The date is January 15th, 2030. Climate change has destroyed the last of the endothermic prison-seals containing A'AQUR, the Wind of the North. Political dysfunction and rampant misinformation allow the problem to fester: the breakaway event is reported but dismissed as propaganda. A'AQUR's cult operates in plain sight, wreathed in manufactured indifference. Tomorrow, another scandal is on the news. The stock market is fine.
But you know something is wrong. You've seen it. A small town in the Michigan Upper Peninsula known as Venture has been experiencing temperatures upwards of 30 degrees Celsius in the heart of winter: a never-ending summer surrounded by blizzards and choking snow. It has been dismissed as a meteorological anomaly, as proof that climate change is a hoax, as merely "Michigan weather". Video footage doesn't matter. Reporting doesn't matter. The Post-Truth world doesn't care. Nobody cares. Except you.
|Credit: Aaron Peterson, 2017|
WHO ARE YOU?
The Immigrant's Child
Your parents kept telling you to lay low, to not cause trouble. Draw too much attention to the family, and they'll risk getting deported. But this is bigger than your family. This is your home. Something is eating it from within.
Locals will always ask: "Where are you from?... Okay, but where are you really from?" It doesn't matter that you don't have a foreign accent and you were born in Columbus, Ohio.
Your Parents Emigrated From: 1) Vietnam 2) Guatemala 3) Afghanistan 4) Mexico 5) Iraq 6) Cuba
Bonus: You are bilingual.
The Climate Scientist
You personally witnessed A'aqur escape from its prison. You even taped it. You have pleaded with every person and entity you know: reporters, politicians, neighbors, ministers. You have been ignored as an alarmist nutcase. The truth is politically inconvenient. Someone is heading you off at every turn. Even your fellow climate scientists are starting to doubt your findings, as associating with you has become financial poison. You've lost funding. The rest of your science team has either gone missing, or committed suicide'. You're the only one left...
But you're not going down without a fight.
You Have an Ally: 1) Sympathetic eco-terrorist 2) Rogue climate scientist 3) Loyal canine 4) Local politician 5) Desperate intern 6) Ship's captain
Liberated Conspiracy Theorist
You wouldn't have believed it a year ago. A year ago, you were posting about how satanists have secretly taken over state governments and how having your teeth cleaned is how they insert the mind control chips. But then it hit home: your brother went missing. You began to unravel the real deal. It wasn't a relapse in opioids, it wasn't jail, it wasn't a satanic political abduction. The Cult hides in plain sight. They have your brother.
You tried to explain this to your other theorists, but you've been dismissed and ridiculed. You "took the blue pill", you're "compromised by the illuminati", you've been "truth-simped".
You just want your brother back.
You have a very specific skill set: 1) Black web browsing 2) Insulting people on the Internet 3) False flag operations 4) Having encrypted communications 5) Being good at video games 6) Having a gun.
You know there's a story here. Not just any story, a big one. The biggest. All the clues point to something huge: the media silence, the denials, the manufactured normalcy. This isn't normal. None of this is normal.
Yesterday, someone made an attempt on your life. You didn't see who it was. Now you know for certain that you're on the right track. You're going to expose this conspiracy, and you'll get the Pulitzer for it, too.
You have a significant contact in: 1) The Catholic Church 2) The US Marines 3) Canada 4) NASA 5) The IRS 6) Major News Outlet
High School Teacher
One by one, the little screens have been going out. You, the overtaxed high school teacher, have watched with a slow-burn horror as your Zoom class for remote learning shrunk from an overpacked 31 students down to 16 over the course of the semester. They simply stopped connecting. You've reported this to your principle, your superintendent, to the police, you've tried calling their homes over and over again. Every time it's left messages or 'what teenager?'. Every time it's 'just the way it is with these rural kids'.
But you, having taught for 30 years, have never seen this in your life. Something is wrong. Something is terribly terribly wrong. You can't stand by as they pick off your kids one by one.
