must be on foot or bike. You haven't seen one car since you've been outside. After about 20 minutes you get to what looks like the beginnings of civilization. There are a few corner stores and up ahead there seems to be a shopping center. You decide to attract less attention to yourself and go to a smaller shop.

You get lucky, the first shop you enter is a Bargain Buy thrift clothing store. You pick up 4 or 5 pairs of the most inconspicuous pants on the rack to try on. Just as you're heading into a changing room the clerk on duty calls out to you.

"That ain't gonna help, you know."

You turn around and look at him inquisitively. "I'm sorry?"

"Dressin' up like your in Revolution ain't gonna help you get in. Just sayin'"

"Oh, yeah, I know, it was a ... costume I made."

"Right."

He leans on his counter, slack-jawed and staring into space. You ignore him and go into the dressing room. After a few tries, you finally find your size. You grab a pair of jeans and a pair of black dress pants. Shirts are easier, you grab a white tee, a dark red polo and a blue collared, button-up shirt.

All together it comes to $11.

You throw on your new garb, stuff the old in your inventory and head outside.

What do you do?

> what better way to gather information about the present time then to go clubbing

Outside of the store, you head towards the tighter-knight group of buildings, which looks to be only a few miles away from the Revolution towers. You figure if you keep calm and blended in, you won't have to worry. Gonna have to take care of the bandages though before doing anything to open, like clubbing.

You find a public restroom in one of the shops and go to a mirror. For the first time that you can remember, you see what you look like.

"AHH!"

Your first thought when seeing your reflection is "just exactly how old am I?" because your reflection looks to be a lot older than you feel. You have unkept brown hair just above your eyes, an out-of-control beard that looks like you haven't shaved in weeks, high cheekbones, hollow cheeks and startlingly bright green eyes. There are huge bags under your eyes that hint at years of missing sleep.

"These bandages attract a lot of attention, maybe my hair can at least hide the forehead cut." You decide to try to take off your head dressing.

You nearly vomit when you take sight of your own skull in the mirror. You quickly re-wrap the dressing and decide to just make a fashion statement with a headband. You finish tying the dressing with a knot and slack material in the back. It looks okay, it'll pass. The jaw's bandage you don't even try to remove, even though it looks more off-putting than the forehead dressing.

As you go to leave the store, you see a newspaper. You carefully pick it up and look for the date.

Thursday, April 9, 2012. You're 27.

What do you do?

>Have an early mid-life crisis

Then what?

> Read the front page

You scan the rest of the newspaper's headlines to get an idea about what's going on in the world today.

"Revolution Trial Signups Open Tomorrow"
"Dog Poisoned for 'Being Noisy' Culprit Awaiting Trial"
"Best Business Winners of 2012"
"Suspected Violence in Site 33"

You remember looking back at the building. "33" was written on the gate as you left.

You read more of the story.

"Reports came in last night of an escaped criminal from the S33 building. Witnesses say he stormed into a local coffee shop, tried to steal food and ran off. No one got a good look at his face, but all those who gave reports said he had a Revolution outfit on and was badly hurt.
Local authorities are strongly urging any residents to come forward with more details of the incident or details of his whereabouts.
S33 has also released an official statement about the criminal. 'The man in question is a highly violent and dangerous man. He has very sly social skills and will try to manipulate his victims to take pity on him. REPORT TO S33 DIRECTLY WITH ANY INFORMATION.'"

What do you do?

> eat newspaper

"This newspaper must not be read" you think. "I'll eat it. Wait no that's a stupid idea, this newspaper's already been delivered to everyone in the town ..."

That's when you remember. Grant was carrying a newspaper out the door with him when he left. He hadn't read it yet.

"will try to manipulate his victims to take pity on him"

Well at least if Grant reports you, you won't match a description with your change in clothes. Unless the clerk at the thrift store reads the paper ...

You're as good as dead. You need to get out and do it fast. You quickly leave the store and head in the opposite direction of the town. But the you remember what Grant said about being in remote places.

DAMN WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

>Go towards the town

Gotta trust Grant on this one. You calmly and inconspicuously head towards the town. After about 5 minutes you start thinking about the resistance that you'll have to put up if you are spotted. You might need some ammo for that gun. You stop in the first weapons supply story you see.

"I need some ammo for this." you put the gun up on the counter.

"Let's see ... you gotta license for this?" he asks as he turns around to get some ammo.

"Yes." You panic, racing for an idea for the license. Did you forget it? Did you lose it? Could you get another one quickly?

"Alright then. $10 even for 20 shells."

What a great gun-store clerk. You pay the man, load your gun, and walk outside. You round the corner and get back on the main street, heading towards the center of town. You don't get a block before you hear something. You stop, then you see it and hear it at the same time. Sirens, coming your way.

Two men on motorcycles with red and blue flashing lights are coming up the hill directly at you.

What do you do?

>Get out of motorcycle reach, engage stealth mode

Just as the motorcycles confirm you as their target, you make a break for it between two buildings. It's too tight for the motorcycles to go through comfortably, but there's a lot of places they could go around. You turn a corner and find another very open street. You run two blocks in one direction and hear the sirens closing in from behind you. You run up a set of fire-escape stairs and get on the roof.

>sudden thought flashes through mind: "Nothing is true, everything is permitted."

>Time to do some freerunning.

Suddenly your muscles move without you telling them. You leap across huge gaps and grab edges of buildings with the tiniest bit of your fingertips, pull yourself up in one thrust, and run faster than motorcycles on the ground. Then you hear a loud crack and pain sears through your right arm. You were in mid jump. You try to catch the ledge of the building with one arm, but you miss and fall 3 stories into a stack of wood. Dust and wood fly everywhere, and your legs are hurting worse than your arm. You hear the sirens getting closer; they know you're down.

"How rustic." A very low and calm voice splits your reality. You look up and expect to see a man in a trenchcoat, or at the very least a hood. But what you see doesn't match the voice at all. The voice belonged to a man standing in the alley wearing a fadded pink shirt, skin-tight jeans and a pink scarf with a white embroidery. He was holding what looked like a playschool toy gun. It was pink as well.

"Are you Ward?" he asked, calm as ever.

"YES!" you scream half in anger from falling and being shot, half in pain.

"Let's go then." It was when he started moving that you realized he was wearing roller skates. Not roller blades, roller skates. This man was insane. The motorcycles show up just as the man skates to your wreckage.

"FREEZE THIS IS THE POLICE THAT MAN IS UNDER ARREST!" One of the officers jumps off his bike and holds out a large handgun.

You try to get up, but it's useless, your legs are injured, and may be broken. The man doesn't seem to know how bad the situation is.

"Good night" he says, and fires his playschool gun.

Immediately both officers light up, their outlines surrounded by the same kind of reddish pink outline from the basement floor of the Revolution building. They were being electrocuted. After a few seconds, they both fall to the ground.

"Let's go, more are coming." The man says.

"I can't move!" you scream at him.

The man talks into his scarf, "We need wheels, and maybe some backup." He looks back at you. "Sit tight."

While you're waiting, you can ask this man one question, what is it going to be?

> "What does the backwards R mean?"

The man looks at you and laughs. "We'll talk about that later, backup's here."

With surprising strength for a man clad in pink, he picks you up and lifts you off the ground easily. Pain is dancing through your legs and you reach down to hold them in place to keep them from bouncing around but your arm still can't move much. You finally reach a parked car outside the alley. Another man with reflective sunglasses and a t-shirt is driving. He has a rugged way about him, and a cigarette hanging out of one mouth.

"Special Forces here." he says, grinning.

"Nice timing, Corey, let's get out of here." The man pushes you in the back set, closes the door and jumps in the passenger seat. He rolls down the window and picks up a much larger gun from the bottom of the car.

"We should be fine, they didn't call for back up" the driver says.

"I'm keeping an eye out."

Once again like the true hero, from all the shock of having two badly injured legs and being shot, you fall into a dream-like trance and eventually black out. The last thing you hear before passing out is:

"Welcome home"

You wake up on a couch, and it's the first time you remember waking up without chains on your wrists. You've got a split on your right leg, and bandages on your right arm.

"owwwww" you groan out loud.

"Are you finally up?" A familiar voice sounds from across the room.

"Yeah, looks like I passed out again."

The man in pink appears in your field of vision. "Well we weren't surprised. We fixed you up best we could. The bullet grazed your arm so it's fine and your right leg felt like it might be broken, so we'll check it in a few hours to see for sure."

"Who are you guys? Why are you helping me?"

"Haha, you really don't remember anything? This your home! This is the Rapture!"

REMEMBER THE RAPTURE

"What is the rapture?"

"Ah ah ah. Before I tell you anything I want that note." The man holds out his hand. You pull the note out and hand it to him.

"It's legit. He's really Ward."

"Wait, that's not my real name, that's just the name I made up!" you protest.

"We don't usually go by our real names here anyway, it's too dangerous. I'm Felix, that guy over there is specforces, and in a few minutes you'll meet our super geek, Squeek."

"Wait but didn't I have a code name too? Before all this, you guys knew me, you can tell me who I am!"

Felix and Spec exchanged glances and then Felix said, "Well you see, there's a few problems with that. First of all, since you erased your memory you've built up a completely different set of experiences. If we were to start introducing elements from your old memory, you might ... go berserk."

"Wait since I erased my memory?"

"Yes. You hid your own memories from yourself because of what you knew. That's another reason, if you got your memory back, you'd be a liability. You'd ruin everything if you get caught. And lastly, you've forgotten a lot of terrible things that you don't want back. Believe me, I envy you."

This was almost too much for you. You were some sort of super-agent in some secret club that was so important that you ruined your own mind to save it?

"What the fuck is going on? Who are you guys? What is all this?" you bark out questions as if you could absorb peace of mind out of the responses.

"One question at a time. We're in no rush right now, so ask me whatever you want."

What do you ask?

> What is The Rapture?

"Well, I'll keep it simple to start, it's a long story. About ten years ago a group of intelligent people got together and collectively decided the world was a terrible place and didn't want to have anything to do with it anymore. They wanted to build a colony away from the world, where they could live around individuals like them -- peaceful, intelligent, and not so caught up in the corruption and evil of the world.

"This group called themselves the Revolution. They started work on creating a select group of people who could help keep a severed community self-sufficient. Members asked around their friends and friends of friends to find 'top-notch' types in each necessary field. In a very short time they had quite a few members who all had been checked out and approved by the original dozen people who started the project, but they were still short in a few areas.

"While they were trying to keep this project as secret as possible, they still wanted to find others out there that shared their ideal world. Word eventually got around to a man who founded the organization known as 'Humanity.' He called himself TheAngel.

"At the time, the members of the Revolution only knew the Humanity as an underground group of scientists dedicated to trying out dangerous or experimental studies without regulation approval or environments. A few of the members were unsure about allowing these types into the community, but Humanity had members every occupation the Revolution was lacking. It was finally decided to let them in."

"What does any of this have to do with the Rapture? You guys didn't get accepted in so you try and destroy it?" you ask, not sure why you're attacking your saviors.

Felix pauses. "Those twelve original members. One of them was me. One of them was Spec. One of them was you."

You twitch and exhale in an inaudible "!!!"

"We were the Revolution, ten years ago. It had been two weeks since we started, and the first disappearance happened. I'll skip the details, but in short the Humanity was bad news for the Revolution. They kidnapped, tortured and/or killed members of the original twelve, trying to get at our technology. At the same time they advertised Revolution as a public project that would "free" everyone from the trials of life. People started joining by the masses and the original members going missing didn't matter anymore. No one knew us."

"How did you escape? How did I escape?" you demand.

"Well, most of us faked our deaths and went into hiding. The secret and technology behind our self-sufficent system was safe as long as we were out of reach of the Revolution."

"What technology?"

"The same technology they're still after to this day. The perpetual energy generator. You see, we realized a group of humans can only survive for so long without requiring things from an outside source. Humans' tendency is to use up what is around them and move on. The breakthrough and genesis of the Revolution was the magnet based energy-generator. They know it has to do with magnets, but they don't know exactly how to build it so it puts out more energy than it uses. Only two people know how to build it. One of them is dead, and one of them erased his memory."

We're here because we know something. I never spilled, I guess you didn't either.

You suddenly feel the urge to ask about the other inmate. "What about the other guy trapped in there with me? Was he the other guy who knew the secret? Is he dead?"

This throws Felix off. "What other guy? You were alone in that prison, weren't you?"

"No there was another guy. He looked worse than me -- well he didn't have a hole in his face but he acted crazy. He wrote 'REMEMBER THE RAPTURE' on the wall and told me we both knew something and that's why we were being tortured!" Your ranting starts to seem like you're trying to convince Felix you're telling the truth.

"I don't know. Maybe he was just a criminal? Maybe he had heard something the guard or interrogator said and just repeated it. Omega was keeping pretty close tabs on that prison at night. He said you were the only one in there." Felix seems satisfied with this explanation, but you still can't get the image of him standing over your bedside with his face melting off out of your head.

"Anyway," Felix continues, "the rest is history, the remnants of the old Revolution formed The Rapture as a counter-measure to stop the spread of Revolution, but it was too late. A senator who was friends with TheAngel provided government support and funding to the project and it took off. Everyone wanted to be in the Revolution. It wasn't long before the standards everyone knows today were in place and accepted.

"Since then we've been working out different plans and gathering members for a massive precision strike against Revolution to destroy and open everyone's eyes. They stole our idea and reversed it, they corrupted a project created to do away with corruption."

Felix sits for a while and then says.

"The Rapture will save the human race."

What do you ask?

>What part did I play in all of this?

"Well as I said you were instrumental in the creation of the Revolution project, but you also engineered the idea behind the perpetual energy device."

"This was ten years ago? I was 17 years old." you ask skeptically.

"You were a child prodigy. You had been studying the idea for years beforehand. I don't know much about your past before that; you kept pretty quiet. But you were a funny guy when I got to know you and you were damn good at building stuff."

"What about when The Rapture formed?"

"Well when TheAngel caught wind of our little resistance he made certain restrictions against our presence in Revolution territory. Back then it was acres and acres of fields, not buildings like it is today. We had quite a few battles just between men. When we formed The Rapture, you were right there on the front line. You had a knack for cunning strategy that would surprise our opposers and give us the advantage. Unfortunately we abandoned the idea of battle pretty quickly because we were grossly outnumbered.

"After that you wrote out a list of about twenty solid plans to take down Revolution, one of which is in motion today. You spent a couple days straight on it, rewriting and editing plans, coming up with back up strategies along with a couple other people. When you finished you said something along the lines of 'I know too much, I'm a weakness if I stay here.' The next morning you were gone. You had been talking about building some sort of master weapon before that, so I guess we all figured you would build it somewhere safe, then come back.

"It wasn't until about five or so months back that we found out you'd been captured. We already had a few men on the inside, and luckily enough we had Omega in S33. You were tortured just about every day as far as he could tell. He said you were never exactly conscious, some sort of sleep-stoic trance. You would eat, use a restroom and sleep. You never spoke, you never moved unless you had to. Finally they hit you hard with something that made those nice holes in your head. That was a few weeks ago. Apparently that knocked you out of your trance and just into a coma. They thought you were dead so they put you up on the chains until your vitals gave out.

"Next thing I know, Omega sends me a message that says you're alive and escaping."

What do you ask?

>Why is Rapture global now? How?

"Well it's near-global. We spread ourselves pretty thin in order to get a guy in every facility. When you left we pretty much set to work on the plans you'd left behind. In the process of trial and error we actually set ourselves up really nicely for our current plan. That is taking down every Revolution facility at the same time.

We've got our hands in their database, so we can control who they see. Omega doesn't exist, and his past as a member of the original Revolution and Rapture are completely gone to them. Since there's no physical humans checking out faces anymore, we've gotten everyone in who could manage to pass the trials. After they get in we control everything that's said about them. That's what Squeek's upstairs doing right now. He's 'updating' your file."

"So you just had a concentrated group of people and sent them all over the world?"

"Well we got new members. Not everyone likes the Revolution. There are other big factions besides us. We're the quietest, but I think we're the most advanced. You won't hear about us unless we want you to. Every now and then we'll hear about someone doing good for the fight against the Revolution and we'll pick them up. We've gotten some good people that way, like our chief British member, Tibs.

"He almost started another war in England, he attacked a Revolution site with over 500 people. He would've brought it down if we hadn't gone in and picked him up before the police came. I'm pretty sure every single one of those people were either put to death or imprisoned for life for that attack."

What do you ask?

>So what do they do exactly? What do WE do?

"Well, they collect data. Every night they type up a journal entry in a coded format that Squeek picks up, translates and uses to find out what's going on in each facility at any given time. Eventually when we've infiltrated all the buildings, we'll put our ... your final plan into place to shut down every building at once.

"The idea is to shut down power globally and have every evil thing Revolution has done collaged into one video and displayed for everyone in every Revolution facility to see. Once people realize they're being used so easily and so badly, some might start to turn against Revolution. Then the Rapture person planted in each facility leads a resistance movement and eventually all the facilities collapse."

Spec moves over from the other side of the room, "Except there's one problem."

"What's that?"

"None of us have been able to get into S124. It's in New York; it's supposed to have the hardest damn trials in the world, and I believe it. I've failed to get in 5 years in a row. The shit they put you through is unreal. I vowed last year I would never do it again."

"Yeah it shook him up pretty badly." Felix adds. Spec walks back over to his desk.

"We think TheAngel is in S124. It's supposed to have the most luxurious set up, and before Revolution, Humanity's biggest support was in New York. If someone could get in there, we might be able to supplement our current plan with a plan to take TheAngel hostage."

Felix stops for a moment and then very seriously leans over and stares at you.

"We think you can get in."

What do you ask?

> "Wait a minute - what's so bad about Revolution? What are their crimes?"

"Ha, yeah what's so bad about it? It's just our idea, but done globally, right? The reason we kept things so secret was envy. Everyone wants to believe they're part of 'the club.' It's only human to be the best and equally human to be accepted. A global presence of a 'master race' of people, especially when it's physically looming over you, drives people as a whole mad.

"Society has gone totally backwards in ten years; everything has a sanction now. Everything has a limit and a regulation. There are so many people alive today, and so many that qualify for the Revolution, you're not allowed to have children without a permit. Children who are born without a permit are taken by the Revolution and killed."

You think back to Grant's baby and shudder.

"It would take all day to list everything they've done to become as successful as they are. In addition to murdering and torturing most of The Rapture and the original Revolution crew, they keep a large group of people in each facility in slavery. If someone acts up or doesn't fit in, or has less potential than their genes predicted, they are beaten, drugged and forced to do the dirty work in each facility. A lot of them look a lot like you did when you first got out of that place. A lot of them have a lot more holes in their skin."

What do you ask?

> "Alright, that's cleared up. But why do you think I can get into S124 with no memories?"

"You have no memories, but you're the same cunning person you always were. A child-prodigy doesn't rely on his experiences or memories to be good at what he does, he just is. That's our theory anyway. There are 7 areas each trial tests: intelligence, innovation, success, work ethic, physical health, emotional health and loyalty. You have each of these, except maybe physical health, in spades. Your emotion health is in perfect condition because everything you know about life has happened in the past two days. Everything that could drive you insane is safely locked out of your conscious knowledge."

What do you ask?

>I WANNA GO TO S77

"Well, we've already got an member there, The Q. He actually tried to send you a letter in code, but he never got any kind of feedback on it so we assumed it had been intercepted."

"No I found that letter ripped up in my cell. I said something about needing to be more prepared and someone was out for blood. I can't remember it very well and I ate what I had of it because I was so hungry." You look down in embarrassment.

"I've got a copy somewhere. Spec! Be a dear and pull up Q's message for me will you?" Felix yells across the room.

"'To who this may concern, I've recently received an unsigned letter from this address. If you must know I've been having trouble concentrating on my studies and would very much appreciate some peace and quiet. It's dark, don't go into the room! I think he's after blood this time, we won't be able to stop him without being more prepared. Watch out for Glass Menagerie.

I expect a prompt response,

- The Q'"

You stare at them for a few seconds before Felix jumps in with, "Yeah we didn't really get it either, he said it was supposed to be in code but we think he's just bullshitting. It was mostly to see if we'd get a response from you, or a fake response from Revolution posing as you. We wanted to see if they'd try and 'break' the code. Nothing happened."

What do you ask?

>When are the trials for S124?

"Well the sign-ups start this week, but the trials don't start for another few months. Even if you have a broken leg, you should be good to go by then. You'll have to make it up to New York for the sign-ups though, since they don't offer any of them online. They test DNA beforehand to see about your chances of living past your potential. People with a greater chance of making it in get to go through first."

"Living past your potential? So you have your potential for everything you're going to do in your life in you genes?"

"That's the theory. They say it's not exact, and they usually have something like a 20% threshold in any given case, but I think they purposely deny some people to make them fight for it more. I dunno we've watched the process for years and it seems to be pretty straightforward with the types of people that end up getting in."

What do you ask?

> Don't they already have all of my genetic information on file? How am I going to try out? Wouldn't that blow my cover?

"They did. We've swapped the values around and edited some key points in your file. Thanks to how deeply we've got ourselves in their system, they'll never suspect you're Ward unless someone that saw you in S33 transfers to S124. Oh, and we'll know if that happens."

What do you ask?

> So what's the plan? How do we prepare?

"Yes, the plan. I think it's time to introduce you to our techxpert, Squeek." Felix gets up and walks down a hallway and up a spiral staircase. You're left wonder if all of this is actually real, and if you really used to be some boy-genius that sacrificed his whole life for the good of an organization bent on destroying another. You wonder how much really is at stake here, and how you could still hold the knowledge to such a powerful invention. Before you can finish wondering, an unwashed-looking man approaches you with Felix.

"This is Squeek." Felix introduces the man.

"Felix says not to talk about your old life, so I'm going to pretend like we haven't met. Hi." Squeek says with the most apathetic tone he can manage.

"So you hack all the Revolution computers?" You try to seem interested, but you don't really have any particular reason to know the details of something that doesn't concern you.

"Uh. Yeah. That's my job." Looks like Squeek doesn't feel like talking either. That's totally fine with you.

"Cool. Am I going to be able to go in to sign-ups with a bad leg? Won't they disqualify me right there because of bad physical health?"

"Nah, physical health is like immunity and stuff like that. If your leg is supposed to be healed by the time trials start, they won't care. The most that might happen is they might bump you down the priority list a bit, but we'll see about that when they test your genes."

"What about my horribly disfigured face?"

"We're going to take care of that after the sign-ups. There's a very good plastic surgeon near here. We're going to have him change your face just enough to make you look different than you were ten years ago." Felix seems confident the plan is foolproof.

"Ah yes, Squeek. Have you 'fixed' Ward's profile on the Revolution database?" Felix asks as he turns to Squeek.

"Yes. Here is all the information you need." He produces a folded up piece of paper, turns and goes back upstairs.

"I swear all he ever does is watch One-Piece. I can't believe that show is still on ..." Felix mutters and hands you the paper.

You open it and read it aloud.

"Zachary Fleming-Boyles, born December 12, 1981. Only surviving son of David Edward Fleming Jr., who was killed in a boating accident in 2009. Hair color: brown, eye color: green, height: 6", currently single.

Criminal record: "

"We left it pretty bare bones, is there anything you'd like to change/add? This is partially your plan, even if you don't remember it." Felix asks.

What do you do?

> "If I think of anything I'll let you know. What now?"

"Alright, well now I think you should lay low until we get our TravelCard. It should be in tomorrow morning with the mail."

"TravelCard? What's that?"

"In order to keep track of people vehicles are physically not able to pass outside of certain areas without a TravelCard. It's like when you go on toll roads, and you have to pass through those booths, but you have to do it whenever you go more than 50 miles or so away from the vehicle's registered area. We keep a properly registered vehicle in case we ever need to travel."

"Where are we, anyway?"

"We're in Pennsylvania. It's just a few hours to New York. If we get the Card tomorrow, we'll leave at noon and have you signed up by the end of the day. Let me take a look at that leg, looks like the swelling is going down."

Felix pushes lightly on a few parts of your leg. It hurts a bit, but there's no major pain.

"It feels fine," you say. You're starting to get sick of the splint.

"We'll still get it x-rayed. Have lunch and then get some rest, you've lost a bit of blood. Watch some TV if you're bored." Felix hands you a remote control and leaves the room. You flip through the channels.

What do you watch?

> Revolution News

"Today on RevTV: Murder-suicide pact inside Revolution walls? Why would two successful men kill themselves in a perfect world? Dr. Angus Jefferson, suicide psychologist had this to say:

'You can't be forced into being happy. It's possible that in a perfect utopia there would still be personal sadness and unrest. People aren't always happy, even if they're in their favorite place.'

Also today, get ready for sign-ups! Tomorrow sign-ups for this year's trials open to the public until next friday. Be sure to have all your proof of security up to date!

And later, find out why this woman says she left the Revolution, and never wants to go back!"

BORING

Channel change:

> Turn on political news

"...and with elections coming up it really gets down to what the candidates are made of. We're less than seven months away and we've seen harder campaigns than we've seen in the past fifty years!

Republican Gravitz is fighting hard in what some say is a losing battle against Democrat Jenkins, who has had numerous donations from Revolution and wholly had its support. Former Sentator Harris Sadler, Jenkin's running mate, has had this to say about the contributions:

'I've said it more than enough times, I'm no longer involved with Revolution. I've stepped down to peruse my personal goals, which was the reason I signed on with the Revolution when I was in the Senate. I simply won't tolerate favoritism. The donations we've received to our campaign that have allegedly been "from Revolution" have all been from individuals currently residing in Revolution, completely disassociated from the inner workings of the facilities.'

More from Campaign 2012 after this!"

Commercials, change the channel:

> Local news

"'...which leaves parents wondering, is Revolution really right for my kids? Jean Bieberich has the story. Over to you, Jean.'

'Thank you Cheryl, and you're absolutely right, people are starting to wonder: Is Revolution is right for everyone that qualifies? The Donnelly's don't think so.'

'When we got our birth permit we were overjoyed. Matthew was already on the way so we were really nervous. We never thought Revolution would have any interest in us, what with me bein' a plumber and Nancy never finishin' high school. But when he was born he got in. Now we get to pick up and move in but we don't really want to. We like where we are but I don't think nobody's ever said no to them before.'"

(the screen switches back to Jean)

"'Now of course qualifying individuals are not forced in to a Revolution facility, but it does beg the question: Is this the end for Revolution's mass appeal? Back to you Cheryl.'"

Ooops, you only have time for one more channel, what's it gonna be?

>discovery channel

"Ever since Jamie died, Mythbusters has sucked big time." Spec turns around in his chair to look at the TV, then turns back to his work.

"...will they uncover? They put the Myths to the test."

Looks like an old episode from 2005. Nothing to learn here.

You hop over to get some food from the kitchen, and then you take Felix's advice and catch some z's.

Chapter 3

You wake with a jolt. It's dark and someone has their hands on your arms.

"Ward WARD! Are you awake? God damn."

The pressure from the hands lessen and your eyes begin to adjust to the darkness.

"What ...'s going on?" You mumble.

"You were flipping the fuck out that's what's going on." You place the voice. It's Specforces.

"What?" You repeat, still not understanding.

"I said you were going nuts. I was asleep in the other room and you just started screaming. I came in to see what was wrong and you were thrashing around like you were having a seizure."

You see spec is half-naked, and holding an uzi. He has a concerned look on his face and a trace of fear in his eyes. He has some sweat on his forehead.

"How long was I freaking out for?" you ask.

"Well you weren't screaming the whole time but I've been in here trying to wake you up for at least 3 or 4 minutes. You scared the shit out of me."

"What time is it?"

'I dunno, like 2:30."

You sit up. It's pitch black outside but you're fully awake.

"I don't know if I can get back to sleep." you say. "Is there anything to do besides watch TV?"

"Yeah I should fucking hope you're not planning on going back to sleep. And yeah, we've got a training room in the basement. Don't walk around too much on that leg, but you can work out or something on the machines we have. Felix and Squeek sleep upstairs so you won't bother them." Spec stands up and walks down the hall. "If you do decide to go back to sleep, do me a favor and gag yourself so you don't do loud exorcist shit anymore."

"Good night? Sorry!" You say, apologetically.

You sit up on the couch and try to remember what you were dreaming about. Bats? Something about a struggle and underwater soldiers. None of it makes sense anymore. You get up and see a crutch next to the couch. You take it and hobble over to the basement stairs. You sit down and slowly make your way down the stairs by sliding down each one.

Once in the basement, you see what an underground resistance's training room looks like. There are more machines than you have muscles, most of which you can't even figure out how you would get into. Some of them look like technology that you either don't know or that you can't remember. You decide to stay away from those and stick to a bench-press machine.

Over the course of the next few hours, you make your way through a string of various arm and upper-body strength machines, and realize just how out-of-shape you are. You wonder just how long it was since you last worked out. You're just finishing up your last set of curl-ups when you hear someone coming down the stairs. Felix emerges in the most comfortable pink bathrobe you've ever seen.

"I heard about your 'incident,' are you alright?" he asks.

"Yeah, I think so. The same thing happened to me when I was at Grant's house. I broke some stuff or something in my sleep."

"We should check that out. You'll never pass the mental health trials if you've got some of your old memories colliding with your new ones. In the meantime, do you want some breakfast?"

"Yeah sure." You hop over to your crutch.

"Oh hey I found the other one. It was in my closet, let me run and get that for you." Felix heads back up the stairs.

You realize your leg hasn't really hurt all night. While you haven't really been putting any weight on it, you have been moving around a lot. You really hope your leg isn't broken.

"Here it is." Felix says as he comes down the stairs, holding out a crutch matching the one under your arm.

"Thanks, how do you go up stairs?" You realize your center of gravity falls backwards when you try and move upwards.

"You put your good leg up, then pull the rest of your body and crutches up to that step, yeah like that."

Simple enough.

You head upstairs for breakfast. Squeek, Spec and Felix are all there. You sit down to a bowl of cereal and scrambled eggs.

"There's the demon." Spec says with a mouth full of cereal.

You begin eating. Do you have anything to say to the group while they're all gathered?

>"Do bats and a struggle with underwater soldiers hold any significance to any of you?"

"Guys I keep having these dreams, they never make any sense but I can't get them out of my head. Do you think they have to do with my memories?"

"What are they about?" Felix asks nonchalantly, eyes fixed towards the TV.

"Well I don't really know. I had one the other night where that other prison mate was standing over me and his face melted all over me and was screaming. Last night I don't really remember but it was like flying bats underwater, but the bats were soldiers or something. Maybe they were super-soldiers? And ..." You're about to go on, but no one is really listening.

"It's probably nothing. Dreams usually have to do with what happened to you the day before, not what happened to you 10+ years ago." Felix finishes his bowl. "Plus there were no bats in the Revolution. Check out the TV, this may be good news for us." Felix points at the TV and you turn your chair to see what's being said.

"... this legislation will undoubtedly bring to pass some changes in Revolution, if it is passed. We go now to Gravitz who's live at a press conference.

'There is no reason for a corporation that houses nearly an eighth of the world's population to be so secretive. All my bill would do is allow some of these secrets to be investigated. I'm not trying to bring down a fellow entrepreneur, oh excuse me, ex-entrepreneur, hah! I'm just trying to shed some light on the situation. No one can seem to confirm just how involved Mr. Sadler was or still is in Revolution. I for one won't stand idly by while someone in control of half the voting power bullies this nation into electing him and his puppet into the White House!'"

"Hooooly shit!" Spec exclaims. "He's gonna hear about that tomorrow. He's going to be handing out apologies out of his ears!"

"...out of his ears?" Squeek looks up from his breakfast and sends Spec a glare only a language nazi can.

Everyone finishes their breakfasts and you laze around for a few hours watching TV and thinking about the plan. What if you don't pass? What if they reject you before you even get to the trials? What if they find out you're in the Rapture? You decide you need a backup plan. You'll talk about that later. Felix comes in the front door.

"Mail's here! We got the TravelCard!"

Looks like you're going to New York. Now then, let's decide on a party of two. You and ...

>Felix - Group style expert. Knows how to get out of tricky situations

You and Felix get some supplies ready for the day trip up to New York. Before leaving, Felix fashions a new bandage that looks considerably better than the make-shift one you've been wearing. Your head is obscured by a thick blue headband, with your hair slightly poking out at the top. On your jaw, he puts a large medical bandage, which looks like you just got stitches and is much less of an eye sore. Finally you try walking. You can do it, and it hurts a bit, so Felix replaces your crutches with a walking cane. Once you're fixed up, you put the TravelCard in the glove compartment and get in the passenger seat.

The drive is a long one. You learn two major things along the way:

Firstly, never talk to Felix about his fashion sense. He'll go on for over 2 hours about the psychology of gender roles and how society refutes change.

More importantly, you learned that Revolution buildings are not everywhere. Only high-volume cities or contracted areas get them. Sometimes there's a lone Revolution building, but there are a lot of towns and rural areas with no trace of Revolution anywhere.

Eventually you get close to a large enclose toll-area. This must be where the TravelCard comes in. You pull up to the teller.

"TravelCard?" she asks.

"Here it is." Felix hands it to her.

"Business outside of Pennsylvania?"

"Trials at S124, ma'am." Felix says very respectfully.

After a few moments she says, "you're clear to go, have a nice day."

You drive for a while longer and then weave through the traffic madness that is New York city. It's difficult to spot S124 among all the tall buildings, but you finally find the one with the red ® on the side.

"Is this the only Revolution facility in New York city?" you ask.

"On Manhattan Island, yeah."

It seems like most of the country is trying to get into the island, and most of the island is trying to get into that building.

After what seems like longer than all the drive up to that point, you finally get to a parking garage. Felix pays the guys, and you both get up and start walking to S124.

Once inside the building, you find your place in a 500+ person line, and start filling out a textbook-worth of paperwork. Since no one is really watching, Felix fills out most of it to match your "profile" in the Revolution database. There's an ink blot section and also a free-choice section, where they ask you a series of moral dilemmas and you choose which scenario you would prefer.

When you finally get to the counter, the teller looks at your face and leg and asks "did you win?"

Missing at least three beats, you stutter and reply "uh...o-o-oh yeah, I'll be fine for the trials."

Smooth.

"Well let's take a DNA sample ... William." she takes you into a back room where they pluck off a piece of your hair and run it through a huge machine that extends through the wall. The teller leaves the room and returns a few minutes later looking shocked.

"Have you ever taken the trials here before?"

The question throws you off. "Uh, no? Why?"

"Well, you might know," she regains some composure, "our standards here at S124 are very high. The babies we allow in have to show much higher percentages in the seven categories than in other facilities."

"So what's the problem?"

She coughs and then says, "William, if you were a baby being tested today, you would be allowed in without a moment's pause. Your percentages are nearly off the chart"

What do you do?

> act super cool and nonchalant about it.

"Yeah I've never really been interested in Revolution, but my friend in there said should give it a shot so, yeah ..." you smile a creepy smile and wish you hadn't.

"Well, we'll file your request immediately. You'll be contacted in a few months when the trials are ready. You may go now." She leaves and you could almost detect a hint of a blush. Maybe not.

As you walk out with Felix you ask, "why was I so high on the percentages?"

Felix laughs. "Because the standard is based on our DNA! Haha!"

You have a little bit of time in New York, do you want to do a bit of exploring?

>sure

As you walk around New York you see quite of bit of anti-Revolution graffiti.

"Are there other resistance groups? Besides Rapture?"

"SHHH!!" Felix looks at you sternly. "Do NOT say that word. Not in public. Especially not here. It word got out that Ya was even around anymore, our entire plan would be completely ruined?"

"Ya? Is that another name for it?"

"Backwards R is a Russian letter. You pronounce it like that. And to answer your question, yes of course. Plenty of people hate Revolution and everything it's done to society. It's made society its slave. None of the other groups are nearly as organized though."

Felix walks for a few moments and then says, "You might run into an interesting group of people once you're inside though. They call themselves Evolution. They're a group of people who believe in the original ideas of Revolution, but think it's been watered down with too many 'unworthy commoners.' One of the big pushes about 3 years ago by them was to build S124 into what it is now. That is a super-elite version of Revolution where the best of the best can only get in.

"They're largely insane, but they remind me of us back then. It's strange."

You both walk silently around a street corner.

"What are the names of the other groups? I should know about them just in case."

"Sure, there are only two big ones. WWAR: World Without A Revolution and Status Quo. That's the WWAR symbol over there." Felix points to a large spot of graffiti on the wall.

"What is that supposed to be? An egg? A face?" you ask.

"It's a gas mask. I'm not really sure what their message is."

You watch the graffiti, as if it was a movie. You play out in your mind all the things it associates itself to you by nature. You make a mental note to research a bit more about these groups.

Anything else you want to do in New York before you go?

>get some brooklyn pizza

"I'm pretty hungry, let's get some pizza and head back."

Felix treats you to some pizza, you retrieve your car and head back home.

When you finally get back, you find Squeek has set you up a "station." You have a desk in a spare room on the main floor, just outside the kitchen. Squeek explains what being a Rapture member involves. Every night data is sent via journals from every Rapture spy to this headquarters. Then it's the HQ Rapture memebers' job to interpret that data and pair it with the electronic data that the computer systems in each building send out. If there's any trace of a leak or exposure, the system goes into Red Alert and attempts to fix the problem.

It all looks like a bunch of nonsense charts and graphs, but Felix assures you it's a quick task to pick up.

"Even Spec warmed up to it pretty fast." Felix winks. "If he can do it, you'll be good at it in no time. Don't forget though, next week we've got an appointment to get that leg looked at. You've probably got a minor hairline fracture, but there's a quick surgery that will have you back on your feet without a cane in just a week or two. For now though, you can start up with data analyzation, watch TV or go work out some more. You shouldn't walk around town until we get some plastic surgery on your face though. Oh, and this is where you can sleep now." Felix says, pointing at a bed behind you. You didn't even notice it. "Make sure you keep the doors shut so you don't disturb Spec again tonight. Just in case." Felix smiles and then leaves.

What do you do?

> Data analyzation

You decide to check out the data system. You log in and the computer prompts:

Username: Ward
Password: Please set your password _

>ShnobblyWorzzlekins

"I don't think I can even remember this, heh heh." you chuckle to yourself as you enter the password in.

After you enter the password, a welcome screen pops up and then several programs launch automatically. Lots of graphs and spinning geometric shapes start appearing on screen. Before you even find a "Read Me" file, you suddenly understand the system perfectly. You wrote this system. Well, maybe not, but it feels like you could have. You start typing, and the keys you hit are instinctual. Rapture data that corresponds with Revolution data occurs as similar geometric shapes and rotational patterns. If they match up, the linear graphs are harmonic.

In an hour you fly though several dozen reports. It's not until the screen is blank for a full minute that you realize the data is finished. You hear someone exclaim from the other room, then footsteps, then your door swings open.

"What the hell did you just do?" Felix asks.

"Sorry, I thought you wanted that data analyzed?" You look at Felix. He seems almost frightened.

"There's no fucking way you did today's profiles in an hour. We only had two guys on it since you and I were gone. Even Squeek doesn't do work that fast, and he uses that insane picture/graph nonsense."

"What? Isn't that what I was using?"

"Well yes there were pictures with the system the rest of us use, but there's text that accompanies it to explain what's going on. It's impossible to just analyze the subtleties of the plotted data without doing it for years or designing it." Felix is still staring at you. You blink slowly, swallow and say

"There was ... no text on my screen."

Complete silence. Felix walks out of the room and up the stairs. You hear an escalating exchange which quickly results in Squeek coming down the stairs, followed by Felix, who seems to be in shock.

"No there's probably some sort of error, we'll need to sort through that data again. What a mess, I'm sure ...." Squeek trails off.

"...I forgot to install 'retard mode' on here. I set it up like I have upstairs." He quickly turns and looks at you incredulously.

"Did I write this or something before my memory was erased? I don't remember it but it just came so naturally to me," you offer.

"No. Squeek designed this system a few years ago when we started planting members in the buildings. You've never seen this system unless ..."

Squeek and Felix both look at each other and are immediately on top of you, pinning you down.

"WHO ARE YOU?" Felix screams in your face.

What do you do?

>"Goddamnit you know I don't know who I am!"

You see Squeek move to the other side of the room. When you see him again he hands Felix a wrench.

Blackout.

When you wake up you're bound to a chair in the same room you were knocked out in. You notice two pains immediately: your head and your leg. But your leg pain isn't the same as it was when you would walk on it funny, it feels like it's bleeding. You try to look down but your head is locked in place. Your arms and legs are too. You barely manage to get your eyes to look down enough and then you wish you hadn't. A very crude assortment of sharp surgical metal has your leg's skin sliced open and held out, exposing your bone. Sinister electrical devices are attached to it.

"If you don't tell us who the fuck you really are, you'll have a lot more to worry about than a few cuts. I see you noticed what we've got on your leg, but I bet you don't know what it is. Or maybe you do. Maybe you know what's going to happen to your other leg if you don't cooperate."

You manage once again to get a glance at your left leg, only to find Spec staring at you full of hate, holding a cheese grater against your skin.

"Now, I'll say it again. Who are you?"

>"What am I supposed to say? You know who I am better than I do, and you're treating me like I'm withholding information? If I'm somehow a threat to Rapture, then kill me, but at least let me know my crime."

"HA! You've been trained well. Let's pretend that I believe you, that maybe we've made a mistake. You, or at least the person you're impersonating, were impressively smart as a teen. It's possible you could pick up this kind of data-analyzation in a few weeks, maybe even a few days. But within seconds? Do you understand the problem here, Ward? You've just become intimately familiar with a system our top data analyst wrote to be as complicated as possible. He wrote a new art form, only to be mastered by a master.

"THERE'S NO WAY YOU CAN BE A MASTER WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING WHAT YOU'RE DOING!!!!!" Felix walks over to the wall and takes a breath. Then, quietly he says,

"I'll be straight up with you. There's no reason for me to believe you're not a Revolution spy, planted in one of the buildings to be spotted by one of our Rapture spies. Your guys make a quick-clone of our missing friend and use him to gather info on Rapture plans."

"That doesn't make any sense, do I have any thing on me that looks like I'm a spy!" you scream.

"No. If you're working for them you were going to have to wait until you got into the Revolution to tell them everything. Now that we have you, they have nothing."

". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . But you could be one of us. I don't know what to do."

What do you do?

> "How would a spy know a damn thing about this code? Even if I were this apparently fucking super spy, I'd make damn sure not to practise something I'm not supposed to know right under your eyes!"

Either you're really amazingly good at what you do, or the Revolution is completely fucking sick. You could easily be a quick-clone whose memory was purposely erased but was hardcoded with a few basic skills, one of which is hacking our system. You wouldn't know to hide something like syncing with our system so quickly. It's perfect."

Felix stops and finally turns to look at you.

"We're going to have to kill you." Just as Felix starts to make a motion towards you, you hear Spec say.

"Wait! We might not have to. This could still be him. You know the real ... Ward. There's a way to check if someone's a quick-clone. They don't live long and they can't survive extreme temperatures as long we real humans can. One of the guys I knew overseas was the one who figured it out."

Felix stops advancing and smiles.

"Well Ward, it doesn't matter to me. Would you like to be burned or frozen?"

>With a face of resolve and determination, say "Fine, I'll prove I'm not a clone. Freeze me. But one of you has to stay with me to prove I'm lasting as long as a regular human."

Felix looks at Spec nervously, and you look to see Squeek, who has been in the doorway the entire time, holding a pistol at you.

"Shouldn't take too long in the deep freeze." Spec offers.

"Let's go." Felix unlocks you from the chair, then slowly removes all the metal objects from your leg and wraps a towel around it to keep the blood from gushing out. It hurts worse than anything you've felt in the past two days.

You're forced up and almost carried down to the basement by Spec and Felix, past the training equipment and into a side room that has another staircase downwards. It's dark and you don't get a good look around but it smells awful. You're thrown into a pitch-black, over-sized, ice chest. In 20 seconds you already feel like you're freezing to death. You start to think, to really think about who you are.

What if you're really a spy? Was this the whole plan? To infiltrate the Rapture? Nothing like that springs any kind of memory. You just feel numb all over. It's all over. All over.

You wake up coughing on the floor of the awful-smelling room.

"I don't fucking believe it." Felix manages.

"He's legit." Spec says, stunned as well.

Felix leans down and softly says, "You're a beast, you'll be amazing in the trials. Please forgive me. If you knew what we;ve been through, if you remembered what you've been though, I know you would.

"I'm sorry."

You feel yourself being lifted back up the stairs, through the training room, back up to the main floor and into a bathtub, where what feels like burning water pours onto you. You have some questions, but they can wait until morning. You're alive.

> "What can I do until then? Is there any more data-analysis to do, or would you freak out on me again... maybe I should just watch some TV..."

"You should get some sleep. You can get back on the data-analysis in a few days when you're back on solid foods. I don't have a TV in here, but I can bring it in if you'd like." Felix shrugs apologetically and leaves the room. There's light coming out of the window onto your sheets. You look out the window for a few long minutes looking at the leaves rustling in the wind out side. You start thinking about all the things that happened to bring you here, and if you can trust these people. Can you be trusted? What if it's like they say? What if you've been programmed to hurt the Rapture?

Just as you're settling into a calm daydream, the door opens again.

"I heard you were awake." It was a feminine voice. At first you think Felix is just being weird, but then a woman in eggshell-blue lab coat comes into your room.

"Yes, hi, who are you?" You ask and immediately regret being so to-the-point.

"Sorry I didn't mean to sound demanding -- I ... I've had a rough couple days. I haven't seen you before and I thought I knew everyone here." You append to your previous statement.

"No, it's fine. Ward is it? We've met before, but that was some time ago. I'm Rosemary, I'm a surgeon. I was called in to fix up that leg of yours since the circumstances were a bit too shady to bring you to a conventional hospital. I usually work in New York, but Felix made the situation sound a lot more urgent than it probably was. You should be making a full recovery in under a week's time." You wonder if you pissed this woman off. She seems angry as she talks, but you look at her face and realize it's not anger.

She's bitter.

"Keep ice on that head until the swelling goes down as well. You should start walking around on your leg as early as tomorrow and able to run by ..." she looks at her watch, "the 17th."

You keep silent, waiting for her to either finish speaking or give you more advice. She's silent as well, looking just away from you, as if you're repulsive to her and it hurts to look at you. Finally you break the silence.

"Is that all?" Right to the point again, you note. You've got to work on your manners a bit.

"Yes." Without another word she turns and quickly walks out the door.

Several minutes go by and the door opens again. It's Rosemary.

**Cue Rosemary**

"I'm sorry but I just can't do this." She shuts the door behind her and walks to your bedside, nearly frantic.

"I'm so sorry." She says again, and then throws herself on top of you at an angle, so that her legs are still resting on the floor. She puts her arms around you, very careful of your injured head and bandaged leg. She squeezes you very tightly and doesn't let go for over a minute.

"What are you doing?" You finally ask, as thick as ever.

"I'm so sorry. You don't remember this but ... we were ... intimate over ten years ago. We were together the night before you left. You told me you'd be back. You never came back. Right before you left you said ..." She looks at you and tears are welling up in her eyes. They're not tears of happiness; they're tears of pain. The pain of ten years' agony over loss.

"You said ..." she tries again, but can't make the words come out. You realize while you watch her trembling that you're crying as well. Not just tearing up from a sad story or love that could've been. Your whole body feels as if this is the most important person you've ever known. You keep silent and wait for her to finish talking once again.

"You said ...

...

...

...

...

Well it doesn't matter what you said, that's going too far." She puts her head down on your shoulder and whispers something into your ear. Then, she promptly gets up, resumes the look of composure, and walks out of the room.

"I forgive you."

**-**

--

You keep saying it over and over in your head ...

"I forgive you."

"I forgive you."

"I forgive you."

The phrase is the only thing in the past week that brings you any comfort whatsoever. You remember nothing about this woman and nothing about doing anything to her that would require forgiveness, yet you cried with your reunion.

You start to piece it together. Ten years ago you were 17, you and Rosemary must've been high-school sweethearts or something. Maybe when you joined Revolution she didn't qualify? No she's in the Rapture now so she must've been with you. Maybe when the massacre started she got scared and I promised to protect her but then I left to save the info on the perpetual energy device? Maybe she's just forgiving you for leaving.

Maybe. But it felt good.

You get a few hours of sleep because you're exhausted. When you wake up there's a plate of food next to your bed. You're just starting into it when you see a note on the side.

"I'm going to take the trials with you. We'll catch up then. Don't tell anyone I'm bringing up all this from your past. I promise I won't say too much. I'll be in touch.

~Rose"

Days pass, you walk again. Things around the house are tense but lightening up. Felix is back to his usual carefree self and Spec cracks a few jokes every now and then. You've got your strength back and you're doing physical therapy three times a day to get muscle strength back. You've been analyzing data and everyone is still amazed. The first time you did it after you were up and walking, everyone gathered to watch. You could hear the amazement in their voice as you caught the subtleties in the data arrangements. Squeek didn't act impressed, but you could tell he was at least jealous.

There was still pain in your head and leg but, it was lessening and it didn't stop you from working. Early in the morning on the 19th of April, you wake up, do your physical therapy, and start in on the data. About an hour into standard checks, you notice an arrhythmia you've never seen before in one of the shapes. You isolate it and plot it on a harmonics graph. The harmony is off. You convert to decimal, then to binary, then to hex and finally to ascii. A message is output:

"Found LD. It's worse than we expected. Need pickup immediately.

--Guido"

What do you do?

> Alert someone

"H-Hey! Someone! I got an urgent transmission from someone named Guido!" You yell from your room, not knowing what else to do.

Squeek rushes in the room with more enthusiasm than you've ever seen. "You probably just misread it." Squeek sits down in front of your computer and looks at the same arrhythmia you saw and looks up at you.

"What did it say?" He asks. Did he not know how to convert it? Maybe he just didn't have the time.

"It's in that other window." You point to the screen. Squeek clicks on it and reads it. His jaw drops.

"Oh God. Felix!!!" Squeek runs out of the room, but you can still hear him shouting.

"Felix! We've gotta go, Guido's got LD. He's alive but I don't know if he's going to make it, he says it's pretty bad. We've gotta go, now!"

