As various primetime television channels fade to commercial, the first ad opens up on Dr. Skaar leaning against his desk. The classic oak furniture and masculine earth tones of his decor give a warm, comfortable feel to his office. Off to the side, something that is just out of focus is thrashing in a cage. Skaar looks at the camera and gives a small smile before he starts speaking.
“Good evening, or whatever time it is when you’re watching this on YouTube. As you are no doubt aware, I am Dr. Skaar. Several years ago, I founded the Empire Foundation on three simple ideals: pursuit of pure science unfettered by orthodoxy, ethical transparency, and the protection of humanity.
“You have no doubt heard some pretty wild rumors recently. Even more, you feel something. Something ineffable has changed. It’s like you just noticed a door in your house for the first time that you never knew was there, and something on the other side is jiggling the handle. I am here to tell you that it’s real. All of it. There are monsters. They are amongst us, hidden in plain sight. They are our allies, friends, and lovers—some of them helping us throughout the centuries. However, there are many more who view us as nothing more than a lunchable.”
Skaar stands up and walks toward the cage. As he does so the camera pans in on some sort of four legged creature inside. Hard to rationalize, later people would describe it as looking like a hairless grizzly bear, rough grey skin stretched across muscle and bulk. There are too many teeth in a jaw that stretches far too long. Fire licks its nostrils when it exhales. As the CEO approaches, it appraises him with pale blue eyes. They’re almost human looking.
“Over here, we have what is colloquially known as a hellhound.”
The animal growls; small spines can be seen rising from its pallid skin. The two stare each other down for a beat before Skaar continues.
“Ordinarily, the quantum flux of such a creature renders it invisible to the naked eye. Empire Foundation technology has made it possible to see such an abomination.”
Skaar absently taps the cage, causing the beast to lunge, impotently snapping at its containment. With a small sigh, Skaar looks back at the camera.
“This is not why I’m here, though. There is an imminent attack that threatens the lives of millions of us. I am working with a group, the Contingent, to stop it, but we need everyone’s help. To that end, I am publishing online everything we have. Names will be redacted, but all the notes, all the research, all the proof, will be there. Worse, evidence of our government’s collusion is in there. Read about Task Force Valkyrie, Ashford Abbey, and Thurisaz Ventures, and hold your leaders accountable. Gaze at the tangled web that is Gestalt and their many subsidiaries, then clear your medicine cabinet and pantry of their wide influence.
“The Empire Foundation will temporarily offer live tours of our facilities, organized by my assistant Ms. Whitehall. Come to our labs and see the supernatural with your own eyes.
“Good night, and good luck.”