Your teaching subject is: 1) Biology/Geology 2) Math/Spanish 3) Physics/Chemistry 4) Music/Art 5) Gym/Health 6) History/English
Times are rough for the church. Your congregants have been divided and conquered piecemeal for decades by scandal, drug use, disinterest, and poverty. The next generation of believers has been lost to the digital consciousness, and churches are being abandoned by the bushel. At your lowest point, when your faith has all but diminished, there arrived a sign from God: a town in Michigan, to whom winter never came. You rush there on sabbatical, confident that whatever is happening there will restore your faith.
You are having an affair with: 1) Gambling 2) A church councilor's wife 3) Whiskey 4) Liberation Theology 5) Gigolos 6) Christian Mysticism
The town of Venture has a population of 200 people. It receives more tourism in the summer and fall, coinciding with sporting on Lake Superior and deer season respectively. Most of its population are retirees or folk who work in the shrinking copper or logging industries. The last time it made state news was in 1902, when state news was barely a thing.
Most of the stores are outfitted to cater to hunters and fishers in the summer and fall. There's no town hall, as it's only a township, and hence has no mayor. The closest government you'll get is in Marquette, MI. The township has one of everything: one church, one Motel 6, one Denny's, one lighthouse.
This year, spring came early. The snows thawed in late February, and the flowers bloomed in March. Summer came and never left. It's been nearly 30 degrees Celsius since June, and now it's January. While the rest of the U.P. is dredged in literal feet of snow, this town has gone on like nothing has happened.
At this time, the sun rises every day around 8:30am, a sets at 5:30pm. 9 Hours of Daylight, 13 Hours of Darkness. The darkness has a summer heat, warm winds from the lake.
People in town go about their daily lives in a daze: when asked anything out of the usual, they'll reply along the lines of 'Well, that's the U.P. for you..." or "Yeah, it's weird." or just shrug it off. They live in denial. Some even wear winter coats, knowing it's January, all whilst sweating themselves into heat stroke while entirely being unsure why. This effect is pronounced primarily in adults. The more mature the adult, the more pronounced it is. Those too ignorant to rationalize why everything is happening (like the mad, the sick, and children) are capable of having perfectly normal conversations. This might explain why they're disappearing...
One can get internet access in town, particularly around the Denny's. Out in the woods, though, those bars will quickly disappear. The occasional landline still exists, particularly in retirees homes. That, though, is likely to be cut off as the Electric Cult usurps the local utilities. The closest highway is Michigan-US 41 at 4 hours away, and the closest city is Marquette 6 hours away (time lengthened due to snow), where one can find most things a city has.
|Source: Eric Wallis|
MYSTERIES / RUMORS
1. Missing Hunters
Wisconsinite Sarah Goodman has been begging strangers for help finding her brother Matt, who went missing after engaging in a winter hunting trip with his friend Harvey. She said Matt was acting obsessed, searching for something in the woods.
Recently a roadhouse opened up in Venture, and already it's been the talk of the county. People have been arriving from as far away as Ohio to taste its delectable meats, especially its pasties (meat pastries). This tourism has virtually doubled the population of the township, and choked up the roads for half a mile around the highway. What could be so great about these meat pastries?
There have been centuries of legends surrounding ghost ships on Lake Superior. Recently, though, another one added to the list. An iron-carrying tanker was recently beached just to the north of Venture, with no crew present.
Satellite images of the town provide evidence of a coverup: Venture cannot be seen from publicly available mapping software. Someone, however, missed the lake to the south of the town, which appears to be a drain for the nearby copper mine. That doesn't explain the giant snake-like creature floating in it... By the picture's scale it ought to be 200ft long at least.
Observed when watching long power lines from a distance, it's frequently described as a train or car light coming towards the viewer. Rumor has it that the source is the ghost of a decapitated train conductor or bus driver. The number of Paulding Light spottings has increased, with locals in the Venture retiree village saying they're seeing it in board daylight outside their homes.