Next thing you know you're in the living room with Spec, Squeek and Felix, laying out a plan to pick up 'LD.'

"Okay we'll need to get the first plane ticket after sundown. There's no way for Guido to know when we're coming so we'll have to figure out some way to get in touch with him once we're there. We'll need a flight TravelCard, but we don't have time to get it so we'll have to forge one. We'll also need a complete drop and exit strategy, and at least one backup plan. S12's a simple facility so it shouldn't be any problem.

"Squeek, take care of the forged card." Felix points to Squeek, who nods.

"Spec, come up with the attack and retreat strategies, go over them 5 times to be sure." Spec salutes out of habit.

"I'll work on the communication with Guido. Double-time everyone, LD's life is on the line here." You've finally come to understand Felix's personality a bit better. He's silly and eccentric and a bit flamboyant, but he's knows how to play rough and get serious when he needs to.

"Wait, what about me?" You're eager to help out, even though you have no idea who any of these people are.

"You just finish analyzing today's data. That'll free up some time for us to get what we need done." Felix's response discourages you a bit. You want to help with the rescue mission.

Regardless, you head back to the computer to finish analyzing today's data. About an hour later, you get up from your machine and go upstairs outside of Felix's room. You know he's busy, but you really want to know more about what's happened to warrant such an elaborate rescue. You finally open the door to find Felix sitting with his eyes closed and his hand gripping his forehead. He's deep in thought, but the noise of the door opening brings his attention to you.

"Yes?" he asks.

"I ... I know you're busy I just wanted to know who LD was. Why is this happening?" You're ready to be yelled at or simply pushed away but Felix seems like he was wanting a break.

"Yes. LD, er, lightdarkness is his full handle. He was one of the first Rapture members to get inside. Back then we didn't have the system of communication we do now. All we got from him was a weekly personal letter. It was written in code and he would tell us all about the inside before we really knew anything about it. Most of what we have today is all thanks to him.

"Something happened though, he slipped up or got caught or maybe they just figured out that he was a spy, and the letters stopped coming. We got another member in there as soon as we could, Guido, and he found no trace of LD. We had no idea what had happened to him, we assumed he'd just been killed. Finding him alive is such a godsend to us right now, I just hope he makes it through. Not only will he be an aid to the cause, but he'll know all about their information-extracting techniques, probably the same ones they used on you." Felix pauses with his mouth open.

"It's probably a trap. They could've gotten to Guido or they could've planted LD. We'll check for trackers before we bring him back here. Maybe they're just trying to get us to break in so they can catch us in the act. I've gotta tell Spec to work that into his plan." Felix gets up to go downstairs.

"Who's going?" You blurt out before he leaves the room. Felix is taken aback as though the answer was obvious.

"This is an extremely dangerous mission. Spec's going to go alone."

"I want to go too." You want so badly to be a part of this action, half to prove to them you're still the man they think of you as, and half to prove it to yourself.

"That's out of the question, you have no experience whatso--"

"Ask Spec if I can be of any use. I'm good on my feet, I'm good at figuring things out. If they have a trap laid, I can help you get out of it, or dodge it completely."

". . . We still don't know if you're programmed to betray us. It would be a huge and unnecessary risk."

"Put something on me that you can use to kill me if I betray you. I'm not a traitor, I'm not a spy! This plan will fail if I don't help you!" You realize you're speaking with more force and volume than you thought you could.

Felix smiles. "I knew you'd get around to being your old self again. I'll ask Spec if he can use you. We'll put an anklet on you in case you go rogue. It won't kill you but it will render you unconscious. I don't think we'll use it though." He gives the thumbs up and goes downstairs.

Spec adapts his plans to include you. Squeek buys two round-trip plane tickets to Dallas, one one-way plane ticket back to Philadelphia and finishes the TravelCard forgery. Throughout the day after you finish the rest of the data-analyzation, you help Spec talk out strategies and scenarios if something were to go wrong. You come up with a set of priorities.

1. Not letting anyone trace this back to The Rapture
2. Not compromising Guido as a spy
3. Getting LD out
4. Safety of any innocent civilians

Spec explains they're going at night to blend in better at the drop point and because most of the residents will be inside their rooms. Security in each building is pretty simple, there are motion sensors at each entry point (any point where there is an opening a human can get in/out), and at least two, but sometimes more guards at the ground floor entrance.

In addition to the cages on each level's entrance below the ground floor, there are force-fields that require someone on the inside to deactivate them. You realize that this must've been the red shimmer on the files and walls when you were trying to get out of S33. The police you ran from had them as well. Other measures of security include mounted guns, cameras and one patrol guard on each floor at night.

"The advantage," Spec explains, "is that most people are trying to get in Revolution facilities, while we're just trying to get someone out. We have a man on the inside, so there shouldn't be too much of a problem.

"We'll survey the area and based on what kind of security they have, choose a plan. We've got Plan A, getting up to the roof, getting LD and carrying him down. Plan B is where you sign up for the S12 trials as a distraction while LD sneaks out with me. Plan C is Guido meeting us with LD at the basement level and entering the code to get him out. We have no idea what kind of condition LD is in or if Guido could get his hands on a password, but hopefully Plan C will be doable. That's my first choice."

"Okay I think I got it." You check over the priorities and the plans in your head again.

"So what happens if one of us is spotted by a guard?" Spec grills.

"Shoot the force-feedback gun."

"Correct, and if a civilian spots us?"

"Tranquilizer and hold their mouth from screaming until it kicks in."

"Good, okay let's go down to the training room and practice some maneuvers you'll need."

You spend a few more hours doing physical training and drills. Spec gets on you pretty hard even with your injuries, but you keep up with him. You're determined to aid the cause tonight.

Spec looks at his watch. "Damn, time to go."

Upstairs you both have a carry-on bag packed with a TravelCard on top, ready to go.

"I put a black outfit, an earpiece walkie and ID in each bag, just in case. I've also got something set up to get in contact with Guido. This is a note from his 'mother.' It's encoded the same way he writes his diary, so he should be able to read it. It has each Plan on it, your backup and exit strategies, and your frequency for the walkies." Felix seems very excited about the situation.

"If we can get LD back in one piece, this could really mean the beginning of the end for Revolution." Felix smiles and then ushers you and Spec out to the car.

"Do you have any last minute questions before we ship out?" Spec asks as he gets in the car.

> "What if Guido is compromised?"

"Well in each plan, Guido is going to be used as little as possible. If we pick him up on the roof, no one will notice him, people go up on the roof all the time. If it's in the basement, they'll have the logs of someone opening the door, but they won't know who it was. If it's the front door exit, Guido won't even be there. In the unlikely chance there is suspicion, Squeek will pick it up since we have our hands in their surveillance, and Guido can get out of there."

"Wait if we have our hands in their system, why can't we just disable everything and get LD out?"

"What's priority 1?"

" . . . Right, that would tip them off there was someone in the system."

"Squeek will also be able to contact us via the walkies with info on where people are in the building."

"The walkie-talkies work from that far away?"

"Well they're not radio-based, they're satellite-based. I guess it's more like a phone or an internet broadcast."

You guys get in the car, Spec starts it up and you guys drive off. As soon as you're out of sight of the base, Spec pushes some buttons on the dash and loud rock music starts blasting from the speakers.

**Cue DrivingMusic**

You have to yell to talk to Spec at all.

"WHAT IS THIS?"

"IT'S MUSIC! WHAT'S THE MATTER YOU DON'T LIKE DIRTY ROCK?"

"NO THAT'S NOT IT!" You realize Felix didn't play anything when you drove to New York.

"I GOTTA GET PUMPED FOR THIS MISSION!" Spec was driving a lot faster than Felix. You wonder what the speed limit is on this road.

You drive a lot less than you expect, you're at the airport in under an hour, just as the sun has completely set. You park, Spec turns off the music and turns to you.

"This is it. Are you ready?"

Are you?

> Say "What do we do in the event that we're separated and lose communication?" Also drop handgun and cutting knife

"Well the only way that could happen is if they have frequency jammers but even then they'd have to be pretty strong. We should be sticking together most of the time but if for some reason both of those things happen we'll set up a rendezvous point when we get to the area. If you lose me, go there and I'll meet you there as soon as I realize you're gone."

"What if..." you're hesitant to bring up the possibility of defeat.

"What if I don't come back? Yeah, that's not going to happen."

"But--"

"It won't happen. We'll set the rendezvous point outside of their frequency jamming area so if something happens to me you can contact Squeek. If we lose each other do NOT come back to find me around the base. The last thing we want is two agents taken prisoner."

You both get out and stand at the car but before shutting the door Spec says, "Oh yeah if you've got any items on your inventory that will hold us up at security, you should leave them in the car. Travel light, these suits are really tight."

You both walk through security fairly easily. You're a bit concerned having a gun in your pocket, despite it being plastic and Spec's assurance that it would be fine, but you pass through the detectors flawlessly. You still have about fifteen minutes before your flight starts boarding, so you and Spec sit down and wait.

> At the risk of asking a question about information that I might not know shouldn't be discussed, I guess I'll check out a newsstand for any important news.

"I'm going to go see about getting something to read for the trip." You get up and start walking towards a strip of overpriced airport-stores. You enter a bookstore and start looking at covers. Before you can focus on any one, you hear an outburst behind you.

"FREEDOM, PEOPLE! THAT'S WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE! DO ANY OF YOU EVEN REALIZE WHAT SHADOWS YOU'VE MADE YOURSELVES INTO? YOU'VE ENSLAVED YOURSELVES INTO FOLLOWING ANYTHING THEY WANT YOU TO DO! OPEN YOUR EYES AND SEE--" He stops when he sees a few airport security guards heading towards him.

"HERE THEY COME TO SILENCE ME, THEY'RE SLAVES TO REVOLUTION AS WELL!" The guards put their hands on his shoulders and pull his hands behind his back.

"NOW IS THE TIME TO SHOW YOU'RE NOT ALL PUPPETS! WE ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN THEM!!"

What do you do?

>laugh out loud and buy a Michael Crichton book

The guards quickly take the screaming rebel away but you're left his echoes, haunting you. You wished you could do something about it, something to help him, but you are part of something much bigger than a random outburst in an airport.

"I will" you mutter under your breath after you purchase a novel, "I will save you. I'll save you all." With new-found determination, you arrive back at the terminal just in time to board the plane. Spec has your tickets ready and you find your seats without a problem. Spec quickly steals the window seat, that dirty bastard, leaving you with the middle seat. You hope that no one sits next to you, you don't feel like talking tonight.

After a few minutes, the stewardesses are getting ready to shut the doors and there is still no one in the empty seat. You silently celebrate, but your joy is cut short when a man with an untidy briefcase and derby rushes on the the plane in a last-minute panic. Before he even starts looking for his seat, you know you're doomed.

Sure enough he finds his seat right next to yours.

"PHEW! I made it! Just barely, haha!" He puts his brief case in the overhead rack, then looks down, pauses for thought, then takes the case back down and puts it on his lap.

"I'm Fred, nice to meet you." Fred extends his hand to you. Awfully cordial for a stranger on an airplane. You accept the handshake.

"What're you doing in Texas?" he cheerfully asks.

What do you do?

>pretend like you dont speak english

"¿Ehhhh no hablo español?" you didn't know you knew spanish. You notice in addition to the briefcase looking like it was made by faulty equipment, there are papers sticking out of it, as if they were packed in at the last second.

"Oh sorry, I didn't know you were ... uh, sorry." He shifts his weight uncomfortably then gestures at your novel.

"Pretty big step, that english novel, don't you think?'

What do you do?

>use it in a mexican fashion such as a hair comb

You're caught in a lie, but you try and keep it going and look a the man as if you don't know what he's talking about, smile and then unsuccessfully use the book to comb your hair.

"This is my friend Will." Spec leans over to the strange man to shake his hand. "He's a practical joker, and he doesn't like idle chit-chat."

"Oh that's quite alright, I just found it amusing the pretense he chose. I meant no harm." Fred smiles and then says to Spec, "I'm Fred."

"I'm Gordan, pleasure to meet you." Spec warmly replies.

What do you do?

>Ask him about the briefcase

You look up at Fred and point the case in his lap.

"What's with the crazy briefcase, were you attacked?" You ask frankly.

"Oh yes, I was in a meeting that ran nearly two hours late! I had a lot of proposals from people but I didn't have time to organize them so I just stuffed them in here and ran as fast as I could to catch this flight." Upon saying this, the man opens his case just a tad, shoves some of the more visible papers inside and then quickly shuts it again. He looks up and smiles.

What do you do?

> "What do you do?"

You ask Fred what he does for a living. As the plane ascends, he tells you all about his business and within two sentences you're sorry you asked. He goes on about his beautiful wife and 3 children and you're just about ready to vomit blood when he suddenly says, "Oh you'll have to excuse me one moment, I need to use the restroom."

You sigh in relief. You look at Spec who has gotten quite comfortable himself and has fallen asleep against the window. You look at your watch to check how much longer the flight will be. You look at Spec's watch. 8:27. The flight is scheduled to land at 8:05 Texas time. You've got about another forty minutes stuck with this guy.

Ten minutes pass but Fred doesn't come back. Twenty minutes pass, still nothing. The intercom announces your descent. The fasten your seatbelt sign comes on. You taxi on the runway, and still, Fred is nowhere. Once you're stopped, you get up to check on the bathrooms. You get to the front of the plane, where there's only one bathroom door. It's vacant. You quickly walk to the back of the plane. There are two vacant bathroom doors.

What do you do?

>tell spec

You're almost running after you see the bathrooms are all vacant. This Fred guy was weird, and suspicious, but this just confirms all your suspicions. You get back to your seat and say to Spec,

"That weird Fred guy is gone. I don't know where he went but I think he's ... against us." You try to be as discreet as possible because you're in public. "He said he was going to the bathroom over a half hour ago." Spec is still lying against the window.

"Come on, man, wake up! Shit's going down!" You shake Spec but he doesn't wake up. You move his head to face you. You recoil in shock when you see his eyes are open and rolled back into his head.

"SPEC!" you shout. Suddenly blood pours out of his eyes, staining his clothes and the seats. He moans and begins to get up. You jump into the isle. Everyone on the plane is staring now. Spec moves towards you and opens his mouth.

"YOU HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO MEEEEEEEEE"

Suddenly you find yourself waking up in your seat. Spec is shaking your arm.

"Come on man it's time to get off the plane."

"Where? What? Where is Fred?"

"Who? Oh that guy? He already left. I think he was upset you fell asleep during his story. It doesn't matter, let's go."

You grab your bag and try to shake the terrible nightmare. You need to concentrate on the mission.

"Fuck that was scary." you mumble to yourself.

You and Spec head outside and grab a taxi.

"I need to get to the marine base, please." Spec announces to the driver.

You drive for a few minutes and then the taxi comes to a halt in the middle of the road, next to a gate.

"You sure, buddy?" The cabbie asks.

"Yeah right here's fine. This guy's got basic tomorrow. We need to practice up." Spec hands him some money and you both get out. The taxi drives off.

"Where are we?" You ask.

"Well we couldn't just say 'Take me to the Revolution please.' If something were to happen he would be a witness. Anyway you need some exercise."

You walk along the road for a little while, then Spec heads off the road. The path is dark and you start to wonder if Spec even knows where he's going. After about ten minutes you get to a clearing and then Spec says

"Shhh, look over there."

In the distance you see a solitary building the middle of a field. The windows are all lit up shaped the same way as the one you escaped from. As your eyes adjust you see the faint red ® on the side. It's S12.

"LD's in there. Let's go get him."

What do yo do?

> Make a rendezvous point.

"Okay let's make a rendezvous point." You're not taking any chances.

"Good idea." Spec says. "Let me make sure radios work." Spec opens his bag and puts on his earpiece. You do the same.

"Set to 115AX" Spec orders. You fumble in the dark with the extremely tiny buttons, but finally land on 115AX. You put the earpiece in.

"Squeek? Do you read me?" You hear Spec's voice beside you and also in your ear.

You wait in silence and then a few seconds later you hear shuffling sounds on the other end.

"Yes yes, we weren't expecting you so early." Squeek's voice comes in on the walkie.

"Yes the flight landed early. We're setting up a rendezvous point incase they jam our frequency. Just checking in." Spec responds.

"Great. Proceed with the plan, looks like things are pretty quiet in S12 right now, everybody's just minding their own business. I would say Spec should deliver the note by himself. Say you're a distant relative."

"Rodger, going in." Spec looks at you.

"I'm going to go give this to them to give to Guido. Hopefully we'll hear something from him after he gets on the walkie. Go ahead and get changed while I'm gone. I'll keep my walkie on so you can hear if anything suspicious goes down."

You change into your suit as Spec jogs towards the looming building. You're getting pumped for this mission now, but unfortunately you have to wait before you can carry out any plans. Spec tests the mic as he gets closers to the building and you respond that it's still working. A few minutes later you hear his voice.

"Evening. Hi yes, I'm trying to get a message to Mason Brooks, I'm his cousin ... well second-cousin. Yes. Yes. Here it is. Thank you so much. Have a good night."

A few minutes after that you see Spec returning. He quickly changes into his spy outfit and waits for a response.

"It's going to be a bit before they read the message to make sure it's not dangerous, then another little bit before Guido decodes it." Spec says excitedly.

Squeek sounds on the earpiece. "Nice work guys, looks like the message is being analyzed right now. I'll let you know when Guido has it."

Now you wait.

What do you do?

>what happens if something goes wrong?

"Well Squeek will know about it and contact us. I'm sure everything will be fine." Spec lays on his back on the ground and waits. About ten minutes later you hear Squeek say, "he's got it." You wait for a transmission from Guido.

Another few minutes pass. Suddenly you hear an unfamiliar voice on the earpiece.

"Sup."

"GUIDO!" Spec screams into the walkie.

"Guys there's almost no way to get LD out." Guido doesn't waste any time. "They know LD's gone, I don't know what happened at all. He might've escaped he might've been set free but either way they've beefed up security. I couldn't get a hold of any passwords or info. They've got guards at every exit, even the lower levels."

Spec stands up. "What about the roof?" he asks.

"No good, they've got guys up there too. I have an idea though, today is trash day here. If I could somehow get LD into the trash bin before midnight, it would dump him outside in the huge bins they take away. You'd have to be right there and grab him before the trash guys took the bins though. If we're lucky no one would be around because of the tighter security everywhere else. What do you think?"

Spec pauses. "Well, that seems like our only option, how would you get LD into the bin?"

"I'd have to get down to the basement, I can't throw LD down a million stories of tubes. The only problem is ... well if he moves. I still haven't figured it all out, I was hoping you guys could help me come up with a plan. Any ideas?"

Any ideas?

>ask guido if LD is coming through a trash chute or just being tossed in a bin

"Guido, where's the trash tubes go? Is it a chute? Does it go into a bin inside or outside the facility?" you ask.

"Who are you? Spec? Who's this?" Guido asks.

"No time for that right now Gudio, answer his question." Spec responds.

"Uh well there's a place to put trash in each room, the tubes all funnel into one huge chute that goes down to one of the basement levels into a bin where at midnight, they take out to a dumpster outside the facility. Then trash guys come and pick up the dumpster and leave an empty one. If i put LD in a trash bag and put him into a chute, he'd probably die on impact at the bottom. Even if he didn't, it's not a chance I want to take."

What do you do?

>any ideas squeek?

"Squeek, anything you can do on your end to help out?"

"Well that depends, I have no idea what you plan is. Are you guys trying to get LD in the garbage bin so that when it gets taken out you guys can root through a dumpster to find him?"

"Yeah that's basically it." Gudio responds.

"Well I can tell you where the guards are and what they're saying, but I can't do anything. I might be able to send a faulty signal for them to get the trash early but even that seems a bit risky. We don't want them suspecting there's a problem with their system at all."

What do you do?

>"Squeek, please intercept any conversations for us that might give us a lead!"

"Rodger. Nothing on the air right now."

Spec jumps in with an idea. "How about this Guido, you put LD in a bag and then take him down the elevator to the floor with the least guards, then you see if you can sneak the bag into a bin, right before midnight?"

Guido sighs. "It's our best bet if we don't think of anything else by then. Alright I think I can do it. I just hope LD doesn't make too much noise. I'll stuff the bag with some stuff to try and soundproof it. Call if you've got anything else."

Any last minute plans? Otherwise we're going into a TIME WARP to ten minutes to midnight.

>tell guido to gag him as well and leave some sort of message taped over his face to read if he wakes up

"Guido, in addition to the bag, you should gag him if you're afraid of him making noise. Also leave a note in there for when he wakes up with something on it to let him know what's going on." You say to Guido.

There's silence on the line.

"He's not asleep ..." Guido finally says. "He's just kinda ... crazy. I know he's been tortured or whatever but this is bad. He goes into berserker mode and I don't really know what to do with him. Gagging's a good idea and I'll put a note in there but I don't think he'll be able to read it. He needs some major help that I can give him right now, that's why he needs out, fast."

More silence on the line.

"Alright. We'll do what we can." Spec replies.

The waiting isn't so bad for a while, but the more you think about your mission and analyze the situation, the worse you feel about it. After about an hour you get restless and start rummaging through your bag. You rifle through your civilian clothes and a piece of paper falls out of your bag. You pick it up and squint to read it in the dark.

"I'm going to take the trials with you. We'll catch up then. Don't tell anyone I'm bringing up all this from your past. I promise I won't say too much. I'll be in touch.

~Rose"

It's Rose's note from earlier. You had nearly forgotten about her. What was she all about? You feel a stronger connection to her than anyone else you've met during this entire new existence. You roll the note around in your hand and notice something else about it. The back of the note has writing as well. Did you really not check it? You strain to see what it says. It's hard to make out at first, but finally you see what it says.

"If you need me:

Caveo Carus Lenis Xiphias Xiphias Xiphias Ignosco Inferi - Rare Truth"

What do you do?

> Tell Spec they could have done to LD what they did to Ward and if so he'll probably resist being kidnapped. Then, begin internal heavy metal soundtrack. Mission time, motherfuckers.

You read and re-read the note on the back. It's in latin, which you don't speak, and as hard as you try to unearth ancient forgotten memories to see if you used to know latin, nothing comes up. Why did she write it in latin? What does it mean? "Rare Truth?" What does that mean?

There's another thing on your mind. What if they did the same thing to LD that they did to you? Erased his memory? You tell Spec.

"Spec, maybe they did to LD what they did to me?"

"It's possible, Omega said you had some rage-fits before they locked you up." Spec replies. Suddenly your earpiece sounds. It's Felix.

"I'm praying he's salvageable, this would be such a leg up for us, it would just about solidify wedge in the Revolution and allow us to take it down once and for all."

Back to waiting. You pull the note back out when Spec takes his eyes off you and think about it some more. Just over an hour left until midnight.

What do you do?

> "What specifically was LD's mission here? What could he know that would take down the Revolution?"

Felix responds over the walkie.

"LD's mission was the same as everyone else's; gather information and stay hidden. He's been kidnapped and now he's escaped so if he retains his memory, he will be a valuable asset to the real 'inside' of Revolution's churning core. We can use any information he gives us to formulate new strategies and hypothesis to use against Revolution in our final attack."

What do you do?

> Set radio to frequency 282AX, and speak "Rare Truth?"

Back to the note. Realizing you have no experience with latin, you notice all the initial letters of each word are capitalized. Simplifying it, it becomes CCLXXXII. Could they be roman numerals? The romans used latin. 282. It's a three digit number.

"If you need me"

You turn to spec, "Hey I'm going to go pee, I'll be back in a minute." You walk off until he's out of earshot and set your walkie frequency to 282-AX.

"Rare truth?" You speak into the mic.

Silence.

What do you do?

>set radio frequency to 282 RT
say "hello?"

With no response you take another look at the message. The last part was in english. 'Rare Truth.' You switch last two dials so the full frequency is 282-RT.

"Hello?"

There's crackling on the line. Then you hear her.

"Ward? What's wrong?"

> Whisper, "Nothing. Spec and I are waiting to begin the mission. Why are you taking the trials with me? I'm sure I can get all the information we need on my own and you'd be putting yourself at risk. I may not remember anything we've been through together but I know I don't want to see you get hurt."

"Well before you were even considered for this mission it was going to be me taking the trials this year since Spec is a big baby. I live around here so it was convenient, plus I'm no cheap date when it comes to showy mental cracking. I decided to take them anyway, so we could work alongside each other and help each other through the best I could.

"Anyway what are you and Spec doing? I haven't caught word of it yet. I was alerted that LD was back, is he alive?"

What do you do?

> "He's alive, but quite incapacitated. We don't know how badly yet. He might have had his memory erased too, but we're hoping it's salvageable. We're getting him out."

"Right now?! Where are you? Does anyone know you're talking to me?" Rose sounds worried. You're a bit suspicious of her secrecy, but you let it slide for now.

"No, I'm alone. I told Spec I was going to the bathroom. And yes, we are getting LD out right now."

"Good luck with that, you already have a feasible plan? I won't keep you with questions, they're probably already suspicious. Are you at S12 then? Do you guys know about the narcoleptic guy?"

"No? Maybe?" You figure you probably would've heard of him if he was relevant to the plan.

"There was a guy we've just recently been following because he's a good exploit. He was just transfered to one of the B levels of S12. He catches winks on the night shift either because he's lazy or because he's got some form of narcolepsy. We didn't know until recently because he always looks like he's awake to the cameras, but he's actually deeply asleep. Anyway, hope that helps. If you get in real trouble feel free to call again, but make sure no one knows we're talking. This is totally against Rapture orders." You can hear the smile in her voice. You wish you could keep talking, but she's gone.

What do you do?

> Without saying aything fishy, go over exchange-point possibilities again with Spec and Guido. Get Squeek to check out cameras on all locations to see if anything jumps out as a good possibility
You quickly reset the walkie to 115AX, get up and calmly walk back over to Spec, who's eyeing you suspiciously.

"Looks like it was a little more than number 1." He laughs and goes back to staring at the sky. You stay standing and ask him, along with the others on the walkie,

"What if one of the guards is inattentive? Squeek, can you check the cameras and see if any of the guards looks particularly un-enthused?"

Squeek barks back quickly "I'd tell you if I saw something of interest. I'm checking all the cameras and nothing has chan--" he cuts off suddenly.

"Well that is something. I was going to say these people haven't changed, but they have. They've all moved around, or shifted weight, or patrolled, except one. Some guy in B3 ... in fact he's the only guy in B3. He's the guy who takes the trash out. I can't get a better angle on him but I would bet that he's either daydreaming or asleep. If he stays this way, Guido won't have any problem dropping off the 'trash.'"

Satisfied that you'd done a good job, you sit down next to Spec and wait.

An hour passes and Guido radios in. "Alright guys, here we go. I've got LD in the bag, he's struggling but I think he won't be noticed if I can get him in under some trash. Once they close the lid and put it on the machine to take it outside, you should have about a 10-minute window to root through to find him. It's a black bag, and it'll be moving. He's gagged, and a bit crazy, good luck bringing him back on the plane."

"Good luck" you and Spec both say to him at the same time. The air is tense and you wait for some sort of signal from Guido. You can see Spec standing, ready to make any sort of action he was given at a moment's notice. After a million long moments you hear the radio crackle.

"He's in. Good luck."

Squeek comes in on the walkie, "Well done, the guard didn't even move. He still hasn't. Spec, I'll let you know when the bin is outside." Another unmeasurable amount of silence passes. You hear loud crashes and mechanical noises in the distance.

"Go!"

You and Spec run hard and low towards the huge building. You get to the back of the building where three bins of trash sit. Spec takes the one on the right and you open the one in the middle. It's empty. Spec's is empty as well. You both rush to the bin on the left. You open it looking for a black bag but when your eyes adjust you see there are no other kinds of bags inside. You look for movement but the entire bin is completely still.

Suddenly you hear a loud horn in the distance. Spec spins around and you both see headlights.

"SHIT, they're early." Spec looks frantic.

What do you do?

>Jump in the bin

"We've only got a few seconds, Spec, we can wait for the truck to get here and take out the guys in it, we can get the hell out of here or we can jump in the bin and take it from there."

Without saying anything Spec jumps in the bin. You follow and close the lid. Once inside he whispers, "It's the only way to complete the objective without compromising any of the priorities. We can't leave LD in here, he'll go to the compactor."

The bags under your feet slowly compress under yours and Spec's weight. It smells terrible, but not unbearable. Suddenly, you feel movement under you.

"Spec I think I got LD!" you whisper excitedly.

You dig down under bags, nearly suffocating yourself trying to keep all the movement away from the roof of the bin. You finally feel around with your hand and recognize the shape of a foot. You dive down and pull that bag up as hard as you can. Spec finds the bag as well and starts pulling up as well. You both get him to the surface just as you hear the overpowering engine of the garbage truck approach and stop. You can hear a faint moaning from inside the bag, so it keep it closed while they lift the bin onto the truck.

You hear and feel a loud bang as the truck attaches itself to the bin and lifts it onto the truck. After a few minutes you hear another similar bang and you realize the empty bin has replaced the space your bin was in. You're on the truck. The loud engine roars and you feel movement.

What do you do?

>Open lid

"Let's go" you say this to Spec much louder now that the engine is right under you. You're not worried about being overheard. You open the lid a crack and see the Revolution building receding to the distance. You look around the best you can and then on the count of three, you and Spec haul LD out of the bin and onto the back of the truck.

"When you jump, you have to roll to break the fall!" Spec shouts and then jumps off the bed with the trash bag. You follow suit, hoping your instincts kick in. They don't. You realize too late that you're operating on an injury already. You fall on your side and roll around several times until you stop spinning and the sky starts. Your side hurts but your legs both feel fine. The truck couldn't have been going very fast. Spec comes up and extends his hand to you.

"Let's go!"

You painfully get up and hobble over to the trash bag to help Spec open it. Inside LD is gagged, his eyes wide open.

"Let's go, friend." Spec manages to hide his soft side in this moment, but you can tell he and LD were good friends. LD stands up and then falls down and starts to try and crawl away. He has large bandages wrapped around his hands and on one of his legs. You and Spec decide he's probably in shock, so you pick him up and head to the road.

"Felix, Squeek, this is Spec. We got him. We're going to hitchhike or find a taxi back to the airport." Spec sounds excited.

"Well-done! Don't miss your flight! I'm going to bed. Squeek will stay on if there are complications." Felix messages back.

It's a long walk before someone finally stops. You didn't expect people to pick up hitchhikers after midnight. The man asks if LD is hurt, and Spec tells him he's recovering, and that he just wants to get home. In the mean time LD has gone into some introspective meditational hum, so he's not making much noise.

He takes you to the airport where you have a bit of difficulty getting past security, but Spec convinces them LD has a mental disability and the rest is pretty simple. You have a 1:45 flight back home, and it's a relief when they finally start boarding. More people are on the flight than you expect, but still no where near as many as your last flight. You find your seats and you are thankful that you no longer have to worry about strangers asking questions. Spec graciously lets you take the window seat and stays up to babysit LD.

You don't intend to fall asleep, but you drift off almost immediately after take-off. You dream about falling down a long pipe, being poured down along with all the trash LD was in. You can't move, you just fall and fall. The trash turns into faces, none of which you recognize. The faces all erupt laughter until you're jolted awake.

"Let's go" Spec gets up with LD, who has an unnatural amount of drool on his face. You look at LD for the first time in the light. He has bruises and cuts all over his skin. He thrashes or twitches every ten seconds or so and occasionally a vocal outburst accompanies them. Guido was right, this was worse that you had expected.

The drive home seems longer than the drive to the airport. As you approach the base, the beginnings of sunset form on the horizon and you're reminded just how beautiful the world is when you remove all the people in it. You park and head inside.

You're greeted by Felix who apparently is already up. "I've phoned our medical expert, she'll be back this afternoon. She says to keep him comfortable, treat the basic wounds and give him something to help him sleep." Rosemary must be coming again. You hope you get to talk to her some more.

You bring LD in, who has gone from having occasional minor outburst to almost constant, extreme outbursts. When he's not screaming he's crying and the whole time he's trying to scratch himself with his bandaged, balled-up hands. Felix lays him down on your bed and brings over some medical trays. He tries to clean up some of the facial wounds, but before he can even apply antiseptic LD tries to bite Felix's finger. After a few more attempts Spec gets restraints to help with the procedure.

There is a lot of pain in everyone's eyes as Felix fights to clean off his mindless comrade. He finally finishes the face and moves on to LD's hands. He unwraps one of the hands in hopes of cleaning out the wound and applying fresh bandages. As he unwraps, each layer that comes off is darker and darker until the cloth being pulled off is actually saturated with red so much that it's dripping onto the bed and floor. When the bandage is finally pulled off Felix recoils in horror as he and everyone else in the room sees LD's fingerless hand. With an iron will, Felix cleans off the stubs as best he can and applies a new bandage. The second hand is just as horrifying.

Between LD's growls, spitting and screaming Felix finishes taking care of first aid the best he can. He readies a needle full of what you assume is some sort of sleeping aid, and injects it into LD's arm. He screams louder than he has before and continues screaming for almost two minutes without taking a breath. When he finally does his breaths are short and shallow. He smiles, his eyes glazed over.

"That was enough to knock out an elephant." Felix says, amazed. "It's not working. He should be out by now."

His breathing is getting faster. Spec checks his heartbeat to find it's racing over 120 bpm.

"Should I give him more? Quick Squeek, let's phone the expert." Felix goes out of the room with Squeek. You can't do anything but stare at this helpless person who was willing to give his life, just like you, to free society from something as simple as Revolution. His life! Without any warning, LD snaps his right arm strap and violently attempts to grab your arm. He looks directly into your eyes. You're taken aback and frozen with shock.

"YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHO YOU ARE" LD speaks for the first time in a shrill, raspy, piercing voice. "GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET--!" LD suddenly arches his back and his head flings back against the pillow. Even with the restraints his whole body begins to quake.

"Felix GET IN HERE!" You scream. Spec is frozen as well. Felix runs in, already on the phone. LD arches again, stays frozen in the air for over 20 seconds, and then falls limp onto the bed. His eyes are still, his chest is stationary and his mouth is laying open.

"Nevermind, go back to bed." Felix says quietly into the phone, "he's gone."

**Cue Death of LD**

Spec snaps back and checks for a pulse. Finding none he attempts chest compressions and mouth to mouth over and over for nearly ten minutes. Finally Felix puts his hand on Spec's shoulder and says something, you don't even register it. You're still staring at LD's lifeless face. Spec screams at Felix and continues trying in vain to revive LD for a few moments before crashing to the floor and sobbing.

"This is a dark day." Someone says, you don't know who.

"This is indeed a dark and disgusting day."

**-**

Chapter 4

It's almost too much for you to handle. You vaguely remember helping wrap LD in a sheet and finding a discreet place to bury him. Felix did an autopsy before that at some point, but you didn't watch. He said LD had almost no chance, and it was amazing he had made it as far as he did. His body had been flooded with opiates for weeks, and he could no longer produce them on his own. Between being tortured by Revolution insiders and being in constant pain when he was awake, he must have been driven completely insane.

So why did he escape? Felix sticks with his theory that it was a trap to catch Rapture members rescuing their comrade, but you're not so sure. It's pretty obvious he didn't bust out by himself, so he may have been let free, but you couldn't find any tracking or tracing devices on him, so their plan wasn't to find the base. They heightened their security so he couldn't get out himself, so were they trying to catch the person on the inside? Could be. You're beginning to think the "heightened security" may have just been a farce. They had a guy who was asleep in an obvious escape position. The fact that they let him go in the first place is questionable enough, but the false raise of security really gets to you.

The only other option you can think of is truly devious. They could have released LD just to lower morale. They know there are factions out there but instead of trapping them, they just break their spirits. It's inhumanely maniacal.

You fall even deeper into thought as you lie on your sheet-less bed. What are you doing? What if this is all wrong? What if you're really the spy and you're leaking info with every thought you think? You feel a mix of guilt, regret and anger as you fall into a dreamless sleep.

You're awoken in the evening by Felix, who asks you do finish up the data logs for the day.

"It's so much slower without you," he says. "I can't believe we used to do it this way every day." Felix manages a faint smile. You try to return it but can't bring yourself to even fake happiness.

"Hey, it's alright. I knew it was a long shot to begin with. We'll be fine without him, we thought he was dead, and now thanks to Revolution, he finally got a proper funeral." Felix lingers for a moment. You don't even notice his words. You rise to the computer and begin analyzing data. You're not even thinking about it, you can't. You're thinking about why you're doing all this. You have no idea who these people are. You don't remember any of them, not even a feeling of them. The only person you feel any connection to is Rosemary, but she insists you keep her a complete secret, which is dangerously suspicious.

A few hours pass, your depression turns into emptiness which turns into frustration. In the late evening the only light in your room is the monitor, which you stare at while your anger boils. Felix comes in your room, but before he can open his mouth, you stand up angrily and stare him down.

"I want some answers. Nothing is making sense to me, I feel like I'm being operated by a dozen puppeteers, and I'm finding it difficult to analyze everyone's motives when I don't know anything. First of all, why did you make such a big deal about me being a mind-controlled spy for the Revolution, but then you let me go with no security measures (even though you said you would) with Spec on a mission where I could've easily exposed you guys?"

Felix stands with his mouth open. He closes it and pauses. "I trusted you. Spec was watching you the whole time and Squeek was keeping track of transmissions through Revolution channels so in case you were mind-controlled, we had it under control."

"Well ... you, you say that Revolution controls everything but you keep me here and attack me and make me watch as someone dies of opiate poisoning! What if I were to just leave? I want to get out of here and find out things for myself. I don't know anything about the world! I need to make sure I'm not just being toyed with here. Nothing makes sense."

"You can't leave--"

"WHY NOT?!" Your fists are clenched and you're ready to force your way out if necessary.

Calmly, Felix explains, "You can't leave, you're still a wanted man. We'll need to get you some plastic surgery first. I must say I'm disappointed, and a little hurt, but I suppose it's necessary for you to feel confident about what you're doing. I'll make the appointment right away."

He pauses.

"We'll know if you report something to Revolution," he says.

"Okay." You say very matter-a-factly. "I probably won't know if I do."

"Alright then, let me phone a plastic surgeon right now." Felix walks out of the room and leaves you standing, staring at an open door, stunned that getting out was so easy. You don't even know where you're going to go.

Everyone seems to be shaken up about LD, so no one really says anything about you leaving. You still eat, sleep, analyze data and think about what it all means, but the motions really go through you. A few days later you're on an operating table having skin grafts and corrective face surgery. Felix told them to change your face just enough to not be noticed in public.

When you wake up you can't tell if you still have a face, it feels numb and raw at the same time. You expect to be in a recovery room, but you're just in your bed at Rapture headquarters. After a few hours the numbness wears off and there's minor discomfort all over your face for the rest of the day. You fall asleep to blackness again, just as you've done ever since LD died. It's a comfort to be rid of the terribly realistic and violent dreams you had up to that point, but it doesn't help your mood.

You don't get a big showy goodbye. You gather all your things and go into the dining room where everyone is having breakfast. They look up.

Parting words?

> "I don't want to think we're parting on bad terms. I appreciate you saving my life and the other things you've done for me, but I have to figure a lot of things out before I can continue on this path. I figure if you need me, you'll find me, but if you don't mind, I'd like to take a walkie with me."

Spec nods and goes back to eating his breakfast. Squeek speaks up his tone of voice more serious than you've heard him ever before.

"Felix trusts you, and has taken measures to prevent any subconscious spy in you from betraying us, but that doesn't content me at all. I don't want to let you out, I still think you should be killed."

Squeek gives you a cold stare.

"I'll find you. As much as Felix says it to boost your little ego, we don't need you. We can get someone else into S124. If you're pulling this stunt to get info to Revolution through channels you don't think we've got covered, I'll find you and stop you. You can be sure about that."

Felix half-smiles and mouths "I'm sorry" at you without Squeek seeing, but somehow Squeek's anger and obvious frustration is a comfort to you. It makes Rapture seem more human, more right. Without saying anything else you head out the door.

"Thanks. I'll be back."

You set out on food towards town. It occurs to you that you're nowhere near S33 or any of the other Revolution buildings you saw when you first got out into society. You walk through fields and small patches of trees downwards to a valley where you know there's a small town.

As you're walking you realize you have no way to contact Rosemary. Felix collected your earpiece after the mission and that was the only way you knew of to contact her. Maybe there was public technology available to reach the same kind of channels? You make a mental note to find a phone or radio that takes a three-digit and two-character input.

After some time you reach the beginnings of a suburb. It's getting to midday and there are a few kids outside running around. You notice something about the houses as you pass. They all seem identical at first glance, but then you notice while they are all the same height, some are significantly smaller widths than others. You notice a correlation between the size of the house and the size of the family.

"Are all houses designed built for the families expected to live in them?" You wonder to yourself.

You continue on a bike path that leads though a very scenic portion of the land. It's obvious spring time is in full bloom from the trees and plants on the side of the trail. It would be something to really stop and admire if you weren't so torn up inside.

At an intersection with a road and the path, you notice you've gotten into downtown. You start walking on a sidewalk and try to get a feel for the town. No one's staring at you and you seem to be dressed appropriately for the first time in public, and you realize that you never really checked out what you look like. You make another note to find a mirror at some point.

You've got quite a few options to gather information. Just in walking around town you find there are grocery stores, small shops, fast food and restaurants, small businesses, a post office, bank, a library, a school, and a court house.

What do you do?

>go to library

You decide a library is the best place to find information, and maybe a good phone that you can use to call Rosemary. You don't exactly have a firm memory of the way libraries are supposed to be, but you know you're surprised when you walk in. The floor looks like an office, with cubicle-like walls around terminals that each have a computer monitor. On the shelf behind what you assume is the front desk, there are about 20-30 identical copies of some black-bound book.

You look around and spot several pay phones towards the back of the room, next to a door marked "Catalogue" and the entrance to the restrooms. You go up to the phone, but the buttons are the same as the phones you know, with a number pad and no sole letter keys.

You figure the easiest way to find information is either to use one of the terminals, or to ask the librarian at the front desk.

What do you do?

>Go to terminal for information

You bypass the librarian and sit down at a nearby terminal.

USERNAME:

PASSWORD:

Damn, looks like you have to have an account. You go up to the librarian and without sounding too much like you've been out-of-touch with the world for ten years, you ask,

"I'd like to use one of the computers, please."

She responds without looking up from her computer. "Book or internet?"

Well?

>Internet

It seems strange that there are almost no books in a library and even stranger that she would offer a book to you, but you assume that books must all be online by now, so you go with internet.

"Do you have your library card?" she looks up as she asks. She has a very warm face, and looks much younger than you would've guessed a librarian would be.

"Uh, no, I'm not a member of libraries. I mean I don't have a membership to the library. This library." You're a bit out of touch with the correct wording. She looks at you with slightly squinted eyes, as if she wanted to ask you if you were an alien, but she ultimately ignores your horrible word choice and hands you a form.

"Please fill this out and I can give you a card to use for the internet. If you lose your card, you can use your username/password to get in. You can scan the card at any of the libraries in the country to get into the system. There's a table and pens over there." She points at the corner of the room left of the entrance where you came in. There's a table next to a large window with displays of books and posters encouraging children to read in it.

You sit down and look at the form, there isn't a lot of info on it, but what's there is troubling to you.

"First name ______________
Last name ______________
Home address ______________
Phone number ______________
Desired username(s) ______________
______________
______________
______________
______________"

There's a notice at the end that says something along the lines of "I promise not to steal materials from the library and not to access inappropriate content on library terminals," and a blank for a signature.

What do you do?

> "Oh, I just remembered, I had somewhere to be. I think I'll save this for later, if that's acceptable. Thank you for the form."

Knowing you could be caught in a trap by putting down information about yourself, even if it's fake, you decide to get out of the library for now. Hopefully you can find some other information source or find realistic/believable fake info and come back later. You head outside.

Where to now?

>Let's check out some fast food place.

You're not very hungry, having recently eaten breakfast, but you decide to go into a Taco Bell to people-watch and to see how transactions in this age work. You walk in and find everything to be a bit cleaner and nicer than you expected from a fast-food place.

Go to:

>Bathroom, you want some more time to survey the whole area and the restroom, to scope out possible escape points.

You glance at the workers at the counter, and walk into the Men's room. You walk up to a mirror to look at your new face. Your skin is stretched a bit tighter than it was, and the graphs are barely noticeable. Someone would have to study your face for a full minute before they realized you'd had surgery, and it looks like even these traces will heal into disappearance.

You're puzzled, however, as to why the surgeon left a scar on your cheek. It's not wasn't near your jaw injury, and it looks very real. Maybe they're hoping to make the skin seem more realistic, and anyway the scar isn't too noticeable.

You step back from the mirror and look at your entire face as a whole. It doesn't feel like you, but you're fine with that. You don't really know who "you" is, so you decide this is acceptable for now.

What do you do?

>people watch from a booth

You find your way to a small booth near the counter to watch how people interact. After ten minutes you observe that nothing out of the ordinary really happens in fast food places as far as you can tell, and you decide that your time is better spent elsewhere.

What do you do?

> Enter a store that looks like it sells electronics to find some device to communicate with Rosemary.

You leave the Taco Bell and head over to a series of small shops. You spot a RadioShack, and decide to look for a device that can communicate with Rosemary. You walk in and begin browsing, but nothing sticks out as correct.

What do you do?

>look ITEM HUNTING

You look more closely at the communications section. There seem to be three kinds of devices that resemble a radio or a walkie-talkie: analogue, digital and hybird. Analogue radios run around $15-$40, digital radios run from $20-$50 and hybrid radios are between $40-$120.

What do you do?

>investigate each radio type, looking for specific features etc.

You've only got $40 so you want to make sure you get the right kind of radio. The analogue radios look like they operate and receive radio waves while the digital radios receive signals from satellites and internet signals. The hybrid radios look like they do both.

What do you do?

>Purchase the cheapest hybrid you can find.

You have just enough money for the cheapest hybrid radio on the shelf, but that would be all of your money. Then you remember.

"Squeek will also be able to contact us via the walkies with info on where people are in the building."

"The walkie-talkies work from that far away?"

"Well they're not radio-based, they're satellite-based. I guess it's more like a phone or an internet broadcast."

What do you do?

>buy the cheapest digital radio

You feel pretty confident about buying the digital radio, so you just grab the cheapest kind and head to the counter.

"That'll be $20," the employee says.

"No tax?" You're puzzled, although you quickly remember that you don't know if PA actually has a sales tax. Some states don't.

"Um, no? Not for a few years now." The employee looks at you strangely for a second, and you quickly hand him a $20. He puts the device in a bag and you walk out as his "thank you" chases you out the door.

You get outside and find a park bench. You get out your cutting knife and dislodge the device. You flip it on, but no lights flicker and nothing happens. Then you look at the package.

"BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED."

What do you do?

>look for a small retail store that sells batteries

You get back up, put the ripped up cardboard and device in the radioshack bag and head over to a 7-11 to buy batteries.

"$5 for a 4-pack of AA's" He says. You pay him. Back to the bench.

You put the batteries in the radio and a light snaps on. The display reads:

"_ _ _ - _ _"

What do you do?

>"Eh, I can get in touch with Rose later."
>Find a Starbucks, get in a comfy corner and consult to Grant's Notebook.

You get up from the bench and tuck all your supplies into your inventory, throwing away the trash and bag. You find a coffee shop and sit over in a corner. You pull out grant's notebook to study it more closely. You hope that since you know so much more now about the world around you, you might better understand the scribbles and crossed out phrases in it.

Once again you read "Grant - 87x" on the cover and "The future is in the Revolution" on the inside cover. Okay so was grant part of the revolution? Was he a part of it before the Learning Curve took over or after? Why were all the pages ripped out? You'll have to remember to ask Felix about Grant when you get back.

The pages being ripped out makes you lean towards Grant having been a part of Revolution originally, but if that were the case wouldn't he be working with Rapture? Maybe he's a part of another anti-revolution faction.

You flip through a few more pages. Unfortunately none of the gibberish makes sense to you. Then it dawns on you. It must be in code. The same kind of code the Rapture used early on in their first struggles against Revolution! You kick yourself for not showing this to someone earlier.

A few pages away from the end of the end there's a sketch of a room. It's a spacious room which is made even more so by the lack of objects in it. At the very end of the room next to a large window is a desk with a chair facing the window. Nothing is written on the sketch, and the rest of the notebook is empty or full of scratched out "code."

What do you do?

>Order a caramel macciato, pick up that local paper sitting on the magazine/newspaper table, finish the crossword puzzles

You close Grant's notebook, order a drink and pick up a newspaper. You glance around at the headlines, and you find there's a lot of political news. You remember seeing some of the same issues on TV, mostly the republican candidate trying to expose the democratic candidate's alleged connection to Revolution. Legislation is in the works to allow Revolution buildings to be searched and investigated for illegal activity -- it doesn't say what kind of activity they're looking for. Maybe some money issues?

You move on to a page with a book review that catches your attention. "Why America Needed A Revolution" by David Remler. You're just about to start reading about it when you're startled by someone sitting a table away.

"Fascinating book, have you read it?" He smiles when you stare in silence with your mouth open. "I'm Darren, sorry to interrupt." He extends his hand. What was with people being so friendly all the time?

You shake his hand and reply, "no I haven't read it, what is it about?"

"Well it's mostly how this country's changed in the last seven or so years. Most people don't notice how much better things've been. With the Revolution paying all the country's taxes to the government, and the government worrying about things they need to worry about instead of getting taxes from every single person, they've been able to focus on important things."

"Like what?"

"Well mostly foreign aid and advancement of science. Keeping things controlled may seem overbearing for traveling and stuff, but it's all for a good reason, and most people don't mind it. Keeping closer tabs on people makes it easier to help and provide for everyone equally. I hear the government's trying to get more Revolution buildings up in foreign countries because of the good its done here. Jenkins is making a big fuss about keeping Revolution and government separate, but I don't think many people really mind it."

What do you do?

>"Yeah, I know I don't mind it. I don't know what I would do if I had to think for myself."

