Whether via email, SMS text, or your choice of messaging service, you receive a link to a non-public YouTube video. It’s audio-only, running beneath a still image of an ASI logo. A boyish voice speaks into the microphone; barely-disguised fatigue and worry are evident in the timbre of his speech.
“Uh, attention all Contingent operatives, this is Director ”/characters/ken-yakana" class=“wiki-content-link”>Ken Yakana of ASI Washington. We’ve, uh, got a pretty serious situation here, and I need a team to come help us sort it out fast. Look, a few of our advanced-skills agents volunteered for a trial run of a virtual-reality psychotherapy matrix. Um…I dunno how to tell you this, but…dude, they won’t wake up. I can tell from their MRIs that they’re not brain-dead…yet. But, bro, something’s gone really wrong and I can’t figure out how to fix it from this side. I know this sounds sketchy, but we need to send some backup into the VR matrix—preferably people who are highly mentally resilient and have dealt with psychic phenomena before. We’ve developed a new serum that can probably help you get in and out of the matrix more safely if you want some—I’ll give you the run-down on it in the interest of informed consent before we jack you in."
1. The ASI dream matrix experiment was compromised by a virus inserted via a backdoor which traced back to an IP address at Duke University in Durham, NC. The purpose of the virus was to irreversibly fragment a user’s brain into multiple parts, leaving them comatose. However, Usturanol exposure intensified and altered the effects.
2. Five symbols appeared repeatedly and persistently in the dream world:
○ A sinister key, previously used by multiple followers of the Patron
○ The triple-eye symbol seen elsewhere recently
○ A Norse rune meaning “thorn”
○ A heart crowned by a candle flame
○ A tower resembling a chess rook with double doors on the bottom-front