"Well, it's not perfect, you're right. A lot of people have grown too dependent on the idea of a larger force always being there to help out, and a lot more are just too obsessed about getting 'in' to worry about things outside the Revolution. Overall though, I agree with Remler; think it's a good thing, or at least it's a few steps in the right direction." Darren leans back into his seat just as the barista announces your drink is ready. You pick up your drink and sit back down.

What do you do?

>Finish your drink and leave the store. Once you leave the store, scope out for a hidden place where you can contact rosemary on your radio.

You sit in silence as you drink your caramel macciato and think about what you had just heard. You can't remember what the world was like exactly when you were around, but you have a faint understanding that it was pretty messed up. A lot more messed up than David Remler and Darren seem to think things are now. Could the Revolution really be a positive force?

Of course not, they ruined your life, they had you in a prison. You were tortured. You watched as a tortured comrade slowly died in utter agony. That is the Revolution. You almost let yourself get trapped by sheep-idealism. It's true that a totalitarian dictatorship is the safest and sometimes seems as if it's the "best" ruling force, but it has a terrible price. You finish your drink and leave the coffee shop.

You make your way towards a less busy part of town, and sit against a wall in an alley between two small businesses. You take out your digital walkie, enter "282-RT" and press "Connect."

"Hello?" It's Rosemary's voice.

What do you do?

>"We need to meet, I need to know more. What's your role in all of this?"

"Ward? Is that you? Are you alone?"

"Yes."

"Well we can't just meet up, do you know how suspicious that would be, to Rapture and Revolution? What's wrong with just talking like this?"

"I don't know, I want to be able to tell if you're lying to me. What's your job, anyway?"

"I'm stationed in New York, like I said. I'm a surgeon. Why? What are you trying to say?"

"Why all this secrecy, Rose? Is my mental status really that fragile? What if I told Felix about our chats, would he figure out you're just a traitor?"

There's silence, but you can tell she's still connected. You can hear her breathing slowly, trying to calm herself.

"ANSWER ME, DAMMIT" you yell into the mic.

"I love you, Ward. I love you, but there's so much I can't tell you right now. If you knew, you would understand. I just hope you'll be able to forgive me after all this over."

". . ." You remain silent.

"Just like I forgave you."

"What did I do before I left? What did I say that hurt you so badly. I felt it too, when you said you forgave me, I felt that weight lift off my chest. I knew I had done something awful to you. I don't know how, but I feel like I loved you too. You're the only one I feel any connection to in this mess, and I'm coming to you first for answers. Rose, I need you!"

Silence again. This time there's no breathing.

"Rose, Rose!" Still nothing from her. You're the only one on the line.

What do you do?

>throw your radio in anger

You throw your radio against the hard brick wall and it smashes into dozens of plastic bits. The only chance you had to make amends and solve your problems just made more problems. You can't get Rosemary or her apology out of your head. Just as you're getting up to leave you hear behind you, further down the alley.

"Hey you!"

You turn to see 3 figures all the way at the end of the alley, towards a fence and a pile of garbage. They're approaching.

"Makin' a lot a noise around here?" One of them asks, still shouting.

What do you do?

>stand your ground, it is time

"It's my radio, I can throw it around all I want." You stand up where you were sitting and face the three approaching figures.

"Well ain't that a bitch? See that might be your radio you're throwin' around but this is OUR building. See we don't like it when shitheads come around throwin' their shit on our building."

As they get closer you can see none of the three men are out of their 20s. The one in the front is empty handed but the two men behind him have their hands hidden. You slip your hand into your pocket and grip the cutting knife.

What do you do?

> Cut some fools
>apologize and then cut them anyway

"Listen fellas, I don't want any trouble, I was just throwing my radio around. I didn't know it was your building, I can leave now if--"

"Not so fast, friend. If you can afford to throw your shi[t around like that, you can afford to give me some cash." The group is getting closer, and your hand grips as tight as possible on the knife in your pocket. You half smile.

"I don't have any money, I'm just going to go." You say and step backwards.

"NOT so fast." He pulls out a gun tucked into his pants behind his back. The other two men pull out knives. "Yeeeaaahhhh motherfuuucker thas right we got heat and we're gonna warm you up unless you give up all your mo-ther-fu-ck-ing-cash." He emphasizes the last phrase and opens his eyes wide to intimidate. You're not intimidated.

You've had a rough day. No, you've had a rough life. Every day you wake up and wonder if your knowledge of the past twenty seven years is going to magically show up and tell you if what you're doing is right. Every day you wake up wondering who you are.

You find out.

The group makes the mistake of coming a bit to close, and in one movement, you duck down one knee, grab the first man's arm with your left hand and break his arm at the elbow. Then you throw him to the ground and stand up as you uppercut with your right hand, slicing the man on the right through the chest and shoulder. He falls to the ground screaming. The man on the left stares and holds his knife limply. You simply punch him in the face. His head hits the brick wall and he falls unconscious.

Two men lie screaming and wounded at your feet, one with a badly broken arm and one bleeding profusely.

What do you do?

>For the rest of the time within eyesight of any of the three guys, walk with a hugely noticeable limp in right leg. That way, a description they give to the police will make them look for a cripple.
>Clean up that mess made with the walkie talkie, picking up any bits he can find as fast as possible. Can't leave evidence, and that shit has fingerprints.
>Rob them of any money or items, OTHER than their weapons.
>When a block away, stop walking with a limp and calmly head for the nearest clothes store.

You've got to think fast. These guys could identify you, and a trip to the police station would be more detrimental than just trying to fill out your info on a library sign-up sheet. You briefly consider killing them, but you figure the cops will care less about your whereabouts if they find a couple injured thugs than if they find 3 dead ones. You realize you haven't made much of an impression on the three, so you change your motions so you appear as a cripple.

You limp over to where you threw your radio, clean up all the pieces you can find and tuck them into your inventory. Then you limp over to the three men, two of whom are still screaming, and smash their heads against the wall each once, so they fall unconscious. You search their clothes for valuables. You don't even look at what you find but you take all their wallets and spare cash. You leave the knife next to the person you cut after wiping any finger prints as best you can.

After you're confident you've left as little trace as possible, you head back towards the fence and garbage, climb over it into the next alley. You come out near the post office, and head calmly towards a clothing shop. You walk in and make a b-line towards shirts. An employee turns as you approach.

"Can I help--AHH! Sir, are you alright?!"

You didn't even realize it, but you're covered in blood. It's on your face and on your clothes.

What do you do?

> "Yea, hahaha. I was playing some football with a few friends and one of the geniuses thought it would be a great idea to wear his spiked cleats. One of my buddies got sliced in the arm really good in a dog pile and the blood got all over me. He'll be alright he's in the hospital right now. I could use some new clothes though. His shirt got torn and you can see what happened to me."

The employee looks relieved. "Is he going to be alright?"

"Oh yeah, it looked a lot worse than it really is. Anyway, I need a new shirt. Actually, probably an entirely new outfit."

"Alright, well let me know if you need help with anything. If you want to wash up or rinse off we have a bathroom in the back."

"Thanks."

Clothes shopping time!

What do you do?

> Get one white sport coat, one pair white pants, one black undershirt, one navy suit, one white undershirt, one white button-down shirt, one gold-colored tie, one black belt, one pair black socks, one pair black shoes, all at prices that won't break out budget, of course.

You stuff the money back into your pocket and exit the bathroom. A few customers give you incredulous stares, but you ignore them and head to the men's section. You pick up two sports coats with matching pants, a few undershirts, a belt and some matching shoes and a set of sunglasses. It all rings up to $195, which you gladly pay in cash before heading back into the bathroom to change. You put on your white coat and pants with black undershirt, tuck the bloody clothes away in your inventory and head out the door.

"Thank you, have a good day!"

"You too."

It's getting to be late afternoon. You've got a few hours left until sunset, and you remember that you don't have anywhere to stay tonight. You can figure that out later though.

What do you do?

>TO THE LIBRARY

With new threads and several stolen IDs to get info from, you walk towards the library to find out some more about this world. Before going in you memorize information from all three cards and mix things up a bit to create a unique set of information to use.

"Good afternoon, sir." You're greeted by a different librarian. Unlike this morning, the computer terminals are now nearly full of people.

"Afternoon, I'd like to sign up for a library card."

"Alright, please fill out this form. If you lose your card, you can use a username/password to get in. You can scan your card at any of the libraries in the country to get into our internet-library system. You can fill this out over there at the table." She gestures at the table next to the window where you attempted to fill out the form earlier today.

You fill out the form with your new fake identity.

"First name: Zachary
Last name: Fleming-Boyles
Home address: 833 Park Place, Macungie, PA 18062
Phone number (610) 395-1128
Desired username(s) z.flemingboyles
zach_flemingboyles
z_flemingboyles
______________
______________"

After checking it over and deciding you're satisfied, you walk up to the librarian and hand her the form. She looks it over, quickly enters some information into her computer and says, "it will be a few minutes, you can wait over there."

You sit back down at the table. You look at the dozens of people using the computers, and your eyes move to the far back of the rooms where there are big couches and chairs with people who are reading books. You wonder where the books come from, then you look at the books behind the librarian. Some of them are missing. The covers of the books being read match the ones behind the librarian. Maybe you should check out those books after you finish with the internet.

"Mr. Flemin-Boyles?" The librarian calls out while holding a card. "Your card is ready, sir. You can use the username 'zach dot flemingboyles,' all one word, for your login." You get up, take the card and she pulls out a small bit of paper.

"This is your password. I'd advise memorizing it or changing it to something you know. You should be able to log in to our internet system now."

"Thank you." You smile and move to a vacant terminal.

"USERNAME: z.flemingboyles

PASSWORD: x93r5y&8"

It takes almost a full two minutes to enter that damn password. The screen goes blank, then you hear the computer working and the screen flickers to life again.

"Welcome to the Wayne County Public Library System.

Search for a book
Search for music
Search for a movie

--

Search online using:
- Google
- MediaSweep
- Wikipedia"

What do you do?

>wikipedia, search for
> The Revolution, History

The Revolution (organization)
... History In 2002 a group known as Humanity formed a public society called The Revolution with ...
Relevance: 100.0% - 2.4 KiB (403 words) - 8:41, 1 March 2012

History of the Russian Revolution
... it. All three parts are available free online at the Trotsky Internet Archive or can be purchased as ...
* the whole book at the Marxists Internet Archive.
Relevance: 100.0% - 878 B KiB (130 words) - 18:02, 19 December 2011

History of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution
... chronicles the event and the ensuing struggle of the revolution that took place between 1905 to 1911 i...
...merican scholar Evan Siegel, of the first part of the book was published.
Relevance: 97.0% - 1 KB KiB (165 words) - 10:28, 2 January 2012

The Natural History of Revolution
...art of the corpus of the Chicago School's work on the causes and effects of revolution.
...moderates and radicals who may usurp the power of the revolution.
Relevance: 94.3% - 2 KB KiB (251 words) - 23:11, 16 September 2010

The first four matches pop up. You click on the first result.

"The Revolution is an elitist organization of people who live secluded from the rest of society in buildings or bunkers across the world. Those chosen to be included in this society are judged in seven categories by their Genetic Potential at birth. If a baby is accepted into The Revolution, the baby and his/her immediate family is given the option to relocate to live in a Revolution building.

History

In 2002 a group known as Humanity formed a public society called The Revolution with the intention of gathering the world's smartest and most capable human beings. The group was headed by Humanity's figurehead known only as TheAngel [citation needed] and only consisted of the members of Humanity until former Senator Harris Saddler appropriated funding to Humanity for advertising and building of a Revolution facility. After the building was completed and The Revolution had over 400 members, Saddler started a workforce inside the building that took advantage of each individuals specific skills. This procedure was eventually adopted in every Revolution building and is now known as Revolution Corp.

Revolution Corp's productivity soared and The Revolution posted its first profitable quarter in Q3 of 2004. This amazing productivity is largely attributed to the quality of life inside Revolution facilities. In a press conference in 2004 Saddler said,

'Quality of life is more important than employers realize. People are capable of amazing things when they're happy.'

'TheAngel' continued as the Revolution's leader but many suspect Saddler took control of the group in exchange for his funding in 2002."

You click on TheAngel.

"TheAngel is a code name for the leader of The Revolution, formerly known as The Learning Curve. The identity of TheAngel is not publicly known and it is believed that TheAngel has actually been several people over the past 15 years. [citation needed] The reason for hiding TheAngel's identity is also unknown, but many have speculated the leader is an extremely private person and does not wish to expose himself and his family to the attacks of anti-Revolution fanatics.

Another school of thought is that Harris Saddler is TheAngel, or took on the title of TheAngel when he funded The Revolution's first facility."

You click back to the previous article and continue reading.

"Disaster

In 2008, at the height of the anti-Revolution movement in the United States, a Revolution building was burned down in the middle of the night by an unknown arsonist. Because Revolution tenants have no reason to ever leave their building, very few fire-escape measures were taken. Ground level security guards called 911 and tried to help some tenants escape but the fire spread too quickly. Nearly 2000 people died. The arsonist was never caught. Many blamed the extremist group W_WAR for the incident, but police found they had no connection to the fire.

2010 - Present

Harris Saddler stepped down from the Senate in 2010 to pursue a chance at being elected President of the United States. He officially cut his ties with The Revolution and began campaigning for Presdient in the democratic primaries in 2011. He lost by a very close margin to Adam Jenkins, who took Saddler on as his running mate.

Saddler has been accused by Republican opponent Thomas Gravitz of continuing ties with The Revolution. Gravitz complains that Jenkins and Saddler have overwhelming support from Revolution, giving him no chance in the 2012 election. Gravitz has also accused Saddler of foul play in IRS scamming and has called for a thorough investigation of every Revolution building in a bill that is currently being debated on in the House of Representatives."

There isn't much left in the article when you hear the librarian at the desk announce that the library will be closing in two minutes, and that you should save your work to continue at another date. Damn, it's 5 PM. You close your window, log out, stand up and head outside.

The sun is making it's way to the horizon, and you're a bit hungry. You also need to find somewhere to sleep.

What do you do?

> Grab a burger and start looking for a cheap motel.

You slowly walk towards a Burger King several blocks away and ponder what you had just read. It all made sense with what Felix and the rest of the Rapture had told you, but you still felt a bit uneasy that there was no mention of a struggle or uprising. The web page said Humanity had created the Revolution, it said nothing about the original members. Was a massacre that catastrophic completely unnoticed? How did they cover it up so well? Next time you have the chance you resolve to search for "Rapture" to see if there are even traces of information about it.

You eat your dinner and wander farther outside of town until you come across an EconoInn. $100 for a 1-bedroom for one night. It's too expensive to do this more than once, you'll need to be getting back soon. You realize that while you've been out, you've seen nothing but confirmations of everything the Rapture has said. With the exception of the book in the newspaper, your view of Revolution has not even twitched.

There's access to a computer in the hotel lobby. You log on to the public library website and search on wikipedia for The Rapture. You're re-directed to a page about some band named "The Rapture," but you find a page full of different references. The references have to do with literature, religion, TV and other media, but no organizations. No resistance movements. You decide to type in "Anti-Revolution groups." The results page list 3 groups:

WWAR: World without a Revolution
Status Quo
Untitled

You knew about the first two, so you click on "Untitled."

"In late 2011, members of scattered internet groups began forming together under a common fight against key aspects of Revolution practices. This group, having no organized name, was dubbed 'Untitled' by John Dextre, a journalist who wrote up an article about the phenomenon in the New York Times. Not much is known about the group or their whereabouts, if they have any physical meetings or if they have any future plans. The members of this group speak in a cryptic and ever-changing code which always in some way involves twentieth century poets or short story authors and their works.

Copycats

Since the group formed, many interested fans have attempted to join the group but are always left out of the loops since they can not speak or understand the coded language. By the time anyone figures out what the code referred to, Untitled has already changed it. Untitled members seem to always know who is in the group and who is not.

Beliefs

Untitled members believe Revolution leaders are using young Revolution members to form an army that will soon control the United States and eventually the world."

The article goes on but you close out, and head up to your room to get some sleep.

They've got a TV, what do you want to watch?

> Revolution News

Lying on your bed, you turn on Revolution News. You turn off your bedside light and get comfortable under the covers. There's a story about another Revolution escapee that you're half listening to and don't recognize until almost the end as a description of LD. The painful memory revisits just as you're nodding off and haunts your thoughts.

"Why?" you whisper.

"Why me?"

You turn over to get the remote and mute the TV. Another story had just started about Gravtiz's quest against Revolution, but you're sick of news and very tired.

--

You're running through alleys, you can't find where you're going. Doors open as you pass them but you ignore them all. Finally you reach a door that's already open, and you run in. You're chasing someone that you can't see. You can just barely hear their footsteps ahead of you, but it's so dark you can't make out any figures. You have to be quiet, you have to be silent.

Now up flights of stairs. Endless flights of stairs but no matter how many you climb you don't tire. You're fighting too hard to take a break. You'll never reach them. You have to stay quiet, it's not worth it. You reach the top of the stairs and as you're about to go into the floor hallway you're physically shaken out of your dream.

Startled, you grab the arm that's shaking you.

"Who are you?"

"Shhh! Revolution investigators are here. We're getting you out."

"Spec?"

Your eyes haven't adjusted to the light, and you're still having a hard time shaking off the dream, but you can tell it's Spec by your bed.

"What?" is all you can manage.

"I'll explain later, grab your stuff and let's go."

You're pulled out of your bed and you start scrambling around your room for your things. It doesn't take you very long since you barely used the room. Spec opens the door a crack, turns his head back to you and whispers, "put on something official."

You pull out your blue suit and white shirt and put them on as quickly as possible. Spec nervously waits at the door, checking the halls every few seconds. Once you're dressed he slips out and you follow.

"What about the card?" You exclaim in a whisper, still holding it.

"I don't care! Just leave it!"

You throw the card back at the room and walk as fast as possible with Spec towards the staircase. You're almost running down the stairs and you're reminded of the dream you just had. As you're rounding the last set of stairs Spec slows way down and turns to you.

"You're my personal assistant, I'm on a very important business trip, and we're terribly late. Your name is Barry Peterson, got it?"

In the interest of picking up on things quickly you immediately reply, "yes."

You and Spec calmly walk out of the stairwell into the hotel lobby. The lobby is nearly empty, but a few still linger. You wonder what time it is. There's an old man in slippers talking to another younger man, both holding glasses of whiskey. There are two men in long brown trench coats, one sitting on a lobby couch and one standing at the counter talking to the receptionist.

Spec makes a professional looking b-line to the exit when the man on the couch shouts "HEY" grabbing the attention of everyone in the room.

Spec stops looking extremely annoyed. You're right behind him and you turn to look condescendingly at the man who shouted, who stands up and approaches you.

"What's the rush?"

"We're extremely late! Is there a problem?" Spec furiously exclaims.

"Whoa, sir, please calm down. I'm just looking for some answers. You guys looked suspicious rushing out of a hotel in the middle of the night."

"Who are you?" Spec demands. You suspect Spec already knows who this man is, but you don't, so you wait curiously for an answer.

"I'm with the Revolution Investigation Department, there was some suspicious activity here today. Have either of you seen this man?" The detective flips out a picture of your face, pre-surgery. You're unconscious, and judging by the background, the photo must've been taken while you were imprisoned in the cell you woke up in. You had forgotten how horrible the wounds were, and you shudder a bit.

"No. I haven't. I'm going to miss my flight. We're leaving, come on." Spec turns and pushes the doors to leave but the detective shouts again, "NOT so fast."

"Listen, friend. I don't care who you are, you could be investigating a murder right now, I have no time for this nonsense." Spec is almost spitting with rage.

"Well that's too bad," the detective replies calmly, "see in the time we've been chatting I've already scanned your face and have your full ID right here. All I would have to do is make a small movement with this finger here, and you'd be blacklisted."

Spec stands frozen in mid-door-opening, mouth as open as the door. He closes his eyes for a moment and clenches his fast and mouth with anger. He moves back into the room slowly and then says very slowly, "please, I have to leave right now. Ask me anything you like."

"That's better, now have you seen this man."

"No."

"And you?" The detective turns to you.

"No, I haven't."

"When did you check in?" He says, turning back to Spec.

"I'm not checked in. My assistant here was on another flight and mine got delayed so I told him to get a hotel room until morning. I ended up finding a late flight but we have a connection to make so now we're rushing to the airport." Spec stands, silently furious. You realize all this emotion and body language he's showing is all acted out, which seems very impressive to you.

"Alright, if you do see this guy, please call the S33 hotline." He hands you and Spec a card with the number on it.

"Have a nice flight." He turns and walks away as Spec slams his hands into the door to leave and you follow. Spec hails a taxi and you and Spec get in.

"Take me to King and Green." Spec hands the driver a wad of cash.

"It's not going to cost that much to get there." The driver answers.

"That's the first stop, then you're going to the airport." Spec replies calmly, a 180 degree turn from his demeanor moments ago.

"Alright."

As you approach your first stop Spec pulls out the card the detective gave him and motions for you to get out yours. He throws his on the floor of the backseat. You do the same. As the taxi stops at the intersection Spec speaks up.

"Okay, we're getting off here, but that extra cash is for you to go to the airport."

"Whaaat? Without you? What?"

"Yes, and I'll know if you don't go. There are loads of people to pick up there anyway."

The cabbie looks at Spec with bewilderment and then says "Alright."

You and Spec get out of the car and it drives off. You walk down the street for a bit and then Spec turns into an alley. When you emerge from the alley, you see a car waiting for you. Felix's driving.

"You made it!" Felix exclaims.

"It was cake." Spec smiles and gets in the front seat. You climb in the back.

Now you're thoroughly confused. You have suspicions as to what's going on but you just don't know where to start.

What do you ask?

> "What's going on!?!? How did they know I was there, how did you know I was there. Where are we going, what's happened since I've left?"

"Whoa whoa whoa, alright, calm down. Ask me one question at a time." Spec replies.

What do you ask?

> "How did they find me, and what do they want?"

"Well Squeek was keeping tabs on Revolution data last night when suddenly he catches wind of some investigation team being dispatched to a hotel. He did some digging and found out it had to do with finding you. Turns out someone made a few 'questionable' searches online in the hotel lobby." Spec turns and raises an eyebrow at you.

"Wait, what? I ..." you remember you searched for Anti-Revolution groups on wikipedia.

"The search combined with your fairly recent escape was enough to warrant investigation. If they thought they really had a lead I don't think they would've let you guys go that easily." Felix says.

"Well they didn't really." Spec says. "They had those trackers on us, to see if we were legit. Now as long as that cabbie actually goes to the airport, we'll be golden."

So that was what leaving the cards was for. They had trackers in the cards. You're really glad Spec came to get you.

"Any other questions?" Spec asks.

"That guy said he had a full ID of Spec. What do we have to do to get rid of that? Even if they were fooled this time we wouldn't want that to show up again." You ask.

"Remember how we have those fake IDs and our hands in the system? My face corresponds with an ID profile that Squeek made that has nothing to do with me. They use that system to keep track of people who don't have the ability to change information in the Revolution database at any time. As long as you never run into the same person twice, you can continue to be as many people as you want." Spec explains.

"Well, I don't mean to be paranoid, but won't they find it weird that the trackers start driving around aimlessly all day, assuming the cabbie even heads to the airport in the first place?

"No, they were standing by to watch where our trackers went. If we had thrown them out right away they would've known we were faking being afraid of not getting into the Revolution. By the time it gets to the airport they'll probably stop caring about it since they'll think it's real. Even if they continue to watch it, and see it not go get on a plane, they're will be nothing they can do about it. We're already be long gone."

"Where are we heading now, and what's happened since I left?"

"Not much, mostly keeping track of Revolution data and watching you wherever possible. You didn't do much, did you?" Spec smiles. "We're just going back to the base. I'm going to get some beauty sleep because I've been doing way too much data analyzation and search and rescue today."

You sit back in the car and eventually pull up to the base. Felix says to just get some sleep and go over whatever else you want to talk about in the morning. You're surprised how easily you fall asleep.

You dream the same horrible running dream again, but this time you're not awoken by Spec. When you wake in the morning, you try to remember the flashings of images you just experienced. You were in a hallway. You were running into a room, or out of one. There were dead bodies everywhere. You were trying to find someone.

Having a day to wander about by yourself did your morale some good, especially since you were nearly nabbed once again by the Revolution. You decide that even if there are other things out there you don't understand at this point, you're probably on the right team. Squeek doesn't talk to you in the morning; he doesn't seem mad, or even smug that you came back. He completely ignores you. Breakfast is awkward but Felix does his best to cheer everyone up with chatter. You work through the first hours of the day with data-analyzation. When you take a break for lunch, you find Spec wearing shorts and a leather vest.

"What's with this?" You ask.

"Enough data for today, you've gotta start your training. The trials are barely two months away now. I'm your physical trainer and Felix's your mental trainer. He'll work with you later on that."

You spend the rest of the day enduring a grueling workout much more intense than the one you did by yourself when you first came down to the training room. After an hour you're sweating, breathing heavily and can barely stand. He works for three more before allowing you to finish for the day. You can hardly move and Spec actually carries you up the stairs to your room. When you get there you crawl to your bed where Felix is sitting with a computer on a rolling cart and a dozen wires sticking out.

"Am I meant to train some more?" You ask in amazement.

"Well mostly testing today." Felix says as he readies a few wires. "Don't worry it's not strenuous. This is a machine that picks up and records very details brain waves and signals. It's our mind-reading machine."

"You don't still think I'm a spy do you?"

"No no, well, not on purpose if you are. This will help us rule that out for one, it'll help control and understand your raging dreams, and it'll help us to mentally train you for the mental health trials."

"How does it work?"

"Well what we do is hook this up and it records your words with the corresponding brain patterns. Eventually, after it learns how your brain works, it'll be able to tell you what you're thinking."

"Whaaaa.." you can't even finish the word. You're aching. Felix sets up bunches of wires on your head and messes with some computer equipment. When he finishes, he says,

"Now I want you to pick an object. Any object you want, but it has to be simple and clearly defined."

"How about a tree?"

"That's fine. Now picture the tree in your mind, not in a scene or anywhere or any specific tree, just a tree, just the idea of a tree. Got it?"

"I think so." You concentrate on the core defined object of 'tree.'

"Okay now as you picture it, say it."

"Tree. Tree. Tree. Tree. Tree. Tree. Tree. Tree." As you repeat yourself like an idiot, Felix looks at the screen on the computer and smiles.

"Alright, that's enough, let's pick another object now."

You repeat this process until dinner time, at which point you find the energy to get up and eat, but you still feel a bit numb everywhere. You're not looking forward tomorrow when you'll be too sore to move.

When you sleep you sleep so hard you don't feel like you even experienced your dreams. It's the same running dream with the alleys and the staircases and the hallway and the piles of dead people. You still can't find who you're looking for.

Days pass with the same routine. Data-analyzation in the morning, body-death in the afternoon and mind-reading in the evening. On the fifth day just when you've got the hang of Spec's exercises, he kicks it up a notch, well, more like ten notches, and you're in complete pain again. You're relieved to go up for your mind-reading session. After you're wired up, Felix gives you some good news,

"I think the computer knows enough about you to start trying to guess at what you're thinking!"

The prospect is exciting, but you can't help but feel like you're going to think the wrong thing and be embarrassed. Suddenly something occurs to you that you'd never though about before. What if you think about Rosemary? What will the computer do? Should you tell Felix about Rosemary before you start?

Well, should you?

> Nah. Just don't think of her beyond the mysterious connection you feel. Don't think about the specific events. She must be keeping secrets from you and The Rapture for a reason. Gotta figure that out before we let them in on it. With any luck the machine should fill in some holes for you.

-------------------

Short break for a nugget of gold from the thread:

JKPolk: You could probably pass it off as "the seasoning... rosemary... it's delicious" if it comes up
FishFish: > "the seasoning... rosemary... it's delicious"
Chaz: yea that's pretty genius haha
Tokzic: it's probably best if we don't mention rosemary at all seeing as rapture knows about her
Tokzic: what if ward has an erotic dream about rosemary
Tokzic: that will be hard to pass off as spiceophilia

Before we get back to the story, keep an eye out for the next prompt, where you'll see it answered by LD, with the winner of the Most Suspicious Answer of 2008 Award.

Now back to the story:

--------------------

You figure if you're such a genius, you can keep yourself from being mind-read in one little area. If it gets to the point where you're unable to control your thoughts as well as you'd like, you make a note to yourself. If you ever think about Rosemary, you will speak the word "woman" instead, so the correlation with the machine will latch onto that.

You tell Felix you're ready and the machine starts. It's silent for a few moments and then Felix says "now think a sentence at me." You concentrate and after a moment you hear Felix laugh.

"Felix is the brain-reader," he reads off the screen. "Nice."

You continue to silently speak sentences of increasing difficulty to the machine. Besides extremely poor grammar, the readings are uncanny. They astounding accuracy makes you wonder what other uses this is being put towards. You realize that it requires a corporative patient, but you're still uneasy about the technology.

"The correctness is a fear to me?" Felix asks as you're pondering this. "Are you afraid of the machine reading something you don't want it to know?"

"Ah! No--well, not me, just ... eh ... if it was used, or got into the hands of someone else. Like what if they used this on someone to get information out of them? That's what I was thinking about," you reply quickly.

"Wait, that wasn't an active thought? It was just something you were thinking about?" Felix seems excited.

"Uh, I don't know? What's the difference?"

"Well what we've been doing is concentrating on a phrase or a sentence to actively think about. Conscious, active thinking. What you just did was conscious, inactive thinking, which the machine already picks up on. It's very impressive."

"Of me or the machine?"

"Haha, both.

You continue until dinner. Afterwards Felix asks you if you want to keep the machine recording tonight as you sleep. You've continued to have the same dream in the alleys and staircases every night since the first time you had it in the hotel, and you're still not sure what's going on in it.

What do you do?

> "Sure, we can leave it on overnight if it'll help. But if you don't mind, I'd like to look at it first tomorrow morning. No offense. Is that a problem?"

"Sure, let's try it. Can I see the result? Like, can you teach me how to read the graphs or whatever on the screen?" If there's something private revealed on the machine you want to be able to get rid of it, if possible.

"Yeah, it's easy." Felix shows you the output methods the machine makes and the text-translator section. That's where he's been reading from. The machine works from a simplistic operating system and it looks like there's only a "CLEAR" button for any data modifications. You just hope you don't dream about Rosemary.

You wake up before the sun rises, but can't get back to sleep. You can hear the machine whirring away and the wires coming out of your head start to become annoying. You take off all the monitoring equipment and sit up to look outside. The sun is rising earlier and earlier. Spec will be up soon to make you suffer; you wince at the thought.

You get up, hit a few buttons on the mind-machine and the screen flickers to life. You hit the buttons Felix showed you to bring up the text-generator and start reading what your mind picked up on your dream:

"I am running I am standing no doors find \\newdata no light continue pursue continue pursue rise rise rise rise rise find door find \\newdata \\newdata no light failure"

What do you do?

> Take out Grant's notebook and read more about 87x, but be sure to put it away before Spec enters your room.

You feel useless doing nothing on your bed waiting for Spec to get up so you reach for Grant's notebook. The lighting doesn't lend itself to careful study, but you flip through the pages and think more on Grant as he connects to the rise of the Revolution. Instead of thinking on this, you decide to collect the fragments of code in the notebook so you can see if anyone can decipher it later on.

You find a piece of paper and spend about an hour compiling all the inane phrases and words scrawled in the corners and sides of pages that haven't been ripped out or torn beyond legibility. When you finish you tuck the piece of paper into the front of Grant's notebook and put the notebook back on your bed so you remember to ask Felix about it later in the day.

You get up and head to the kitchen for some breakfast.

Another grueling day runs it course and eventually Felix comes in your room to start mind-reading training.

"I checked on your dream last night, it's a bit early I think to get any clarity from the machine, but we should try again in another week or two." he says as he sets up the machine

"Yeah, I checked it out this morning." You sit down on your bed and come down on Grant's notebook. You remember that you wanted to ask Felix about it.

What do you do?

> "Felix, does the name '87x' mean anything to you?"

Felix turns and stares at you with bewilderment and a slight hint of fear. Maybe not fear, but that's how it seems just for a moment.

"H-how do you know about him? Are you ..." Felix blinks a few times, closes his eyes and says, "are you getting your memory back?"

"No, he's the one that took me in before I met up with you guys. I thought you guys would know all about this."

"We lost contact with your whereabouts once you left S33. We didn't pick up where you were until you got into trouble with the law. We have eyes and ears in the Revolution, not with every resident. Anyway what did he say? Did you tell you about--" Felix cuts himself off.

"Tell me about what?"

"Nothing, what did he tell you about?"

"This is some bullshit right here. I asked him about the Revolution, I didn't know what it was. I didn't know anything. I brought up his dead baby then everyone got mad and left. He told me to get out so I did. Now what the hell did you want to know if he told me?"

"87x used to be in the Revolution--back when we were a part of it. He helped us form some of the core ideas of the program, but he lost interest as time went on and eventually just dropped out. When Humanity started taking over Revolution, we tried to contact him for help but he had changed his information."

"Why isn't he part of The Rapture? Is he in another sort of resistance group?" You realize that Grant has a family and probably doesn't want to go around doing dangerous things with them."

"Because he's a traitor." Felix give you a fierce glance. "Shortly after Humanity had eradicated all traces of our original members, we sent in several spies to watch what they were doing. 87 was with them. He helped them murder us and destroy what we had tried so hard to create."

Felix goes silent.

What do you do?

>Ask a few more questions before giving him the notebook. "Who were those that were murdered? What happened to 87x that turned him into a traitor? Did he stop believing in the resistance?"

"The same reason any of them turned on us. It was the money." Felix looks up slowly. "He was our architect; he was brilliant. He drew up designs for the whole town and organized the construction. He started to lose interest when he realized his skills could be better rewarded with gobs of money elsewhere. He didn't mind living in this corrupted world; he was a part of it. Humanity approached him because he had inside info on us. He must've been paid quite handsomely. I had no idea he was still on the outside though."

Suddenly Felix snaps to attention. "You know where he lives!"

"Yes?" You vaguely remember the surrounding area where you walked after you left his house.

"We could ... kill him ..." Felix has a mad look in his eyes.

What do you do?

> "Hang on a minute. This guy bandaged me up and gave me the advice that got me away from S33. Also, why wouldn't he have killed me suspecting me of being an assassin? He would have recognized me even with half a face, right?"

Felix ignores you, gets up and leaves the room. You wait for a few moments to see if he returns. He doesn't. You're starting to get worried now; has Felix gone mad? Is Grant really a bad guy? Why would we kill him, what good would that do? You suspect that there might be something deeper going on between Felix and Grant, although the deaths of most of his friends could be the only motive.

You think back to LD. That was Grant's fault. Everyone who has died is Grant's fault. Is it? You can't decide. You've got to get to the bottom of this.

What do you do?

> Find Felix, try to calm him down (assassination plans must be carefully laid out anyway), present the notebook.

You leave your room. No one's in the kitchen. You move to Spec's room. You knock on the door once as you enter.

"Spec?"

"Ggahhh! What are you doing?"

"Nothing, I was--" You see Spec sitting at his computer with his pants off.

"Privacy, please!" Spec looks annoyed rather than embarrassed.

"This is important, have you seen Felix?"

"No. I thought you guys were doing psychic nonsense."

"We were about to but then Felix kinda freaked out and ran off. I'm afraid he's going to do something rash."

"Okay, give me a few minutes." Spec turns his glance back to the computer screen.

"SPEC!" You yell, frustrated.

"What? He's not going to do anything major just because of some dream you had. I can finish up here and then we can find him. He's probably just upstairs running it by Squeek."

"It wasn't about my dream, it was about 87x."

Spec kicks up, nearly breaking his desk and then falls over in his chair.

"How? How do you know about 87x?" Spec doesn't try to get up from his fallen position.

"He's the one who took me in after I escaped S33?"

"Oh that figures." Spec gets up, puts a pair of pants on and asks, "What did Felix tell you?"

"He told me --" you stop. What kind of question is that? You know they're censoring details of the past for your own good but you're beginning to wonder if they're hiding anything.

"Why?" You say instead.

"Uhh, well I just want to know what you know about him. You think he's a good guy? He's not."

"I know."

"Okay, well let's find Felix."

You walk around the entire first floor with Spec, finding no trace of him. Spec goes upstairs and you go down to the basement. You flinch with pain as you descend. Your sore muscles still haven't gotten a rest. You comb over the basement twice with no results just as Spec comes down.

"No sign of him, Squeek hasn't seen him since dinner," he says.

"Okay well he's gotta be outside," you offer.

"Yeah, you check outside," Spec looks at you sternly, "I'll check the cellar. Stay up here." Spec opens a door to a side room and you can hear him descending another set of stairs. That's the room you were taken when they thought you were a spy.

What do you do?

>Scan the area outside first before Spec comes back up. There might be evidence of Felix walking outside, say a dirt trail or footsteps. Come back inside and wait for Spec if nothing suspicious is outside. If he takes too long decend the flight of stairs.

Spec closed the side door behind him when he entered the room to go down to the cellar, so you can't investigate the contents of the room at all. Instead you make your way through the basement again, re-re-checking everything and still finding nothing. With Spec taking longer than you expected, you're extremely tempted to go down to the cellar, but resist because of Spec's stern order.

After 5 minutes you knock on the door and yell down "Spec are you okay?"

No answer. You're just about to go over to open the door when it swings open and both Felix and Spec emerge.

"What were you doing?" you demand.

"I was just a bit upset. I needed to be alone." Felix shows a weak smile.

"I thought you were going to try and leave to kill Grant."

"Who?"

"Oh, I mean 87x, you didn't know his real name?"

"The only person whose real name anyone knows is Spec here, because he let it slip early on."

"Oh ..." This idea seems strange to you, although you have gotten used to calling Felix, Spec and Squeek by their code names.

"What's down there anyway?" you question.

"A lot of failed experiments and bio-waste. It's not a happy place but it's solitary."

You turn to Spec, "Why couldn't I come down?"

"Well for one there's stuff down there that might trigger a full-blown memory hemorrhage, and secondly I didn't know if Felix was going to take his emotions out on someone or not. I didn't want it to be you."

The three of you stand in the basement in silence for a moment.

What do you do?

>Recollect yourselves, be human. Get out of the basement, find somewhere to sit, then present the book.

You break the silence with a suggestion. "Okay guys, not to drop another bombshell on you but I have something of 87x's upstairs if you want to see it."

Felix looks concerned again. He turns to look at Spec and says, "what is it?"

"Let's go upstairs," you reply.

The three of you go up the stairs and into your room where the mind-reading machine stands waiting where Felix left it. You pick up Grant's notebook and hand it to Felix.

"This is a notebook I found in his pantry. I was snooping around for food when I saw bulging brick, so I pulled on it and this was behind it in the wall. I've looked through it but not much made sense."

Felix opens it and a piece of paper falls out onto your bed.

"Oh yeah, this is a compilation of all the phrases left in the notebook, I wrote them all in one place in case it was one consistent code. I figured it was the same one you used for your messages to Guido and other agents." You say as you pick up the paper and hand it to Felix.

Felix looks both awed and almost frightened. He starts flipping through the pages and his eyes occasionally widen in shock. It's obvious he understands at least some of what he's seeing.

"What is it? What does it mean? I've been trying to figure it out for ages. Don't give me that shit about it caving in my mind."

"No, no this is fine. It's just been so long. This is partially from when he first started working with us. I remember this book."

Felix is silent for a few moments while he flips through the pages. Spec only stares at the pages with Felix over his shoulder. Finally, Felix says, "let's take a break from mind-reading for tonight. Do a few exercises before you sleep but I'm going to pour over this tonight and tell you everything I find out about it in the morning."

What do you do?

>Try to contact the only other person -you think- you can trust: Rosemary. Do it in secret of course. Ask her about 87x. If you tried and it's to no avail, go to sleep.

The three of you tread upstairs in silence. You retire to your room and set up the machine to do the exercises Felix asked you to do until you grow too tired and decide to try to call Rosemary. You look around your room and realize you have no access to a radio. You check your computer but you don't see capabilities for a microphone.

You consider asking someone for a radio, or you could try and find one yourself.

Who do you ask?

>Try to find one yourself first, then ask Spec if you can't find one.

You know you've seen radios or at least what look like radios lying around at some point so you decide to try and find one first and then ask someone if you absolutely need to. You search all around the downstairs but are ultimately unable to find anything that remotely looks like it's a radio. You poke your head into Spec's room hoping to ask him for one unsuspiciously, and you find the room to be empty.

You smile as you realize a small earpiece walkie is sitting on his desk.

You figure you can make something up if Spec catches on, but you know he's upstairs pouring over the notebook and probably will be until you finish your call so you grab the walkie and go into your room. You tune into Rosemary's frequency and say, "Rosemary?"

Several seconds go by without a response. You try again, "Rosemary?"

Another several seconds go by in silence but you hear a microphone being fumbled with and then "Ward? What's going on?"

What do you do?

>Explain the what just happened: Grant; the notebook; dream-logging; and ask if she knows anything about any of them.

"Well when I first got out of S33 I was taken in by a guy named Grant who I later found was 87x," you start. You hear Rosemary gasp slightly but she remains silent so you continue. "I found a notebook of his in his pantry when I was snooping around and I just got around to showing it to the guys here and they flipped out. I dunno it just seemed weird."

"Well that's understandable. Felix's flamboyancy and upbeat attitude is largely an urge to block out and drive himself away from the terrible tragedy that happened 10 years ago. Before that, he was, well, pretty much the same but just not as much, you know? He overdoes it now to compensate and well, I think the Felix underneath it all is much darker. What did he do?"

"Well he kinda freaked out and wanted to kill Grant, er, 87x. He went off into some basement in our place and Spec went to find him. They talked I guess and then they both decided to just look over the notebook tonight."

"Sorry, did you say that 87x took you in? I know you had some pretty bad injuries on your face but ... we all knew you. He must've known it was you."

"Why didn't he kill me? Does he still work for the Revolution?"

"Yes. You can't exactly stop working for them with as much as he knows."

You pause. Grant seemed very genuine with his attitude towards you. Maybe he had his memory erased like yours?

"What if he had his memory erased?"

"Well I guess that's possible. We lost track of him shortly after we formed a cohesive resistance group since we didn't have our eyes in their system. I don't know."

Anything else you want to ask?

> "When will I see you again?"

"Things will be much easier once you're in the Revolution. I signed up for the S124 trials but I'm thinking about not showing up just so you aren't distracted. Once this is all over we can be together again. You won't have to worry anymore." You can hear her smile over the air waves as she speaks. You're comforted, but only slightly.

"Thanks. I'll see you then." You sign off and hold the walkie in your hand tightly as you stare at the wall thinking about her. You love her.

"Oh no!" you say aloud as you realize you still have Spec's walkie. You rush into his room and are relieved to find it still empty. You put the walkie back where it was and head back to your room. It's getting quite late so you turn off the light and get into bed. You keep the machine off for the night, you don't feel like waking up to gibberish less understandable than your dreams.

You're running again, through the alleys, up the stairs through the hallways and through the door. You get into the door and are immediately shot with a retched feeling of horror and sickness. The room is dark and it smells ... it smells just like the cellar where you were put into the freezer.

You're awakened by shouting. You sit up in bed and look around for the time. You have to get up and check your computer. It's after 2 a.m. You try to listen in to hear who's shouting, but you can't quite make it out so you exit the room. All the lights are off but your eyes are already adjusted to darkness, allowing you to slip quietly up the stairs until you're close enough to hear Felix and Squeek arguing.

"That's the POINT! There's absolutely NO WAY we have the upper hand here! We're fucked, we're fucked we're FUCKED." Felix sounds panicked.

"Look I didn't like the idea from the start, it's not like he was very nice to me before he disappeared, I didn't want to do this at all. My system hasn't been compromised, I would know if was bugged." Squeek seems more annoyed than angry.

"WHY THE HELL WOULD THEY JUST RELEASE HIM LIKE THAT? It's a set up to lead them to us. They KNOW we're inside they just don't know how. They're waiting for us to make a mistake. They have him planted, nothing else makes sense! Why else would 87 just have left him alive!? Why would he have even helped him at all!?"

"How's the mind-reading going?" Squeek changes the subject.

"It's too soon to tell. We'll know soon enough. All the physical endurance during the day makes him a very easy read in the evening."

"Okay well what do we do about this?"

"I don't know. It's probably planted, it's probably fake, I don't want to use any of the info in it just in case."

"It's a pretty big find though if it's legit ..."

"Is it? We could've figured out most of it just watching the right places. Maybe we should up the data analyzation for camera surveillance too."

"That would take a while to set up ... I don't think it would be worth it just to confirm what we already know."

"WE DON'T KNOW! It's a trap I'm sure of it."

There's silence for a moment and then Felix says,

"The Rapture is doomed."

What do you do?

> Go back to sleep, but in the morning be prepared to give a speech.

You creep downstairs to try to get back to sleep. Your dream eventually leads you back to the room where you try in vain to get a good look at what's in it. You wake before you have a chance. Felix's sitting at the foot of your bed.

"Morning." He says with a complete lack of emotion.

"Good morning. Felix, I've been thinking, and I don't think that I've been set up to be a trap. When I escaped from my cell in S33, I met two people who I can only assume to be Rapture members. One was in a cell next to mine and was in really bad shape, the other gave me the directions I needed to escape S33. The first wrote 'Remember the Rapture' on the wall in chalk. I told you I couldn't find him to ask him what it meant then but I can only assume now that he was trying to jog my memory. The second was your own Omega who gave me a note, also presumably trying to guide me to the Rapture. He said, 'I thought you were done for! Get back to work and get out of here while you can!' and when I obviously didn't understand him, he was alarmed at what had happened to me and gave me the directions for my escape."

Felix looks at you like he's going to speak, but then stays silent and lets you continue.

"If these two are insiders of ours then I think it was in line with some plan that was concocted on the inside. Not by the Revolution but from our guys. If we can contact Omega we'll learn more. As for Gra... 87x, he never saw that note, and something just doesn't sit right with him in the Revolution. He lost a child to the Revolution and his family is very destrought over it. Anyway regardless I think our first action should be to contact Omega if you know we can trust him. Looking back he seemed to know what was going on." You finish and look to Felix for approval.

Felix squints his eyes a bit and says, "so you're saying Omeganitros, one of our best men, one of the original 12, has turned traitor on us and 87, a well-known traitor, is a victim?"

You open your mouth but only emit a faint "uuhhhh.."

Felix cuts you off. "I read through the notebook. I was going to lie to you and tell you we couldn't decipher it but I decided the more you know the better it is for us ultimately, even if you have been set up to collect information. The notebook talks about plans and 87's secret thoughts throughout the early days and after his betrayal. It was all planned, maybe even from the beginning."

Felix stops to gauge your reaction and then continues. "It also has some schematics of S124, I guess it was the last facility he designed. It exposes huge vulnerabilities which we could easily take advantage of once you were inside. Squeek and I don't know if we should trust this information since you were pretty much led to it. Everything just fits too perfectly. It's not that we don't trust you, it's that we don't trust the Revolution. Okay?"

"Yes, I understand."

"Okay, we're going to try really hard to penetrate that mind of yours over the next few weeks. Hopefully we'll figure out what they did to you before you go in for the trials. Now, it's time for breakfast and data analyzation. Do you have any questions?"

What do you ask?

> "How does Omega providing me with the note make him a traitor? You would only say that if you were convinced that I'm a trap."

"Well no, that's what you said, I mean--" Felix stops suddenly and says

"We have no idea who that other guy is who wrote 'Remember the Rapture' in his cell. But it adds even more to the notion that the Revolution is setting us up. They wanted you to find us. Like I said, Omega is one of our best men, he's not a traitor. He was instructed to give you directions to us in the event that you were trying to escape. We could ask him if he knows anything about the other inmate and get his response on tomorrow's data analyzation if you think it would help."

"Yes, I think we should do that."

"Alright then I'll have Squeek put that through."

Felix heads upstairs to Squeek's room and you get up, get dressed and go into the kitchen for breakfast. The rest of the day you're more aware that your physical training has two purposes: to build you physically, and to break you mentally. Now that you know this, will it still work? By the time you get to the evening, you've already forgotten. It seems your body is just barely able to stay conscious towards the end of the work-outs these days.

You go through mind-reading training with Felix, fall asleep sometime before midnight and dream everything all over again to the room. You can never see what the room is like, but you're sure it smells like the cellar.

In the morning you analyze Omega's response along with all the other data and find out that he hadn't known of any other prisoners, and the mostly likely reason would be he was planted there, or that he was transfered without official notice and escaped. Felix seems stressed and continues to be dilligant about your mind-reading. When you ask if he's made any progress, he says that every day is progress and we'll eventually get there. You don't like the idea of being broken but you don't want to let him know you were listening in the other night.

Another week passes. You wake up one morning completely stiff. You're ready for a break and you're also ready to steadfastly refuse to do physical training today when Spec asks. You confidently hobble into the kitchen to make your statement to find your three housemates in matching uniforms. Each person is wearing a skin-tight shirt with a logo on it, and black pants.

"What's going on?" You ask.

"Field trip! It's simulation day!" Felix exclaims.

"Wha-what?"

"We're all going to D.C. to our simulation headquarters so you can practice for the trials. I'll explain it all to you on the way, eat up."

You can hardly believe your luck. You didn't realize it but you've been training for over a month! After breakfast Felix hands you your outfit, which you immediately disbelieve is yours because of its huge size. When you go to change you decide to look at yourself in the mirror. You're shocked at how much muscle you've been able to build in such a short amount of time. You wonder what they've been putting in your food.

As soon as you finish changing, it's time to head off. Once you've all checked your TravelCard, you start on your way. Felix begins to explain the situation.

"You see it's a lot like a game. The trials are like mini-games that you have to beat or at least finish. Based on how well you do or your reactions to the situations, you're awarded points. If you make it out with a certain number of points, you get in. We built an exact replica of the testing facility the Revolution buildings use for their trials in our D.C. department. When our members infiltrate a Revolution building, or even if they don't, they come back to us with what the trials entailed. We guess what a person is judged on from there and re-build the same test in our own chamber. Now none of the tests you'll do are going to be the ones you'll have for the trials, but the concepts might be similar; they usually are. Questions?"

What do you ask?

> "Seems a bit conspicuous to have a gigantic facility in DC where our group trains, doesn't it?"

"You would think, but we keep a pretty low profile and the people who run things have been in the area since before there was even a Revolution. The work mostly underground and mask it in the guise of low-level government business. They actually do government business on the side to keep up the farce."

You don't really have any more questions you feel like asking, you figure you'll see what it looks like first and then ask questions as they come to you. Throughout the journey you pass through a few checkpoints and the TravelCard passes every time. You wonder if it's legit or not.

Soon the roads get wider, the traffic gets heavier and you start to see a city in the distance. As you get closer you see what you realize must be the D.C. Revolution facilities, and you're amazed. You thought 12 buildings were a lot. You figured the amount of Revolution buildings here fills an entire district.

Turns out you're not in D.C. yet, but just a neighboring city. You figure the actual city probably didn't have enough space.

After being stuck in traffic for nearly an hour, you make it to a fairly small office building. A security guard approaches the car as you stop at the booth. Spec pulls a card out of his wallet, hands it to the guard and the guard lifts the barrier and motions towards an entrance of a parking garage.

You walk into the building and through another few rounds of security before being greeted by a rather thin man in an expensive suit.

"Felix!" The man says in a thick english accent.

"Tibs! So good to see you again. This is Ward." Felix introduces you. Tibs shakes your hand very firmly.

"Good to meet you sir, you're going to do us all proud."

"Th-thanks."

"Well, let's get cracking then." The four of you head towards an elevator that takes you several stories underground. When you emerge from the doors you see a large room of people who are all wearing similar outfits to the one you put on this morning. Tibs walks out towards one of the men sitting at a terminal, and the three of you follow.

"I think we're going to run Sim20 first, load it up." Tibs says as he leans over the man's shoulder.

"Yes, sir!" he replies as he hits a few buttons on the keyboard.

"Alright," Tibs says as he turns back to you. "We're going to start up. You won't get an introduction to the trials you face inside the Revolution, so I won't give any now. Go down that set of stairs and into the chamber. When you come out, you'll be in the simulation. Good luck."

What do you do?

>Peer inside the chamber

Without a word you head over to the staircase and look back. Spec gives you the thumbs up and Felix smiles. You give Spec the thumbs up back and go down to the bottom of the stairs. A large metal door lays open into a white room with tiny spots along the walls. You're about to embark on your first simulation. You hope you're ready.

Chapter 5

You step into the chamber. The ground gives a bit as if you're walking on a rubbery styrofoam. Behind you the large metal doors close, and a second pair of doors that are identical to the wall design close in front of the first pair. You wait for a few seconds, ready for anything. You hear a whirring sound and then a faint high-pitched tone and the entire room goes black. You didn't realize it before but the walls and floor were actually emitting light, and without them it was perfectly black.

After another few seconds the ground below you lights up with grass, and a world unfolds around you. Suddenly you feel exactly as if you were outside on a very hot summer day. You feel humidity and the sun burning down on you. You step into the shade and then look at the tree you're under. You feel it and you cannot tell that isn't real. You're not sure that it is fake. You're not really sure how the technology works. Ahead of you is more grass and more trees. You turn all around to find you are in some kind of very light forest. You start walking in a direction and find a dirt path. You begin to walk down it in one direction, but then turn around and start walking the other way. You realize you have no objectives and no idea what to do. You look down at your clothes and realize you're no longer wearing the suit. You find instead you're wearing a handmade shirt with a cloak and a very dirty pair of pants. You reach into your pockets to see if you have anything and feel a large number of spherical objects. You pull out what look like multi-colored marbles. Each marble has a symbol in it, although you can't really tell what each symbol means.

You try to put the marbles away and you accidentally drop one. As it hits the soft earth a puff of smoke explodes out of it in the shape of symbol that was inside. Out from the smoke an aged paper scroll floats towards you. You grab it out of the air and open it.

"1 Fire Token Towards:

Strength
Speed
Agility
Magic
Attack
Defense"

What do you do?

> Apply Fire token to Attack stat, then drop another marble.

You touch the work "Attack" on the scroll. The word lights up in all red and the scroll disappears. You drop another marble. This time another symbol appears in smoke.

"1 Wind Token Towards:

Strength
Speed
Agility
Magic
Attack
Defense"

What do you do?

>Wind on speed. Take out marbles and see how many types there are.

You assign the Wind Token to Speed. Again it flashes, but this time in white, and then disappears. You figure you should know what you're dealing with before you drop any more.

You pull out all the marbles and count them. In total you have 13 left, and at least 4 unique symbols. You can begin to tell what the symbols mean now. The Fire Token looks like a small flame, the Wind Token is three strokes that look like a gust of wind. The two other symbols aren't hard to figure out. One is in the shape of a rock and one is a bolt of lightning. So, you have left:

5 Fire Tokens
2 Wind Tokens
3 Rock Tokens
3 Lightning Tokens

What do you do?

>Explore your surroundings, check for any suspicious looking objects. Any kind of pocketable treasure, weapons, et cetera.

You put the marbles away and start looking for anything that could be of use on the ground. You find some sticks and leaves and grass. You follow along the trail a ways and hear some shouting. You head towards the shouting until you come out of the forest and are able to see a field. The path leads up a hill that you can't see over, but you know you heard voices on the other side. You walk up the hill along the path. As you reach the top you see a magnificent view of a medieval castle town surrounding a humungous stone castle.

You look down towards the path again and see two men dressed similarly to you down on the other side of the hill. They seem to be busy with something and they don't notice you at the top of the hill.

What do you do?

> Approach them cautiously and slowly and try to figure out what they're "busy" with. Do not get too close. If you feel safe/been spotted, give a greeting and the old "I mean you no harm" gestures. If they look hostile, be prepared to use your newly found skills.

You don't know who these people are, but even after watching them for a few moments they haven't looked up from what they're doing. You decide to approach slowly so you can try to get a good look at what they're doing.

The closer you walk down the hill the louder you hear their voices. Even when you're within distance of listening to what they're saying you can't see anything. They appear to have their backs turned, looking at something on the ground and talking to each other. You try to catch some of what they're saying.

"Okay okay what next?"

"Try that one, I'm not using any more."

"Okay, last one."

At this point the man on the right gestures in the air for a moment. The man on the left turns his head slightly and catches a glimpse of you. He fully turns and says, "hey!" He grabs the other guy by the shoulder and nods on your direction. They both start walking towards you and one of them says "hey" again. They seem casual and friendly.

What do you do?

> Yell from a distance, "Hey who are you and how did you get here?"

You take two steps back tense up. At seeing this both the men stop advancing. You yell "Hey who are you and how did you get here?" The two men look at each other and one yells back "What's wrong with you? We're in this trial like everyone else." They're still standing where they stopped.

What do you do?

> Start walking slowly towards them saying, "Hey sorry, you never know what traps could be out there. Just a little nervous, I guess."

Both the men seem relieved. They continue approaching and one says "you scared me a bit there. I'm Jim." The other says "I'm Mark," and extends his hand. You shake Mark's hand and then Jim's.

"I'm Ward." You reply. "What's going on here?"

"Well I'm not too sure, we were just messing with the tokens. Do you have any?" Mark asks.

"Yeah, I only used two, I'm not sure what they're for."

"I told you!" Jim exclaims, turning to Mark.

"I know I know." Mark turns back to you. "I thought they were for stats so I used almost all of mine up. Afterwards Jim said it might've been a good idea to save some. I only have one lightning bolt left."

You all go silent and then Jim starts up again. "Well I guess we should head towards the castle? Gotta get around to this trial sometime!"

"Alright," Mark says.

You follow the two along the path towards the castle. As you're walking, Mark asks, "so where are you from? Around here or ...?"

What do you do?

>"Yeah, just in a neighbourhood not far from here. Have you guys gone to the castle yet?"

"What? No? Have you?" Mark asks looking confused.

"I just assumed that was our objective" Jim adds.

"Oh yeah, sorry this is my first trial, I didn't really know what to expect." You reply sheepishly.

"That's alright. Should we head over there, then?" Jim asks.

"Sure." You and Mark reply.

The three of you continue down the path a ways. You're surprised by the beautiful detail put into creating this world around you. Not only do the land, trees and sky all look amazing, but the artificial temperature, the feel of the dirt, rocks and grass under you all feel real. You begin to pass a few small shelters on the outside of the town, but you don't see anyone outside. You collectively decide to continue down the path. As you get closer to the castle, more and more houses appear. Soon you walk into what appears to be a market square, but it's completely deserted.

"This is strange, where are all the people?" Mark asks.

"Something tells me we've stumbled upon our first task. Let's figure out what's going on here." Jim suggests.

What do you do?

> "We don't know what the deal is with this place yet, so I suggest we stick together and look around for items or someone who can tell us anything useful, if there is anyone here anyway."

>Ask Mark and Jim what they're good at, skillwise.

"Okay, good idea Ward." Jim nods. Mark nods as well.

"Are you guys specialized in anything? Like what are your strengths?" You inquire.

Mark raises an eyebrow. "Uhhh well not really anything, I mean I'm good with music ... Do you have a strength?"

"I'm pretty good with a knife. Pretty much any close-quarters encounters."

"Oh I see what you mean, uhh let's see, no I don't have any special skills like that." Mark replies honestly.

"I used to be a pretty good marksman," Jim offers.

"Okay. Let's see if we can find any items or clues about what's going on here." You say.

The three of you start looking around. In the market there are a few stands that have been abandoned. One showed signs of a struggle; the fruit was crushed and the stand had fallen over and broken. You move on to buildings. In the first house you find a knife and two swords. You take the knife and give the swords to Mark and Jim. Nothing else in the house so you move on.

You explore several other buildings without a trace of human life. "Should we split up?" Mark asks.

"Maybe," Jim answers, "let's see if there's a way into the center of the castletown."

The three of you walk around the circular castle walls in search of a drawbridge when you suddenly hear a sound. You put your arms up to stop the rest of your party and listen.

They hear it too. Laughing. Spastic, maniacal laughing.

What do you do?

>say "Draw your weapons. Either of you have any idea where that came from?" Also >Wield knife.

You can tell Mark and Jim hear the laughter.

"Draw your weapons." You command. They comply. You draw yours. The laughter is coming some distance in front of you. As you move slowly forward, it gets louder. You signal for Jim to take cover left of you and Mark on your right. The laughter dies down to a few giggles every minute or so. You advance closer and closer to try and get a look at the person laughing. Finally you see a man come into view just past the rounded wall of the castle. He's standing in the middle of an open clearing of stone, on a path that leads away from the castle. He has his hands out and his palms facing up like he's trying to catch something very large. Just as Jim and Mark get close enough to see him, he drops to his knees and emits a loud and high pitched scream that echoes inside the castle walls.

What do you do?

> stay where you are

You brace yourself as the scream comes to an end. Nothing happens. You can faintly hear him breathing, but he has his eyes closed and his hands out. He doesn't move for several minutes. Jim and Mark look at you nervously.

What do you do?

>Rush him. He's obviously deranged, and allowing him to have any chance to recover and do something nasty would be foolish. Get Jim to hold his hands (For some reason I get the image that he is the stronger of the two) while mark finds something to bind the hands. Ward should stand close, weapon at the ready, preferably next to the mans throat, but not quite against it- just incase he tries something.

You signal to Mark and Jim that you're going over to the man. Mark shakes his head but Jim nods. You run low to the ground with your knife out. As you get closer you notice something you hadn't seen before. His clothes seemed very dark for the bright light he was standing in. They're completely soaked with blood. It's still dripping on the stone below him, off his hands and face. A knife covered in blood lays at beside him. You're a bit shaken but you continue on to put him in a hold. Just before you're on him, he jumps forward on his hands and kicks you directly in the face. Because of your running position, you're flung backwards, hit the stone hard and slide into the wall.

Jim, who was behind you, lunges at the man with his sword, and slices into the air. The man nimbly dodges it while getting into a defensive position and picking up his knife. Jim, unharmed, backs up a few paces and faces the man with the sword. Mark soon runs up, also ready to fight.

You're still stunned on the ground but you're altogether not seriously injured.

What do you do?

>throw a lightning marble at him

Fearing a counter-attack, and without sufficient time to stand up and ready yourself, you reach into your pocket and grab a marble. Before the man sees what you're doing, you hurl the marble at him.

The marble flies with much more density and force than you expected. The man sees the object just before it would have hit him in the face and narrowly ducks. The marble crashes to the ground far away and explodes into a lightning bolt-shaped cloud of dust.

The man turns back to you, and you jump to your feet, back in a defensive position. He opens his eyes as widely as they will go and gives another long and terrifying scream. He stands for a few moments, waiting for one of you to do something.

What do you do?

>Hurl your knife at his legs and try to "clothesline" him in the throat whilst he is distracted by it?

You lunge at the man with your knife and again he nimbly dodges it. Jim and Mark try to attack from either side at the same time with no luck. You push towards him again, trying to pin him against the castle wall with one of you at each side but he always finds a way out. You're puzzled as to why he's not attacking, and not even defensively retaliating. You look at his face and it dawns on you. He's studying your style. He's figuring out your attack patterns -- your strengths, your weaknesses and your openings.

He must've seen the realization on your face. He smiles and runs towards you, low with his knife drawn.

Quick!

What do you do?

>New tactic! Hurl some marbles at his face and try to either leap over his head, or to the side. Either way, try to kick him on the way!

You don't have enough time to ready anything but your knife, so you decide it's probably a good idea to try and dodge this guy. You shift your weight like you're going to jump left, and then you lunge as hard as you can to the right at the last second. He lunges in the opposite direction you jump and you roll on the ground. You have enough time to pull a few marbles out of your pocket and put them in your fist. He turns and lunges more quickly than you hoped and slices your shirt and chest with his knife.

You try to stab him as he run past but you're too slow and stunned from the attack. Trying to think ahead of him, you twist backwards and raise your knife. The man prepares his counter but just at the last second you slam a fist full of marbles in his face. There's a large white blast that throws you back and knocks the wind out of you. When your eyes refocus on your assailant, he's lying on the ground. You wonder which marbles you had.

"Hey! Are you alright?" Jim yells as he runs over. Mark runs over too. "Is he dead?" He asks.

"Yeah I think I'm okay, I need to stop this bleeding though," you say as you look down. There's a cut in your shirt and blood from the cut but there's no wound.

"Hmm, there must be some sort of health system instead of injuries. Also, good call with the marbles. We need to figure out who this guy is." Jim says.

You're about to respond, but then you see the man on the ground move. He's getting up.

What do you do?

>all three of you pin him down and interrogate him

Seeing his movement, you jump to your feet and the three of you move towards him to pin him down and ask some questions. You realize too late that his slow movements were faked, and he jumps to his feet while hurling a marble at you, which you nearly dodge, but ultimately breaks apart on your shoulder.

You expect to feel pain, even to be thrown back, but neither happens. You brace for impact but when you're struck it feels as if nothing had happened. You open your eyes and try to move but you're paralyzed. Your head is stuck facing down and slightly to the left. In addition to being paralyzed your view of color has inverted; your's and Mark's skin to the left of you appears in greens. He seems to be frozen as well. You can't see what your opponent is doing, but you can't do anything about it. Finally, he speaks.

"I didn't know I was dealing with remnants. So he finally responded?" He has a crackling voice and he talks softly. You can hear him walking slowly around you. He walks right behind you and leans over to your ear. You try as hard as you can to hit him right in the face but you're still stiffly paralyzed.

"Bring me your king." He whispers. You hear a loud thud, like metal or thick wood hitting the ground, and footsteps of a dozen people running towards you. You're lifted off the ground by two pairs of hands and carried towards, as far as you can tell, what appears as the castle walls. You can't see if your comrades were picked up as well, but you see the man who did this to you, standing at the gate to the castle, laughing.

You feel a bit of tingling in your fingers and toes, so you try to move them and discover you're beginning to shake off the paralysis. After a few minutes, just as you're able to move almost all your fingers, you're put down onto a soft surface and your two friends come into your line of vision. Jim has a scowl on his face and is frozen in what looks like a defiant position whereas Mark has his eyes closed, braced for what's coming. They have both been laid down on the same surface, which appears to be a pile of furs.

"uuuoooooaaau," Mark attempts to say something but only his vocal chords have unfrozen.

"Just wait another minute and you should be fine," a booming voice from above reassures.

The tingling and stabbing sensation slowly spreads throughout your entire body, shortly allowing you to feel movement again. Mark eventually gets out a resounding "what the fuck" which you're sure he has been dying to say the entire time.

You finally get up despite still being a bit dizzy and take a look at your surroundings. Most of the men who brought you in are gone except for the one who reassured you while you were frozen. He's wearing armor from his waist down and chain mail on his chest. He has a very serious look on his face. When you look at him, he speaks.

"As soon as you're ready, put these on. You have been summoned by the king." He thrusts long flowing garments at you. You take one and find it's a thick robe with symbols stitched into it. Mark and Jim accept their robes when they get up as well. You're a bit confused to what's going on, so you ask the man a question.

What do you ask?

>What's going on?

"You were summoned by the king, let's go." He answers unintelligently.

"But why did you bring us here?" Jim asks.

"You were attacked and he was going to kill you. The king wished to meet with those who do not fear death."

Jim raises his eyebrows and looks at Mark, and then you.

What do you do?

> While we're being escorted ask, "Who saved us from that guy?"

You all don the robes and follow the guard out of the room to regal and spacious foyer with dual staircases. As you're climbing them, you ask "who saved us?"

"The siege brigade. They've been on duty ever since that guy showed up. No one can go outside to get word out." It's obvious the guard assumes you know more than you do. You decide to save your questions for someone a bit higher on the intelligence totem pole. You're led throughout a beautifully glamorous series of hallways and rooms up to what you assume is the king's chamber. Before the guard opens the door, he turns to you and says,

"The three of you are from another kingdom, maybe even another world, but you are still expected to pay your respect to this king, as he saved your lives today."

The three of you nod and the guard opens the door. The room is more like a wide hallway lined with knights and pillars than an actual room. The king sits on his throne high up at the end of the room. The guard advances halfway to the king, kneels, and announces,

"Gracious King Trempek! I humbly present to thee, the remnants!" Upon saying this the guard bows his head.

What do you do?

> Motion to Mark and Jim to kneel with you. On one knee look up to the king and say (unless he speaks first), "It is by your grace that we survived our encounter. Our combined strength was not enough for him. We are in your debt." Then wait for the king to speak.

The king speaks with a very loud and deep voice. You're sure he's using some sort of electronic projection system, but you don't see any traces of technology.

"You may all rise. Pray, tell, what are your names?"

You stand up and look over at Jim before speaking.

"I am Ward, o great king."

"I am Mark, my lord."

"I am Jim, my king."

The king takes a moment to think and then says, "where do you come from, ye remnants?"

Jim opens his mouth and then looks over to you.

What do you do?

> "We are travellers, adventurers. We can claim no land as home, and are unfamiliar with all places."

The king laughs long and loudly.

"You mean to tell me you're deep in the heart of this country without any knowledge of the trikingdoms?"

"No your kingship, we have no knowledge of such places." You look around and realize there are dozens of armed guards who could, at any moment, descend upon the three of you if you gave an answer the king didn't like.

"Well this is excellent news! Have you come to save this kingdom from the wrath of our sour remnant? If not, why did you seek a battle with the man who plagues my castletown?"

What do you do?

> "We came in order to enjoy the comforts of civilized provisions and perhaps to seek a small amount of fortune before moving on. The deserted market square was puzzling, but we are not afraid of the unknown. When we saw this strange man, who I presume to be one of these 'sour remnants,' we saw he looked wounded and we approached him to gather information when he attacked us.

"Although now if it is your wish, my king, we will aid in the battle against this threat."

The king nods wisely and says, "there is only one. One enemy remnant.

"It may seem ridiculous that a single man could rival an army, but my army cannot use the remnant's stones. You three appear to be able to, though it seems not even your skills match his. My mages have spent long nights studying the stones; doing experiments and chants with no avail. It seems to be a trace Cladrian trait, long since forgotten. Our three races have been intermixed for hundreds of years now, and Cladrian blood shows up among Trempek and Eliquix men as well.

"There's only one thing that troubles me. If you three are explorers, adventurers, how are you also remnants? How did you come to be here? By sea? From the north?"

What do you do?

>We were sailing the high seas when a storm tore our ship apart. We regained conciousness on land. We don't know how we got so far from the sea itself, nor how we survived. Put it down to luck. We are from a remote tribe in the north. All of us have this ability. We've never heard it called that before.

The king squints and silently mouths something. You can't be sure, but you think he's saying "north."

He speaks much softer and much more sternly. "Are you sons of Lirtha?"

At this you hear gasps throughout the chambers and the guards near you hold up their weapons, ready.

What do you do?

>...Who? I am sorry, your majesty, but we do not know of any "Lirtha". Our tribe was very, very remote.

The king, who you realize is actually standing at this point, lets out a sign of relief and sits down.

"Lirtha is an iconic demon whose legend caused many terrible wars in our countries some years ago. Legend has it that he was the brother of a prince whose greed took over his body and turned him into a four-winged demon covered in scales. His dark magic stemmed from his time with ancient tribes in the north. Since then there have been stories of travelers seeing beasts and magic resembling Lirtha's in the north, and we have recently discovered a people who worship this as an ideal state of being. They strive for it. I thank God you're not one of them.

"Now that we have settled that, I think you should be shown to the Sanctuary where you can rest and speak with my top mages. Before you go, I grant you a bit more time with me to ask any questions you have."

What do you do?

> Tell us of our surroundings, if you will? And how long have things been "sour" so to speak?

"You have traveled to the land of Trempek, bordering on the countries of Cladria to the southwest and Eliquix to the south east. Remnants crop up every few hundred years and are usually regarded as prophets or great warriors. This is the first time one has had such evil in his heart. This is also the first time more than one remnant has been alive at one time." The king explains.

"You keep using this word, great king, 'remnants,' we are not familiar with the term, could you be so kind as to explain its meaning?" Jim bows a bit as he asks.

"As I already mentioned, the three of you seem to have the power to manipulate remnant stones. These stones are remnants of some great catastrophe; each are marked with a symbol representing what kind of catastrophe it was created in. I see this is likely not an uncommon trait to posses where you come from; you must be from a highly magical or sheltered world."

The king rests his chin on his hand and abruptly says, "I tire of this, guards, please see our new guests to comfortable chambers and treat them to a good meal. Rest well, strange travelers, rest well."

Guards line up in front of you and motion for you to leave the king's chambers. The three of your are escorted to separate rooms next to each other, which you discover are surprisingly large and lavish for what you assume are guest rooms.

The guard who escorts you to your room explains that supper will be held at the dinning hall in a few hours and after that you will meet with mages to further brief you on remnant stones for tomorrow's battle. He said you're free to explore this floor but not to go into any locked doors. You tell him you understand and he leaves you to your room.

What do you do?

> Explore your room.

You check your room out. It's fancy, but its size makes it look empty. There's a bed and an empty shelf against the wall next to a window. You take out your remaining marbles and set them on the bed. You have:

3 Fire Tokens
2 Wind Tokens
2 Rock Tokens
2 Lightning Tokens

As you're counting you cringed. You had forgotten with the robes and the formalities that you had been slashed across the chest. You didn't feel much pain on the battle field, and in the presence of the king your adrenaline had dulled the pain, but now you're in pain and very tired. You don't feel like sleeping; you feel exhausted. You lift up the robe and still there's no cut where the knife slashed at you, which makes sense to you since the pain is not centralized at that point. It's spread just about evenly throughout your body.

What do you do?

> Drop a rock token and put the beneficial affects on Defense. Hopefully that will dull the pain and provide further protection.

You grab one of the rock tokens from your bed and drop it onto the floor. It bounces a few times and then rolls off into the corner of the room.

"???," you say aloud.

What do you do?

> Maybe it needs to fall onto earth. Are there any potted plants in the room?

You figure since the basis of the power comes from the earth, it has to be released somewhere in nature. You look around your room for potted plants, or any dirt, but find none. Finally you try lying down on your bed, trying to make the pain subside. Suddenly there's a knock on your door.

"Come in." You yell weakly.

Mark enters. "The guard gave me this to help with the injuries, I think he thought I was you." Mark extends a tall thin vile of greenish liquid.

"What is it?" You ask as you sit up to take it from him.

"He said it was a 'potion.'"

You drink the potion and immediately feel better. The pain reduces and you gain a lot of your energy back.

"What should we do?" Mark asks.

What should you do?

>Lets get Jim out here. We need to discuss what has passed. After that, it's to the mages, I guess.

You stand up and head out the door. Mark follows. The hallway is empty and there's an open door next to yours. You push the door open to find Jim inspecting his room.

"Hey guys," he says as he smiles.

"What are we doing?" Mark asks.

"Hmm, I don't know I guess we can walk around until dinnertime. Any ideas?" Jim asks.

What do you do?

> Split up, explore the whole floor. Get all information from them but if you find anything interesting, keep it to yourself. Don't steal anything, that can be done at night if absolutely necessary.

You start off to see if you can find the mages while Mark and Jim get a feel for the area. You agree to meet back in an hour to report. Exploring the castle is a maze as most areas look very similar and dark. You're not getting anywhere in finding the mages, so you decide to start opening some doors. Even this proves fruitless as the doors usually lead to empty rooms or soldier's quarters. Finally you find a door that looks promising. It's larger than any other (besides the king's), it's rounded, shaped like a half circle and it has dozens of symbols carved in and around it. Some of the symbols you recognize as being in the stones. You go to push it open, but it won't budge.

What do you do?

> Knock, quietly at first then louder if no one responds.

You knock softly on the large doors. Nothing happens, so you try knocking more loudly. It echoes in the hallway you're standing in and you wonder if you're breaking any social customs. With a soft creaking, the door slowly begins to open, and then abruptly stops. It shuts and then opens again with no sound. You look around you and everything is vibrating. All at once it vanishes, revealing a white, well-lit room. You feel the surface of the floor is rubbery and you look down. You're wearing the suit. Was that the end of the simulation? Did you fail? On one side of the room the wall moves away to reveal metal doors, which open a few seconds later. Smoke pours in from the opening. The smoke is black and you can faintly hear yelling outside the chamber.

What do you do?

> Look around for the others, we should be able to see them since the room is well lit, call out if not.

Your first thought is finding Felix and the others. You walk towards to door and you eyes begin to sting from the intensity of the smoke. You can barely breathe and it's very hard to see through. You call out between coughs, "Felix! Spec! Squeek! Tibs!"

There's no response. You're feeling your way through the room by the wall when you come across a huge fracture in the wall. You notice as you step forward, tile from the floor is missing as well. You try calling out again.

"Felix where are you guys?! I can't" you stop to cough and fall to your knees from exhaustion. Is this what your training was for? For you to feel your way through an unknown room and feel helpless? What would Spec say?

"Remember the area. Everywhere you go is a potential combat zone with exits, strong points and weapons. You need to know all of these within seconds of walking in a room. Anywhere you go, memorize it immediately."

You do remember the room. You came out of an elevator facing a set of terminals against a wall next to a closed door. To the left of the elevator was a set of stairs that led down to the chamber. You step around the damaged floor to find the remains of a staircase. It's intact enough for you to get up to the next level, at which point you feel for a gap in the elevator doors and force them open. You close them quickly to stop the smoke from getting in. You're amazed, but the elevator still works. You go to the ground floor.

The elevator door opens and you hear muffled yells. As you step out a few men who had been hidden behind turned over tables and chairs stand up and salute. They have automatic rifles that were pointed at the elevator. Tibs turns and with a badly burned and torn outfit, salutes you as well. Outside the window you see fire blazing and you hear a terrible commotion with people screaming and running about.

"Welcome to your greatest mission. It's the end of the world." Tibs says softly.

What do you do?

> "What's going on?"

"What the hell is going on here?" You ask. "Where are Felix and the others?"

"They're dead." He says it so quickly and harshly you can hardly believe it.

"There was a terrible attack--there still is. Well we really don't know, but you're it."

"What do you mean I'm it?" Tibs's words still haven't sunk in.

"You're the last of the 12 left alive. We think it's the Revolution, well no, we know it's the Revolution, working with and/or through the government. After you left this morning all of your agents were arrested, tortured and executed. They bombed several floors of this building which I assume had been set by a spy of some sort ..."

"Why does it matter!? Why does it matter that I'm one of the 12?" You scream.

"You still don't remember? I guess there's no better time than now to finally tell you ... Building a self-sufficient community requires a lot more planning than most people would think. Fortunately, the 12 of you did. You went farther, you thought of everything. In doing so you built inventions for any problems that came up and things to make a life without trade and large processing possible. Among these inventions were ways to defend yourself if attackers tried to destroy you. Only the 12 know where these powerful weapons are, but it's the key to defeating this massive assault."

You look at him blankly. "I've lost my memory," you say bluntly.

"Nothing? Not even a trace? What about the mind-reader? COME ON I NEED SOMETHING!" Tibs grabs your shoulders tightly and yells.

What do you do?

> "No, I don't know anything right now! All we can do is work on bringing my memory back, but right now we have to get through this. Are there any passages out of here?"

"Passages? This is my stronghold, I'm not going anywhere. Without those weapons we're all done for. They'll be by to arrest us without those weapons any minute now."

What do you do?

> "Alright then, what resources do we have to fight whatever the hell is out there?"
>get some goddamn weapons

With your back completely against the wall, you decide there's only so much running one man can do. Maybe this will finally give you some answers. You grab a rifle from one of the men standing around next to Tibs. He starts to object, but Tibs puts his hand up to silence him. You leave without saying anything, but you can feel the eyes of everyone there watching you.

"Be careful." Tibs yells just as you're about to leave. "They'll make you think they're still alive. They're not."

As you exit you see a half-dozen police officers snap to attention. One of them yells "PUT YOUR WEAPON DOWN RIGHT NOW!"

"GET BACK!" You yell. "I'M GETTING OUT OF HERE, I'VE GOT NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY OF YOU."

"THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE REVOLUTION. ALEX -- 'TIBS' IS A CRIMINAL."

You stop for a moment and almost believe him. "WHERE ARE Felix, SPECFORCES AND SQUEEK?" You dark your gun wildly back and forth, trying to cover all the men with guns pointed at you. You see out of the corner of your vision, someone stepping out of the car. It's Felix. He gets on the megaphone.

"IT'S ALRIGHT WARD, YOU'RE GOING TO BE ALRIGHT, TIBS TRICKED US ALL. HE MADE SOME BAD DEALS WITH SOME ILLEGAL WEAPONS, PROBABLY LIKE THE ONE YOU HAVE. JUST PUT IT DOWN AND WE'LL ALL GO HOME." Felix's voice sounds harsh. It doesn't sound exactly like him. It doesn't look exactly like him. You don't see Spec or Squeek anywhere.

What do you do?

>Look like you're about to accept, but then dart behind something- anything. You're completely goddamn surrounded, but if you can distract them- aka try to shoot the petrol tank of a nearby police car rambo style, you may be able to get away.

There are three police cars surrounding the exit, and all of them are still running. You figure it's the only chance you have. You raise your left hand and slowly lower the gun in your right until it's just about level with one of the cars. You've only ever fired an automatic weapon with one hand once, with Spec in intensive weapons training, and it nearly broke your arm. You summon all your strength and let loose on the engine and fuel line of the left most police car. All the cops duck and begin to shoot as you roll away and start running. They don't even have a chance to start chasing you.

BOOM

The explosion throws you back into some hedges on the side of the building. While on your back you hear the car land on top of something else, probably another car. You get up and start running again.

As you're running through scattered trees and back yards everything around you slowly gets darker.

"Oh no, I'm passing out. No, no gotta stay awake!" You say aloud to yourself.

But it gets darker and darker until everything is black. You stop running. You're still awake. You hear a high-pitched noise and a white padded room fades in. It's well-lit. It's the chamber room.

"???"

What do you do?

> Look around. Hope the source of the noise becomes apparent. Inspect yourself for damage. If we're still in the trial we presumably won't have a mark on us even if we ache. Try cutting yourself in some way to see if you bleed. Exit chamber.

You're really not sure what's going on, and it occurs to you that you were never trained in understanding the differences between virtual reality and reality. You weren't able to bleed in the medieval world, and you can't remember if you sustained any injuries in the last "simulation" but you don't see any scratches now. The wall-colored doors open, and then the metal doors open. There's no smoke, it looks just like it did when you first came in.

"Felix? Spec? Squeek?" you call out as you suspiciously step out of the chamber.

"They're not here yet, they're in the observation room upstairs. They're on their way." An unrecognized voice states. You walk out of the chamber and up the stairs to the main floor. The men are at the terminals, still working just as they were when you arrived before.

"How do I know this isn't still a simulation?" you ask openly to the room.

"Force-break it if you're really concerned, but you're in real-life now."

"How do I force break it?"

"Push against a surface and say 'force-break' ten times in a row."

What do you do?

> Find a chair and attempt the force-break theory, pointing your hand and the chair towards a corner just in case this garbage actually works.
> When it doesn't work, ask why the medieval simulation so abruptly ended.

You squint suspiciously at the man at the terminal and then look around for something to push against. Finding nothing particularly stable to push against, you decide to try it against a wall. You push, saying "force break" aloud and counting up in your head. You're to the seventh push when the elevator next to you slides open. Felix gets out and gives you a confused look.

"What are you doing?" he asks simply.

"Force-breaking through this wall, I don't know." Your attempt at vagueness lands somewhere between pathetic and nonexistent. Fortunately Felix perks up with understanding.

"Ahh, alright, well finish your ten pushes but you're not in a simulation anymore. I can understand why you'd be suspicious though, haha!" Felix and Spec laugh. Squeek walks over to the other side of the room and stands against a wall.

You perform three more force-break maneuvers with no change in your surroundings. You're still not convinced. Your suit doesn't have any pockets so you left most everything in your inventory at home. You need to find something sharp to cut yourself with.

"Alright, well excellently done, Ward, you bested that trial better than we expected. Much better than we expected, I can't wait for you to destroy S124's. All we need to do is de-brainwash you or find the repressed control in your mind, but that's just time." Felix says as he congratulates you by shaking your hand.

The elevator door slides open again. It's Tibs this time.

"No don't go out there Ward, it's a trap! Felix is deeeeaaaad! Hahahaha, but seriously, very well done, sir. This trial was especially designed for you -- well not the first part, we just took that from a real trial and spliced it with the explosions stuff. You actually did just as well in the actual trial as you did on the second one. Most people don't even get a hit on the remnant, but you stunned him and put him on his back. Congratulations!" Tibs shakes your hand.

"Well I think we're all set then, thanks again Master Tibs for lending us your chamber, we may be back." Felix says cordially. He and Spec shake Tibs's hand. Seeing the movement of the group, Squeek moves towards you and shakes Tibs hand silently before following you, Felix and Spec into the elevator.

You're not as suspicous now, but you still need to know for sure. You need to find something to hurt yourself with. The elevator moves up and hits ground floor.

What do you do?

> Ask Spec if he's got a pocket knife you can borrow for a second.

"Hey Spec, or anyone? Do you guys have a pocket knife I could borrow for a minute?" You try to ask nonchalantly.

"What do you need a pocket knife for?" Felix asks without turning around.

"I've got something stuck in my teeth and ... I need a toothpick. Figured you guys were more likely to have a pocket knife than toothpicks."

"You're still convinced you're in a simulation aren't you? You know they can make simulations where you bleed and feel pain, just like real life." Spec explains.

"You want to see if you can bleed?" Squeek abruptly turns around. You brace yourself and try to move backwards, but you back up into the back of the elevator and in the confusion, you hesitate. Squeek hits you directly in the jaw knocking the back of your head into the wall behind you. For a programmer, you never expected him to hit so hard. You cough for a second and wipe your mouth. There's blood all over your hand.

"Nah, this is a simulation" Spec says lightly. "Squeek loves you in real life."

Squeek and Felix walk off silently, and Felix turns and gives you an apologetic glance. Spec gives you a tissue which you gladly accept and wipe off the blood from your mouth and hands. Your entire head is throbbing, but the pain is lessening. You've taken way worse beatings at the hands of Spec's training.

"That was a pretty good hit." Spec laughs as you and he head out of the elevator.

"Yeaaah, what's he so angry about anyway? Why does he hate me so much?"

"Seriously? Well he doesn't like anybody and you're probably a spy for the Revolution who's killed countless numbers of our friends and allies. Even before all that you were always smarter and faster than him. He was never the center of attention and you were always coming up with something bigger and better to outshine him with. Now you come back and you're the center of attention again even though you don't know anything and are pretty much a drain on our assets. Then you mastered his little program, and he got really mad when you took off because you didn't trust us. All his words, of course."

You rub your jaw as you and Spec walk out to the car. Felix's driving and Squeek's in the front seat. You're relieved.

Dinner is a quiet affair that becomes less awkward once Squeek retires to his room. After dinner, Felix hooks you up to the brain-machine and turns it on. As soon as he's sitting at the console, he asks very plainly, "Ward, would you like to try leaving this on tonight for that dream again? It's much better at reading you these days."

Fortunately, prepared for this kind of situation, you clear all thoughts and all words from your head. Felix won't get a reactionary reading from you about that.

What do you do?

> "Sure. So what's the plan now? Prepare for the trials?"

"Alright," Felix says without hesitation, "the trials are in a few weeks so we're going to be really focusing on finding that lock in your mind. It's going to be tricky without damaging your psyche, but I think you're significantly stronger than you were when we first picked you up. The way you dealt with that fake disaster was very well done."

"How long was I in that simulation, anyway?" You ask.

"Oh pretty much all day, we got up early and the drive was about 3 or 4 hours. It was dark when we left and it's dark now so you were probably in there for at least 8 hours all told."

"Is that how long I should expect all trials to be?"

"Oh no, goodness no." Felix pauses and you're relieved that the real trials will be more concise measures of ability.

"There's no telling how long they'll last. Could be a few minutes. Could be days." Felix says after a few moments of silence. "Any other questions about the trials? Now's the time to ask."

What do you do?

> "What kind of security will be there and what precautions have we taken in case I get sniffed out? Also, what communication will I have with any of you? Will any of you be at the trials location? I can only guess that any communication will be done in code after the trials. Were you going to teach me how to read and write in that code at any point?"

"Well if they find out we know that you're a spy for them, and that we've disabled their mind-control, they'll probably try to kill you because of how much damage you can do to them. We'll make sure that won't happen."

"Wait, but you don't know that for certain yet." You protest.

"Look, I trust you now. I know you're not transmitting, you're storing. Everything you are, everything you've experienced, all the secret information you know is stored in that mind of yours, and the Revolution is just salivating in anticipation to dump all that information out and use it against us. And as far as being a spy, it's the only thing that makes any sense. The easy escape, the lack of a real investigation to find you, 87x taking you in; it's the only scenario where Revolution would give up a gem like you so easily. I wouldn't be surprised if they just pass you into S124 without any trials."

"How can you make sure I don't get caught?"

"When we find the mechanism, or the control device, we'll know how they activate it and how they detect its existence. Then we can simulate that signal without it actually taking over your mind."

"What about help during the trials, I don't suppose I'll have communication with you guys?"

"No, I'm afraid you'll be all on your own."

"What about contact after I'm in? Don't you have to teach me some code so I can submit information every day?"

"I'm glad you asked," Felix grins, "we're getting rid of that system. Squeek has been working on a new transmitting frequency that sounds just like static without a specific scrambler chip in your radio. You'll be the first one to use it in action!"

"So I'll be able to talk without worrying about codes or interception or anything?"

"That's the plan. Squeek's been transmitting a tone on it for about a week now. He's spent every moment trying to hack into it to listen in without the scrambler chip and he says it can't be done. If there's a weakness or a hole, we'll know about it before the Revolution even knows it exists."

Trying to find the 'mind-control device' is more mentally draining than regular mind-reading training. Felix makes you switch thought patterns quickly and brings up painful topics that you don't think you have any attachment to at first but feel awful about afterwards. Finally about an hour before midnight you ask for mercy. Felix agrees and sets up the machine to record your dreams.

You find it hard to get to sleep -- you can't calm your mind down for a long time. When you fall asleep, sure enough you have the same dream as before, alleys, stairs, hallways and dark doors. You don't pay much attention to it until you wake up and read the computer translation:

"Running through alleys, must find them. Running through alleys, must find them. Running up stairs, must find them. Running faster, not fast enough. Must find them. Must find them. Which door was it? Which door did they find? There is an open door, darkness. Closer, they must be here. Too late, woman is dead. I have failed."

What do you do?

> Make a mental note to not speak to Rosemary until you can confirm that she is who she says she is. The Revolution could have implanted feelings for this girl into your head. It seems odd that she was able to be around the Rapture for a few days if she isn't who she says she is. For that matter we should probably inspect where she was staying for anything that would suggest she was a spy. I wouldn't tell the rest of the crew about it until we find evidence one way or the other.
> Without doing anything too hacky, toy with the mind-reader to see if you can easily remove the part about the woman. If not we can brush that off either by thinking clearly "I am awake. What? Who is woman?" or just by saying it doesn't mean anything to us when asked.
> Eventually go down to meet the others for breakfast.

Even though it's cryptic and not really revealing, you walk over to the controls of the mind reading machine to see if you can easily edit out the things it records. The operating system of the machine is pretty basic, and you don't see any way to edit results. The only options you can see are for viewing the most recent recording and archived recordings. You try pressing some of the keys while selected on the most recent recording, but none of them bring up anything like an edit screen. You finally decide the machine really wasn't designed to be tampered with, and was just for displaying results.

Despite your failure, you're not worried about Felix reading about the dream. You walk in to the kitchen, but you're a bit early for breakfast. You decide to watch some TV while you wait -- political news!

"... furious, Gravitz is now conducting a private search into the personal lives of Saddler and Jenkins, the details of which have obviously not been disclosed. The bill failed by three votes, the closest margin the Senate has seen in over 5 years. In response, Saddler has relinquished his personal tax information and has requested an audit. When asked, the Internal Revenue Service declined to comment. However, Gravitz had this to say:

'Of course his personal record is going to be spotless, he knew it would come down to this. There's no way to audit something so massive as the Revolution, and all the tax documents of the residents are auto-processed. On paper they look good, but if a person sits down and compares records with the internal wealth of the Revolution itself, which is still a mystery number, there are holes everywhere. Of course it's impossible to take the time and effort to do that with the millions of documents you'd need to process. That's why it needs to be uncovered, once and for all!'

(Off camera voice) 'What about the Revolution and its members' rights to privacy?'

'No, that isn't even an issue. We're talking about potential billions here. Probably more than that. Do you know how efficient Revolution Corp. is? With the amount of business they get, it's impossible to have tax returns as low as they are. Money isn't even the biggest problem, it's just the legal doorway we need to find out what kind of despicable things are being done in there.'

A recent investigation showed that Saddler has indeed cut all ties with the Revolution. He is no longer receiving any financial support, and is not involved with the internal affairs or inter-workings of any of the facilities."

You hear someone coming down the stairs and you turn down the volume on the TV.

"Morning, how were you dreams?" Felix asks.

"See for yourself." You gesture towards your room. Felix makes a face like there's a present waiting for him. Spec appears on the other side of the kitchen and begins making breakfast. After a few minutes Felix bursts from your room, astounded.

"Do you remember this?"

"What?"

"Do you remember dreaming this?"

"Dreaming what?"

"When you told me about the dream, you always stopped at the door. Did your dream go any further last night, do you remember if it did?"

"No, it stopped at the same place it always does. All that is new to me."

Felix closes his eyes and yells loudly, "YES! It's working!"

--

Thanks to the 'breakthrough' you're sentenced to 8 hours of mind-training a day. Apparently Spec's training was finished and now you just had to stay in shape for the trials. You're not sure if you can handle 8 hours a day of mental torture for 3 weeks, but you figure another breakthrough will end it. Another breakthrough has to be close.

--

You wake up one morning a week and a half later and try to remember what you had just been dreaming about. Felix had decided to record your dreams twice a week and compare the results. So far they had all been pretty similar. You're sure Felix is trying to identify the "woman" because he keeps asking you about her. You're as vague as possible with your explanations, and you keep falling back on the fact that you don't actually remember experiencing the dream. You still haven't, and it troubles you a bit that there are parts of your life that you can't remember, even now.

This is why you're especially troubled this morning; you don't remember dreaming about anything. The entire night seems like you were lying in a field of black. You quickly get out of bed and look at the machine.

"Sand. Oceans of sand, far away. Walking towards it. Walking towards something. Walking towards it. It is bigger. It is dark. Sand blowing inside face. Walking towards it. Don't let it covered with sand. Walking towards it. It is a mask. Dark mask with dark eyes. Sand inside my face, close my eyes. Mask is changed. Mask is my face. What is my face. Is my face mask. Touch face. Cold."

An entire dream you don't remember? You re-read it. Looks like there was a mask in a desert with your face on it. Then your face was the mask. It makes sense, you're pretty much wearing a mask now, you have no idea who you are other than the past few months. Does this have anything to do with Rosemary? Maybe Rosemary only sees your mask and that's why she can't be forward with you? You have to contact Rosemary. First you have to show Felix this; you hope this is a breakthrough.

You watch Felix as he reads the dream. His eyes light up and you're excited not to have to endure torture anymore.

"This is it! We've got it, your mask! That's the trigger. That's the implant. When you put on the mask you're under mind-control. All we have to do is get rid of the mask. We need to get to a virtual-chamber." Felix runs out of the room and calls to Squeek upstairs, "call Tibs, tell him we're going to need to use the chamber again. Tell him we're leaving right after breakfast!"

--

Another long trip to D.C. and no chance to call Rosemary until tomorrow. You decide the next chance you get you're going to buy yourself your own radio so you don't have to rely on stealing someone else's after they go to sleep. Still, you have questions about what's going to happen today.

What do you ask?

> "What kind of mask is an implant? How does it control my mind?"

"Well the mind-control mechanism they implanted in you finally showed itself thanks to the mental digging I did. Your dreams displayed it as a mask, and now that we know what to look for we can find it, isolate it, and reverse the damage in a simulation chamber." Felix says excitedly.

What do you ask?

> "'Reverse the damage?' How do you do that? Am I going to get my memory back when this happens?"

Felix's smile fades. "You might. This is some serious mental surgery we're going to be doing. Basically we're going to trigger that dream you had last night, isolate the mask and destroy it. A normal dream is just a projection from the mind, which is harmless, but when you connect the mind directly to something like a simulation chamber you have hands on control. When you dream in the chamber, what happens in the dream affects the mind and the person. It's very possible that the mind-control device has been keeping your memories sealed this entire time."

What do you ask?

> "Felix, do you remember that dream I had a week and a half ago? The one with the dead woman? Do you have any idea who she would be? Also, do you know anything about the extent of the abilities of the mind control technology? Could they make me see, hear, or feel things if they wanted to?

"The fact that there was a black out in your dream was what told me we had an 'in' with your subconscious. It was that fact that I exploited in the mental pressure that eventually gave us the mask. Now to say they're connected in some way is a stretch, the dead woman was just something from your subconscious, although it could be. You still have no idea as to who it could be? Not even a candidate?" Felix asks.

"No, sorry, I've got as much as you."

"Hmm. Well, as far as mind-control, yeah all of those are possible, but with this particular implementation it looks like you're completely taken over and then black out everything that happens, sort of like frankenstein. At least that's the most likely thing I can come up with right now, I can't be sure until we get to the simulation chamber. I doubt the Revolution has tried to activate the mind control since you left S33. I think you've accidentally activated slightly a few times in trying to rack your brain about your past, which could bring up a few lost feelings. Why do you ask?"

What do you do?

> "Well mostly I just want to know the extent to which I control my own senses. If they activate the mind control and I see, for example, an image of you, I can't tell for certain if it's you or a hallucination. I'll try to use any clues of the context to make sure before I say anything about what we're doing. Is there a way to tell if and when the mind-control has been activated?"
> At some point we have to investigate the house for some evidence that Rosemary was even here. If she wasn't it was probably the Revolution.

"All we know for sure is that it's there. Anything else is speculation, but I believe if you activate the mind-control device, you will black out and not remember anything that happens. I wouldn't worry about hallucinations, it's really easy to tell when a person is hallucinating if you're hooked up any kind of brain-scanning device."

Still puzzled, but out of questions, you sit back in your seat and spend the rest of the journey thinking about Rosemary. Is she working for the Revolution? Is she even real? You make a mental note to bring up her visit to Felix sometime in the near future. Just as soon as you're out of this stupid simulation chamber suit.

After another few hours Felix parks in a familiar lot and the four of you enter in the regal government building. This time there is no greeting from Tibs; an assistant informs you that he's away on business for the next few days. You enter the elevator and realize you're actually nervous, something you didn't expect. This could be all your memories coming back, even if the process is painful. Then again, you still remember what Spec said about being jealous of you for not remembering any of it. You wonder how bad it really is. You remember the flashes of violence and terror you had when you first woke up in S33. You wonder if any of those are relevant to you now.

"Okay, whatever you do, don't force-break out. You can, just like any simulation, it's hard-wired into the computer system, but because we're working with something as delicate as a mind in this simulation, you can't just go about doing anything you want. Follow my instructions very specifically, and hopefully we can get rid of this mind-control."

"What if the mind-control takes over and I think you're saying something you're not?" You're still uneasy about so many people having such easy access your brain.

"Don't worry, it's not going to do that. Just follow my instructions and you'll be fine. No matter what happens, just keep doing what I say, alright?" Felix shakes you out of staring at a wall. He looks you directly in the eyes.

"Alright?" He repeats.

"Yes, yes alright. Whatever you say, I will do." You give the thumbs up.

You walk down the stairs and into the simulation chamber. You're getting a bit freaked out about this virtual reality projection of your mind, but you trust Felix. The lights go out and everything goes black.

"Here we go," you say aloud.

You're standing in a field of sand. Was this your dream? It does seem vaguely familiar. You turn in all directions but there's nothing but sand. Suddenly a small black object catches your eye. You're about to head towards it, but then you realize you've not been given any instructions by Felix yet, so you wait. You wait for about five minutes in silence before deciding to go ahead without instructions and stop if you're told to do so. So far no one has tried to contact you as far as you know. You're concerned.

As you walk towards the object the sand under you gives way very easily, making it difficult to walk. You think about all the metaphors that could be drawn from the scenario of walking towards one's own internal antagonist, on an increasingly difficult surface. You feel like a poet. The object grows closer, but you're still a very far ways off.

You tire quickly walking on the sand and stop for a breath. You have no way of judging, but you guess the object is still at least a mile, maybe two, if not more away from you now. You've already been walking for at least a half hour. You stand up to walk again but the wind blows sand in your face. Yet another annoying obstacle to endure to gain mental freedom.

After two more stretches of walking in windy sand and two more breaks, you can see the object is indeed a dark-colored mask. When you finally finish catching your breath, you decide to make this the last break. With newfound confidence you barely notice the sand blowing in your eyes and ears as you march headstrong towards the mask.

You finally reach it, and pick it up. It's a dark gray mask with three twisted holes -- two for eyes and one for a nose or mouth. You're not even sure how to hold it, or which opening corresponds with which part of your face. In an instant a strong gust of wind blasts rough sand on your face and in your slightly open mouth. You cough and spit out sand while simultaneously blinking to keep out the unexpected annoyance. When you finally finish, you look at the mask again to find it has been replaced with your face as you know it. Despite having already read everything that's happened in this simulation on a piece of paper, you're still shocked and frightened so much by the face that you almost drop it back in the sand. Your face looks so tortured, its mouth is open and its eyes are wide open, almost as if forced by some invisible force. You look horrified and frozen.

You shudder and realize the next part of the simulation. You slowly reach up and touch your face. It's ice-cold and rough, like bark peeling off a dead tree. Your face is the mask. What do you do now? You turn around to find Felix standing behind you, holding a large ominous weapon.

"Stand still," he commands. You hold as still as possible. You're terrified.

Chapter 6

You open your eyes slowly to a gray shapeless world. With each blink the gray clears into what you recognize as your room. You check what you're lying on -- it's your bed. Not sure what's happened or if you're still stuck somewhere in your mind, you call out, "Hello? Felix?"

You hear some shuffling outside your room and Felix and Spec violently open the door. Both of them are all smiles when they realize you're awake.

"What happened?" you ask.

"We did it. We destroyed the mask. How much do you remember? Do you remember the mental training we did? Do you remember going to D.C.?"

"Uhh, the last thing I remember I was holding my own face and you were going to hit me or kill me or something because I was wearing the mask."

"Oh okay, wow, that's more than I expected you to remember, good!"

"What happened?" you repeat.

"Oh oh, well I tried taking the mask off of you and you sort of freaked out and started fighting me so I had to pin you down and forcibly rip the mask off to destroy it. It wasn't easy thanks to Spec's training, but you weren't really trying to do any harm; it was just random flailing. Violent random flailing. The mask is gone now though, do you remember anything else?"

You remember Felix had said with the mind-control being gone, you might regain your memories, but nothing leaps to mind. You strain to remember anything you weren't told, but nothing comes. Looks like the mind-control and the memory loss are unrelated.

"No, nothing else. So does this mean the violent and weird dreams will stop?"

"They should."

"How long have I been out? Long enough to drive home ..."

"Well, this is the third day of your 'coma.' We were going to take you to a hospital today if you didn't snap out of it. Your brain activity has been all over the charts. It was way lower than a living person could have, then it spiked like you were having a seizure or hallucination and the whole time it was like you were dead. They must've had that mind-control brainwashing in you pretty hard, but you made it out."

"So wait, three days, the trials are soon? What about my training?"

Spec speaks up. "You're ready, Ward. You just need to rest up and make sure your brain can handle the mental challenges. They're the ones that always get me."

A week of rest, that might be nice. Still gotta call Rosemary though, that's first priority. If anything is going to settle your mind, it will be sorting out things with her.

--

You spend a good portion of your time reading about trials. There are dozens of books dedicated to strategy and examples of previous trials. The authors all give similar advice, among which the most important bit seems to be: "with every action you take, and every decision you make, make sure you've considered how it shows any of the Seven Traits in you. If what you're doing doesn't show the Revolution that you excel in the areas of intelligence, innovation, resourcefulness, work ethic, physical health, emotional/mental health or loyalty, then you should rethink your strategy. This is a sure way through just about any trial."

You're up reading after dinner for a few hours before you realize how late it is. You peek out into the hallway to see if any lights are on or if anyone is up. Silence. Now is a good time to contact Rosemary. Since your last contact with Rosemary, you discovered a utility closet outside of Squeek's room with working radios. Much easier than stealing Spec's. You quietly sneak upstairs and open the closet without breathing. It's too dark to see anything, so you feel your way slowly through the boxes and other objects until you put your hand on what feels like a small radio. You then feel around inside one of the smaller boxes until you get a hold of a headphone to keep the sound from waking anyone.

You slowly and carefully close the closet and step back downstairs. You close your room door, set the frequency to 282-RT, plug in the headphone piece and put it in your ear. Very quietly, but firmly, you hold the send button and say,

"Rosemary."

Silence. You cannot accept the fact that Rosemary has just been a trick played on you by the Revolution to make you weak or betray the Rapture. It's not just what you saw, but what you felt. Sure they could've wired up your emotions too, but you still feel it. You're still in love with her, and you don't know why.

A thought occurs to you and you speak it aloud. "It's 1 a.m., she's probably just asleep. You try again. Still nothing. Did the Revolution really plant her inside your head? Did she even exist? What if this frequency went directly to TheAngel? What if everytime you've transfered, it gave away your location? Can people do that? Just as you're about to turn off the radio in frustration, you hear a crackle on the radio. You hold your breath in hope.

"Ward?"

"Rosemary!" If Felix was right, and if he successfully deactivated the mind-control, Rosemary was indeed real.

"Ward, why did you call."

"You're not going to be meeting me at the trials next week, are you?"

There's a long pause. "No, I won't."

You pause for almost as long. "You're not the person you said you were."

"You're right, I'm not. But neither are you."

"I don't know who I am."

"Yes, well, I wish you the best of luck. I do."

You stay silent for a long time, simultaneously not believing and expecting everything that has been said as it replays in your mind over and over.

"Goodbye Ward."

"Goodbye, Rosemary." The radio crackles and goes silent. You fall to you knees on your mattress and weep silently into the sheets.

--

The next morning you don't get up. You don't eat breakfast. You're not asleep, but you're not really conscious either. You're trapped in your own terrible mind. Sometime in the late afternoon there's a knock on your door. You do nothing. Another knock. Finally the door swings open and a concerned Felix enters asking, "what are you doing, Ward?"

Felix sees you sprawled out on your bed, sheets pushed off onto the floor and a radio with an earpiece lying on your floor.

"What happened?"

What do you do?

> "Felix, who the hell is Rosemary and why is she the only person I've felt any connection to for as far back as I can remember? Tell me everything, no more of this bullshit secrecy involving my past. Why do I know I've hurt her when I can't remember what I've done?! Why have I been seeing her in my violent dreams?! What the hell has everyone been hiding from me?!?!"

Felix stands silent in your doorway, just looking at you.

"What the hell happened?" he repeats.

"JUST FUCKING ANSWER ME!"

"I don't know! I've never heard of Rosemary before! I don't know what she has to do with your past, she wasn't in it! You're too close to the trials to fuck up your mind like this, what the hell were you doing with that walkie?"

What do you do?

> "She claimed that you brought her here to fix me up. I never questioned it until I began to doubt her legitimacy as a member of the Rapture. And once I knew that the Revolution had the ability to make me see and feel things and seeing her as a fucking corpse in my dreams... I don't know what to think anymore. Who the hell was the surgeon if it wasn't this 'Rosemary?'"

"Wait, what? She was the dead woman in your dreams? Why didn't you tell me?"

"She told me not to talk about her existence or our communication to any of you."

"AND YOU DIDN'T THINK THAT WAS A WEE BIT SUSPICIOUS?!" Felix grabs his head to calm himself down. His hand slides down his face and rubs his eyes. Finally he says, "'Rosemary' isn't a real person. I did call in a surgeon to fix you up, but her name is Chrissi. Well actually I don't ..." Felix trails off.

"What?"

"I don't know Chrissi's real name, we all just go by our code names. Shit." Felix runs from the room. You can hear footsteps ascend the staircase violently. It's silent for about two full minutes, and then footsteps again descending. Felix practically charges into your room and says, out of breath, "Chrissi is AWOL. Been that way just about since your surgery. They thought she was with us."

You stare at Felix with disbelief.

"Now, I'm going to need to know ... EXACTLY what the fuck you were chatting about the past 3 months, because we just might be fucked."

What do you do?

> "Don't you think I realize how suspiscious that sounds?! She was the only person I have ever felt to have known, so I trusted her -- I'm sorry."

> "I had a number of conversations with Rosemary. I'll try to outline them all. Hopefully I haven't completely fucked us. Right when we met she told me that we were intimate years ago. She told me that I said something to her right before I left but I still don't know what it was. She said she forgave me. I don't know what I did but hearing that she forgave me meant a lot for whatever reason. When I woke up after she operated there was a note that said I shouldn't talk about how she's bringing up my past and that she'd take the trials with me. I'd later find out that this wouldn't be true.

"Our first conversation over walkie happened after I saw on the back of the note a message with a riddle that led me to the frequency to contact her. I hadn't noticed that part of the note before. This conversation took place minutes before we rescued LD at S12. I told her that we were beginning a mission, but not what it was about. She said she had been alerted that LD was back. She then mentioned the narcoleptic guard at S12. That's why I asked to go over the plan again for any possible weaknesses in their security.

"The next conversation took place when I took leave from you before Spec came to get me. I bought a radio and used it to contact her. I asked her where she was and she said New York. I tried to get her to agree to meet me. She refused. We then argued. I confronted her that I could tell you about our chats, but she just went silent. It ended with her saying that she hoped I'd be able to forgive her after 'all this is over,' like she forgave me.

"Our next contact took place after I showed 87x's notebook to you. She seemed shocked that I knew who he was. She audibly gasped. She confirmed that there was a lot of bad blood between the Rapture and 87x and expressed confusion as to why he would just let me go after he took me in. She said that she had signed up for the S124 trials and again assured that it would all be better for us after 'all this is over.'

"That was our last conversation until just now. Because of my dream I knew that she couldn't be who she was saying she was, at least in the context that I wanted it to be. She admitted that this was true, that she wouldn't be taking the trials with me, and she wished me luck. That's when I lost it.

"Now that I think about it, there's no way that she should have known that LD was back. I don't know if she even should have known where LD was. And she definitely shouldn't have known about that weakness in their security. It almost seems like they gave LD to us. Why would she do that? ...Oh God, what if it was to get Guido?! Have you contacted him since then?!"

You're breathing heavily after completely giving up the only person you've had any real connection to, but you feel better. Felix has stayed silent the entire time, not taking his eyes off you. You guess he's probably trying to watch your movements for lies.

"We get transmissions from Guido everyday. If we didn't it would be a huge red flag. We'd be out there again trying to figure out what happened."

"And they've been the same? He's just been reporting? Can anyone do it, or does it have his signature or something?"

"It's just the data you're so good at interpreting, the only signature is where it comes from. I suppose if someone else knew the code exactly they could mimic it, but they would also have to have access to our secret surveillance planted in all the Revolution syste ... or just have access to inside Revolution surveillance. It's worth checking on."

Felix starts to leave the room but you yell, "WAIT!" Felix turns his head.

"Tell me about Chrissi ... did I know her? Before the ... before I?"

"No."

Felix doesn't leave, but he stays silent, like he's trying to make sure you accept his answer before he leaves. Then just before leaving he says,

"...even if you did, I wouldn't tell you. I couldn't. But you didn't know her."

Felix leaves and you collapse both physically and internally in your own heartbreak and crushing guilt.

--

You mope for the rest of the day and most of the day after, but when confirmation comes that Guido is indeed still at his post and unharmed, you start to feel better.

"Short of actually going there and confirming in person that he's making these transmissions, this is the best way to find out. He answered the emergency questions immediately and perfectly. He could be being held up in his room as a hostage, but there's no way Chrissi infiltrated this deeply. I think our man is fine." Felix announces at dinner that day.

You're relieved, whatever damage you did didn't cost us an agent in the field. You try not to think about what damage you did do, you have to prepare yourself for the trial in a few days. To get your mind off things you go downstairs and work out, recreating Spec's training. It feels good to feel physical pain instead of all this emotional and mental pain.

You're just finishing up a set when you realize you haven't checked the time in hours. Spec didn't like to keep things like time around; he said it made things too comfortable. You go to the bathroom to check; it's after midnight! You're surprised how hard you've been training, but also how much you enjoy it. You didn't push yourself nearly as hard as Spec probably would've, but you actually feel good now.

You leave the bathroom to go upstairs when something catches your eye. There's a door just barely left open. It's the door to the side room. The one where you were thrown into an ice chest to see if you were quick-clone. The one where Felix stormed off to when you told him about Grant, so he could gather his thoughts.

The door is open.

What do you do?

>Make sure the room is empty, then check it out.

You check around the entire basement and even go partially up the stairs to make sure you're not being watched. As you approach the door, you think about what could be down there. You've been specifically instructed not to go into this room; this is the last secret the Rapture has been hiding from you, besides your past. What if there are clues to your past? You open the door to the room and begin descending the stairs. You smell something awful and nearly double over with disgust from both the smell and the memory of you being tortured the smell brings up. As you get to the bottom of the stairs, barely able to breathe, you feel around for a light switch. You strain to see something but the light from the top of the stairs is miles away. It's pitch black everywhere but the entrance. You're afraid to move around too much, you're terrified of what you'll find. Finally you feel a switch and hit it.

The lights flicker on in a room much larger than you imagined. A florescent light illuminates the room every 3 meters or so for almost a dozen lights. Then you look down and your mouth drops open from shock. You hit the lights off and run up the stairs before you pass out halfway up.

You come to alone, on the stairs. You check your face and body for injuries, but it looks like you braced for impact pretty well. You immediately scramble up again to get to the top of the stairs. You close the door to the room slowly and quietly and collapse outside of it. In your horror, you exclaim out loud between heavy breaths.

"What ... the hell is the Rapture doing ... with dozens of dead bodies? Half-decomposed, lying open on tables and hanging from the walls? Like trophies? What the hell is going on ...?"

What do you do?

> Find a rag to wrap around your nose and mouth and work up the courage to go back down to investigate.

You sit up and look at the closed door. Did they keep it locked? Out of pure reflex you reach up to check. The doorknob twists, the latch comes free and the door opens again. Didn't this used to be locked? You can't remember. You know what you saw down there was terrible, but you had to know why. You resolve that if you can hold your breath or block out the smell, knowing what's down there will be less shocking and you'll be able to withstand it. You're not going to freak out like that and just head over to the trials without knowing anything for certain.

You stand up but collapse again out of weakness. You've been exercising all day and you're both mentally and physically weak. You pull off your shirt and wrap it around your mouth and nose. You adjust it to make sure you can still breathe, and slowly head back down the stairs. At the bottom you feel again for the light, and flick it on.

The bodies appear again, like ghosts, always present no matter how much you try to wish them away. You move closer towards them and nearly vomit. You've never seen dead person besides LD.

"No ..." you said out loud, the exasperated sound muffled by the shirt.

"No!" you repeat, but in cold defiance he lay, just as horribly as you had last seen him -- LD in mid-autopsy.

You fall to the ground and put you hand on your forehead. Who were all these others? More fallen comrades? All the guilt and grief of LD's death rushes back to you, but at least you're not afraid. At least what's happening here, however macabre or gruesome, doesn't seem so sinister to you anymore. Maybe they're studying LD to prevent your death in the event of a capture. Maybe these other bodies hanging from the walls are being studied as well.

You take a closer look and notice that all the bodies not on tables are in very thin, barely visible, plastic covers. This is a science lab. But why did Felix come down here to clear his mind when you brought up Grant? He had said he wanted to find Grant and kill him; were there any weapons down here? No, enough for one night. You feel more calm, and more assured as to what's going on here. It's time for bed.

--

You wake up the next morning late and sore. No one's in the kitchen for breakfast, it's far too late. You spend some time analyzing data and munching on some things you found in the fridge. You ponder as you analyze, whether you should bring up what you saw in the cellar to anyone, and if so, who?

Felix opens your door around noon. "Hey there."

"Hey. Lunchtime?"

"Yeah."

What do you do?

> "You know something I thought about after I thought about the conversations I had with Rosemary. I don't ever remember any sort of service or burial held for LD. What happened with him?"

"Hmm?" Felix looks at you from the doorway quizically. "We had a funeral, we buried the casket, remember? You were pretty shaken up, are you starting to forget everything associated with trauma?"

What do you do?

> "Must be, that whole period sometimes feels like it didn't even happen, you know? I only ask because if he's in the ground I don't know who was on that table in the basement. *raise an eyebrow*"

"You ..." Felix trials off, his mouth half-open. "Shit. Spec!" He leaves the room for a minute and promptly returns. "You can't leave anything unknown, can you? You can't follow one order? Ahh well, I don't blame you, after knowing what you've been going through this entire time. Come on." He leaves the room again and heads for the kitchen. You follow.

"Spec go down there and prepare them for ceremony, full colors." Felix calmly asks Spec as he appears in the doorway and then disappears again.

"Have some lunch while we wait." Felix suggests. You're not very hungry but you help yourself to a half of a sandwich. After about fifteen minutes Spec returns wearing some sort of uniform. It's burgundy and looks like a cross between a school uniform and military uniform. Spec's has all sorts of decorations and pins, and you remember that he was actually in the military at some point.

"Ready?" Felix asks.

"What's going on here?" You demand.

"I'll explain when we're down there."

You relent and follow them down the stairs and down the cellar steps. The light is already on at the bottom. You hold your breath to ward off the smell, but you detect no traces of it. When you breathe in the air has a strange smell, but it's not the odor of rotting bodies. When you reach the bottom you look up and the tables are all put away. On the walls are the bodies, all dressed in similar uniforms as Spec.

"Wha-what is all this?" you stammer.

**Cue Respectful March**

"These are your comrades. All of your fallen comrades. In large this is The Rapture. This is what we named our group for. This is Project Rapture, the tireless research to preserve and revive our fallen comrades to eventually create an unstoppable force to destroy the Revolution."

You're at a loss for words.

"Spec got distracted yesterday while injecting some of the bodies with a new prototype formula and before he could come back down you were down here exercising. You stayed down here for a long time and we just hoped you wouldn't noticed the door open, but I guess you did. It's pretty jarring to see them all out on operating tables without being used to it."

"Why ... why didn't I know about this?"

"Well we didn't know if you would compromise the information at first, and this is also a very strong link to your past. I think you're ready. Do you remember any of these faces?" Felix moves down the line. Spec stands at the beginning in line with them, saluting.

"LD, just as you said. The rest you haven't seen in ten years. Chardish, Tasselfoot, Nestlekwik, Fish," Felix stops for a moment and closes his eyes. He recovers himself and continues. "Stretchypanda, God rest you, Stretchy, and God help you, Guido, every day. MalReynolds, SpookG, Cenright, Aperson, JurseyRider; do you remember?"

You vaguely remember the names, but none of the faces conjure up memories. The connection to each name is minute, and may just be made up by you trying to force a connection.

"I ... I'm sorry, I don't." You don't know what to say. Regardless of your own memories, you feel extremely saddened by the loss. The bodies go on unnamed but Felix doesn't continue. He smiles and says, "it's alright, it's not your fault. We're gonna get the bastard who did this to them."

"TheAngel." you whisper.

"Yes. As soon as you finish the trials, we've won. And as soon as we complete Project Rapture, there will be nothing the Revolution can do to stop us."

You stand in front of one of the bodies, SpookG, and salute. You stand there, with tears forming at the corners of your eyes, trying to fight them back. You will make your comrades proud.

**-**

--

The morning of the trials is so intense you can't even concentrate. You keep thinking you've forgotten something, when in reality there's nothing you need besides your own wit. You grab a few of the advice books for the trip to New York, but the lack of light at 3 a.m. proves reading in the car difficult. You're tired despite going to sleep at around 7 p.m. to prepare for the early rising.

Eventually the sun begins its ascent and you're able to read over your books, but you're content just leaning your head against the window and watching the road pass. You think about everything leading up to now, all the training you've passed, all the misconceptions and twists. You wonder when you'll get your memory back, if ever. You wonder if you want your memory back, with the amount of grief you've experienced and mercifully forgotten. You fall asleep thinking about how such atrocities could occur without anyone knowing ...

"Whaat! Where am I?" You snap awake.

"We're about there, welcome back." Spec gleefully responds.

You stretch your eyes and arms. New York. S124. You're ready.

"Any last questions?" Felix asks as he pulls up to the parking lot. The gigantic building looms almost as ominously as the trials do in your mind.

What do you do?

> "Can we be certain that there hasn't been a trap set? Rosemary knows I'm taking the trials here today. I guess I'll have to deal with it. Would you know anything that would help tip me off if a trap is being set? Also once I'm in, what frequency should I use on a walkie so I can get in contact with you once I'm in?"

"Well we've considered the possibility that this may be a trap. However, the trials are very strictly regulated, so unless Rosemary's deeply embedded in the Revolution, she won't be able to interfere until you finish them. One thing to be careful of before you go." Felix looks you directly in the eyes.

"Listen up, this is important. Squeek, Spec and I have been talking the last few days and we think we know what Rosemary might've been up to. They want what's inside your head -- the plans to the perpetual energy generator. Rosemary's plan could've been to restore your memory before you were mentally ready all along, to gain access to the generator's structure. We don't know how to build it, only you do. Now that we have collected so much data on your mind, if that data gets into the wrong hands, you could be captured and your mind read without ever speaking a word. Rosemary might already have that data.

"So like I said, get in contact as soon as you finish the trials, we have a bag of personal items checked already that will be sent to your room once you finish -- that is, if you pass." Felix winks. "Of course you will."

"Make us proud," Spec salutes.

"Good luck" Squeek mumbles under his breath. It might be your imagination, but you thought you saw a hint of a smile.

You couldn't feel more encouraged.

"Is there any way to block the mind-reading?" you ask.

"Well we haven't done any formal training with it, but the best thing to do is not think about what they're trying to find. They have drugs to prevent conscious control of thought, but if you really focus on something, the linear thought properties of the drugs can make you stick to an irrelevant topic instead of what they want you to think about."

"Wha- what is all this right away? Why didn't you tell me all this sooner?"

"We just came up with the idea, so we're not even sure it's what she wants, but we wanted you to be ready. We know you can handle this."

You nod. You can.

You get out of the car and walk slowly into the building through the huge, ornate revolving doors. Inside you see a door to your left, where trial applicants are supposed to wait. The door leads to a long, narrow hallway. At the very end you find another open door. You're the first one to arrive. You pick out a chair in the middle of room against a wall and take a seat. After a few minutes another person walks in. They look as tense as you. You think about saying something to them, but you figure you better keep as much as possible about you a mystery.

A few more people show up and there's more waiting. Finally after about a dozen people are sitting in the room a middle-aged man in a suit comes in and stands in front of all of you.

"Congratulations. You have been selected to participate in the grant opening trials of 2012. You are our finest applicants and we have the highest hopes for your success. The grand trials' schedule will be as follows: Trial one, followed by a meal break. Trial two followed by a meal and rest break. Trial three, followed by a meal break. Trial four, followed by a meal and rest break, and finally, Trial five. Between each trial your results will be assessed and judged. As a new policy for S124, you can be disqualified based on performance in each trial. This means you must pass every trial instead of all the trials as a collective, as it is been done in the past. Participants who fail to meet the expectations of the trial will be informed in their simulation chamber after the previous break, and then escorted off the premises.

"Does anyone have issue with this policy? Are there any questions?"

No one raises their hand. The cold deep voice and commanding manner of the man is overwhelming.

"Excellent, everyone take a number, suit up and find your corresponding simulation chamber." The man immediately turns to you and hands you a slip of paper. Then he turns to the man who arrived after you. He's handing the numbers out in chronological order of timeliness. You wonder if you're already being judged. You look at your slip of paper.

"One."

You follow the man in the suit through a pair of sliding doors to small room where simulation suits have been hung on the walls, each with a number on them. You take number one and head towards the men's locker room . After everyone is dressed they return to the smaller anteroom. The man then opens another set of sliding doors to a long hallway at the end of which you can see is a large room with tables and bunk beds. There are over a dozen doors along the hallway. Those must be the chambers.

"Good luck to you all." The man walks back into the anteroom and closes the sliding doors.

You walk down to the first door and look at the number.

"Fifteen."

Your door as all the way at the end of the hallway. You approach it with caution, like an enemy trying to harm you. The door opens seamlessly, as if its weight was regulated by a machine. It probably is. Inside the door is a large metal door and a white chamber, just like the one in D.C.

A few seconds after you enter the room, the metal doors close. A voice sounds that sounds like the man in the suit.

"I'm sure I don't have to explain the rules to our finest, but our policy requires me to tell you the following: If at anytime you feel like you cannot complete a trial or that your life is in danger, you may force-break out of the simulation. Anyone who force-breaks from a trial will be immediately disqualified from acceptance to S124. Thank you, and again, good luck."

--

Intelligence - Whether based on knowledge, experience or details gathered from your environment, you must display a distinct sense of intelligence when faced with difficult decisions.

Innovation - Being innovative means coming up with interesting or less than used methods of doing something. Try to think outside the box when faced with a difficult path.

Resourcefulness - Most of the time you won't have every tool at your disposal; you'll have to make do with what you have. Being resourceful means making the most of very little.

Work ethic - You have to be willing to do whatever is necessary to achieve a goal, regardless of how unpleasant or difficult it may be.

Physical health - Being in top physical health does not only mean being strong. This includes things like agility, dexterity, and healthiness.

Emotional/mental health - Genes prone to mental erosion are weeded out by testing the limits of your mental capacity. They may test anything from your mental skills to your worst experience to you biggest fear.

Loyalty - In any situation where you are part of a group, you should be loyal to that group for the entire trial, regardless of how tempting offers to the contrary might be.

--

You open your eyes to a brilliantly colored scene. You're standing in the middle of field facing an abandoned, eroded church. One entire wall has collapsed, leaving a conspicuous meeting room with broken pews with moss creeping along the walls. Even though the damage to the building is severe, most of the stained-glass windows are intact -- their radiant colors shining brightly, illuminated by the sunset behind them.

You snap out of the scene when someone slams into your shoulder as they jog past you. The assailant, wearing a full police uniform, promptly runs into the building and frantically starts looking around. You look down to discover you too are wearing a similar uniform. You turn around to find three other policemen ... well ... police people, you're pretty sure one of them is a woman. Two of them are looking around as you were but one is squinting at the building, watching the man who ran past you all to look more closely.

"Hey, what are you doing?" you yell out at the man.

"Well someone has to find the objective, can't just stand around all day," he barks back.

"Yeah, well some of us were surveying our surroundings first before charging into unfamiliar territory," a man from the group behind you yells back. He then begins walking towards the church and the others follow.

What do you do?

> Call out to the man, "Hey man get back with the group let's investigate the church together!"

The man looks up from his pacing. You recognize him from the lobby before. There are five of you here, and as you look around you vaguely remember all of the other faces from the lobby as well. Where are the others?

"I'm not going to fail this trial because I was paired with a bunch of rookies," he shouts back. Despite his actions, he returns to the group, which you have now caught up with, and together the five of you enter the church.

"What are we doing here anyway?" you ask skeptically.

"Well trials never leave you without an objective, this is the only thing around here so this is probably where we have to start," a female voice replies. You look over to the woman; she's busy looking at the inside wall for something. You're not quite sure what to do now that all of you are inside this abandoned church, so you follow suit. You start at the very back wall, but you don't find much. Mostly damaged religious items and plant life springing up here and there. You all look for a few minutes when simultaneously, a crackling sound emits from each of you.

You look down at your belt to find a small radio, which you pick off your belt and bring to your ear. Just as you do, a voice sounds in the speaker.

"This is HQ, Blue Squad, do you read me? Over."

You hear both over the speaker and directly behind you, "Jerry! You're our commissioner? What's up?" He laughs and then quickly adds, "over."

"Ha ha, yeah we've got quite a bit of shit going down out here, looks unrelated to your issues though. First on my list for today is to check in with 'Blue Squad' on their progress with the anonymous tip with the disappearance. The report says it was filed a few days ago and the trial went pretty much cold after when we found the father was missing too; oh yeah, the mother filed it. Anyway, this is the first real info we've found on this case, it's all we've got. If you find anything at all, we'll call in specialists to comb the area, but I don't want to waste the manpower until we know there's something worth looking for. Over."

"Who was kidnapped? Over." The man behind you asks.

"Uhh ... let's see here ... I don't know. Hmm. Oh. Okay here, no ... I don't know, this report is confusing. I was basically reading off the summary another guy here wrote out for me. I've got some other matters to attend to so, Blue Squad, I'm counting on you. HQ over and out."

The radio crackles as if out of breath. The man on the radio who apparently knew our commissioner turns around to each of the people in the church, including you.

"Any ideas?" he asks.

What do you do?

> "Alright well I'm guessing we have to look around for some sort of evidence of a kidnapping or disappearance or something. First thing we should do is check what we have. Then we should look around."
> "Hey did you know the guy that gave us that information? Who's Jerry? What's his part in this?"

"Well I guess we should look for somewhere a person could be hidden. Who was that on the radio? Jerry? Do you know him?" You turn to the man who was talking on the radio. The others look to him for the response.

"Yeah, Jerry and I are good friends from S19. We both try to take the 124 trials every year together. My name's Seth by the way."

"Ward," you respond simply. Slowly everyone introduces themselves.

"Euclid," a blonde younger man near the entrance says.

"Jessie," the woman from before says before returning to inspecting the wall.

"Ed." The larger dark-haired man who rushed in ahead of the group is reluctant to become friendly. He walks to a far corner of the church and starts tapping on the floor.

After a moment, Seth speaks up again. "Now that we have an objective, let's try to find evidence that our disappearing person was here."

Sounds like a good idea. You check for signs of a trap door on the floor and feel along the wall for a secret passageway. After another minute of searching something catches your eye. A mark on the wall that goes against the pattern. When you look closer at the mark you see it's actually two parallel marks that look suspiciously like scratches. You follow it along to the back wall but the marks disappear. You pull against the corner and the back of the wall and even the floor but nothing budges.

You stop and look around. You're at the corner of two stone walls behind a raised platform with the podium and the religious items on it. There are unlit candles, weather-stained sheets and eclectic, ornate metal pieces on the platform.

Where do want to inspect?

> Feel along the scratches on the wall for any sort of looseness. Maybe some paper or something behind it? Look around for anything that could have made this scratches, like if something was mounted on the wall and dragged across the wall.

You check out the scratches in relation to any furniture or large objects nearby. The scratches are at about neck-level to you, which is taller than anything you can see in the room besides maybe the podium, which is bolted down on the raised platform. Upon closer inspection you see the depth of the marks varies as well as the direction. While the two scratch marks remain parallel throughout, the direction and locations are haphazard.

What do you do?

> Check out the alter.

The alter is less organized than it looked from far away. Most everything is broken or knocked over and covered in signs of natural decay. One thing sticks out -- a candlestick. Upon closer inspection you discover dust is missing on pieces of the stick.

"Fingerprints?" you say under your breath. Without putting your hands where the prints are, you grab on the candle stick and try to move it. It wobbles forward and backwards slightly. You give it a bigger pull and it snaps down. It felt like the candlestick broke, but it actually bent at a hidden hinge. You hear a deep sound of boulders moving behind you. You look to see the corner of the two walls where the scratches had ended now shows a small opening, just large enough for a person to fit through.

"This is so cliche," you mutter as you head towards the passageway. You're already inside and walking towards the darkness when you realize no one else in the group had seen when you were doing.

Call back to them or go on your own?

You stop, turn around and call out from the entrance to the tunnel, "hey, I found something!"

The four other officers join you at the entrance and collectively decide this must be the right path.

"Shouldn't one of us stay up here to keep an eye out or continue investigating?" you ask.

"Eh, for all their complications, trials are pretty linear most of the time. Still it's not a bad idea, but I don't want to." Euclid says.

"Neither do I." Seth chimes in. Neither do the other two, so you all head down the tunnel in the dark. The tunnel is tall enough to stand comfortably, and wide enough for one person to walk comfortably, but probably not two. After walking a ways, it becomes too dark to see anything, so you feel around your belt for a flashlight. Just before you find yours, someone behind you flicks theirs on.

"Here we go." Seth says.

"Quiet!" Ed whispers shrilly. "What if someone hears us and runs? I can't believe I got paired with a bunch of amateurs."

Everyone ignores Ed's complaints and continues. You feel the tunnel slope downwards, and then there's a 90 degree left turn, followed by another one shortly afterwards.

Seth shines the light down the long tunnel and reveals a small room at the end of it. You hurry to the room and stop suddenly. You thought you saw something terrible on the wall just for a second when the light brushed past it; you're almost afraid to shine your own light there again to see what it is. Still a short ways behind you, Seth yells, "hey, do you see anything?"

** Cue Ghost **

You shine your light on the place in question on the wall and freeze. Your mouth hangs open in the dank air for a few seconds while your eyes lock on an unconscious, badly bruised, naked girl chained to the wall. You drop your flashlight accidentally and then drop to your knees. You're not shocked to find the subject of your disappearance. You're not horrified because the subject is a pre-pubescent girl with bruises over half her body. You're frozen in terror because the girl on the wall has her face cut open, and her jaw exposed.

Just like you.

** - **

What do you do?

> Pull yourself together, ignore the likeness of her injuries. Release her from the shackles, see if she's alive, put your jacket on her either way.

"Ward? What are you doin -- oh shit. We found our missing person." Jessie shines her light on the girl. You can't bare to look.

"Sorry I dropped my flashlight, seeing someone like that startled me." You pick up your flashlight and go over to the girl. You take off your police jacket and wrap it around the front of the girl, then feel her head and neck for temperature and a pulse.

"She's got a weak pulse and she's breathing, slowly," you announce.

"Let's get her back to the station." Euclid suggests.

"How about we call for fucking back up? And an ambulance and a CSI team? Have you guys ever heard of law enforcement?" Ed is still in the tunnel pointing his light directly in Euclid's face. Euclid squints and waves his hand in the light until Ed lowers it.

"Either way we have to get her down." Euclid responds, dejectedly.

You're the closest, so you grab the shackle to see how to unlock it. Another similarity -- these shackles are the same ones you were imprisoned in when you first woke up. After some fiddling, you find the chains are too strong to rip out of the wall or break. You pull out your gun to shoot the chain when Seth stops you.

"Whoa whoa, hey, let me see if I can pick the lock." Seth puts his hand on your arm and lowers it, then steps to the shackles with a couple of thin pieces of metal. Where did he get them?

As Seth attempts to pick the lock, you look over at Ed, who's already calling in the happenings to HQ, although you can't hear it on your own radio for some reason. He finishes and walks back up the tunnel to the outside. After a few minutes, you hear a click and the first shackle falls limp to the wall. Seth makes short work of the second shackle as Jessie holds the girl up and then carries her out. Ed's waiting against the stone wall of the church. Just as you step onto the grass, an ambulance roars over a hill and two paramedics get out. Jessie carefully hands the girl over to them; they pack her in the ambulance and speed off. A ways from the church, on the other side of the hill, there are two police cars parked in a field next to a road. Ed and Seth claim driving privileges first. You go with Seth, so does everyone else.

In the car, Euclid turns to you and asks, "what happened back there? You looked really shook up about that. You're still really pale, are you alright?"

What do you do?

> Laugh it off - "Nah, just startled me. Not everyday you see an unconscious, brutalized, pre-pubescent girl chained to a wall. I'm fine."

"Yeah, I guess so, I didn't really see her. You had her covered up before anyone else could really get a good look I guess. Thanks for that, heh." Euclid shifts his glance out the window of the police car and watches the landscape pass for a moment before turning to Seth and asking, "hey, do you even know where you're going? Or where the police station is?"

"Do you think this car wouldn't be equipped with a GPS? I'm following a route to 'HQ.'" Seth responds.

"Ah"

You drive for another ten minutes before pulling into the station. When you get inside, Ed has already arrived, and is engaged in a conversation with another officer you don't recognize. Said officer is wearing a more fancy uniform, with a tie and a jacket, and is holding a manila folder full of papers. You can only assume this is the commissioner.

"Jerry! I mean commissioner Adams, sir." Seth walks over to the commissioner and shakes his hand cheerily. Ed stops mid-sentence and walks over to a wall to lean on. You join Seth with the rest of the group.

"Okay troops, we've got a lot of shit going down at the moment so I'm going to have to split you up into teams to get to the bottom of this case as quickly as possible. I've been filled in a bit more on this apparent kidnapping so here goes. The little girl's mom, who is a complete nutjob by the way, reported her daughter missing two days ago when she didn't return from her father's house as promptly as she should've. This was the third time we've had a disappearance report filed for this girl by this woman, so we really didn't expect anything serious. Apparently this woman is on really bad terms with her ex-husband and wants to do anything she can to get him revoked of any custody rights. Anyway, we did all the legwork and nothing came up until we got an anonymous note this morning, which told us to look at the old catholic remains on Belleview.

"So, you know the rest of the story, here's what needs to be done now. Euclid, I want you to go talk to the secretaries, find out who received the note, and every detail that goes along with it. If it came in direct, see if you can get prints, we have it sealed in the lab. If it came over the phone, see about getting the call records. When you finish with that, I want you to do some research with the wife, see how she checks out. If that doesn't come up with much, talk to her. I want some answers, we'll talk about that in a minute.

"Jessie, Ed," the commissioner looks up over at Ed who's in earshot but still quite far from the group. Ed raises his eyebrow and then slowly walks closer to join the group. "I want you two--" Commissioner Adams is cut off by cellphone. He grabs it off his belt and walks over to the corner Ed had been standing against. You can make out what he's saying.

"Hello? Yes. Yes. Oh my God, that's awful. Tell me when you get it back. As soon as possible, please. Thank you." He closes his phone and walks over to the group again.

"That was the doctor who's handling our kidnappee. He says the girl has been raped, and by the copious amounts of semen, she's had it quite a few times, maybe by multiple persons. Anyway, like I was going to say, Jessie and Ed, I want you two to head down to the hospital and oversee the DNA tests on the semen. As soon as they have results I want you on them. You two are our toughest officers, but I need you to be ready for anything, and I need you to be careful. Got it?"

Adams turns to you and Seth. "Alright, you two did the best detective work at the scene, I want you to do the hardest job. The husband/father went missing at the same time as the girl. He's our biggest suspect at the moment. I'm being told his prints are at the church, I need you to find him. We have his address; it's already been searched but if you need to go there you're free to. Also these other groups will have information crucial to your success, and vice versa." Adams addresses the entire group again. "You all have different assignments that will get you information we all need. If you have any questions that fall in someone else's area, don't hesitate to call. Call ADAMS if you need to speak with me for general information. Call ED if you need to find out about DNA results and other information about suspects. Call SETH if you need info on the father. Call EUCLID if you need info on the mother, or on the anonymous tip. Everybody good? Any questions?"

What do you do?

> Look around the station for a fingerprint kit and any other useful items.
> Say to Seth, "I know I saw fingerprints on the candlestick that triggered the passage to open. If we can get a clean set of prints and get the ID of the father, we can at least put him at the scene. We might be able to tell from the viscosity of the fingerprint oils how long ago the print was made too. Might give us a clue as to how far he might have gone. Let's make sure to check airports, bus stations, and taxi services if they've seen his picture or heard his name. Maybe he was even dumb enough to use a credit card. But first things first, let's check his house again. Look to see if it looks like he's packed. We should make sure he won't skip town if we can and try to hold him on whatever kind of charge - trespassing at that abandoned church maybe."

No one has any questions, the commissioner couldn't have been clearer. As you start to walk off with Seth you say, "I know I saw fingerprints on the candlestick that triggered the passage to open. If we can get a clean set of prints and get the ID of the father, we can at least put him at the scene. We might be able to tell from the viscosity of the fingerprint oils how long ago the print was made too. Might give us a clue as to how far he might have gone. Let's make sure to check airports, bus stations, and taxi services if they've seen his picture or heard his name. Maybe he was even dumb enough to use a credit card."

"Sure, but we don't have to go down there just to check for the prints on the candle, there's a CSI team right now doing it for us. They should have results back to us in an hour or so. We don't know much about this guy other than what his ex-wife -- we should find out her name -- has told us though, we need to find some friends. I think we should start at his house like Jerry said."

Sure, let me grab some stuff before we go. You find a conveniently placed supply cabinet with a fingerprint kit and a blacklight pen inside. You pocket both and get on the road. In the car, you use your radio.

"Call EUCLID."

"Euclid here, what's up?"

"What's the wife's name?"

"Samantha Browning."

"Anything we should know about the husband, where to start?"

"Well she speaks mostly poison about him, his name is Allen Torpey by the way. She says he's a shut-in and most of her insults revolve around him being either a perverted murderer or a homicidal geek, but that's probably because she's got him pinned for this whole thing. That's all I've got so far."

"Thanks," you put your radio back on your belt.

"Put this in the GPS for me," Seth asks as he hands you a slip of paper. "This is the address of our guy."

It takes you a minute to figure out the controls, but you eventually input the address and the GPS starts you off on your way to Mr. Torpey's house.

--

You arrive at a complex of condominiums, find the correct building and room, and Seth produces a key.

"Commissioner gave me this while you were getting supplies. He said the room showed no sign of a struggle and that no one has likely been in the condo since the girl was reported missing." Seth opens the door. In one corner there's a neat stack of CS equipment. Most everything else looks normal. There's a living room with a TV and a computer, a door to a bathroom, a closet, a staircase, a hallway leading to a kitchen.

What do you do?

> Start out by checking the CS equipment, and if we have legal authority to, check out the contents of his computer.
> Also, look for any sort of clues as to where he could possibly have taken up residence after his disappearance.

You walk into the main room, leaving Seth in the foyer and check the CS equipment. Most of the equipment you don't know how to use, and there is lots of plastic wrap. Nothing of real use to you figuring out where Allen went. You walk over to the computer and sit down.

"Whoa, are we allowed to do that?" Seth asks.

"Oh wait, you're right." You get up and grab some plastic gloves from the CS pile, then go back to the computer and sit again. "There we go."

Seth raises an eyebrow disapprovingly and goes upstairs. You start with the internet browser. You check the history, cache, cookies and favorites. Nothing seems to suggest a Allen Torpey is anything but a normal guy. He seems to be a bit on the nerdy side, he has a folder full of online RPG sites, but otherwise normal. You close the browser and start looking through folders on his hard drive. You do a search for "girl." A few pictures pop up, but most of them look like stock photos. You go to search his daughter's name, when you realize you don't know it.

"Call ED."

"This is Ed." A gruff voice replies.

"What's the daughter's name?"

"I don't know. What's the daughter's name, Jessie?" You hear Ed ask and a faint voice reply that you can't quite make out. Then Ed responds, "Lisa. Lisa Torpey."

"Thanks. Hey what's the status on the DNA tests?"

"No word yet."

"Alright, thanks again."

You put the radio on your belt and search for "Lisa." A few dozen pictures come up and you hesitate before opening them. You have to know. The first few pictures are baby pictures some with just Lisa, some with the wife as well. You start scrolling through them faster, trying to find some evidence of abuse. You go through all the pictures and none of them show any sign of a monster living here, using this computer. You're just about to get up when you think of one last search.

You open up advanced search options and search for hidden folders, sorted by most recently updated. The computer whirs for a few seconds and then the results show up. Thousands of folders, most of them look system-related. One of the folders catches your eye.

"Spreadsheets? Why would that be invisible?" You say aloud as you double click on it. The folder opens up to reveal a number of spreadsheet documents and a folder named "archive." You double click that to find a single folder named "." You open that folder and the screen fills with image files. This is the motherload. You open up one and immediately close it in disgust. Explicit child pornography -- there must be nearly a thousand pictures in this folder. Some of them date back to nearly ten years prior. Allen Torpey is a pedophile.

What do you do?

> Get up from the computer for now, put the gloves in a plastic bag, could have DNA that can be tested against the semen in the girl. Go to the kitchen. Look around for any clue to Allen's whereabouts. Also see if there's a knife missing from a set of knives. That would be about as cliche as the passage in the church.

Satisfied with your evidence, you put your gloves in a plastic bag, seal it, and pocket it for testing later. Next stop is the kitchen to find traces of where Allen might've gone or what he might've taken. Again no signs of struggle, all the knives seem to be in their places. Nothing out of the ordinary from what you can see, and no clues as to where he might've gone from here.

Seth comes down the stairs and says, "the upstairs is clear, nothing wrong there; did you find anything?"

"He's got kiddy porn on his computer. It was hidden."

"Oooo what a sucker! We've gotta get this guy. Any traces of where he might've gone?"

"No, I think we're going to have to get a warrant for his credit card and bank history."

"Maybe we already have one. Call ADAMS." Seth picks up his radio. "Commissioner, do we have a warrant to search Torpey's computer?"

"Of course, you have all the warrants in the world. Anything he has access to, you have access to. What do you need?"

"Bank information, credit card and money stuff."

The commissioner tells Seth to get a pen so you grab one and a piece of paper. Seth repeats the bank account number and you write it down along with several other bits of financial information.

"Alright, thanks Jer."

"No problem, good luck."

Seth turns to you as he puts his radio back and asks, "what's first?"

What do you do?

> Call EUCLID. Ask if the mother would have any idea where her husband might be. Does he have another place of residence? Any family/friends nearby? Any place where he normally hangs out?
> Call ADAMS. See if we can get a covert stake-out on the church. He might go back there.

"Euclid?"

"Hey Ward, what's up?"

"Ask the wife who her husband hung out with, his friends. We're trying to find out where he'd go or who he'd talk to on the run."

"Yeah she says he doesn't have any friends, they're all online. If he does have friends, you could probably find better evidence of them in that house, I would suspect."

"What about places he likes to go?"

"Nope, as far as she's concerned, he's a total shut-in, which doesn't make much sense considering his profession."

"What is that?"

"Wedding photographer. He would have to go out and about for that. Maybe he just spends all his free time at home."

"Okay, thanks Euclid."

"Wait, I have some info on the tip that you might want to know. It came in by phone, the secretary who took the call said it was a woman's voice."

"The wife??" you exclaim.

"That's what I'm thinking. I'm going down to check the call records right now. I'll probably be sorting for a while, so call me in a bit and I'll let you know what I've found."

"Alright."

You switch frequencies and call ADAMS.

"Commander? Do you have a moment?"

"Yes, what's up?"

"We think the best course of action in finding the father would be staking out the church. If he left his daughter there, he'll probably be back."

"Hmm, this probably would've been a good idea a few hours ago. Our CS team got tailed by News 8, who is breaking the story as we speak. If he watches any form of news at all, he'll knows what's up. Still he may come back cautiously, but I doubt it. We'll keep team there after CS cleans up and keep them hidden. I'll let you know if he shows up."

What do you do?

> Go back to his computer and look for a schedule and a list of contacts.
>Also, attempt logging into his IM programs.

You grab another pair of gloves and get back on the computer. You look for a contact list or an address book, but you come across nothing like that even after heavy searching. He must really only have online friends. Your eyes dart to one of his desktop items -- AOL instant messenger. You click on it, and hope the password is saved. It is. A few seconds pass, and an contact list appears. There are about a dozen people online. You're considering what to do next when you receive a new message.

"Smalls3398: WHERE WERE YOU?!
Smalls3398: you missed the entire session
Smalls3398: did your power go out
Smalls3398: or something?
Smalls3398: you've been offline for like 2 days"

What do you do?

>Check the chat logs quickly, to try to see what style our computer user types in. Imitate that style.

You quickly scan the menus for a chat log menu, find one, and begin reading through recent logs to adapt to Allen's method of typing. After a minute you find Allen consistently types in almost all lowercase, except for the occasional proper noun (names, places, etc.), and puts periods at the end of each sentence. He also frequently makes use of his apparently large vocabulary, but not all the time.

While trying to understand his style you begin reading the content of the conversations, and find a lot of them are games involving dragons and elves. Was this D&D? You're about to close the logs and reply to Smalls when you see the time stamp of most recent log -- two hours before the girl was reported missing. You open it up, and all of it seems natural and normal just as the others. You scroll down to the bottom. The last thing Allen says to this person is:

"hold on, I think there's someone at my door.
brb."

Smalls is still waiting for a reply.

What do you do?

> "sorry what did i miss?"
>Check doorbell for fingerprints while waiting for a reply.

You turn to Seth and ask him to check for fingerprints on the outer doorknob. You want to see if there are any that don't match Allen or Lisa.

UnderlordofXalius: sorry what did i miss?
Smalls3398: oh man
Smalls3398: so much
Smalls3398: like, the entire world
Smalls3398: we all pretty much went up an entire level, even dan
Smalls3398: it was an incredible dungeon
Smalls3398: i saved the logs when you didn't show
UnderlordofXalius: yeah there wasn't much I could do.
Smalls3398: what about a neighbor's house
Smalls3398: or an internet cafe?
Smalls3398: come on the power's gone out on me before but i never missed a game

Seems this friend is at least a bit skeptical or disappointed your impression of Allen. You don't really have much to lose; this online chat isn't the biggest lead. Even so, you pause for a moment to consider if you'll get more information from him if you continue to imitate Allen, or if you drop the law on him.

What do you do?

>sorry. i've been having trouble with the ex wife.

UnderlordofXalius: sorry. I've been having trouble with the ex-wife. you know how she is.
Smalls3398: she try to get you arrested again
Smalls3398: what a bitch
Smalls3398: what happened?
UnderlordofXalius: pretty much the usual, her trying to control everything, me being the victim of her every whim.

You figure if this isn't true, you could pull it off as exaggerating sarcasm.

Smalls3398: hahaha
Smalls3398: wow i'm sorry
Smalls3398: did you lose custody?

You're intrigued by this question. It's obvious this person knows some finer details about Allen's life, and might be able to shed some real light on Allen as a child molester. You have to choose your words carefully, and try to get him to spill what he knows involuntarily. If he seems shocked or astounded by your allusion, you'll reveal yourself as a police officer.

What do you do?

>...yeah. i lost her.

UnderlordofXalius: yeah. I lost her.
Smalls3398: oh fuck!
UnderlordofXalius: I know
Smalls3398: that is seriously and completely fucked up
Smalls3398: you know I have a really good lawyer
Smalls3398: where's his number
Smalls3398: seriously you've never done anything to forfeit custody
Smalls3398: legally
Smalls3398: regardless of what you might've done to upset Sam
Smalls3398: what did the judge say?

You have what you need from this guy. If there is any child abuse going on, his best friend online doesn't know about it. You finish up by saying,

UnderlordofXalius: oh hold on, phone.
Smalls3398: alright
UnderlordofXalius: actually this is a big deal, I'll be online later.
Smalls3398: alright, you still on for tonight?
UnderlordofXalius: doubt it. later.

You sign off before Smalls can respond. A point for Allen, either he's very secretive, and I guess justifiably so, or he's not molesting his daughter. You look up from the computer to find Seth had been reading over your shoulder silently.

"Nice one," he says as you get up. "I lifted a bunch of prints from the door but I bet CSI got them all anyway. Plus our fingers got all on it since we've been here."

"Oh, right. Let's check the prints against the criminal database, Allen supposedly disappeared right around the same time as the chat log where he says there was someone at his door. That was also the last thing he said or did online, according to the online records on his computer." You're fairly certain you're on the right track. Now that you have some more facts, you ponder about your next move. Your best option is probably going to his bank and getting his records or calling his credit card company. It also occurs to you that a significant amount of time has passed, and that you might be able to check in with Ed and Jessie about the DNA results. You reach for your radio just as it goes off.

"Seth?" It's the commander. You pick up the call.

"This is Ward."

"The news report on Channel 8 was a blessing in disguise, we got a guy in here who says he saw Allen after he disappeared."

"Really? Where?"

"Just outside the church, along the interstate. He was hitchhiking, Allen that is, and this guy picked him up. He said he just wanted to get into town. The guys says he dropped him off outside a McDonnalds in downtown."

"Did he say anything else?"

"He said Allen looked tired, wouldn't say much, and was a bit jumpy. He said his clothes and hair were really dirty, like they hadn't been washed for weeks. We were skeptical at first since he came in so suddenly, but he said he came straight down to the station when he saw the WANTED headshot on the news. CSI is just getting back with their findings at the church, and they say footprints that match Allen's description walked up the hill and into the forest, right across from the interstate. It all checks out. Do you know if there's anything specific he wanted in downtown?"

You look down at the financial info you had just gotten out to look at.

"Is there a BlueStar branch in downtown?" you ask.

"Hell if I know, I don't live here any more than you! Look it up. Let me know if you get any big breaks."

"Oh! I talked to his best friend, well who we believe to be his best friend. I chatted online as Allen and this guy doesn't know anything about Allen molesting his daughter. We also found out his last message before he disappeared was something along the lines of 'there's someone at the door, be right back.'"

"Excellent work, both of you. Keep me posted."

What do you do?

> Call ED about DNA results.
> Call ADAMS to get someone to pick up the computer because of the CP is evidence.
> Use GPS to find closest BlueStar Bank to his house, downtown. Head there to stake it out.

"Call ED. How's the DNA test coming along?"

"It's done. A total of four different people's semen. One of them matched her father." The other three are running against the criminal database right now."

"Dammit." You were starting to think the father was a victim in this crime.

"We'll let you guys know if we get ahold of any other leads. Call us if you find the father." Ed seems to be more of a team player now that he only has to talk in short sentences over the radio.

"Will do." You leave the radio for a moment and then say, "call ADAMS. We found child pornography on Allen's computer, and Ed just said some of the semen tested matches Allen. I think we've got our guy."

"Great, thanks for the update. I'll have a team to come and retrieve the computer in a few hours. Lock up the apartment when you leave."

You turn to Seth. "So, let's find the closest BlueStar on the GPS in the car, and stake it out."

Seth raises a skeptical eyebrow. "You think he's still going to be there? Or have any reason to go back? No he's probably done what he needs to do already, but it will give us a timeframe and a radius for how far he's gone. We should check it out anyway, but that guy picked up Allen this morning at like 2 a.m. There's no way he's anywhere close."

Hmm. Seth's probably right, you could check records with BlueStar, but if he went to the bank, he probably withdrew a lot of money in cash so he'd be untraceable. At least the tellers working when it opened would be witnesses. Although you don't want to waste any time. You rack your brain for any more information you have to work with. Where would Allen go?

What do you do?

>Use GPS to find an internet cafe or a library near the bank.

"What about an internet cafe?" You ask Seth. "We've seen evidence that he's an internet dependent, if not addict. He'll probably make his way to somewhere with free wi-fi. Let's go downtown and see where you can connect remotely."

"Good idea, while we're on our way I'll tell the commissioner to alert all major forms of transportation to not let our guy travel." Seth and you both walk out to the car. You're once again satisfied that you're on the right path. Once inside the car, you turn on the GPS and search for "internet cafe." Zero results within 50 miles. You try "library." Looks like there's one in the downtown area. You tell the GPS to take you there and Seth begins following its instructions.

While you're en route, you pull out your radio again. "Call EUCLID."

"Oh hey, I just tracked down that phone call. It came from a deaf service called TDI. Apparently you can go on some website and type up a phone call and they'll call it up for you. I contacted the service agency and they gave me the IP of the caller, but that was a dead end. The IP originated in Bosnia or something, it was just a proxy."

"So whoever left us the anonymous tip really covered their tracks. Out of curiosity, do you have to have a username to use the service?" Seth asks loudly as he leans over to your radio.

"Yeah, uhh let me see what the caller's username was ... " you hear Euclid flipping through some papers. "Ah here it is. Anonymous123456. Does that help?"

"No, thanks though." You respond. "Any updates on the wife?"

"She's at the hospital right now. I don't think she knew her daughter was in a coma until I told her. She rushed over there all teary-eyed in the middle of a report I was doing with her. She's got an alibi for almost all the time her daughter's been missing, and considering the semen found inside the girl, I'd say she's pretty much ruled out of the suspects. I'll keep my eye on her though."

"Good deal. We're headed over to a library downtown, hopefully going to catch Allen using the internet."

"Alright. If you need me, you know my number."

You put the radio down and turn to Seth. "So how are we going to do this? Walk around covertly, or bust in and lock the place down? It'll be kind of obvious to him if two cops walk in. We'll need to have all the exits being watched."

"Hmm, well one of us could put on civilian clothes and the other could wait outside ... I don't have a preference, which would you rather do?"

"I'll go in. Do we have civilian clothes handy?" As you ask, you unbutton your police shirt and find a white t-shirt underneath.

"No, I don't think so. Just take off your belt and your shirt."

"What about my gun?"

"I'd leave it off, but it's up to you."

You leave it off, you feel like this guy isn't very dangerous unless you're a defenseless pre-teen.

"Okay so all I have is my radio, which I can keep fairly hidden as long as he doesn't look directly at my back. Front door is 6 on a clock, I'll let you know what direction he's headed if he starts running."

"Okay and if I see anything suspicious outside I'll give you a code word. Uhhh ... apple."

"Alright, Seth, we're getting close, find somewhere to park and I'll walk the rest of the way. Wait two minutes then come park in the lot and cover the exits."

"Got it." Seth pulls over into a parking space along the main road, you quickly get out and starts walking. Three blocks later you reach the library. Just as you're about to enter, you see Seth out of the corner of your eye pull into the parking lot. Perfect.

What do you do?

> Enter the library. Head for a the media center. Hopefully there's only one. Find a desk that both gives you a view of the rest of the area and hides your back so you're not given away.

You enter cautiously and immediately check out surrounding area. Seeing nothing suspicious, you scan across what you can see of the library. It's built similarly to the library you visited in real life, but more regal and with a bit of an older feel. In the center there are a few dozen terminals with computers, and then hallways leading to shelves of books. You cautiously walk towards the terminal area and start checking the faces of each person using a computer. After a few minutes, finding no one that looks remotely like Allen, you take a seat in an arm chair where you have a good view of several exits and most of the people sitting at terminals. Among the exits you can see are the bathrooms, which is probably where your target is if he's in the library still. You wait for ten minutes with still no results. You consider going into the bathroom to search, but the idea seems a bit excessive. You also consider asking someone at the information desk if they've seen Allen. That's probably not excessive.

You walk over to the information desk.

"Can I help you?" A man in a collared shirt says without looking up from his computer.

"Hi, I'm with the --" you realize you don't know where you are, or what police department you're with. "-- the police." You pull out your badge from your pocket and display it discretely to the librarian. "I'm investigating a suspected rapist, who we think could've come here. Has anyone named 'Allen Torpey' been in here within the last 24 hours?"

"Oh my goodness! Let me check, sir." The man, still not making eye contact, types rather quickly into his computer and then shakes his head. "No, if he came in, he didn't use that name. Do you have a photo?"

You go to pull a headshot out of your chest pocket when you realize your police shirt is in the car. You pick up the radio and say "Seth? All clear, come in with my shirt please."

A few moments later, Seth hurries in, holding your police shirt. You put it on quickly and hand the headshot to the librarian.

"Oh my WORD! You just missed him, he couldn't have left more than 20 minutes ago," he exclaims

"What name did he log in under? Did he give an address?"

Still typing, the librarian brings up Allen's information and prints it out for you. He hands you the sheet and you look over it with Seth.

"Jordan Styles, Age 40, Caucasian, Male, 8382 Maple Ave. Georgetown, CT," you read aloud. "Do a search of that address, how far is it from here?"

The librarian hits a few keys, pauses and squints, and then turns to you for the first time. "There's no such place as Maple Avenue here in Georgetown. There's a Maple Grove Road ..."

"A fake address. Great." Seth says dejectedly.

"Well at the very least he couldn't be far from here," you pocket the paper and start heading for the door with Seth. "And we have the fake name he used here, which we could try to find elsewhere, like hotels."

"He probably won't stay anywhere for too long; I've seen three hotels already just off main street."

"Hmmm..."

What do you do?

> GPS nearby hotels. Seems like he's walking everywhere so good chance he's nearby. Call them all in case we get lucky with that fake name. If no luck visit them with the picture.

"Well we've got a GPS and a radio, do we have a cellphone? Something to use to call hotels?"

"I dunno, I don't think so. There are pay phones down the street if we have change." Seth suggests.

You check the police car for loose change. While searching, Seth searches for nearby hotels and writes the phone numbers on a piece of paper. Finally, you find a small area for holding coins. You grab a dozen quarters, hand half of them to Seth and each take a phone booth.

"Hello, this is Officer Ward, I'm investigating a rape suspect and I was wondering if anyone by the name of 'Jordan Styles' has checked in recently."

"Have you had any suspicious activity in the last 24 hours?"

"Did you have any guests that checked in around 3 a.m. this morning?"

You run over these questions and similar ones with a half dozen phone numbers before Seth gestures at you, signaling for you to come over.

"Where are you located? Mmm hmm? Alright, make sure he doesn't leave." Seth hangs up and dashes to the car. You follow.

"We got him, he's at LocalInn. It's about ten blocks away." Seth slams on the gas and screams through the streets with his siren on. Even with the siren there are still a few bottlenecks of traffic that are impossible to get through without waiting.

"We're coming up on 5 o'clock," you inform Seth as you put your police belt back on and button up your shirt.

"We're almost there, I'm killing the siren." Seth parks the car in a meter spot and jumps out of the car. You're right behind him. You both dash into the hotel, flash your badges and head upstairs.

Seth stops at room 205. He pauses. Neither one of you are actually cops, you don't know what to do beyond what you've seen on TV.

What do you do?

> Use Unholy Dragon Smash on door, hopefully breaking in, rush in with guns up

You take out your pistol and point it up. Seth grabs his and does the same. You back up to the wall and run charging shoulder-first at the wooden door. It cracks and breaks under your weight. Unfortunately you aren't expecting it to give so easily and you fall over. Seth rushes in and finds a man standing against the wall by the TV, points his gun and screams for him to get on the ground. The man, who has already jumped up from the sound of the door breaking, runs into the back room. You get up, point your gun up and ease towards the open door to the back room.

"Don't come in or I'll shoot!" Allen yells from the room.

"We've got you surrounded, Allen. Come on now you're under arrest for the rape and brutal assault on your daughter, Lisa Torpey.

"I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING!" he screams violently.

You look over at Seth who has his eyes fixed on the door opening. Allen has the light off in the back room but the window is letting in a bit of light through the shades. You could try to talk this guy down, or you could call his bluff, go in full force and chance being shot.

What do you do?

> "Your daughter's alive, Allen! She's alive! If you want to set this right you have to come with us. I want you to toss that weapon out of the room and and show me your hands!"

There's silence hanging in the air, mixed with tension and sadness.

"...please don't kill me"

** Cue Transgression **

"We're not going to kill you, Allen, we just want the truth, throw out your weapon and come out here slowly."

Allen emerges from the room slowly; you and Seth back up to give him some space. He's holding a pistol out directly towards Seth's forehead. You look at his face. His eyes are bloodshot from tears and lack of sleep. There are deep, dark bags under his eyes and you can see the imprint of where a now absent pair of glasses should be. His cheeks are tense with fear and anger, and covered with his tears.

"They ... they're going to torture ... me ... and then kill me." He says, his hand shaking, still firmly holding the gun pointed at Seth.

"That's non-sense Allen, you'll get a fair trial, if you're even charged with anything at all."

"They kidnapped me. They took my Lisa. I could hear them beating her, cutting her, doing God knows what else. I couldn't move, I was tied up and drugged. Then when they got bored they threw me in a tub of freezing water and held me at gunpoint, naked. She was naked too." Allen pauses and swallows slowly.

"I WOULD NEVER HURT HER!" he screams angrily. "They told me if I didn't rape my daughter, I would be killing her, and myself. I didn't want to do it, they knew about my problem but I would never hurt her I would never do those things. I would never. Never. I don't know who they were, but they made me do it. THEY MADE ME A CRIMINAL. I'M A FUCKING ACCOUNTANT, NOT A CRIMINAL!"

**-**

He squints to try and stop the crying, but he never takes his eyes off you or Seth. After a few moments he speaks again.

"Okay, you guys go back and tell them what happened, but I can't go to jail." You move just slightly closer and Allen screams.

"DON'T THINK I WON'T DO IT! I won't go to jail for a crime I didn't commit. Especially against the only person I love! You can't send me to jail. Please! Go back to your chief and tell him you didn't find me. I'll stay here, one of you can stay here with me. Find the other guys who did this to me, and I'll come quietly with you. I know how the system works, once you have your guy, all the justice falls on him. No way. I know how it works."

"You know we can't just leave Allen. Come on, Allen. We're not just going to send you away for anything. If your story pans out, we'll go from there. But if you shoot this officer, your chance ends right here. Drop the weapon, Allen. Think of your daughter. How do you want her to remember you? Come on let's set this right. Drop the weapon."

Allen is still silent, staring Seth down with his pistol. You try one more time.

"Allen. Listen to me. Shooting one of us here means a death sentence for you. Coming with us means a chance to set things right. There are only two ways this can go, and for your reputation, and for your daughter, you know what you must do. At the very least....Do this to prove your ex wife wrong about you. With you, we can catch the bastards that did this to your daughter, and we can make sure it never happens to anyone else, ever again. Trust me."

More tears flow from Allen's eyes. His hand is getting more shaky.

"I'll never ... she'll never trust me again ... my daughter will hate me forever. When this goes to court ... she'll find out about my addiction ... and I'll be punished regardless. Please ... leave ..."

You're not leaving. After a few moments Allen sees that. In that moment you see the cornered animal in his eyes. You see a desperate man tormented with self-loathing and guilt. You see a man who doesn't want to suffer anymore.

In an instant Allen swings his arm, bending it and pointing the gun at his own head. Simultaneously, Seth yells "NO!" and you shoot on instinct. You can't tell if you heard two shots or one. You look down and see Allen collapsed on the floor, blood pouring out of him. Allen's gun lies against the wall, near his collapsed arm, his shirt now soaked red. Seth runs over and kicks the gun to the other side of the room.

What do you do?

>Go put pressure on the bullet wound and tell Seth to call Adams for a bus.

Seth gets on the radio, telling the commander what's happened. You can't even hear what he's saying. You rush to Allen, and slowly turn him over. His right shoulder is spilling blood out of a nasty wound with bits of flesh and shirt hanging off. Allen is unconscious, you put your ear to his mouth. He's still breathing. You check for a pulse. It's faint, but it's there. You pull off his shirt, rip the bloody parts off and wrap the clean part around the wound, keeping pressure on the area. After a few minutes, with Seth pacing around the hotel room, you see an ambulance out the window. The paramedics are up almost instantly, load Allen and his now completely soaked shirt on a stretcher, and haul him away.

What do you do?

> Call everyone. Report what happened and where we're taking Allen.

"Call ADAMS."

"What happened? I just heard Seth called for medical support at the LocalInn."

"Patch me through to everyone, sir."

"Alright, you're on."

"We found Allen. He was checked in under a false name that we traced from the library. When he confronted him, he had a gun. We tried to talk him down and he tried to shoot himself. I hit him in the shoulder and he dropped the gun, so I think he's going to be fine. He's pretty shook up though. We're headed to the hospital now."

"All right," the commander replies, "let me know if there are any updates."

You don't hear anything from anyone else. They must all be busy. You motion to Seth, who's just looking out the window, watching the ambulance drive away, that you're leaving. He follows and you both silently walk downstairs and outside to the car. You find the hospital on the GPS and Seth wordlessly follows its instructions. When you arrive you speak approach the receptionist desk.

"Can I help you?"

"Where is Allen Torpey?"

"Let me see," she pauses and checks something on her computer. "I'm not sure we have anyone here by that name, are you sure it's this hospital?"

Seth steps forward, flashing his police badge. "He should've just been brought in, he was shot. He may not have been processed yet."

"Oh! I'm sorry, yes, Allen you said? He's in surgery at the moment but I can show you to the room he'll be staying in while he recovers."

"That's fine." Seth replies coolly.

The receptionist escorts you further into the hospital to another waiting room outside an empty room. You and Seth sit back and wait for the surgery to finish. It's a bullet removal with cleaning and stitching, the receptionist mentioned, so it shouldn't be too long. Still, you have time to check in with your comrades, so you get your radio out.

"Call EUCLID."

"Hey hold on a sec." Euclid seems out of breath. You hold the radio for a few moments and then you hear him pick up the other end again. "Sorry, I have my hands full here. When you radioed in before, Sam was with me and she heard that something happened with Allen. Ever since the semen results came in I've been trying to keep her away from the hospital, which is hard since her daughter is there. I'm running out of excuses, and now she just heard that Allen was there too. I took her to the park after the call, but she's been saying some fucking crazy stuff. I got most of it on a tape recorder, you can listen to it when we get back. I'll be going to the hospital pretty soon, so she's going to find out about everything. I wonder if I can file a restraining order for someone else ... Anyway, is there anything else you wanted to know?"

"Not that I can think of." You look over at Seth; he doesn't have anything either.

Euclid disconnects and you wait a moment before saying, "call ED."

No response.

"Call ED," you try again.

No response. Hmm, I wonder if he has his radio off, or if he's in trouble. You didn't realize that patching through to everyone would cause such a disturbance.

You look over at Seth and realize he's starring into space. You wonder if that's what you looked like in the car after you saw the girl hanging with her face cut open like yours. Maybe Seth's just had a wound re-opened.

What do you do?

> "Yo, anybody home Seth? You alright?"
> "As soon as Allen can be discharged we should take him into custody. His wife is going to get here and will soon know everything we do. We need to protect Allen."
> Call ADAMS. See when Ed last reported in and tell him that he's not responding.

Seth snaps awake from his daydream or day-nightmare. He looks at you and then down at the ground.

"Nothin'. I've been shot at before. It was just something I've ... yeah. No big deal." Seth stares at the ground. You're still worried about Ed, but you've got to worry about Sam walking in and murdering Allen. You figure you'll ask the commander anyway.

"Call ADAMS. Commander, when was the last time Ed or Jessie reported in? They didn't pick up."

"They radioed me about an hour ago, they said they were going to check out one of the suspects that came up a match in the criminal database with one of the other semen samples from Lisa."

"Do they have tracking devices or anything?"

"I think the car does, do you want its location?"

"Sure."

"I'll send it to your car, you can check it on the GPS under 'My Places.'"

"Thanks."

You put your radio back on your belt. A few minutes later two large doors swing open down the hall and a gurney is wheeled to the room you and Seth have been waiting outside of. It's Allen. The surgeon approaches you, and you stand up to meet him.

"Afternoon officer, I'm Dr. Halyard."

"Good to meet you, doctor. How's Allen?"

"The surgery went fine. We removed the bullet and there was minor internal injury. Whoever shot him just missed a lymph node which would've been more of a mess. We've given him some meds, so he should sleep the rest of the day and should probably stay here for at least another few days so we can monitor him. Alright?"

"Sounds good. One more thing, is it going to be a problem if we keep someone on duty guarding this room?"

"No I don't see why it would be. Is that going to be necessary?"

"Possibly, I'm not sure yet."

"Well let someone at the front desk know, so they can get a clearance code."

"Alright, thanks."

The doctor walks back through the doors down the hallway and you turn to Seth, who remains silent, but seems to be getting a grip.

"We should try to find Ed's cruiser, but someone needs to stay here to help Euclid with Sam. I'm going to go check out the location the commissioner sent for the cruiser, do you want to stay here or do you think Euclid can handle it by himself?"

"I'll stay. If anything happens at all, call me. Don't get yourself killed." Seth smiles.

--

You approach the location the commander sent just as the sun is setting in front of you. You didn't expect to be driving very long, and it's been almost an hour already. You haven't eaten at all during the simulation, and you've only just started to get hungry. You wonder if time is somehow altered while inside the trials. The GPS instructs you to turn onto a gravel road, great. You starting to worry about Ed and Jessie; neither one has responded to your messages yet. As the road twists along endlessly, the trees shadow you from the already dim and fading light, making for a very ominous scene.

"You have arrived at your destination," the exaggerated british voice informs you. You stop your car. There's nothing but more gravel road, in front and behind you.

What do you do?

>Call SETH.

The location Adams gave me was a dud, unless the car is buried under half a ton of gravel. How are things at your end?

>Call ADAM

The location i got was a dud. Check again, are you sure it's here?

"Call SETH."

You wait for almost a minute in silence before trying again.

"Call SETH!"

Still nothing.

"Call ADAMS."

No response there either, then you realize you might be out of range. Or you're in some sort of frequency blocking field. You're not sure how far these radios are supposed to work, but it would explain why you couldn't get a hold of Ed earlier. You decide to find out if it's a range issue, since he should be in this area.

"Call ED."

Silence. The sun is almost completely submerged in the distant hills. Think, Ward, think! Why would the car's signal point to this area?

They radioed me about an hour ago, they said they were going to check out one of the suspects ...

An hour ago. It took you just less than an hour to get here. This is where they were an hour ago. Where are they now? Wouldn't the location in the car update? You don't know enough about the technology to know for sure, but the one thing you are sure of is that Ed was on this road for a reason, and with or without a jamming device, you still can't get in contact with Ed.

What do you do?

> Check out your GPS to see if you can update the location based on the signal. If that doesn't work, start driving along the road. Keep you eyes peeled for anything.

You go back in your car and look for some option to update the location of the cruiser. Since it was sent from HQ, it's a static location, probably based on the cruiser's signal at the time. You have no choice but to continue down the road. You turn on your headlights as the natural light is now too dim to see. You drive, curving left and right for another few miles and then you spot another police car coming around a corner. You slam on your brakes and almost run directly into it. The car is stopped just before an unexpected roadblock fencing. You park behind it and go to check out the car.

The front of the car is slightly dented -- Ed probably ran into the barrier. You get into the car to check for any clues you can for what happened. Everything looks pretty normal. There's some fast food trash in the back, but everything else looks just like the inside of your car. You tap the GPS and check for "Recent Finds." The last address they were following is about 5 miles from your current location. What happened?

You try to look at the ground next to the road to check for footprints or any sign of movement, but it's too dark to see. You turn on the spotlight on your car to reveal more tire tracks, deep in the gravel next to Ed's car. Whatever vehicle made these wasn't a cop car, the tracks were made by huge tires, probably a heavy vehicle. Whoever was driving it was in a hurry, to get away from whatever this road leads to.

You pull out your gun and keep it up. You start walking up along the path, keeping your back to each tree trunk you pass. You try to stay in the shadows just in case you were being followed or watched. After ten minutes, you spot lights in the distance. As you move closer, you see the outline of a small house. You keep low in your approach until you're in earshot of the front door, but no one's outside. You can't hear anything from inside the house. After waiting a few moments, you see a shadow pass by the window. There's someone inside. You look over at the other side of the clearing and see a large blue truck parked by itself next to a shed.

Alright, what's your move?

> Inspect the area. Look for possible routes that will let me close the distance to the house without being seen.

The clearing is mostly dirt and gravel, surrounded on all sides by thick forest. The if anyone is outside, they would have to be in the trees somewhere, as there is no one out in the open. The best way to get to the house would be to wait for any visible windows to be clear from what you can see, and keep low. There's very little light so you don't think you'll be easily spotted by someone without night vision equipment.

What do you do?

> Stealthily approach the truck. Check inside for the keys.

You see the truck as the only safe option at the moment. You sneak over along the edge of the woods, slide behind the shed and slowly and quietly slip into the passenger side of the truck. It's too dark to see if there was any violence in the vehicle, so you check for the keys. They're already in the ignition.

What do you do?

> Turn the keys. Spin the tires.

You look back at the house as you move over to the driver's side. You turn the ignition and the truck starts with a loud and powerful blast that echoes far into the forest. You rev the engine a few times and then quickly drop out of the passenger side where you came in and hide on the right side of the truck. You hear the door to the house open and wild footsteps approaching the car. He fell for it. You jump up, run to the other side of the truck just as he's inspecting the empty vehicle, produce your handgun and slam him in the back of the head with it. He falls hard on the ground with a short yell.

You quickly pick him up with your left arm, keeping him upright in a choker hold, hold your gun out and check all around you. You swing towards the house. The door is open, did he leave it open, or had someone else come out? Your eyes dart frantically around and fortunately, they are very well adjusted to the light. You don't see anyone.

What do you do?

> Take the body and use it as a protective shield while walking towards the house.

You walk as slowly and quietly as you can towards the house, checking beside you and behind you as you go. You get up right beside the door and look in. The door is on the very right side of the house, so all you see is a white wall with a window when you peer in. You ready yourself for a few moments, and then rush up the stairs to the door, holding your hostage in front of you as a human shield.

BANG

A huge force slams your body against the frame of the door, and a split second later a sharp sting grazes your shoulder. You drop your now ruined shield and sweep the room with your pistol, a man is kneeling on the floor, trying to reload his shotgun.

BANG

You shoot him in his right arm and he involuntarily throws his gun and several shells across the floor. He snarls and jumps for his gun again.

"STOP, DON'T MOVE OR I WILL SHOOT AGAIN!" you yell holding your gun steady on his kneecap. He doesn't listen.

>BANG

He'll never walk again, he's bleeding now profusely from two wounds and gives up on his infinitely distant weapon. You've got two bleeding, one possibly dead men, and still no sign of your comrades.

What do you do?

> Pistolwhip the dude and say, "You shot at a cop, wise guy. I could kill you right now and I wouldn't even get investigated. Now I got a feeling there's a friend of mine here, and a friend of yours here. You're going to tell me where they are, and if you don't give me an answer I like, maybe I'll just put a bullet in your skull."

Reeling from pain the man starts screaming.

"I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING YOU SON OF A BITCH! I WON'T TELL YOU ANYTHING!" After saying this he immediately starts crying. You re-aim your gun right at his forehead and he starts sputtering.

"We got found ... we ran off ... hid in the trees ... waited for them ... they're in the back ..."

"Where's your other man? The third guy?"

"He went back to the house to clean up the evidence ..."

"What evidence?"

"THE DRUGS, OKAY MAN? THE FUCKING DRUGS!"

You stare at him a moment, confused. What drugs? Were there drugs involved with this? Did we have the wrong guys? You pick up the shot gun and lean into the doorway to the back room, still keeping your eyes on your squealing badger. You see two people with police uniforms lying motionless on the ground with tan bags over their heads.

You go back into the main room and take the human shield's pulse. There's nothing.

What do you do?

> check the fuck out of shield guy's pulse
>Tie and gag our badger, and drag shieldman inside (bind him if he's alive), and close the door to make the house look more innocent. Then quickly check on the others out back- if we hear the other guy knock, or try to open the door, I vote we blast the lower half of the door with the shot gun, probably taking out his legs/killing him outright. Check who is out the back and try calling whoever -isn't- out the back afterwards.
> Go back to the badger, point the gun to his head and ask, "Why don't our radios work here? You've got some sort of jammer here? Speak, dipshit!"

"Sh-sh-short band, long-range, nothing works here ... radar, nothing! This place is invisible!"

"Yeah I got that much, badger, I was asking why?" You push the gun into his head and he starts crying again.

"Th-th-th-the shead ..."

Of course. You put a pair of handcuffs on badger and tell him to stay exactly where he is or he'll end up like his friend, who was still on the staircase in the front door. Badger probably heard you, but he hasn't stopped crying since you put the gun up to his head. You slowly move into the room where your comrades are, and pull each one out to the main room. Keeping an eye on badger, you pull the bags off their heads. Underneath, they're blind-folded and gagged. You pull off the gag from jessie and a strong odor nearly makes you pass out. You throw the gag across the room.

"Chloroform?" You say aloud. These guys won't wake up for a while, you expect. You take Ed's gag off and take off both blindfolds. Then you take a blind fold and a gag to badger, and set him up more comfortably. He falls unconscious quickly, and you're glad to be rid of his whimpering. Continuing your clean up, you put Ed and Jessie more comfortable positions against the opposite wall and slump them on each other. You laugh internally at the pseudo-romantic awakening they might have when the chloroform wears off. Lastly, you pull up the human shield and put him in the room where you found your comrades.

You're about to consider your next move when the pain in your shoulder flares up again. You grab the extra blindfold on the ground and wrap it around the wound on your shoulder. It doesn't make the pain go away, but at least it won't bleed out as much.

Now you've got to contact the commander. You grab the shotgun and walk out to the shed. With each step outside you check around you. You don't see any more cars since you went inside, so if you have any new visitors, they'll be on foot. Stopping every few steps and listening, you hear no breathing, footsteps or signs of human life. It's harder to hear anything until you turn off the truck, but even then you hear only wildlife. Finally you read the shed. Inside you find a conglomerate of machinery and glowing lights. You never took a class in dismantling a transmission jammer, but you do have a shotgun.

Lights start disappearing after three well-placed shots, and the humming shuts down all together after five. You pull out your radio.

"Call ADAMS."

"WARD! Ward! What the hell is going on? I sent out a recon team to come find you guys, we haven't been able to get a hold of you for hours!"

"It's a long story, commissioner, I found Ed and Jessie, they were in a radio-jamming zone. I just took out jammer. Where's your team?"

"They went to the address Jessie and Ed were originally going to. They found some guy shoveling crack into his truck. I think he's being taken back as we speak. Do you need backup at your current location?"

"No, I think we've got it under control although, we've got two cruisers here that will need to be picked up. The guy you brought in, was he the resident at the address you found him?"

"Yes. He was one of the other rapists."

"I think I've found the other two. I'll need an ambulance for them and probably for Jessie and Ed. They've both had a rough night." You look down at your shoulder. "Actually I got a scratch as well, I'll probably ride with Ed and Jessie."

"I'm on it, requesting medical support to your current location."

"Tell them to look out for the barrier, it sneaks up on you in the dark."

"Roger."

Satisfied with your report, you hold the radio triumphantly for a moment and then switch it to transmission mode again.

"Call Euclid."

"Hey Ward, you've missed some action."

"Oh really? I was just about to say the same to you. What happened at the hospital?"

"Well I brought in the wife and she was very calm and normal, which was weird because even when she was talking about average things she would flail her arms about and scream every third word. Anyway Seth was guarding Allen's room when Sam tried to go in and he moved in front of her. I guess his mind wasn't really on the task at hand because when he grabbed her to escort her away, she got a hand free, grabbed a knife she was hiding, and stabbed Seth right in the hand."

"Oh shit!"

"Yeah, it was some shit, but Seth gave her an elbow to the nose; any harder and she probably would be dead. Now I'm the only one not in a hospital bed. What happened with you?"

"Well basically the other rapists kidnapped Ed and Jessie, and I had to come in and bust their sorry asses up. I just requested an ambulance for everyone."

"Shit looks like you and I are the only ones who remain unharmed!"

"Actually, I got hit with a stray shotgun bullet in my shoulder. They'll probably put me in a bed too. Enough about this though, stay at the hospital, we'll meet up when I get back there."

--

The ambulances arrive more quickly than you expected, you barely have time to get the chloroform rag off of badger's face before the paramedics throw him and blast shield in stretchers. Ed and Jessie still haven't woken up when you climb into the second ambulance with them. A doctor checks out both of your comrades before moving onto your wound. He takes off the blindfold-bandage, rubs some stingy chemical on, and wraps a clean bandage over it. Afterwards it barely hurts it all.

After about half an hour you hear someone moan quietly. You look down and Jessie is stirring.

"Jessie?"

"Wha ... what?"

"You're in an ambulance, everything's fine."

"We got hit? Where's the bastard?" she says sluggishly.

"Well I don't know which 'bastard' you're talking about, but one has been arrested, and the other two are in an ambulance in front of us with major wounds."

"We went to this address, just as we got there some truck pulls out like he was on fucking fire. We chase him up for a bit and he turns on this gravel road. Ed's going so fast that he rams right into the iron gate. The truck's sitting there, but no one's in it, so we're like 'shit he's in the trees,' so we pull out our guns and radio for back up but no one responds. We kept looking until I guess we got hit. I don't remember anything after that. How long has it been?"

"Well it's about midnight right now, so I guess you've been out for just about 5 hours."

"Son of a bitch."

You arrive at the hospital, and despite your protests, you're assigned a room and a bed. As you wait, you try to put all the pieces together. There's one thing that you need first.

"Call Euclid."

"Hey, are you here? What room are you in?"

"I dunno, let me check." You walk out of your room and look at the number but before you radio it back to Euclid, you see him walking down the hallway. You wave to him and he jogs over to you.

"I need the recordings. From this afternoon. It'll give me something to do while I'm stuck here," you say.

"I don't think you'll need all of them." He hands you the player with a pair of headphones. "It's cued up."

You put on the headphones and listen.

"You son of a bitch, you son of a bitch, you son of a bitch, you son of a bitch ... I never should've have said anything ... I'm so sorry Lisa, I love you, I was scared, I didn't know what to do. I'm so sorry Lisa I'm so sorry."

You pull off the earphones. "What is this?"

"This is her babbling to herself after she stabbed Seth. Does it mean anything to you?"

"No, not really. Let me listen to it again." You go to put the earphones, but Euclid stops you.

"Wait, I forgot something." He reaches into his pocket and produces a key.

"We found this one of of the rapists."

"What does it go to?"

"Allen's front door."

PUT TOGETHER THE PUZZLE!

"Euclid, do you have a pair of sunglasses I could borrow? I think mine are in my cruiser."

"Sure, what are you going to do?"

"I'm going to go piece this puzzle together." You get up to get the sunglasses Euclid is holding out for you. "The fluorescents hurt my head. I'll let you know if I come up with anything."

"Alright, I'll be over at Seth's room." Euclid leave you with a pair of sunglasses in one hand and a key in the other. You sit back on your bed, put the sunglasses on and close your eyes. Think, Ward, what exactly happened here?

We know there were three rapists other than Allen. Only one of the three showed up on the criminal database. That person's listed address is the place where they found rapist 1 loading crack into a truck. Because his address matched the address where we was, he must be the one in the criminal database. This was the address Jessie and Ed originally checked out. This plus the fact that the two men you encountered were fairly simple-minded, you assume this group was new to the criminal scene.

You think back to the two rapists. Badger thought you were arresting him for drugs. He assumed you knew what he was talking about this when he talked about loading evidence in the truck. When you asked for clarification, he screamed 'DRUGS' at you as if you didn't know, even though you didn't.

You're almost sure Allen made the anonymous tip, which would put more points to his character. The call from TDI was made right around the time Allen was dropped off by the hitchhiker, so it was probably the first thing he did. The fact that it originated from an online source solidifies Allen in your mind as the person who called in the tip.

Allen had a gun, which was likely not to be used against law enforcement, since he was surprised to see you when you arrived. This probably means he was hiding from the three rapists, which means he probably escaped, and because his captors were an hour away swimming in drugs, they probably didn't know Allen had escaped and informed authorities at that point. Since Allen's semen was at the crime scene as well, they probably didn't expect Allen to report anything even if he did escape.

"The key ..." you say aloud. Suddenly it all makes sense. You jump up from your bed, holding the key out like a sword and march to Sam's hospital room. She's hunched over mumbling something, but looks up when you come in with your hands behind your back.

"What did you think was going to happen?" You sound a bit like a maniac, but if you're right, your stunt should work.

"What?" She asks.

You remove your sunglasses dramatically and produce the key as you say, "What did you think was going to happen when you hired drug addicts to force Allen to rape your daughter? You gave them this key to Allen's apartment so that they could kidnap both of them and make it look like Allen had raped Lisa. You just didn't count on all of them joining in, huh? What did you think you were doing? 'Saving' your daughter from your pedofile ex-husband by having her raped? We know it was you who gave them this key and when I get a chance to talk to the guys you hired, you're done."

Sam sits with her mouth gaping, frozen for several seconds before exploding, "NO! NO NO NO NO NO! I NEVER DID THAT!" She screams, pounding her fists on her hospital bed. You turn slowly and close the door. Sam's noise is bandaged up and her voice sounds pathetic and pleading. "This is not my fault ... I just wanted my little girl away from that monster ..."

"So you give the key to your ex-husband's apartment to some wacko rapist? You thought that was a good idea?"
Now
"HE'S NOT A RAPIST! ALLEN'S THE RAPIST!"

"Allen is the victim. You're the rapist." You stand coolly against the wall, staring at Sam, pouring guilt into her soul. She finally breaks down and starts crying. The red swelling in her eyes mixes with the purple bruising around her noise to make a frighteningly horrific face.

"... They didn't find any of his pornography in the investigation ..." she muffles her voice through her hands and tears. "He's an unsavory person. Anyone who gets off to that kind of stuff is sick; doesn't deserve to see a child, much less raise one. I tried everything I could think of to revoke his custody, but the more I pushed, the less results I got. Everyone thought I was crazy. Everyone thought I was just being spiteful from the divorce. I just wanted to protect my daughter."

"So you hired people to make Allen rape her. You thought that would protect your daughter?"

"NOOOOO!!!!" Sam's shriek pierces your ears. "They were just supposed to kidnap Allen. They were supposed to get him drunk, or high or something like that. The the cops come when I report Lisa missing and find Allen stoned or passed out of his mind. I wanted to find his stash too, but that fell out of the plan."

"So what went wrong?"

"HOW THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHAT WENT WRONG?!"

"There were three guys, not just one. They kidnapped your daughter and your ex-husband."

"I never spoke to the person who was supposed to do it. It was through a line of people. I just handed off my money and some instructions. That's all I know."

"Who did you hand the instructions to?"

"An acquaintance from college, I have his information at home."

"Thank you. We'll be in touch." You put your shades back on and walk triumphantly to Seth's room. You announce that Sam had indeed, set Allen up and that you would be getting a full write up of all the parties involved as soon as Sam was out of the hospital. You return to your room to write up a complete report for the station and shortly after are cleared to leave the hospital. You dress in your blood-stained and sweaty police uniform, gather your papers and notes and walk out of the hospital. The station is just a few blocks away, and you can already see the beginnings of a sunrise.

As you walk, you reflect upon the good you've done for this community in just 24 hours, and then you realize this has all been an illusion. You hadn't even thought about it the entire time.

You arrive at the police station at the door facing east. Everyone in the building stops what they're doing and turns their eyes on you. The commissioner stands frozen with a coffee cup in his hand and a paper in the other. You take a few steps, the sun blazing behind you as it ascends to the sky and place your report on the front desk.

"Commissioner, case closed."

The station erupts in applause, but the sound slowly fades with the lights and color of the world around you into blackness. You float on the blackness for several moments until white padded walls fade into reality. You finished the trial. You finished your first trial. You just hope you passed.

"Your meal is ready in the dining hall," a loud voice sounds in the room. The doors behind you slowly open and you emerge, wearing your jumpsuit, along with all the eleven other revolution hopefuls. You all file into the dining hall and find twelve plates on a table. A few people sit down right away and start eating. You see Seth, Jerry and Euclid sitting next to each other. On the other side you see Jessie sitting across from, but not conversing with Ed.

What do you do?

> Sit next to Jessie. Strike up a conversation about the last trial. Say a couple nice things about each of their performance as relating to the skills being tested. Eventually ask what happened that got them captured.

There's an empty seat next to Jessie, so you walk towards that seat, even though Seth spots you and motions for you to sit near him. You nod at seth and put up your hand before sitting, and he nods back and returns to his conversation.

"Nice work."

"Go fuck yourself." Jessie responds more coolly than you expected.

"I wasn't being sarcastic, thanks to you guys we found their hideout and brought them to justice."

"Well that's nice for you Mr. Hero. All I got was a concussion and a nice, long hospital stay."

"What are you so mad about? You're not going to be axed based on that trial. You were loyal, resourceful--"

"Look, I'm sorry, I don't want to be rude, I really don't, but you're obviously new to this whole S124 deal," Jessie looks up from her food and runs her eyes disapprovingly up and down your person. "And by the looks of it new to trials in general. You got lucky this time just like I got unlucky." She briefly flicks her eyes at Ed, who quietly eating, perfectly content. You turn to Ed.

"So what happened with the address?" You expect to be barked at, or possibly ignored, but Ed seems almost cheery as he packs down more and more food.

"Oh yeah. Faggot tried to book it when he saw us coming down the street. We followed him into the forest and I hit the gate chasing him -- knocked Jessie out cold." Ed looks up at Jessie who is glaring at her meal as she stirs it around.

"Anyway, I radioed for back-up and grabbed my gun. I guess I got jumped from behind because I don't really remember much after that. Fun stuff."

You're intrigued. Ed seems smug about the events of the trial. You expected him to be just as upset, if not more upset than Jessie. You nod at the two, get your plate and get up to go over to Seth, Euclid and Jerry.

"Cracking work Ward." Jerry greets you as you sit down. Euclid looks pale; he's slumped forward with his elbows on the table and his face in his hands. His plate of food is untouched.

"What's wrong with you?" You ask as you take another bite.

"No! Don't eat it! They put mild hallucinogens in the food so you're less mentally stable when you go into the trials!" Euclid pleads with you. You look down at your food. You're not even sure what it is; some tasty form of protein/meat with rice and sauces.

"That is just completely untrue." Seth sounds like he's back to his normal self.

"I'm going to have to agree with Seth," Jerry says. "Anybody could come in here and check for something like that."

"I say eat the food." Seth looks at you questioning your meal. "You'll be more crazy if you're starving to death. That's why that rumor started."

"How do I know this isn't some scheme you guys cooked up to jerk me around while I was on the other side of the table? Why would you help me? Aren't we competing?"

"There's no limit to how many of us can go on. If we all perform to the standards of the Revolution, we could all pass all five trials, in theory. The best strategy is to help everyone you can. Good allies can help you get through." Seth smiles and continues his meal. Euclid looks at Seth suspiciously, and then at his food.

"So what is this, our rec room?" You turn around to look at the bunk beds lining the walls.

"Yeah this is where we eat and sleep. Trials vary in length, but the entire process isn't supposed to last more than three days/two nights." Jerry answers.

You finish your food and look around for something else to do, or to say. You should focus on the next trial, but you figure there's not a lot you can know about it yet.

What do you do?

> Strike up a conversation. Ask each person what their strengths and weaknesses are as pertaining to the tested skills. It will help if we have the option of assigning duties later on.

You look around the room. Each person in the room seems to have gravitated towards some group. You, Seth, Euclid and Jerry; three people you haven't met yet; and Jessie seems like she's finally speaking with Ed and some new person you also haven't met. You want to get a jump on the trial by finding out certain people's strengths and weaknesses, but it seems too awkward to announce that through the entire dining hall. You choose instead to ask Euclid, since he didn't show any particular problems or strengths in the last trial.

"Euclid, how do you think you did last round, as far as the seven traits are concerned?"

Euclid has finally relented and is eating his meal. He looks up at you and then up to the ceiling, pondering the question as he finishes his bite.

"Well, I didn't have much of an opportunity to show off like you did. I think I racked up some big points in the intelligence and innovation areas for some of the questions I was coming up with. Then physical health I suppose was alright when I had to chase her and hold her all those times. Probably not a big on resourcefulness; it never came up, but sometimes not every trait does. I think we all proved ourselves with work ethic though, that was some badass teamwork. How about you?"

"Yeah work ethic, innovation and resourcefulness were covered when I was sneaking around near the rapists backwoods area. I guess I did alright in most of the categories."

"It's too bad leadership isn't a category," Jerry proudly exclaims, "I was a damn good commissioner."

"Haha, yeah, you were." Seth breaks a smile after being solemn for quite some time. He was probably thinking about his breakdown in the trial. You're still thinking about yours.

"Still leadership breaks down into almost all of those things, they wouldn't have put you in that role if you couldn't have showed off with it," you say.

You look around to see that most everyone is finished with their food. Euclid is just finishing up his last bites as the man in the suit from before enters the hall.

"It's nearly time for the next trial. When you're ready, please return to your assigned simulation chamber. When the trial starts, you will be specific given instructions. If you failed to pass the last trial, you will be informed then. The rest of you will receive information about your role. Shortly after that, the simulation will begin." The man stands for a moment before Ed gets up and heads for his chamber, followed by the rest of you.

On your way, you ask Seth, "is this standard procedure for trials? Instructions?"

"I dunno, it's never been that way for my trials."

You find chamber 1 again, and step inside. After a few moments. The doors behind you close and seal. Another few moments pass and the room gets dark.

A large screen appears in the distance.

"You are a BANDIT. You recognize others. Being arrested means an instant trial failure. Good luck."

The screen stays for about twice as long as it takes you to read and process it before slowly fading, filling the room with darkness. All at once, a landscape appears in front of you, just like the first trial. You're standing on some sort of cliff looking out at a train track raised up above a dirt and grass covered plateau. You turn around to find three other people standing against a huge mountain. They're all looking around like you. Among them is Jerry and Ed, and a woman you don't recognize. She speaks up first.

"You guys ready to rob this train?"

What do you do?

>Check inventory and others' belongings.

You turn to your own clothes to check what you have. You have a bandana pulled down around your neck but other than that you don't have much. You're dressed in a white t-shirt and a jacket. The other three are dressed similarly.

"My instructions told me the train would be arriving at 4 p.m. sharp; nothing about how to rob it." Ed speaks up.

"Oh yeah, my notice said I was a bandit, I should use my gun wisely, and that I would fail if I was arrested. Nothing about a train at all," Jerry adds. The three look at you.

"Mine said I would recognize people. Same about the bandit and the trial failure. Do you guys recognize me?"

"Yeah, you're Ward." Jerry responds.

"I don't. But I don't know you yet." The woman walks over to you and extends her hand. "I'm Michele." You shake her hand and nod. "And my message said the train would have to slow down at that bend over there. I assume we'll be on horseback." She gestures behind you.

You turn around to find four horses with reigns but no saddles.

"Okay, so what time is it?" Jerry asks.

"3:58," Ed replies.

"Let's go!" Michele runs over to the horses and climbs up on one. You've never ridden a horse before; at least in your recent memory.

You're still puzzled by the recognition note before the trial. Did it mean you would recognize others as opposed to everyone else or just opposed to non-bandits? Each person in this group received a piece of information that we all needed. You think more on it as you awkwardly jump up on your horse. After you're up it's surprisingly comfortable, but you're still unsteady enough that you're not ready to move.

"3:59" Ed says as he gets on his horse. "Let's move." Ed flicks his wrists slightly on the reigns and his horse neighs and gallops forward along the edge of the cliff, and then downwards into the grass towards the train tracks.

"Masks everyone!" Jerry yells as he pulls up his and rides off. Michele follows, and quickly passes Jerry. You look down at your reigns, try to imitate what you saw the others do, and your horse charges forward. You're jostled by the movement, but you expected it so you stay on. Once moving, steering isn't as difficult as you imagined, but moving so fast downhill is terrifying.

You're following Jerry, who is following Michele who is gaining on Ed. You're all keeping low, but running parallel to the train track. Just as you start feeling comfortable, you hear the train approaching behind you. It passes you, then Jerry, then Michele and Ed. Ed turns his horse towards the top of the hill. The rest of you follow. When you charge up the hill you almost fall off, but catch yourself by the horse's mane. So much for physical health. You watch Ed ride alongside a car far ahead of you, and then jump onto a small platform at the back end. Jerry follows suit a few cars down from Ed, and Michele jumps on the car directly behind Jerry's. You glance at the cars slowly passing you by. Your horse is getting tired. You steer it slightly to the left, towards the passing cars. The back of the train is almost behind you. You jump for the second to last car and nearly fall off the train.

You take a minute to recover yourself and then look at the car. No one has come out, so you figure they haven't noticed. There's a small door on the side, and a door on between each car.

Even though there are plenty of windows, the platform you're standing on lines up with a closed door. You carefully peer into one of the closest windows and are relieved to discover there's no bustling going on. You're pretty sure you weren't spotted. You're also glad to find out that most of the men are dressed like you while most of the ladies are wearing dresses or skirts. You don't see any signs of law enforcement, so you decide to get started quickly, before any arrive. You wrap your bag around your fist and slam it against the window. When your fist makes contact, you feel the glass strain. The noise startles everyone sitting near it, so you quickly make another attempt. This time your fist flies straight through, shattering the window. Everyone around gets up from their seats, terrified.

You jump in through the window, barely missing some of the remaining broken glass, grab a large shard on the floor, and grab a boy nearby who was more curious than scared.

"Nobody move a muscle or this kid gets his fucking throat cut open." A woman towards the back of the car screams shortly before you hear a thud on the ground.

"Mummy ..." The child starts to cry, quietly as he shakes from fear.

"Now just hold on a moment, everything's going to be fine. Just put anything valuable in this bag." You unwrap the bag from your free hand and hold it out. People nearby start throwing things in the bag.

"Jewelry, wallets, pocketbooks, EVERYTHING!" You're satisfied with the reaction your stunt got. In the distance as you're making your way through the car you hear a loud squealing. The squealing is quickly replaced with several increasingly loud bangs. You're just to the front of the car when you're thrown against the wall by a tremendous force, along with everyone else in the car.

Blacking out, you find, is not very well simulated in a trial. You feel the pain from the trauma, but then all senses are blacked out. You go from standing on a train, to floating in a blackness without any mental confusion. It's quite surreal. After a few moments, you "come to." You're lying down on the dirt looking up at the sky. Your bandana and bag are gone, and there's some blood on your shirt from an apparent wound. You pull up your shirt to find a small stab mark, probably from the shard of glass you were holding. You wonder what happened to that child, and if you ended up stabbing him too.

You sit up and look around. There are hundreds of people outside walking around and talking with each other. Some of them are lying down, some still unconscious, and some with very bad wounds. Just as you stand to see further, you hear sirens. You look around to see someone you know close by, but there's no sign of any of your fellow bandits.

What do you do?

> Try to dress the wound and walk around looking for anyone you recognize.

Your wound has mostly stopped bleeding at this point but there is still a noticeable spot of blood on your shirt. You button up your jacket to hide it as you see police cars and ambulances drive up to the groups of people. Cops pour out of the vehicles and start talking with groups. You walk towards them along with the other concerned citizens. As you pass, the mountain obscuring the train tracks slowly displays the train you were on. The cars are piled up and smashed, some on their sides, some sideways on the track, one of them is smoking badly.

"Trainwreck?" You say aloud.

"I know, it's terrible." Someone replies as they pass.

As you walk you look for someone you recognize. You hope no one is seriously injured; you got lucky, you were against the front of the car when it hit. Besides the stab wound, you mostly just have bruises from people slamming into you. You look around to see if anyone recognizes you. No one saw your face and you're wearing similar clothes to everyone else, plus you have your jacket buttoned up now. No one's looking.

Then you spot a head of black hair in the distance with Ed's distinctly square head. You hurry towards it, pushing past people to get a better view. You get close enough to see him standing in profile. It is Ed! You recoil in fear as you realize he's being interviewed by a police officer. He seems very calm, but you stay back in the crowd, hidden from the peering eyes of the dozen or so officers combing the crowds.

After a few moments you turn to check, Ed looks like he's just finishing up with the officer; they're shaking hands. You head straight over to him as he walks aimlessly towards the mountainside.

When you get close, he turns and sees you, and looks relieved.

"Ed, what happened?" you ask in a hushed voice.

"Trainwreck."

"Obviously, I mean what caused it?"

"I dunno, did you notice the train going any faster than usual?"

"It was going pretty fast when I hopped on but I thought that was just he horse tiring out."

"Horses don't tire out that quickly, I think the conductor knew we were jumping on, so he tried to speed up but then the force of the big turn there knocked us over."

"Shit, well what did the cop say?"

"Oh these police are really nice, nothing like us, haha." Ed laughs. You can't believe it but he laughed. He quickly expels the humor and his serious face takes over. "We're in some sort of 19th century scenario I think. Police are thorough, but they're not so suspicious. As long as nobody from the cars recognizes us, I think we're cool."

"Alright, so what should we do?"

"I dunno, we could try to find Michele and Jerry, but I think we're better off without them. What's your cover story? I told them my name was Ed and that I was thrown against a wall and couldn't remember much about the wreck. He didn't really pry. Didn't even ask for a ticket stub. Did they have those in the 19th century?

What do you do?

> "We should definitely look for Michele and Jerry. Jerry might still have the weapon, and with Michele, having more people with us can only help, not to mention that we need to get our stories straight. And I was able to pick you out of the crowd pretty easily. Hopefully it won't take too long. I think that other bandits must stand out to me for whatever reason. My instructions said I'd recognize other bandits. As for a cover story, I suppose I'll make up a name and tell them I heard a bang and passed out. When we get together with the rest, we'll get our stories straight."

"Fuuuck that! I'm not going to rely on a bunch of dumbasses that are going to get me arrestedl. It's bad enough that I have to lean on you but it'll be less suspicious for both of us if neither of us are alone. We pair up and have them pair up as husband and wife if we do run into them, and then keep some fucking distance so when they screw up we're still in the clear."

"You don't think I'm going to screw up?"

"Look, the only person whose actions I can control are mine. I hate having to work with anyone else if I don't have to. You saved my ass last round, and you made some pretty tough decisions that you could've easily fucked up on. I don't want to go so far as to say I trust you, but I'd prefer you having my back than either of those other two jerk-offs."

"So what's our story, we need something concrete in case we're asked more detailed questions?"

"Okay so you and I are friends, your name is Ward--"

"We should really have fake names, what if one of the cops is a fellow trial-taker?"

"Shi -- I gave that cop my name. He wasn't anybody I saw in the dining hall though, so I should be alright. I'll be Aaron from now on. You?"

"Jeremy. So we're friends and ..."

"And we're headed to, fuck! Where is this train going anyway? We need to find some of this out."

"We're on our way to California, just like everyone else," an awkward voice behind you announces. You turn around to find Michele with dirt on her face and a large hat obscuring her eyes.

"Michele?" You ask.

"Michael, actually." Ah, now you get it. She's trying to make her voice deeper to sound like a man. She's not dressed like any of the other women here so she has to pretend to be a man.

"You're going to have to hide those too." Ed points out.

"I know, I need to find some fabric to tie them down with. My jacket and pants are pretty loose so as long as I have everything zipped up and I don't have to talk much I can probably get away with it."

"You should pretend you're mute or deaf or something," you suggest.

"Maybe, do you guys think you could find me something to hide my enormous breasts?" Michele smiles at her own joke. Her chest really wouldn't be too hard to hide if you could find a thick bandage or an extra article of clothing to wrap around under her shirt. Still, it would be extremely suspicious to return to the train wreckage without a very good reason.

Ed gives you a look that says "I told you so."

Ignoring both Michele and Ed, you look around to see how many cops there are. You're surprised to find a lot of them getting into vehicles and leaving. There are only a handful left, and they seem to be just standing around the front of the wreckage watching the crowds.

You turn back to Michele to ask her a question when you hear a loud booming voice.

"ALL PASSENGERS WHO REQUIRE MEDICAL TREATMENT PLEASE FIND A POLICE OFFICER IMMEDIATELY. IF YOU SEE ANYONE WHO NEEDS MEDICAL TREATMENT, ALERT A POLICE OFFICER AS WELL. ALL OTHER PASSENGERS PLEASE CONGREGATE AROUND ME."

You see in the middle of the crowd, a man standing on a police car, speaking into a cone. Ed motions to walk over, but Michele shakes her head and runs to the wreckage. You follow Ed closer to the crowds and start looking for anyone else you know. The crowd is pretty big; you don't see Jerry or anyone else you recognize. The man on the police car, who had leaned over to talk to another officer while you were making your way to the crowd, stands up again and bellows through his cone.

"PLEASE HAVE YOUR BOARDING PASS READY FOR INSPECTION. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE YOUR BOARDING PASS, PLEASE FORM A LINE TO MY RIGHT."

Ed turns around and looks at you. He's waiting for your move.

What do you do?

> Stealthily run to the wreckage. We can't leave Michele out. Tell her to please not run off again.

You're pretty far back in the crowd, and you don't want Michele to compromise you, so you turn to Ed and say, "I'll be right back." Ed does a double-take as you sneak back towards the front of the wreckage and then back further towards the car where Michele entered.

"Michele!" You try to keep your voice down but you don't see her anywhere in the car. You start to get worried. Did anyone see you? What will you say if they find you walking around the wreckage? What's your cover story?

"I found it!" You hear Michele respond to your calls. You walk outside against the car to get to the next one. You walk in to find Michele topless holding a long thin garment.

"Whop! Sorry."

"GET OUT OF HERE WARD." Michele yells unnecessarily loudly. You're starting to wonder if she cares at all about standing out or being suspicious. She's dropped the man accent for the moment and her voice has a half-joking tone to it. "Just kidding, I'm almost done."

You're in the train car, facing away from her, checking for outside activity. Most everyone is making their way to the crowd. There's only a handful of people left, mostly lying down or recovering from major injuries, waiting for the next round of ambulances to show up.

"Okay, how's this." Michele says in her man voice. You turn around. Michele actually pulls off a halfway decent man if she doesn't talk. She's managed to tie down her chest and get dirt all over her clothes and face. The only major giveaway left is her soft face, which she could keep mostly hidden by her collar and the dirt.

"Well done. Let's get back to the crowd, they're about to start checking the boarding passes and we need to figure out what to do."

"Shit are you crazy? Let's get the hell out of here!"

"But Ed's still back there and I don't even know where Jerry is."

"Well they're probably fine without us."

"Not without boarding passes they aren't."

"Well I'm going off on my own, you can come with, or get arrested and lose the trial."

" ... but Ed." You trail off as Michele jumps out of the wrecked car and away from the crowd.

What do you do?

>see if you can get to Ed without being seen (loyalty), tell him about "getting the hell out of there" and then get back to Michele as quickly as you can.

You're not prepared to ditch Ed; just because you're in a gang of bandits, doesn't mean loyalty still isn't being tested. You walk out of the train car and hear a yelp. You turn to the left to see Michele, having fallen down in front of a police officer. You can hear her stammer as she tries to get up. The police officer speaks first.

"What are you doing, sir?"

Michele is afraid to speak. The voice of 'Michael' is still a bit rusty. You consider speaking up to save her, but you could easily walk back towards the crowd without being implicated. After all if either of you is caught in a lie you both go to jail and that's the end of the trials.

What do you do?

> Jog up to Michele, say, "There you are! How many times do I have to tell you not to run off?" Look at the cop, "You'll have to excuse my friend here. He's a little slow."

If he then asks what we're doing,

> "Well after the train wrecked neither of us could find our boarding pass. So this one here decided it would be a good idea to search the wreckage for them."

The cop takes his eyes off the panting Michele at your feet, and puts them on you.

"What were you guys doing in the train? It's off limits!"

"Sorry sir, the man asked for our boarding passes, and we couldn't find ours so we went back into the train to find them. I can't even tell which car was ours ..."

"Don't worry about your boarding passes, lots of people lost theirs, that's why we're sorting them out." The officer's face lightens and he helps Michele up before returning to aid a nearby injured person. He turns back around and says, "just go over there on the left in that line."

"Got it."

After you're out of earshot from the officer, Michele whines, "owww, I busted up my elbow."

"You'll live. You're really being reckless, it's not good for anyone. I saved your ass back there, you owe me."

"What do you want in return?" Michele makes a kissy face at you.

"Quit it, I just want you to follow my lead instead of being such a spaz, alright?"

Michele frowns and returns to her small wound. You get back to the crowd, which is in the process of sorting itself into two groups. You find Ed still lingering towards the back, unsorted.

"Ed, let's go," you call out to him. He walks hastily towards you and Michele.

"What the fuck man, you abandoned me just when things heat up? What are we going to do when they find out we don't have a pass?"

"Relax, the cop said a lot of people lost their passes in the crash. I think if we keep a low profile and a credible story we'll be fine."

"I don't know about that."

"What other choice do we have? I tried to run off and I got stopped almost immediately by a cop I didn't even see. I think they have this area surrounded, or at least watched." Michele speaks up in your defense. Ed isn't convinced but he agrees there's no other choice at this point. The three of you begin to walk towards the no-pass line.

"Let's get our story straight, and you," Ed points to Michele, "pretend to be really shy or mute. Your male impersonation is awful." Ed turns back to you. "Jeremy? What's our cover?"

What do you do?

> "Alright don't say anything unless they speak to you. We've just been in a fucking train wreck and now we're being corralled by police. We don't know there were people robbing the train we were just going to California to find work, any work. We heard rumors that there was gold out West in California so we started heading in that direction."

"Okay, that sounds good. So, I've already said I'm Ed to one of these guys, should I change my name now or just keep it?"

"I think it would be more suspicious if they had two names down for the same person. Just keep it. I'm Jeremy and Michele is Michael, everybody got it?"

"Yep" Michele and Ed say in unison. Michele smiles. Ed sneers and walks over to the line. You stand for a few minutes as the crowd divides. After both sides are formed, officers ask passengers on the ticketed side to vouch for non-ticketed passengers. This process significantly lowers the amount of people on the non-ticketed side. Still, your party could've all kept the tickets in the same place. You look around and see there are other groups, families, that are still on the non-ticketed side.

"Okay all women and children, you can go to the ticket-holders side!" The man with the cone announces. Wives and children hesitate to leave their husbands and fathers. The man quickly announces, "you will be able to vouch for you family members momentarily." As women and children flock to the other side, you spot a familiar face.

"Jerry!" you say in a hushed voice to Ed.

"Not right now, if he's still on this side when it's all over he can't help us. If he gets on the other side he can vouch for us."

"Right." Despite the severity of the situation, you're excited to have reunited with your group.

Ten more minutes pass, and the non-ticketed crowd thins down to no more than a dozen at best. Finally the last family member is pulled out. You look over at the other side to find it's significantly smaller as well. Just as you're about to ask Ed, you see a large empty vehicle pull up to the other side, open up its back doors and fill with passengers.

"Dammit." Ed curses under his breath.

The cone-bearing policeman gets up again to speak but looks back down at a messenger who tells him something you can't make out. The announcer raises his cone and says, "please remain calm, and stay where you are. The investigation team has arrived."

Four men wearing more decorative uniforms step out of a dark, unmarked vehicle and begin walking towards your side of the crowd. You look to Ed for a plan; any sign of action. Ed remains, staring at the men.

"God dammit." Ed says again under his breath. You look up at the investigators.

"It's Seth!" You turn to Michele who looks as nervous as you.

"... and Jason," she says quietly before donning a fake smile.

"God dammit." Ed repeats.

The four men arrive in front of your group and stand to face you. They slowly look at each of your faces. You don't know how exactly this trial is set up, but you know if you're recognized as a trialer instead of just a passenger, you'll be arrested. You want to try to hide your face but you know anything you do will be more suspicious. You just stand, looking at each of the officers as they pass. Finally, one of the men stands in the middle of the group and speaks.

"Some of you are already aware of what's going on here. There was a robbery taking place on that train when it crashed. One of you, maybe more than one, are the culprits. We're not going to do anything to you, so if you're innocent, you've got nothing to worry about except being a little delayed to where you were headed. But hey, that happens when you're in a train wreck anyway."

Seth looks at each of the non-ticket-holder's faces again and again, grasping for recognition. That must be it, he can't recognize others! Michele had seen someone she knew, and Ed recognized Seth when he was walking up. Bandits must be able to see their fellow trialers, but cops can't. You look over at Jerry. He looks worried. He should be, he was the one with the gun.

Suddenly a realization hits you. You're the only one without something glaringly suspicious about you. Jerry has a gun, or had a gun, and if he used it it can be traced back to him. Ed gave his real name and Michele is cross-dressing. If you say you're in the same group as these people you'll be implicated by association.

As you're thinking, another officer runs up to the investigation squad, out of breath. He says something to the man who was speaking to you. The speaker frowns in frustration, and then motions to his squad to follow him towards the other group. The out-of-breath man stays to watch your group, but he's out of earshot for whispers.

You walk over to Jerry who looks relieved to see you. You put a finger to your lips and walk back towards Ed and Michele. He follows. Speaking only in whispers, the four of you begin talking, making sure none of you look like you're particularly engaged with anything.

"Back together again, eh?" Jerry smiles. "I got rid of my 'special force' by the way."

You're suddenly struck by the similarity of your group. Jerry had the gun, his attitude of can-do-by-force is so similar to Spec's. Michele is a loud, flamboyant showoff with a generally happy attitude, just like Felix. Ed is solemn and anti-social just like Squeek, except Ed actually likes you. Your thoughts are interrupted by Ed, who seems to be growing impatient.

"They'll know there were four of us, we need to split off in pairs." Ed demands. "Ward and I, you and the girl."

"Whoa whoa, what's going on?" Jerry asks

"He's right, partners are good. By ourselves we're more suspicious, in a foursome we're extremely suspicious. It's gotta be pairs," you agree.

"Okay, what's our story?" Jerry asks.

"Let's get on the other side of the line first." Michele offers no arguments or hesitation. As she walks slowly with Jerry to the other side of the group.

You look at Ed. He shrugs and looks back at the temp-guard. The similarities are uncanny, is this the Revolution's doing? Did they pair you with such a group on purpose? No, it's just another psyche-out, just calm down; it's fine.

The four investigators return, relieving the temp from his duties. The speaker faces the group again.

"My name is Jason, I'll be interviewing you along with my associates, Seth," Seth nods," Phillip and Tom," the other two nod accordingly. Each of the men move towards one of the non-ticket-holders to question them. Seth picks Ed.

"Ed, is it?" Seth smiles devilishly.

"Yes, sir." Ed says politely and quite out of character.

"Come with me." Seth turns and walks out further in the field. The other investigators take their victims out away from the group. You look at the ticket-holders group. Almost all of them are gone. You're not sure you're going to pass this trial. Almost half an hour goes by; all the investigators have returned their suspects and taken new ones except Seth. You look over when Tom asks to speak with Michele. You have no idea how she's going to come across as believable if she has to speak.

Another few minutes pass and Seth finally returns, but Ed is not with him. He walks straight to you.

"You're with Ed, right? What was your name?"

"Jeremy."

"Right, so Jeremy, would you say you're pretty good friends with Ed?"

You hesitate; Seth hasn't pulled you out of the group, he's interviewing you right here in front of everyone. Seth ignores your pause and asks another question.

"What is Ed's last name?"

"I-I don't know."

"That's funny, he didn't know yours either. Where did you meet Ed?"

"We met on the train, of course I don't know his last name."

"That's funny as well, he said you'd been friends for years. What car were you in?"

"I'm not sure, I don't have my ticket, obviously." You're getting nervous, but Seth doesn't seem to be happy with the answers you're giving him. You would think this kind of inconsistency would do you in for sure.

"Well I think that's more than enough," Seth pulls out a small notebook and begins writing. "Let's just have it, we cornered Ed, he's being arrested as we speak. We're going easy on him because he gave us your name. So you've been fingered by your accomplice and your story doesn't check out. What do you say?"

You hang with your jaw open. Seth continues to write in your silence and then looks up. There are no other officers around but you still don't see Ed. You haven't seen him get arrested and you haven't seen any other cop cars arrive to take him away.

What do you do?

> "I don't know what that gentleman is talking about. I never met him before boarding the train. He asked me my name. If he is your train-robber, perhaps he is trying to implicate an innocent man to lessen his punishment."

Seth eyes you and squints. "So that's your story, huh?"

"I don't have a 'story,' sir, that's just what happened."

"So where are you headed?"

"I was looking for work in California. I'm hoping to strike it rich with gold. That's why Ed and I began talking. He was going for the same reasons."

Seth walks up and puts his face right next to yours. You stand firm, not even blinking.

"Sir!" The messenger's voice breaks the tension. Seth spins around.

"What?!"

"There's a woman over there, a nigg--um, I mean negro woman who says she vouches for this gentleman here."

Seth slowly turns back to you and raises an eyebrow. "A 'negro,' woman, huh?"

"Dear! Oh dear!" You recognize that voice. It's Jessie. You look over Seth's shoulder and spot Jessie in a full 19th century fancy dress, running daintily over to you.

"Oh I was so worried about you, dear." Jessie looks at you endearingly and compassionately. "I thought you was another man who was goin' to the hospial but they found his wallet and it wasn't you!"

Seth quickly turns to Jessie and almost yells "what's his nam--" but you cut him off as you embrace her and exclaim, "ooh! You've got your Jeremy back! I was worried about you so much!"

Seth curses again. The messenger stands in awe.

"What are you doing with a negro, sir?" He asks candidly.

"I am Elesha, soon to be Jeremy's bride! Mr. and Mrs. Smith! Can you believe it Jeremy?" Jessie puts on a very believable performance, but you're afraid the time period is a disadvantage to her ethnicity. Was it common for a white guy to marry a black woman?

"She was my father's slave, you see. We fell in love and I don't care who knows it. We're running away to California to live in freedom!" You look at Seth. He's furious.

"Well ... go ... on to the ... other group then." Seth says painfully.

You and Jessie hold hands and walk slowly to the other side. When you're far enough away, you ask Jessie, "what the hell is going on?"

"I'm saving your ass that's what's going on. Who are you?"

"No I mean -- wait what?"

"Who the hell are you?"

"I'm Ward, don't you remember from the last trial?"

"Of course I remember, everyone's faces are changed. No one can see anybody, you have to figure out who people are by what they do."

"I can tell you're Jessie. I can see everyone."

"Shit, really? Alright we should be able to clean up then."

"Why? What are you?"

"I'm a passenger. I've got a ticket and everything. My goal is to either prove bandits' guilt or secure their freedom. Only one passenger advances to the next trial, whoever does their job the best wins."

"If you didn't know I was Ward, why did you come for me?"

"I thought you were Ed. I heard them talking about an Ed, and I saw they were questioning the fuck out of you so I just assumed you were in deep shit. When you said your name was Jeremy I was confused, but no non-trialer would go along with an act like that."

"So what now?"

"Did you see the people hanging around before? They're all hiding now but those were the other passengers. I don't know which ones are trialers and which ones are just characters. How many bandits were there?"

"Four."

"Okay so four bandits, four cops, that means there are at most four passengers -- unless people didn't pass the first trial. Anyway we have to make sure the other passengers don't win. I've ensured your freedom, so I'm already a point up."

"I've got bad news for you, the cop says Ed's been arrested. When a bandit gets arrested, he loses the trial. That may partially be the work of another passenger."

"Ed? You mean that guy over on the other side of that big rock? Is that Ed?"

You turn around and look at the rock cliff. Seth had interrogated Ed on the other side of a rock where you couldn't see him and then told him to stay put. He wasn't arrested. Seth was lying.

"He doesn't look arrested." Jessie states.

"Well you already vouched for me, and I told the cops I had just met Ed on the train. They said Ed had ratted me out as a bandit."

"Well maybe he did, but we have to come up with a plan to save him, and the other two. Who are the other two?"

You get ready to point them out when a thought occurs to you. Jessie could just as easily tell the cops who was who and prove that you were all bandits if she knew everyone's true identities. What she says about the passenger's objective is probably true, but it seems like working with the cops would be easier than working against them. Why would she side with the more difficult objective?

What do you do?

> "Did your instructions say anything about what the cops are trying to accomplish?"

"My role is to either aid the bandits or aid the cops. I imagine you lose if you're arrested and the cops lose if they don't arrest someone? I don't know for sure." Jessie stands staring at the remaining passengers being questioned. You look over and see a pair of people walking towards you. It's Jerry and Michele, both with beaming smiles.

"How did you get out?"

"The bandits were all men. I'm a woman, and I vouch for my husband here." Michele smiles. "Hey! Who's this?"

"This is Jessi -- er, Elesha. What about the ridiculous disguise?"

"Oh, yes, we eloped and I was afraid of being spotted by my father and his men so I disguised myself as a man."

"Heyyy, that was my story! That's going to seem suspicious ..." Jessie glares at Michele.

"Whatever, it worked. What do we do now? When is the next bus?"

"Should be along any minute, we're trying to figure out how to get Ed out ..." you stop mid-sentence when you look over at the spot where Ed was standing to find it empty. "Wait where did Ed go?"

It seems the police realized Ed had disappeared just as you did; you hear shouts and all the investigators run in different directions to search for him.

"Shit, Ed! What are you doing?" Jerry says in dismay. "We gotta do something!"

"Leave him. He fucked up. He'll find us if he can get away from them. We're hopelessly outnumbered and it would immediately give us up if we tried anything."

"Yeah that's probably true, but what if this is our goal?" Jerry's resolve to be the hero is dwindling, but he still tries to come up with something.

"How? Ed is another player like us, this isn't set up by the trial. Our goal is to keep from being arrested, that's it." You finish speaking and hear shouting at some distance behind you. You approach slowly to the front of the wreckage and make out what's being said.

"What do you mean it's gone?! That was the whole case?"

"It's gone Seth, I don't know what else to say ..."

"Goddammit! Did you at least get prints off of it first?"

"They're getting the dusting kit right now. We didn't get the prints yet."

"FUCK!"

You hear rapid footsteps come to a halt, and then a third voice speak, obviously out of breath, "he's in the train. He's making noises in all the cars, we don't know where he is."

"This is more than enough to arrest that son of a bitch, find him, NOW!"

Ed didn't run away? He's hiding in the cars? What is he trying to do? They'll surround him for sure. You have to do something ...

"Jessie, dammit I mean Elesha, stay with these two until the next transport gets here. Escort them on and you'll get credit for their safety. You'll have 3 out of 4, you'll pass. I have to go see what I can do for Ed."

"Why? Just come with us, Ed is a goner."

"I've gotta go." You run off along the side of the train. The sun is sitting on the other side of the train, casting a shadow for you to sneak under. You peak through the windows of the upright cars as you pass, and keep your ears out for signs of Ed or the cops. After a few minutes you come to a break in the wreckage. You peak out and see all four investigators talking and looking around the area. You watch them for a moment, and then hear stirring. The stirring gets louder and louder until the investigators notice it.

"Hey, did you hear that?"

Glass shatters. Ed jumps from the window of the train car into full view of the investigators.

"COME AND GET ME YOU BITCH-BASTARDS!" Ed stands with scratches on his face and tears in his clothes, holding Jerry's gun.

"DON'T MOVE, YOU'RE UNDER ARREST!"

"HHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" You're sure Ed has gone insane. He charges towards the four police, who all step backwards while readying their weapons. He raises his pistol and begins shooting. Seth jumps behind another officer to take cover. Jason returns fire and his Ed in the shoulder.

"No!" you say under your breath. You're shocked as Ed overcomes the force of the bullet and the undoubtedly terribly pain, and continues his charge.
do
"IS THAT ALL YOU FUCKING GOT YOU PIECES OF SHIT!?" Ed fires off another three shots, one of which hits the officer providing cover to Seth. Seth jumps in fear, swings his pistol instinctively towards Ed and fires. Ed goes down instantly. You stand up and move closer to see him lying on the ground. Blood is pouring out of his head. He's completely still. There's nothing you can do for him now, you run back towards the transport. The last of the remaining passengers are getting on, even those still left for questioning. You move to the back of the car and find your three comrades.

"What happened?" Michele asks.

"They killed him. He stole Jerry's gun and attacked them. They fucking killed him."

Everyone stays silent. A man helps the last person into the transport and they shut the doors. As the last sliver of light disappears, you stare at the wreckage and imagine all the millions of ways you could've done this trial better.

The blackness lingers for several moments, and then you find yourself standing. The blackness fades to light, padded walls again. Doors behind you open.

"Please exit the chamber and make your way to the dining hall for your meal and a resting break." A loudspeaker voice announces.

What do you do?

> Find Ed and ask him what the hell he was thinking.

You exit the simulation chamber with the same idea as most everyone else; what the hell was Ed thinking? Everyone comes out of their chambers and heads to the dining hall. You take a seat by yourself, as you're one of the first people to enter, and wait for Ed. A few moments pass and there's still no sign of Ed. What happens when you die in a trial? Everyone has taken a seat and are completely silent, staring at the door to the hallway.

Finally, it opens, and Ed emerges. He looks confident, and pleased with himself, very much like after the first trial. He walks over to you and sits down.

"What the hell!?"

"I didn't get arrested, did I?"

"No but you got killed, I think that's probably frowned upon as well."

"I think I'm fine."

You look up and find Seth standing in front of the two of you. "Yes Ed definitely passed. Resourcefullness, innovation, hard work, physical health, mental health and loyalty up to here," he gestures above his head.

"Loyalty? How?" You ask.

"I knew it was Ed, he gave his real name, but we can't arrest innocent people without proof or else we lose the trial. I offered him safety from arrest if he named the other bandits, but he refused flat out. Then he stole the gun back and forced us to gun him down."

"Oh no it wasn't my gun. See I knew they would trace it back to Jerry; he didn't have any gloves on. I had to wipe the prints on it to get him off clean."

"Loyalty up to there, huh," you say in amazement. You never expected Ed to do something that selfless.

Plates of food are ready as they were after the first trial. Seth sits down near you and the other bandits. You look around at the people left; you don't see Euclid. You remember that those who didn't pass trial 1 were escorted out when the rest of you started started trial 2. You thought Euclid did a pretty good job on trial 1, but you weren't really with him for more than the end. Maybe his role wasn't impressive or maybe he just failed to show his strengths; either way he's gone.

You talk with the others, but you're not very engaged in the conversation. You're worried about your performance on the last trial. You snuck off to help Ed, that's loyalty, right? You weren't arrested, that should count for something?

After some time when everyone has finished eating, the overhead lights dim and personal lights attached to bunk beds against the walls light up. You're not very sleepy, but you are tired. You walk over to one of the beds and lie down, still thinking about the trial. You can still hear people talking, but you drift off to sleep fairly quickly.

The blackness of your sleep slowly fades into shape.

You don't remember how the dream started, but you find yourself running. You're running away from someone or something. You never see them but there are traces everywhere. You can hear them coming, and you don't want them to get you. You don't want them to get what you have. You're holding something. It's a container. The more you run the more the container spills. You try to keep it all in but there's too much of it. It's spilling everywhere but you have to keep running. Finally you realize you don't even know what you're running from or what you're keeping in the container. You stop suddenly and open the container. It explodes all around you and you wake up.

You're lying on your bed and looking around. Everyone is asleep. You lie down and wait for the lights to come on. You're ready for the third trial. What a strange dream. At least it wasn't violent.

--

When you step into your simulation chamber you have your fingers crossed. When the white walls fade into blackness you're holding your breath. You have to have passed. It's all on you.

Chapter 7

** Cue Fury of Dissonance: First Movement **

Sound erupts all around you before the blackness forms into shape. Initially disrupted by the transfer into simulation, the noise begins to sound like music. The blackness forms into regular darkness, and you find yourself outside at night. The source of the music becomes apparent; a circle of primitively dressed people playing instruments and singing. You look at yourself and discover you are dressed in a similar garb.

As your eyes adjust to the dim light, you see a familiar face -- Jerry. He's looking around, figuring out where he is as well. You check everyone else in the group and find no one else you recognize. The instrument players seem to be gathered in the middle of a circle of people, with you and Jerry sitting on the outer ring of the circle. Everyone part of the ring is singing or humming along to the tune, which seems complicated at first but quickly catches on. After sitting for a few minutes, you begin humming the tune and eventually begin swaying along with the rest of the ring to the beat of the rhythm.

One of the center players stands up and shouts, "THE SACRIFICE!"

The singing ring emits cheers between hums and shouts and everyone stands and walks in formation towards a large body of water. A man from the ring walks into the center and stands at attention, facing the water. The music cuts off suddenly, and you find yourself humming alone before you catch the cue. The man shifts his weight a few times and then suddenly becomes entirely engulfed in flames from the ground up. He stands for a few moments, and then sprints towards the water, jumping as soon as he gets close. There's no fire on the ground where he was standing, and you're at a complete loss to how it happened.

The man comes back up to the surface of the water, raises a fist in triumph and the group explodes in cheers. A few people run over to the man to help him out of the water, and then the group begins to disperse, talking amongst itself and breaking the circular formation.

**-**

What do you do?

> Find Jerry and ask quietly ask him if he recognizes anyone.

You've lost Jerry in the excitement, but it doesn't take you long to find the other unengaged, confused person standing at this apparent tribal ceremony.

"Pst, hey," you say in a hushed voice as you walk up to Jerry.

"Hey!" Jerry replies at the same level, but you can still detect his excitement of your company. "Are we it?"

"I don't know, I haven't seen anyone else ..."

"Well, glad to have you on my team then."

"What should we do?"

"Let's just wait for something to happen."

You stand next to Jerry and look around. The figure you saw yell 'THE SACRIFICE' is more well lit now and you can see she is a woman. She seems very reserved and quiet as you watch her converse with excited apparent followers. She looks up and catches you watching her. You divert your eyes but it's too late, she excuses herself from the group she was in and approaches you and Jerry. As she gets closer you see she is not a young woman, but not at all frail. She moves very slowly and is a little less than a foot shorter than you.

"My sons. My unborn sons. Tonight was your conception. Soon you will be born." She stands and smiles.

What do you do?

> "I look forward to that moment. What will happen when that time comes?"

"Our members are swelling now that we are free to worship in peace. Even traveling all that distance, it was wise of the Giants to have us leave the city. You two are proof of that. Your passion and faith in things unseen will aid you here; I foresee you will rise to great heights. Of course you know very little about us, but you will learn in time. For now, I am weary. Please meet me tomorrow at sunrise at the lake. You may ask anything you like then." She smiles again and bows slightly. She turns and walks back to the group she was with before, bows to them as well, and then walks away from everyone into the dark. Seeing this, everyone quiets down and follows her.

You and Jerry are near the back of the group, and you talk about what kind of culture you've stumbled into. After walking for quite a while, you see man-made shelters out of fabric and sticks. Everyone files into a different shelter without telling you anything about where you belong.

"We'll probably have to build one ourselves." Jerry states.

You frown. You don't know how to build a tent out of sticks. You collect long sticks and find an unoccupied try to lean them up against, but they keep falling down. Jerry doesn't have much luck with his bark roof idea either. More time passes, more failed shelters collapse. You hear rustling around you and then a whisper.

"There is a guest home for you, children." The woman from before gestures to a shelter just a few trees away from your attempt. "But after you're born, you must learn to build your own. She smiles and walks back into the darkness towards her shelter.

You sigh in relief as you crawl into the surprisingly roomy gust shelter. The structure seems to be held together with sap and reinforced with pieces of tarp. Despite just waking up in real life, you have no trouble falling asleep, and have no dreams. Going to sleep and waking up seem to take place almost simultaneously. Jerry wakes you, and tells you the sun is coming up. You scramble out of the shelter and make your way towards the lake from the night before. It takes more time than you remembered to get back, and the woman is already waiting there, staring at the sunrise over the water. As you arrive she turns, smiling.

"Now my children, what do you wish to know?"

What do you do?

> "Tell us about the Giants."

"This vast and bountiful landscape was not always ours. Eons before humans arrived here, the land was inhabited by a tribe of giants called Uurik," she bows her head as she says the name. "The tribe was at complete harmony with their surroundings and with nature. The Giants never warred with one another and always had enough for everyone to eat. They were a pristine example for a utopian world.

"When the humans came, they came hungry and driven out by their own kind. The Giants felt sorry for them and gave them this land to live in. They said we were free to use it as long as we did not misuse it. They said the day there is no more peace in this land, they would take it back. This land is so vast to us, but it was only an island to them. Nevertheless they wanted it to be taken care of.

"Over the years we celebrated the Giants and their gift to us, but as generations passed, many began to forget how generous the Giants were to us. Sons rebelled against their fathers, and people grew wicked. Hundreds of years passed, thousands of years. Those of us who still admired the Giants for their great sacrifice for us were branded with a religion and put in a corner, away from society. 'Non-believers' did what they pleased with the land, ignoring its well-being.

"Preservation has fallen in favor of progress. Nature's sacred beauty has been traded for industry. We tried to do what we could to preserve the land, but we were so far in the minority we had no voice. Members frustrated with the cause left to join the masses. Finally we moved out of technology's grasp and the corrupting ways of power to traditionalize ourselves once again. We live off the land and the land lives from us. We follow the traditions of our fathers who learned them from the Giants themselves. That is what we believe, what you believe and now what you know to be true."

You both stand in awe as the sun slowly rises above the water. Jerry speaks up. "Why was a man set on fire last night?"

"Whenever we have newcomers from the city, we celebrate with The Ceremony of the Fragile Human. The fire represents both the inner passions of humans that can destroy nature, and also the utter powerlessness we have over nature as a whole. The Giants can take this land back anytime they see fit, just as the fire can consume a man if he does not submerge himself underwater."

What do you do?

> "What is our role in this?"

"Witnessing the ceremony last night and spending your first night in the forest was your conception. Soon you will be a child of the Giants. You must merely continue to believe and take an oath to preserve nature at the Giants' request. Do you think you can do this?"

You and Jerry look at each other.

"Yes. Absolutely."

"Excellent. I want you to walk across this lake."

You remain silent, looking at the vast lake, wondering what she means.

"Right now."

You look at her and ask, "what can I call you."

"Ivy. Now go. Walk to the other side."

Jerry looks just as puzzled as you. You walk up to the lake and prepare yourself to fall into the lake. You take a step onto the water, but your foot doesn't find the bottom of the lake, and you fall face first into the water. The cliff of land is extremely steep and even treading water, you cannot feel the ground. The water is freezing and you shiver uncontrollably as you come up for air.

Jerry looks down at you, still dry and on land. Ivy turn to him and tells him to try. Jerry steps through the water, but doesn't fall in. Ivy tells him to try again. Jerry takes a few steps back and tries to get a running start, but has no success walking on water. You're both in the freezing cold, shivering as you try to climb up. Ivy looks down at you.

"When you can walk across the lake, you will be born." She turns and walks back towards the forest.

What do you do?

> Get out of the damn water and warm up. Commence matrix ripoff debate over how you're able to manipulate the water to be able to walk on it.

You climb out of the water and help Jerry as he swims over to the edge. You sit on the grassy edge, staring out across the lake, still shivering from the freezing water.

"What do you think?" You ask Jerry.

"I don't have a clue. We should ask some of the other 'children.'"

"Good idea."

You and Jerry walk back into the forest. Once again the journey takes quite some time. By the time you get back, there's a fire going on the middle of "camp," and breakfast is being cooked. A tall man approaches you as you get near.

"A bit wet?" He says with his powerfully deep voice. "I know the feeling. I jumped in last night."

"Oh you were the man who set himself on fire?" Jerry asks.

"Yes."

"Will we have to do that?" You ask, hoping the answer is no.

"Not for a long time, I think. It is not something one is forced to do, but rather a voluntary act of sacrifice for the rite of newcomers. I have also volunteered to help you walk across the lake."

You're glad to hear this, but you're hungry. You don't know why you're so hungry, the trial shouldn't be taking place in real time, and you just ate before it started.

"Are we allowed to have breakfast there?" You ask.

"No." The man looks down at you and Jerry sternly.

"No food unless you catch it yourself. No berries or plants; only meat. Follow me." The man walks deeper into the forest, passing the food which now smells wonderful. "My name is Drasia."

"I'm Ward."

"My name's Jerry."

The man nods and walks deeper into the forest. You follow for a while and the path begins to get steeper. You are in terrific physical shape, so you don't even notice, but Jerry starts breathing heavily pretty early on. After nearly half an hour of Jerry getting closer and closer to death, Drasia sits down on his rock. Like you, he isn't even winded.

Jerry collapses on a log. "Do ... we .... have ... wa...ter? He manages.

"There's water everywhere in nature, you just have to find it." Drasia says quietly. He looks at you and squints, apparently trying to figure out why you're so damn physically fit. You feel like you could use some water as well, so you save Jerry the trouble by looking around for trees with big leaves or a stream.

"Jerry there's a stream over here!" You announce a few meters away after searching for less than a minute. Jerry slowly crawls over to the stream but he hesitates.

"Is ... is ... this clean?"

"Of course it is. This whole land is clean." Drasia walks over to the stream, cups some water in his hand and drinks it. You and Jerry do the same.

"Come on, we're almost there." Drasia starts back up the hill, through the forest. You follow and Jerry manages to pick himself up behind you. You walk for another half hour, at a much slower pace, stopping three times for Jerry to rest. Finally the trees clear and you get to a cliff. The view is gorgeous. The sky is completely clear, allowing the sun to shine directly down on a nearly endless forest landscape.

Drasia doesn't waste any time. "I want you to step all the way up to the ledge, then take four steps back."

You and Jerry oblige, and even you're are a little winded at this point. You're still very hungry, but Drasia said you could only eat wild animals, so you'll have to wait for an opportunity to catch one.

"Now close your eyes and imagine yourself at the very edge of the cliff. One more step will put your foot hovering above nothing and you will fall down all the way to the forests below. Take a step but when you step, think not of the rock that you feel under you, think of the air that you're walking on."

You step and try to put yourself in the mindset Drasia suggests. It's difficult to imagine the cliff right in front of you, and a bit alarming.

"Do this three times in a row, then step back and do it again. Until you are walking through the air. Now, go!"

You step again. You pretend you're walking on air, two steps beyond the edge of the cliff. It seems fun that you're floating, but you don't believe it. Another step doesn't do it either. You take three steps back and try again. You can hear Jerry stepping heavily and breathing more heavily. You try a few more times, really trying to believe your steps back and forth are beyond the cliff. Three steps forward, three steps back. Over and over. Finally you take the third step forward and catch yourself from falling. You open your eyes to find you're a full step from the edge. You felt for sure like you had overstepped and gone over the edge. Maybe that was it. Just as you're about to tell Jerry, you watch as he steps one too many and starts to fall.

"AAAHH!" He yells for a split second before you grab him. He had almost lost his footing entirely. He falls to the ground and pants in relief. "Shit, that was close. This is nuts."

You turn to ask Drasia what you're supposed to be feeling, but he's gone. You run into the forest a bit and look around. Despite the trees, the visibility is very good, but he's still no where in sight.

What do you do?

> Fashion a trap with a sapling and some shrubbery to hopefully catch some food and then go back to practicing. Clear your mind, think about how you're in a dreamworld. When you step off the cliff you're still walking on the floor in the trial room.

Drasia must've left to teach you something about surviving on your own. Fortunately you're pretty sure you know how to get back to camp, or at least the direction--down. In the meantime, you're famished, so you tell Jerry to stay where he is while you find materials to make a trap. After some time, you build a primitive, but hopefully effective sapling trap and bait it with some berries. You look at the berries and almost give in, but you resist.

Back to the cliff. You get back into the mode of stepping three steps forward and three steps back, all with your eyes closed. Jerry's still a bit shaken up from falling so he stays six steps back from the cliff. Several times, you really feel like you're walking on nothing, but it's always short-lived. Finally you take it up to another level. Realistically, you're walking on a floor in a simulation chamber, so if the simulation wanted, you could really walk on air. You think about that and try the exercise a few more times, and it helps. You get into the mindset that you're walking on air every single time. Three steps forward, three steps back, it really works!

Snap.

You hear your trap go off and jolt out of the trance. You turn and run towards the sound of some struggling animal. You turn a corner past a tree and meet eye to eye with a giant black bear, who has just gotten up on his hind legs. He's destroyed the trap and growling loudly with it's mouth open, pieces of berry still hanging in it.

What do you do?

>walk on air

Before you have a chance to react, the bear paws at your face. You're thrown headfirst off your feet into a tree. Pain sears through your face, and the hot liquid falling from it signals you're bleeding. You scramble away a bit from the bear, who is still on its hind legs and looking menacing. You can't outrun it, and you can't kill it; your only chance is to try to fly away.

This is a simulation, right? You're supposed to be part of some greater tribal, spiritual, primitive people, right? Drasia said you would be able to walk on air, and you really felt like you were starting to do it. It's your only shot.

You jump up and start running to the cliff. You feel and hear the bear charge after you with only a few seconds delay. Jerry sees you coming and then sees the bear. He freezes on the edge of the cliff. You close your eyes after you judge the distance to the edge.

"You're not on a cliff, you're on the floor of a simulation chamber, if you want to walk on air, you can," you say aloud. 10 steps, 7 steps, 4 steps, last step.

You step past the cliff and land on solid ground. You're walking on air. You open your eyes in amazement to find the step on air was actually your last step on the cliff; you had just miscalculated. Your momentum sends you flying off the cliff despite your efforts to stop in midair. You fall for longer than you expected, and you try to claw at the cliff's edge to slow you down or grab on to something. You suddenly hit a tree trunk with your back, which stuns you, but also gives you a moment to grab for safety. You successfully get a hold of a tree branch, but the wounds you received from the bear and the fall are too much. You let go and fall another few meters to a mud pit where you lie motionless but not unconscious for a few minutes while you catch your breath.

What do you do?

> Get out of the mud, dress wound with bits of clothing. Set out for camp. I imagine we don't want to be here when it gets dark.

After a few moments you find the strength to get up but you immediately fall over again. Your back isn't broken but it's bruised to all hell. You crawl out of the pit, tear a bit of the bottom of your garment and press it against your face. After wiping away the mud, you pull away the rag to find it soaked in your blood. You tear off a few more pieces and apply pressure to all the wounds until the bleeding slows. You crawl over to a try and lean up against it. It occurs to you that all this time you haven't seen Jerry jump off the cliff above you or heard him get mauled by the bear. Where is he? You'll have to find your way home but climbing back up the cliff is out of the question. You look up into the sky and see the sun just about in the middle of the sky. You're not sure what season it is here, but you've got at least 6 good hours to find your way home, and it only took you 1 to get up to the top of the cliff.

Either way you're starved, and in no condition to go hunting. You search for any kind of food you could eat and your eyes land on a bush full of red berries. You can't place the type of berry, and Drasia said not to eat them, but you're starving.

You grab a handful of berries and shove them in your pockets if you really need them later. You try getting up but your back hurts too much to stand up fully. You sit back down, breathing heavily for a moment before you reach into your pocket. Drasia said not to eat the berries, was that just a rule of this process or was it because the berries were inedible? Maybe they could be used for something else?

You take off your shirt and rub the berries on your back. You feel a vague burning sensation that slowly becomes more intense right up to the point of pain. You let it sit for a few minutes before the sensation goes away. You try to stand up and are immediately able to do so with almost no pain. It worked! You can't decide if the berries are a numbing agent or a pain reliever or contain some sort of healing property. It does matter; what matters is that you can move, which means you can find your camp and hopefully Jerry.

You walk along the cliff wall, hoping to eventually find a way up, but the longer you walk, the more worried you get about losing your sense of direction back to camp. You start thinking about landmarks, even though everything looks the same. You've still got quite some time before the sun starts to set so you don't feel too worried yet. Still it's a good idea to make some sort of marker in case you don't recognize where you were attacked by the bear. As you walk you start to leave lines in the dirt with your foot, forming a dotted line like a street.

After two hours of wandering you find a spot where the cliff dips down to ground level. You walk up to the top and head back to where you came. Your pace is faster now that you know where you're going, and you're eager to find Jerry. You look down every few minutes to make sure you can still see your lines on the ground below you. After nearly two hours the lines cease. You're near the original attack point. You start looking around the woods for Jerry, always keeping close to the cliff. You find the rock where you jumped off the cliff, but Jerry's no where in sight. You could keep looking all day and all night, but the sun is already threateningly low, daring to begin sunset. You might be safer going back to camp right now.

What do you do?

> Head back to camp and look for Jerry. If we can't find him tell "mother" that Jerry is lost and propose forming a search party.

With still no trace of Jerry you figure you'll have a better chance finding him if you return to the camp instead of getting lost in a forest you don't recognize. The journey back down the hill seems faster albeit quieter. When you get back to the camp, it's deserted. You look around for some left over food, but there aren't any traces of the wonderful breakfast you left behind this morning.

"Drasia!?" You call out but no one responds.

You figure the best idea is to head to the lake. You quicken your pace when you remember that Jerry is still out in the woods and the sun isn't going to be out much longer.

You come out of the bulk of the forest and see lights in the distance. The lights are hovering near the edge of the lake. As you get closer you see people lined up in two lines, facing each other. You hear a faint humming. It's the song from the night before.

** Cue Fury of Dissonance: Second Movement **

The humming and chanting gets louder as you approach. You slow to a walk and look around for Jerry. You don't recognize him in the line. You approach the front of the line and see Drasia in the center.

"When the Giants left they told us we would be responsible for the land. They said if the day ever came that the land was not being taken care of they would return."

You stand in front of Drasia, who is dressed in what appears to be very formal tribal attire, in silence. Drasia speaks up again.

"The city folk do not care for the land. We are all that is left; we are mocked and driven of society. We are responsible for land. WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LAND! TODAY IS THE DAY THE GIANTS FORETOLD! TODAY IS THE DAY OF RAPTURE!"

"Wha?" Your mouth hangs open. The Rapture? This can't be a coincidence. You're suddenly struck by the similarities. Does the Revolution want the Rapture to succeed?

"Come, the final chapter is nearly upon us." Drasia smiles and then leads the two lines towards a hill in the direction of the city.

What do you do?

> Look for Ivy.

You look around the group for Ivy. You walk back through the line who are now chanting louder than ever until you get to the back of the line. Ivy is holding a torch between both lines in the back.

"Jerry and I got separated. We need to find him." You walk alongside of Ivy as she sings. She stops after a moment and looks at you.

"Shhh, he will find his way. You made it here and now you will finally be born. Enjoy the Rapture!"

You follow behind Ivy for a few moments before she stops and motions for you to go back to the front of the march, towards Drasia. As you jog towards the front you start to feel dizzy. You've had a long day without any food, and have sustained moderate injuries. The sun is just now going down and you find yourself more tired than you realized. It's a struggle just to keep up.

You follow Drasia and watch the sun slowly set into the forests. After a while you begin humming along to the song the group is singing, and eventually you chant and hum ever part you know. You're no longer tired, you've hit your second wind. You start getting excited. You're not hungry or tired or guilty for leaving Jerry. You are part of the earth. You can walk on water.

You walk for thousands of miles. You walk the entire earth a hundred times. You don't even feel the journey. You're singing louder than everyone else. Those standing next to you smile and follow suit. Everyone begins singing and chanting louder and louder. The entire line is one giant crescendo whose movement and voice suddenly come to a stop at what you realize is the edge of the forest, and the beginning of a sleeping city. How long have you been walking? The sun set hours ago, you didn't notice the time between. No matter, you approach Drasia.

"What now?"

"Now we return the kindness this city has shown the land and it's ancestors! Now we fulfill the Rapture!" Drasia hands you a solid glass orb with a hold at the top. The orb is filled almost to the brim with water. "This is a message that must be heard. There is no one left to speak for the earth but us," he says as he dips a cloth in the orb before pulling it halfway out again. Almost like magic, and just like his trick at the ceremony where he set himself on fire, Drasia lights the end of the cloth with his bare hands and loudly commands, "NOW THROW IT!"

Instinctively, you obey. It's not until a fireball rises from the building the orb landed on that you realize the contents of the orb were not water. Just as the heat of the enormous fire reaches your face, the group behind you explodes in a climactic verse of the tribal hymn. You are so caught up in the moment, so driven by this experience, that you chant along with them, and tear up a bit as you watch the nearby buildings below begin to set fire as well.

The march back is much shorter than the march to the city. You are proud of what you've done, and without much thought you continue to follow Drasia back to the lake, singing all the way.

**-**

"Now, be born." Drasia states as he smiles and steps aside, allowing a clear path to the lake, glowing in the moonlight.

You walk up to the edge of the lake and take four steps back. Slowly, you take three steps with your eyes closed, then you take another two quick steps forward. Your foot get wet, but you're not falling. Another three steps with your eyes closed; both feet are wet. You open your eyes to a full and beautiful moonlit sky. You're walking on water. The group, silent before, is now cheering loudly at your accomplishment. You turn to face them, and then jump up and down with pride of your success.

"THE RAPTURE HAS COME!" You scream. Suddenly a long and low rumble shakes your body. You run back to the edge of the lake before whatever power keeping you afloat wears off. The rumble gets louder and louder until you feel that your ears might burst. The shaking is now uncontrollable and rivals the strongest of earthquakes. You realize just as you're about to fall to the ground, the sound is taking shape.

"YYYYOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUU HAAAAAAAAVVEEEEEEEE FFFAAAAAAAAAIIILLLLEDDDDDD USSSSSSSSSSSSSS"

The moonlight disappears. You look up to see a figure silhouetting the moon.

"UURIK! THE ... GIANTS!" Ivy cries as she kneels. The rest of the tribe kneels in response. You stay frozen, staring at the humungous beast obscuring the moonlight.

"WE HAVE FULFILLED YOUR WISHES O GREAT ONE!" Ivy screams, her face pressed against the grass.

"NOOOOWWWW THEEERREEEE IISSSSSSS TRUUUUUULY NOOOOO MOOOOORE GOOOOOOOD IIIINNNNNN THIIIIIIISSSSSSSS LAAAAAAAANNNNND"

The figure steps forward, causing a great splash in the lake, obscuring the shallow bottom. The water couldn't have even been two inches deep. Another step forward, it's coming for you.

"YYYYOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUU HAAAAAAAAVVEEEEEEEE FFFAAAAAAAAAIIILLLLEDDDDDD USSSSSSSSSSSSSS" It repeats.

What do you do?

> Kneel emulating the others, then look up and shout to the giant, "Great Uurik! How have we failed you?"

The giant says nothing as he approaches, looming over you. You watch as he foot swings over the remainder of the lake and over the entirety of the kneeling group. All light is lost in blackness. You close you eyes and brace for impact. For several moments you wait, prepping yourself for some amount of physical trauma. Nothing happens. You open your eyes to find a familiar padded simulation chamber. The door behind you is open.
you
"What?" You say as you exit the chamber. You look over in the dining room. Jerry is sitting at a table, alone, staring at a plate of food. You hear others exiting their chambers.

"That shit was nuts." Ed says with a small grin as he walks up to you. "I was the only one who got out alive."

"Damn you for rescuing me last, I was holding on for as long as I could." Jessie brushes past the two of you coldly.

Ed sneers at Jessie's back and says, "ungrateful," under his breath, then turns back to you. "By the time I got to each room, everyone was just barely hanging on. Whether they had too much smoke inhalation or regular burn injuries, everyone else died. I must've run back into that building half a dozen times."

"What were you, a fireman?" You ask as you and Ed walk into the dining room.

"No, I was just a husband. It was some suburban mystery. We knew something back was going to happen, but not what, where or who. I figured out it was going to be arson, so I got ready but didn't get a chance to tell Michele or Jessie."

You sit down at a plate of food next to Ed. He pauses for a moment and says, "where were you, I didn't see you. And hey, Jerry's still here, was he with you?"

"Yeah. We were a part of some crazy tribe. I threw a Molotov cocktail at some building. I guess that was the one you were going in and out of."

"Really? Shit you were an Uurik-follower. Everyone was afraid of you guys. I thought you guys would be the perpetrators but I didn't know how to stop it. Oh well."

As you eat your food you realize that while you're hungry, you're not starving like you were in the trial. Does the simulation chamber really have power to make you feel tired, hungry, or other things like that? You're extremely suspicious about much power it seems to have over people.

You don't talk to Jerry. He saw you come in and promptly started eating his food. He doesn't look angry, but he doesn't want to talk to you either. You hope that running off a cliff in a vain hope of flight falls more under the category of "innovation" than "treachery." You sit quietly until the loudspeaker announces it's time for the fourth trial.

Two more, you can do it, Ward. You walk into simulation chamber 1, once again the doors close behind you and after a few moments the room goes dark.

You slowly sense the air around you grow cold and dank. You feel a solid stone wall behind you against the skin of your arms. You try to move away but your arms are anchored against the wall. You realize you're chained up by your wrists. You try to walk, but the chains are too strong. Your eyes still have yet to adjust to the lack of lighting, but you can see in the distance a small florescent light illuminating a staircase. The light is obscured by several vertical bars.

You call out a few times before you hear Ed's voice ring back at you.

"Hey! Ward?"

"Yeah, are you locked up?"

"Yeah."

Another familiar voice interrupts you and Ed, "SHUT YAR ASS UP!"

** Cue Rebirth **

It couldn't be. You look around you. The torn up rags are here. The pile of foul-smelling hay is here. Now this person's voice; it has to be the prison guard. You act without thinking. You gather some rocks with your feet until you can pick a large sharp one up and hit it against your right arm chain. After a few tries, a weak link snaps.

"What's going on?" Ed asks. You don't even hear him.

You break free of your left arm constraint, and start yelling at the guard again. You hear him shuffle towards your cell.

"EXCUSE ME WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING" he very politely asks.

"I've been imprisoned by mistake, I'm not sure where I am or what's going on but I need to get out of here." You say, trying to recall your previous wording.

"YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE LOCKED UP," he unnecessarily yells in your face. You smile as he reaches for his keys. The instant the lock is undone, you punch the guard in his crotch, then quickly pull him up to you, turn him around, and break his neck.

"What is going on, Ward?!" Ed demands more loudly this time. You're not concerned with him. You're concerned with the cell the old man was in. You hear him struggle to break free when you don't respond to him. You walk over to the cell to find there's no one in it.

"DAMMIT!" You yell. You're getting anxious, you have to get out of here. The Revolution did all this to you, for you. What do they want you to do? Break out again? You look around, there are no windows this time. Subtle differences like this and the missing cellmate gnaw at your sanity. Why?

You go back to your cell and put on the guard's clothes. You don't even fish his pockets before you head up the stairs. Why are you abandoning Ed?

This trial wasn't made for him.

You walk up the stairs and slowly open the large door. You're shocked to find an empty room. The same room as before with the office-workers, but completely void of anything but empty space. You run straight to the elevator. The dial inside says you're on floor "B8." B8? Basement? You look at the other floors. This one is the lowest floor. The highest floor is "G". You press it. After a few moments the elevator doors open to a bright, sunlit corridor that leads to another set of doors. You fly through them to the air outside and nearly lose your breath.

"I've seen this place." You manage out loud.

It's not the outside of S33. It's something much worse. It's the buildings, houses and alleys from the dream. The terrible reoccurring dream you thought you were done with. The dream where you're lost in an infinite maze trying to find someone. The dream with Rosemary.

Even though you've only seen this place at night, you know exactly where to go. You're at a full run, just like your dream. You dart through alleys and between buildings. The exact route. You know all these buildings more than anything else in the world. Finally the stairs. You run up them as fast as your legs allow you. Up the stairs, five flights up. Down the halls, an infinite maze of halls transforms to three turns, then it's upon you; the door. This is the door where you will find Rosemary. This is where you failed.

You open the door. It's empty. You turn your head back and forth violently to find some clue, some trace of Rosemary. None in the bathroom, the side rooms or the kitchen. There's no furniture, the carpets are stained; everything is dark and desaturated. You finally look out the window. You're high enough to see the land these buildings are on is on an island. You look out in the distance to see a large clearing. In the center of the clearing, a trail of smoke is ascending to the sky. You follow the smoke downwards and see a smoldering pit.

BURN THEM ALL
remember?
**-**

You vomit uncontrollably on the floor of the room. You know the pit. You know the island. This was where it happened. This is where the Revolution was born ... in blood and burning flesh. The air around you goes black and cold. After a few seconds, the white walls of the chamber return. Was that really it? Did you pass? You get up and look at your hands; they're shaking. You look down at the floor. You really did vomit. You look up at the door as it opens. Two men in suits enter with cleaning materials. One escorts you out of the room and directs you to the dining room without saying anything. You look over at Ed's chamber. He emerges as the door opens, furious.

"That's it? It just ends? So the trial is get abandoned by Ward?" Ed walks towards you angrily, his fists clenched. You stand stoically, not knowing exactly how to explain yourself. Just before Ed is upon you, the man in the suit stands between the two of you, grabs Ed's wrist and escorts him forcefully to the other side of the hallway, where you first entered this place. With Ed yelling as loudly as possible, he's pulled outside, and the door shuts.

You're the only one left. You walk over to the table to find two plates of food. You don't feel like eating, you're too tired. You walk over to the bed and lie down. Where is Rosemary? Why was all this happening?

"NO!" You scream out loud. You won't let them phase you. They're just manipulating what they know about you to get you to fail trial 5. Psyching out your mental strength by returning awful memories of bloodshed. You do your best to push it out of your mind. You're so exhausted, you fall asleep before the lights turn off. You dream about nothing. Just solid empty dreams. The most relaxing kind of sleep.

You open your eyes and jolt up at the sight of a man standing over your bed.

"It's time for the final trial." He says in a deep voice. You get up and rub your eyes. This is the last one. You walk into your chamber. You're not sure if you're mentally prepared for this, and you're sure this is going to be the toughest trial. The white walls go dark.

The blackness fades slightly to reveal a cavern, which is nearly pitch black. The only light is coming from a torch on the facing wall, next to an arched entrance to a long, dark hallway. You look down to find you're standing on a cut-out tile on the floor that looks like a trap door. You step off it quickly, examine it and find it won't budge. You step on it as hard as you can without putting all of your weight on it, but it stays stuck there. Your eyes move back to the torch. You look closer and see a few words scribbled just above where the flames are licking. You move closer to read them.

"EVERY HALLWAY IS EXACTLY THE SAME LENGTH
ALL WRONG TURNS ARE DEAD ENDS
NOT ALL DEAD ENDS ARE WRONG TURNS"

What do you do?

> Grab the torch and look around the room for any other items.

You pull the torch off the wall and look around for anything else of use. Right under the torch is a small box that you hadn't seen before. You open it to reveal a blank sheet of paper and a few pencils. You grab the box and search the rest of the room. There's nothing else.

What do you do?

> Begin drawing a map of the cavern starting with the starting point. Head to the entrance and shine the light over the floor of the next room for any sign of booby traps. Toss a pencil that looks expendable on the floor just to make sure.

You move slowly into the arched doorway, holding your torch out to check for signs of traps. Seeing none, you pull out a pencil and toss it into the hallway. The pencil disappears from the light your torch emits. You pause and listen, but no sounds emerge from the hallway after the pencil stops moving. You cautiously walk nearly two dozen steps until you reach another archway into a room. You see a large circle drawn on the ground in the center of it. As you move closer you see lines drawn in it and tiny numbers all around it.

"Oh no..."

Your worst fear has been confirmed, the circle has numbers 0 - 359 on it. These are angles. The top of the circle starts with 0 and increases counterclockwise all the way around until 359. You move closer to inspect it and find three of the numbers are larger than the others.

"0, 90 and 295," you say aloud to no one. Your voice echoes far in several directions. You look in the direction of the loudest echo. It lines up with where the '0' is pointing on the circle. You move in the direction and find a long hallway. You back to the circle and follow a straight line from 90. Another hallway. You try it with 295 and you find a third hallway. You circle the rest of the room, and other than the arched entrance you came in through, those are the only three exits. You follow a straight line from the entrance to the circle and hit directly on to "180."

What do you do?

> Head towards 295, documenting your progress on your map.

You place your piece of paper on the ground and mark a line at the 180 mark, then connecting to it a line at 295 degrees. You walk into the hallway and find another room. The room looks empty at first glance, and a closer inspection shows no new exits besides the entrance you came in through. A small red glimmer catches you eye just as you're about to leave. There's a small red jewel on the ground against the wall.

What do you do?

> Inspect the jewel to see if it's connected to anything, then poke it with a pencil to see if it will move easily, then grab it if it doesn't seem booby-trapped.

You look all around the jewel and you find the stone appears to be sitting on a small button. You poke it with your pencil, it falls off the button, the button pops up and you hear a loud crash on the other side of the room. You walk over to find the door has closed. You grab the jewel and put it back on the button. You hear the door slowly lifting open again.

What do you do?

> Test to see if you can push down the button with your finger or with anything besides that jewel. If so, look around for a rock or anything to hold down that button.

You try pressing the button with your finger as you switch it out for the jewel, and you don't hear the door slam closed. You put the jewel back on the button and look around the cave for something else to hold it down. Despite the rock environment, the ground is smooth, flat stone and there isn't so much of a pebble loose anywhere.

What do you do?

> Leave the jewel for now. Head to 90 and mark it on your map. Inspect the room.

You walk back to the first room and see the test pencil you threw from the first hallway. You pick it up and notice it has red lead instead of black like your other pencil. You pocket it and walk into the hallway marked '90.' Halfway through the hallway you hear a stone door slam behind you. You walk back to try and open it again, but it won't budge. You turn around and continue down the hallway. In the room you see something smudged on the far wall. As you get closer you see a message written with thick, sloppy letters, painted in blood.

"CONTINUE? 10
YES - NO"

Under both "YES" and "NO" there is a button.

What do you do?

>Push button under "YES".
> Mark the 90 room as a wrong turn with the red pencil.

You press "YES" and immediately fall through what you see as you pass through is a trap door. You brace for impact but when you hit you find the floor is very soft and cushions falls well. You dropped your torch, but it's still lit, and your box with pencils and map is right next to it. You pick up your items and look around. You see in the distance a single lightbulb floating in the air. You look around and wonder how big the room is. You don't see any walls.

"Hello?" Your voice's echoes tell you that this room is huge. You walk towards the floating lightbulb. As you get closer you see a ladder next to it, going up. You pass the light, which isn't actually floating, but hanging by a thread from the ceiling, which you can just barely make out several stories above you. You climb up the ladder until you reach the ceiling. You push on it and the section opens. You climb up to find yourself in the starting room again. When you get completely out of the hole, the tile slams shut again.

You pull out your map and mark a red line on the map for the 90° choice.

What do you do?

>Go to the 0° room.

You walk to the first room and then continue straight into the 0° hallway. Instead of leading to a room, the hallway simply ends. You look around and find a very small indentation on the wall. Inside the indentation is a dark rock about the same size as the jewel. You pull it out and nothing happens.

What do you do?

>Go take jewel from 295 deg room and replace with rock. Then return to this room and place jewel.

You pocket the rock and dash back to the room with the jewel. You swap the jewel and the rock. Success! The door doesn't slam. You return to the 0° hallway and place the jewel in the wall. The door slowly creeps up to reveal another room exactly like the previous one. From the door in a straight line, you hit 180° exactly on the circle in the middle. You look for numbers that are bigger than the others. 0°, 90° and 230° are larger.

What do you do?

>Enter 230° room.

You walk down the hallway, hoping you don't hear another slam of a stone door behind you. You reach another room without so much as a sound. The room looks just like the previous two rooms, with the entrance lining up with 180°. Once again, there are several numbers that are bigger than the others on the compass.

0°, 90° or 145°?

> Head for the 90 room.

You walk into the 90° hallway and halfway through it you curse as you hear a door slam behind you. You walk to the room and find another message written in blood.

"CONTINUE? 9
YES - NO"

You hit the yes, this time expecting the fall and land on your feet, still holding the torch and box. You walk back over to the light bulb, now a bit further away, up the ladder and into the first room again. You walk through the hallway, continue straight through 0°, turn and head down 230° until you're back at the 0°, 90°, 145° again.

What do you do?

> Enter 145° room

"CONTINUE? 8"

You fall again, and angrily charge up the ladder through the hallways and choose the 0°. It's the only one left. Much to your relief, the hallway leads to a new room instead of a dead end. Again coming in at 180°, the prominent numbers are: 0°, 65° and 245.

What do you do?

> Take the 65 room.

You walk down the 65° hallway and silence follows your steps. You smile as you enter another compass room. Entrance once again lined up with 180°, you find you now have four options: 0°, 65°, 90° and 245°

What do you do?

> Go for the 65 room, remember to keep exploring each room you enter for potential treasure.

You choose 65° again. Another silent walk through the hallway.

0°, 43° or 90°?

> 0.

You walk through the 0° hallway. Another correct turn. Well maybe, at least it's not incorrect.

0°, 90° or 230°?

> 0.

CONTINUE? 7

YES. Fall. Run. Ladder. Rooms. Repeat.

> 90.

CONTINUE? 6

"DAMMIT!" You yell into the blood-stained wall of the dead end. You find your way back through the maze to this room and take the last choice, 230°. The next room is just the same as any other, coming in at 180°.

0°, 105° or 145°?

>105

You're getting tired of using the red pencil.

CONTINUE 5

> 0

0° is good!

0°, 130° or 310°?

> 130

Success! 0°, 270°, or 230°?

> 0.

You continue on to the 0° hallway. How long is this maze? You look at your map as you mark your progress. 0° looks like it's a good pick. You turn your map slightly to the right.

"These are letters ..." you say aloud. "A and N? What is it spelling?" You've already used half of your continues, you were worried about how you were going to make it through much longer without figuring out some sort of pattern. You make a mental note to look at options that spell letters when you tilt the map a bit to the right.

Now for this room. 0°, 90° or 295°?

> 295

0°, 65° or 245°?

> 245.

25°, 50° or 155°?

> 25.

You're more surprised than angry when you're halfway through the 25° hallway and you hear a stone wall slam behind you.

CONTINUE? 4

50° or 155°?

> 50

0°, 65° or 310°?

> 65

0°, 90° or 270°?

> 90.

90°, 205° or 335°?

> 90°.

You walk down the hallway and come to a dead end.

"DAMMIT!" You say out loud. The sound echoes behind you. There was no stone door slam. This must be another dead end that isn't a wrong turn. You look around the room for an item of some sort. After searching the room twice, you find a small switch at the base of the far wall. You switch it and hold your breath, but you don't hear anything.

What do you do?

> Go back the way you came through 5 hallways until you reach the center of the room where the hallway you came from is 245 on the circle. Take the 0 hallway.

You walk through the 0° hallway to find another dead end. Immediately upon inspecting the wall, you see a hole. Inside the hole, which you discover is actually a rotating platform, there is a small jewel. You pocket the jewel.

What do you do?

> Go back to the switch room and flip it, then go back to the room we got the jewel from. Check to see if the switch made the jewel obtainable.

You're not sure where to put the jewel, so you head to the room with the switch, flip it again and come back to this jewel room to find no hole in the wall, and no indication that there was any hole.

What do you do?

> "Good, that's what the switch did."
> From the jewel room head back around the "G" through 4 hallways until you come cone to the room where the options are 0, 90, and 270. Take the 0 room.

You walk down the hallway and halfway you come to a wall. You look for an opening and find one just the right size for your jewel. You put it in and the wall slowly rises. Further down the hallway, another room awaits.

0°, 115° or 270?

> 115 but only if it's correct

245° or 310°?

> 310

0°, 90° or 295°?

> 295

You take 295° to an empty room. You search everything twice but there's nothing at all on the walls or on the floor.

What do you do?

> Go back 2 hallways and take the 245 room.

You follow back to the 245° hallway. The room following it is exactly the same as the one you came from. There's absolutely no trace of anything on the ground or the walls.

What do you do?

> Turn around, go left at the fork, you'll enter the room from 115. Take 0.

You take the 0° hallway to another compass room.

0°, 90° or 270°?

> 0

Halfway through the hallway you reach a wall. In the center of the wall you find a red jewel. You pull it out and nothing happens.

What do you do?

> Check the two dead end rooms on the E for any changes.

You walk back to the first room and check your map. As far as you can tell, this is the middle leg of the letter "E." You look at the map in its entirety again.

"A_N_G_E ... Angel? TheAngel?" You smile smugly, having figured out this simple maze. Now you need to figure out this simple puzzle. You check the room again for any places where the gem could go. You find none. You check for any changes. You put the gem up to the wall and move it around. Nothing happens, but something about the jewel catches your eye. You put it up to the wall again and look closely. The wall behind the gem turns white.

What do you do?

> Inspect room while looking through the jewel.

You put the jewel up to your eye and look through it. In the same style of blood-writing that appears on dead end walls, there are three arrows all converging to a single point on the wall, which after you remove the gem from your view, you cannot see.

What do you do?

> Inspect spot on the wall while looking through jewel.

The arrows all point to a very particular spot on the left of the wall. Further inspection, both with the jewel and without, yields nothing special about it. You press on it, try to put the jewel on it and even kick it, but nothing happens.

What do you do?

> Inspect top leg of E with jewel.

You abandon this room for now and move up to the top leg of the E. You look through the jewel to find more white lines. This time the only thing on the wall is a picture of a small white circle with an arrow drawn to large spikes drawn on the bottom of the wall to the floor. You look at them for a few moments and realize the spikes look like flames.

What do you do?

> Go back to the middle room of the "E" and hold the fire of the torch to the spot indicated by the arrows.

Your only source of fire is your torch, so you combine the messages from the two rooms and try burning the spot on the wall from the middle leg of E. After holding the fire on the spot for several minutes, nothing happens. You look at the spot again through the jewel. The only change is some black burn marks covering up a bit of the top arrow. Nothing else has changed.

What do you do?

> hold the jewel to the wall with the burning end of the torch.

You decide the drawing means you have to burn the jewel in some way, but you're not sure how to do it without burning your self. You put the jewel against the wall and quickly press the torch against it. You hold it there for a minute and then let go, and the jewel drops to the floor. You let it cool off and then pick it up to inspect it. The jewel is now onyx-black but still retains it's shine and beauty. The transformation appears to be completely around the jewel, despite only having had part of it in the flames.

What do you do?

> Try to look through the jewel.

You hold up the jewel to look through it but you can no longer see anything but the black shine.

"Dammit, there's probably more writing somewhere that I'm missing." You look down at the jewel again and see it is now dark red. You watch it as it slowly becomes transparent and fully red again.

What do you do?

> Look all through the damn E with the jewel pressed to your damn eye.

You walk all around the body of the "E," looking for more writing, but you find none. You finally reach the wall where you found the jewel to begin with, but there's still no more writing. You take the jewel off your eye and notice something that wasn't there before. There's a burn mark on the wall exactly where you held your torch to burn in the center of the arrows in the other room.

What do you do?

> burn the jewel again. while it's still black press it to the wall where the burn mark is, the spot that corrolates with the spot where the arrows are pointing to in the middle room.

You burn the jewel against the wall again, and it drops out after a moment in its onyx form. You put the jewel against where the burn mark is, and it slips into the solid rock wall. The wall slowly rises, revealing the second half of the hallway, which leads to another compass room.

0°, 115° or 270°?

> 115.

0°, 245° or 310°?

> 310.

You walk into the room and almost jump back at the sight of another person. A man is laying against the far wall, unconscious and breathing heavily. The room is another dead end without a compass, which fits perfectly with your "ANGEL" theory. You're in the top of the L. You look back at the man. His hair is falling out and he has stains on his shirt. He's wearing a jacket and is shivering uncontrollably.

What do you do?

> Keep your distance from the man and say in a speaking tone at first, "You there. Are you alright?" Repeat in louder tones if he doesn't move or respond.

"You there. Are you alright?" You ask, keeping your distance from the man. No response.

"Hey, hey!" You say very loudly. Your voice echoes around and behind you into the hallway. After a moment, he stirs. He lifts his head to speak with significant difficulty.

".....help......me," he manages before he slumps back and returns just breathing.

What do you do?

>go to the man, ask what happened to him/how he got there/his name

You walk closer to him.

"Hey, what's your name? What's happened to you?"

He's still unconscious, he doesn't respond. You try to talk to him a few more times, but he stays unresponsive.

What do you do?

> Go 2 hallways back quickly and proceed in the 0 direction.

You leave the room for now, walk back to the bottom of the L and take the 0° room. You reach a large door at the end of the hallway with something bright shining in the middle of it. You can hear it beeping regularly. As you get closer you see it's a heart-rate monitor, showing a heart beating irregularly fast.

"Oh no." You look above the monitor and your mouth hangs open. Inside of a clear, glass case, slightly reflecting the soft glow of the monitor is a huge knife.

What do you do?

> Take knife. Head back to old man. Try to resuscitate again. Brandish knife to try to get his attention. Ask questions again.

You open the glass box. Now you're breathing heavily. Are you really supposed to kill this man? Maybe the knife is for surgery? No. It's a hunting knife. It's a giant hunting, killing, death knife. So what? This is just a trial right? It's not a real person. Is it?

You back to the room at the top of the L. The man is right where you left him, still unconscious. You try to sit him up and ask him more questions, but he only moves his head around a bit and mumbles incoherently.

What do you do?

> "Listen wake up you unconscious fuck or I'm going to fillet your ass!"

No response.

What do you do?

> Pick his ass up and carry him to the door, shake him to see if the heart monitor changes as you shake him.

"This is a trap," you say out loud. You carefully pick up the man and drag him slowly to the bottom of the L, next to the heart monitor. You shake him around and watch the monitor. It fluctuates in sync with what you hear and feel of the man's vitals.

What do you do?

> WAIT. Have we tried to open the door at all?

You put the man down and push on the door as hard as you can. You try to push it up and down and try to wedge the knife into the cracks on all sides, all in vain. The door won't budge.

What do you do?

> kill

You stand over him for several minutes, just watching him breathe. It's not a real person. It's not a real person. It's not a real person.

You kneel next to him and hold the knife out. It's not a real person. It's not a real person. It's not a real person.

You feel sick for a few moments, turn your head and vomit on the floor. It's not a real person. It's not a real person. It's not a real person.

You put the blade on the side of his neck. It's not a real person. It's not a real person. It's not a real person.

Slice.

You drop the knife and back up until you hit a wall. You watch as blood pours out of his neck and you hear him struggle to breathe. The beeping gets faster and faster until finally you hear a constant tone. You look at the monitor. It's flat. You stand frozen for a long time, until you hear something moving in the door. You look at the monitor, which you see is rotating into the door, to reveal a crevice. You move closer to it and vomit again when you realize what it is.

It's shaped like a human right hand, cut off at the wrist.

What do you do?

>Cut his right hand off (and feel really bad about mutilating a sacred human body or whatever) and then put the severed hand in the crevice.

You take the knife and walk purposely over to the body, and without looking cut off his right hand at the wrist. You hear the knife slice clean through the bone, muscle and skin. You nearly vomit again, but there's nothing left. You grab the hand and shove it into the hole. The door slowly rises. You're about to walk into the room when you turn back, grab the knife and your torch. You walk past the door and it slams shut behind you. You hear the soft snowing of static. On the other side of the room is a small analogue TV, showing black and white static.

What do you do?

>move closer

You inspect the TV. There is only one dial, which can be set at 1, 2, 3 or 4. It's currently set on 1 and you can barely hear something is trying to come through, but the signal is too weak. There are two antenna sticking out of the top. As you look at them, you notice something written on the wall. In the same, familiar blood style, it says "GO BACK."

What do you do?

>Mess with rabbit ears, attempt to get signal.

You put the torch and knife down to move the antenna around to try and get signal. After fiddling with it for a few moments, you get a near-clear picture. You look at the TV and make a strange discovery.

"It's me."

The TV is showing a picture of you standing up and looking fierce. You're wearing a blue uniform and holding up a key. You listen to yourself talk from the TV.

"So you give the key to your ex-husband's apartment to some wacko rapist? You thought that was a good idea?"

The camera cuts to Sam, tearful and angry.

"HE'S NOT A RAPIST! ALLEN'S THE RAPIST!"

Then, much to your surprise, the camera cuts back to you holding the key again, saying "So you give the key to your ex-husband's apartment to some wacko rapist? You thought that was a good idea?"

"HE'S NOT A RAPIST! ALLEN'S THE RAPIST!"

"So you give the key to your ex-husband's apartment to some wacko rapist? You thought that was a good idea?"

"HE'S NOT A RAPIST! ALLEN'S THE RAPIST!"

"So you give the key to your ex-husband's apartment to some wacko rapist? You thought that was a good idea?"

"HE'S NOT A RAPIST! ALLEN'S THE RAPIST!"

The TV continues to loop the segment without any signs of it ending.

What do you do?

> Boooooooooooring. Change to 2.

You switch the dial to 2 and the screen goes snowy again. You move the ears until you get a decent picture. This time it's you hiding behind the train wreckage, wearing your clothes from trial 2.

"No!" You watch yourself quietly say on the TV. The camera cuts to Ed, with a bullet in him, wielding a gun wildly.

"IS THAT ALL YOU FUCKING GOT YOU PIECES OF SHIT!?"

Again it cuts back to you. "No!" And then back to Ed. "IS THAT ALL YOU FUCKING GOT YOU PIECES OF SHIT!?"

"No!"

"IS THAT ALL YOU FUCKING GOT YOU PIECES OF SHIT!?"

"No!"

"IS THAT ALL YOU FUCKING GOT YOU PIECES OF SHIT!?"

What do you do?

>turn to channel 3

You switch to channel 3 and move the antenna to a good position. This time it shows you kneel down at the front of a lake and brace for being crushed. It doesn't cut to anyone else or show any dialog, it just fades to black and shows you in the simulation chamber, still ready to be crushed. After a few seconds of the chamber, it cuts back to the beginning of the clip again, and repeats indefinitely.

You switch to channel 4 and adjust the antenna accordingly. You watch yourself staring out of a window at something and then suddenly turn and violently vomit. That clip repeats over and over until you switch back to 1. The TV goes snowy again.

"What is this?" You ask out loud. You look at the blood-writing again and see something you didn't notice before. You grab your torch to brighten it up. Under neath the lettering that says "GO BACK," there are four blanks.

"___ __ ___ _______?"

What do you do?

> "Now do you remember?"

You say "Now do you remember?"

Nothing happens.

What do you do?

>Using the red pencil, write "Now do you remember" on the blanks on the wall.

You pull out the red pencil and write "Now do you remember" in the blanks on the wall.

Nothing happens.

What do you do?

>write "Now do you remember" in your own blood

You realize everything in the trial has been written in blood. You pick up the knife and slice your arm without hesitation. It stings, but not as badly as when you put your fingers on it to collect blood. It takes several agonizing minutes to smear your own blood onto the wall, spelling out "Now do you remember."

You collapse when you finish and you watch everything around you swirl into blackness and unconsciousness.

--

Now do you remember?

--

You wake up in an unfamiliar bed in an unfamiliar room. You look around. It looks like a small apartment. Next to your bed are some bags that look like they have clothes in them.

What do you do?

>go to the bag, put on some clothes

You look in the bag. They're your clothes. You dig deeper to find the radio Felix gave you before you started the trials. Did you pass? Is this what being in the Revolution is? You dump the bag out and find all of your things. You search the rest of the room. It's empty, all ready for someone to move in.

You're still wearing your trial suit. You take it off and throw on a set of your own clothing. You open the main door and step into the main room of an empty apartment. There's a kitchen on the other side of the room and several doors. You start opening to doors. There's a closet, another closet, door to a public hallway outside the apartment, a bathroom and finally, the last door you open leads to a white, padded room.

"A simulation chamber? In every apartment?" As you walk into the chamber, a light blue square pops up on the far wall, and text big enough for you to see from the door appears on it. As the text appears, a soft, female voice reads it aloud."

"Welcome to S124. Is this your first time in the Revolution?"

What do you do?

>"Yes"

"Yes."

"Would you like to learn about RevolutionLife?"

"Yes."

"Please step completely in the simulation chamber. If you are not wearing a simulation suit, please note your clothing will not be able to interact with any simulation objects."

You don't feel like changing again, so you walk in the room completely and wait for the door to close. After a few moments, with the door still open, you notice a control panel next to the opening. You walk over to it and press "Close Door." The door closes and the room goes black. When it fades in you're standing on a sidewalk in a front yard of a large house. You hear the voice begin speaking again.

"Welcome to RevolutionLife. This is a world where anything is possible and the limits are set by your own imagination. This is your new home. The other houses you see are other residents of S124. Some of the residents have chosen to live in more rural, or more urban areas. You can move your house to whatever area you like, or create a new area to live in. While control of the world around you is unlimited others can choose to ignore you or any changes you make to your lifestyle. Similarly, if there's an aspect of someone's life that you don't agree with, you can delete it from your view--your world.

"Go ahead inside your house; it's already furnished with default furniture and other items. Please note that while you can eat and taste anything in this world, your body will not actually consume any actual matter. Please remember to exit RevolutionLife and return to the real world when you feel hungry. RevolutionLife is programmed to automatically shut down when one person has been using it for more than 24 hours."

You turn around and walk towards the house, open the front door to a neat, clean and well-decorated empty house. You step inside and a control panel appearing in mid-air.

"This is a basic editor," the voice explains. "This editor is limited, but is built to demonstrate how RevolutionLife works to new residents. When you feel comfortable with this editor, you can select 'Advanced' to bring up a more complicated editor with more freedom. Still, this advanced editor is limited, but you can create your own editor to do with whatever you want. You can also trade editor consoles with neighbors that they have, and collect as many as you wish to change the world as you see fit."

The editor disappears and is replaced with a black box with colored text scrolling very quickly down it.

"This is events monitor. It catalogs every action taken by every S124 resident. If you wish to negate an action taken by a resident, or a resident entirely, and in turn every action they've taken, you can search for them by name, time of day, or location. Pranks are commonplace in RevolutionLife, and often not meant to harm anyone. Pain sensors have also been turned to zero percent, so being crushed by a giant blue whale will only affect your movement, instead of crushing you to death.

"There is nothing to fear in RevolutionLife because there is nothing you can't change. Enjoy your stay here, and if you have any questions, just pull up the "Help" menu on the basic editor. Thank you!"

What do you do?

> Check out the editor.

You read over some of the buttons on the basic editor: Color, Resize, Texture, Temperature, Place Object, Weight, Remote Editor, Gravity, Advanced Editor, Help, Exit RevolutionLife.

What do you do?

> exit

You press the button that says "Exit RevolutionLife," and everything around you goes dark. It lightens back up to your white padded walls. You walk over to the control panel next to the door and open it up. So this is what living in the Revolution is like. Pretty cushy, you could get used to it. You've got more on your plate than a good life, though. You have a mission.

You remember Felix saying it was alright to contact him through normal channels because of Squeek's scrambler chip, no one without the chip can intercept your conversation. You pull the radio out, put in the earpiece and set the channel to 115AX.

"Felix?" There's silence for a few moments before you hear crackling and someone's breath.

"WARD!"

"Hey, I'm in."

"Oh hell yes, well done!"

"Felix, the trials were really weird."

"Yeah, I knew you could do it."

"No I mean, they were directed specifically at me. I thought it was just them trying to mess with me at first, but the fourth trial was me waking up in the Revolution prison. They know who I am!"

"Of course they do, but they think they have you under control, remember?"

"Yeah, I guess, it just seems like they know too much. Is it possible they know too much?"

"As long as they don't get you in a mind-reading machine, you should be fine, if our theories are correct. Anything else to report?"

"Not that I can think of." You shudder as you remember killing the dying man in the fifth trial.

"Okay, then listen up, we just got some a tipoff that Saddler is in a hidden office in S124 right now. He didn't show up to a Democratic convention this morning and he's scheduled to catch a plane to Hong Kong in a few hours. No one knows where he is right now, and S124 security cameras show a man entering a B4 entrance just before sunrise this morning. Remember now that Saddler is running for vice, and he's not supposed to be involved in the Revolution anymore. If we can expose him as still having his hands in the Revolution, we could get his ass booted from the vice-presidential race, and possibly as a part of the Revolution.

"Also, we have a hunch that Saddler is TheAngel, and if we can get him to admit that, it would be colossal. Basically, your mission is to sneak up to his office, record him being there. We'll stream everything back to a few drives here so don't worry about getting the equipment out if you get compromised. Try to bargain with him, see if you can get him to admit he's TheAngel if you give him the camera. Or something more subtle, I don't know, you're the genius."

"Okay, when is this going down?"

"Right now! Get a piece of paper and I'll give you instructions."

"Okay." You grab a scrap of paper and a pen next to your clothes.

"Go to the elevator. It should be down the hall and to the left in the middle of that hallway. When you get in the elevator hold down the buttons for the top floor and the ground floor for three seconds, then hit buttons for floors 57, 41, 52, and 44 in that order. You should go up to nearly the top floor. When you step out you'll be just outside his office. The code for that door is four three five five six pound, nine two seven three one pound, nin three five two six six three pound, four six six three. Got it?

"Yeah I think so. Should I just go? Right now?"

"Go! Call if you run into any problems at all, this is cake. Worst case scenario, we have video proof of Saddler being in an S124 office when he should be on the campaign trail. The camera is just a small stick-on button. Put it on your lapel or collar or something, facing out. Good luck!"

You search the pile of stuff for the button and find it after combing the carpet under your clothes. You peel off a small piece of plastic and stick it to your collar. You take a few deep breaths.

"This is it."

You walk out of your room and instinctively check for guards. You realize you have to stop looking so suspicious, so you just walk slowly down the hall to the hallway. Inside you follow Felix's instructions without even looking at your notes on the paper. The elevator stalls for a moment and then shoots up for a long time. It dings and the doors open.

You step out of the elevator and look around. For a private floor, there's not much being used. The hall goes left and right and is totally free of objects. The walls are even bare. In front of you is a large, heavy-looking door with a small keypad, exactly like the keypad in S33, next to the doorknob. Alright. You look at your scrap of paper and open up the glass covering over the keypad.

"43556#92731#9352663#4663" You type slowly and carefully. A moment later, the door clicks open. You take a deep breath and swing the door open. You're initially shocked. You know this room. Where do you know it from? No time to think about it.

"Saddler? The act is over, you're done for." You say calmly and forcefully.

"Oh my ... I suppose TheAngel is about to be revealed." Saddler's voice sounds over-enthused. He's facing out the window, sitting in a swivel chair on the other end of a long, black conference table. You can hear a smug smile in his voice. He turns and you jump back in another wave of shock.

"What's wrong?" He says pseudo-affectionately, wearing that mask. Wearing the mask from the dream, in real life, in all of it's horror. It must be the mind control activator, but it won't work on you now.

"Sorry Saddler, I had that taken care of. I'm no longer your pawn."

"HA! Hahahahahahahahahahaha!" Saddler throws his head back and laughs heartily. "How magnificent!" The movement of the mask on his face is terrifying. You don't like where this situation is going. You need him to try to get him to take off the mask to get the visual proof. You have audio proof, but it's not nearly as strong.

"Get rid of that mask, it's of no use anymore."

"No, I suppose you're right. I was just wearing it for fun. It's yours anyway." Saddler takes the mask off and throws it towards you. It slides across the table at you and stops a bit past the center. "Take as many pictures as you like. Take a video. Everything that's mine is yours." You see Saddler's evil grin and return it with one of your own. You have him on video now.

He seems too confident, but you're one step ahead of him right? What does he know that you don't?

"Do you want to know about your past? Do you want your memories back?"

"What are you--"

"You're a ghost, Ward."

"I'm ... I'm a what?"

"You're the ghost of the Revolution. You disappeared for ten years, and woke up without anything in a prison; not so much as a name. You don't even have a name."

"My name is Ward. I don't care if you took my memories; I'm better off without them!"

"That might be true, but it certainly wouldn't be nearly as fun. You look very nervous. You're all alone on your first mission in the real world. Why don't you call for back up?" Saddler suggests. "Go on, I won't listen in." He smiles again. You have your video of him recorded, you should have everything you need to expose Saddler as a part of the Revolution.

"Felix, I've got him, is that all?" You're a bit worried, but you're confident Felix will confirm everything is alright, until you hear yourself echo on the other side of the room.

"Sorry, you were saying?" Saddler asks.

No. Saddler has the scrambler chip. He's intercepted your frequency. Squeek said it was untraceable! You're traceable. He must have gotten it from you somehow.

"Dammit!" You mutter under you breath.

"Don't worry, you haven't been compromised, I've always been listening in on this frequency, this and every frequency you've used to contact the Rapture."

"You know ...?"

"Did you really think an incredibly small team of 3 or 4 could have their hands in my system, and a grand plot to overthrow the Revolution--an organization more powerful and more wealthy than three-quarters of the countries in the world?

"How ...?" You're speechless and trapped.

"I'll tell you exactly how. I am the Rapture."

"You're a liar."

Saddler pauses for a moment. "I suppose that's true. The truth is there is no Rapture because ... they're all dead."

** Cue Chilling Reality **

"YOU'RE A LIAR!" Just as you say it, you know Saddler could be telling the truth. Maybe you were the only one who could protect them, and the trials were a distraction. Maybe by contacting Rosemary you compromised Rapture's secrecy. Could they really all be dead? You just talked to Felix minutes ago.

"I'm not a liar. You haven't been with the Rapture this entire time. The entirety of the Rapture has been dead since you 'disappeared.' For ten long years their bones have rotted in the earth on the island where the Revolution was born. You've been living with some very good actors I hired and trained to behave exactly like the people they said they were."

You're in complete shock. You're stuck in the middle of a word, but you can't find it. You can't think. You snap out of it and quickly tune to 282-RT as a reflex.

"Rosemary, are you there? Help! Please tell me something?!"

"I was going to leave that entire part out of this play, but you wouldn't have it." Saddler's grin goes solemn.

"I wouldn't have it?"

"No, you're quite a strict stage director. So Act V stayed in, with all its horror and glory. My cut made for a more humane show, leaving Rosemary out, but your mind couldn't quite let go. I guess no amount of memory-erasing can blot out true love."

"What are you saying?"

"Rosemary ... she's dead too, you've just been hallucinating her.

**-**

There's only silence on the radio. You can't handle this.

"WHY?! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"

"Do you want to know your real name?"

"..."

"Your real name is William Arthur Rosenburg, but to me," Saddler pauses and waits for you to look at him in the eyes.

"I'll always know you by your code name -- your own personal alias. I'll always know you as TheAngel."

** Cue TheAngelV1 ** or ** Cue TheAngelV2 **

"The Rapture is dead because you killed them. Rosemary is dead because you killed her."

"No, no ... no no no ..."

"This is the mask you wore to protect your identity as TheAngel, the founder of the greatest underground movement in the scientific community." Saddler states firmly as he points at the mask staring at you with four hollow eyes.

"No, no no no no no no ..." You're stuck on one word, the only word that has any safety left. Pure denial. But you know it's true.

"Now do you remember, Ward? Now do you remember?"

The memories had been trickling out of a small leak in a giant dam. Now that dam has completely burst. You remember everything. It was dark, you were crazy, you were angry. You told someone to take care of the Revolution. No, to take care of the Rapture. You said you would take care of the Revolution. You realized Rosemary was there. You didn't know she was there. You ran to the building but it was too late. All the alleys and staircases led to a room full of dead bodies. The image flashes clearly into your mind; Felix, Spec, Squeek, their real faces, along with nearly a dozen more Rapture members.

And Rosemary, beautiful and innocent, dead at your feet.

In your rage you sounded the alarm. "Nobody panic!" You said. "Everything will be fine!" Everyone filed calmly into the underground holding center. They were good people, and they believed in the good people who were running the island. If someone set off an alarm, there was a good reason. As soon as everyone was inside the underground center, you sealed it shut and poured gasoline into an opening at the top. The flames tore the entire facility apart and shot fire out of the ground. The pit remained burning for days. There was only one other person who survived ...

"Saddler...," you manage.

**-**

"Yes. Now you remember. You killed them all."

"Why did you ... why do this to me now?"

"I needed you to finish it. The serum for everlasting youth."

"Not the energy generator?"

"You already built and perfected that, how do you think we power these facilities?"

You remember. The generator was a playskool project compared to the serum. You worked tirelessly on it for years. You didn't want to tell anyone, so you tried what you thought was the stable final compound on yourself. Everything seemed fine for a few weeks but then you started to change. Your eyelids wouldn't react correctly and your muscles would spasm. Then the mental disarray. That's why you ordered those men to kill the Rapture. No, there was something else ...

"Who ... who was the Rapture?"

"Just a group of Revolution members who wanted to keep the Revolution private. Some of them were your friends, but you and I and most of The Learning Curve wanted to market it. The night you killed them all was the night the community was going to be putting it to a vote. No one knew you were mentally unstable when you gave that order. Everyone loved you; both as TheAngel, their leader, and as William Rosenberg, their friend. You didn't have to hide your identity in the Revolution. But when push came to shove you were still more dedicated to the people of The Learning Curve than the sanctity of this new utopian society. A lot of people were expecting a struggle, or worse. When you told them to kill the Rapture, most of them had and thought you knew what was best for them."

"You brought me back ... to finish the serum?"

"It's key in preserving good genes and weeding out bad ones. I didn't understand why you had done it at first, but now I know. Eventually we'll have only the greatest people in our midst. Plus, I thought it was your greatest dream to live forever? I did this all for you, my friend. This is what you wanted. Everything I've done with this company has been based on your plan. You wrote an extremely detailed and insightful ten-year plan for this company to pitch to the Revolution, and I've followed it to the letter. Don't you see? You had to assume a new identity to pull yourself out of the madness! I had to erase everything and put something new there to replace it! This is what you wanted, and now you can run the Revolution and I can become president of the United States!"

"I thought you were running for vice?"

"You don't remember the last step on your own plan do you?" Saddler grins a dirty, evil smile.

"What about ... LD? And all the dead Rapture people in uniform?"

"Oh, those were just dead bodies of people who had died in the Revoluiton and dedicated their bodies to science. LD was a bit trickier; he was a drug addict who was a direct relation of someone who was approved to be allowed in the Revolution. None of his family seemed to mind when he would disappear for long periods of time, so the Revolution offered to give him 'rehab.'"

You slowly step backwards, breathing heavy and fast, until you hit the wall and slide down to a sitting position. It's all too much, the memories, the reality. What is real? Was this all mind control? Felix? Someone help!

The door swings open and hits the wall hard. You watch as a man slowly enters the room. Saddler's face goes from hopeful to full of hate. You turn to see who the man is. You can't see his face from where you are, but you see he's holding a gun, and it's pointed right at Saddler.

"How did you ...?" Saddler tries to sound calm but you can tell he's nervous and furious.

"You didn't think I would draw up such magnificent plans without leaving a few back doors, did you?"

"I took care of all those!"

"I guess not." The man moves in closer and shuts the door behind him. You still can't see his face. "Oh don't bother with the silent alarm, or the regular one for that matter; they've both been disabled. I'm not taking any chances with this."

"What do you want?" Saddler's composer is almost entirely gone.

"I want my son back."

** Cue Last Resort **

"He's dead, Grant."

Grant?! 87x? Wait if the Rapture is all a lie ... Grant is real? It dawns on you. Now you know where you saw this room; it was in Grant's notebook. Did Grant design S124?

"He's not. I know you kept him for yourself. I want him back."

"You're right, I was keeping him alive, but I killed him when you ran off and disappeared."

"You're a goddamn liar, I know he's still alive."

"Why are you here, now?" Saddly asks uneasily.

"Erika failed out of your mother-fucking trials at S33 again and Charlotte couldn't handle it. She's been warped so much by this elitist world you've created that she didn't think she could go on another year without being inside it. I came here to have you apologize to her face to face." Grant gestures with his gun. He's shaking, from what you can see, trying to hold back tears from his pain.

"Tell me where my son is. TELL ME WHERE HE IS!" Grant screams and waves his gun.

**-**

"I DIDN'T TAKE HIM," Saddler screams back as hepoints to you. "HE DID!"

Grant turns and freezes at the sight of another person. You stand, instinctively and try to flatten yourself against the wall. You watch in horror as Saddler pulls a gun from his desk, points it at Grant and shoots. The bullet hits the wall next to the door, a few feet from your head. Grant turns and charges at Saddler in blind rage. Grant hits Saddler with his pistol a few times before Saddler gets a return hit that knocks Grant off him. They both stand and lock in a grappling fight against one wall. Both have their guns pointed near to each other's heads, but neither is poised to hit. As they turn, Saddler's gun points directly at you. You try to move, but you can't. The shock of the situation and everything you've heard has frozen your body. Grant pulls and arm up his gun moves. Saddler tries to shift in response.

BANG! BANG!

You don't feel a thing. You don't even hear the gunshots. You fall to your knees. You're not breathing. You're not sensing anything. You're in a numb bubble of fear and confusion. All you can think about is Rosemary. Her blood pouring out on the floor, mixed up with your tears on your hands. There is no Revolution, no Rapture, no Grant, no Saddler. Everything fades to darkness. It doesn't matter. You don't deserve to live. You're a monster. You're TheAngel.

--

"... Thanks Diane, top story tonight a shoot out in S124. Details are being withheld about who was involved, but officials have confirmed there were two people, one likely an anti-revolution escaped convict. The two were rushed to a nearby hospital; one was pronounced dead in transit and the other remains in critical condition. More details coming right up, but first, it's trials season! Are your children prepared for this year's trials? Which Revolution building is a match? We'll be right back with this, and more. Stay tuned!"

THE END