An Explanation of What Just Happened

This topic has 17 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated 6 years, 9 months ago by Jackie.

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    • #19305
       Lauren Bello

      For anyone who didn’t follow The Midnight Commission…

      On June 17, The Midnight Commission appeared on Instagram.

      Their first post: “We will tear you down from the inside.”

      Their second post: “Infection.”

      Their third post: “Illuminate the darkness and all will tremble upon our truth.”

      Their fourth post: “Unify and fortify our mightiest weapon against the coming darkness: OUR MIND!”

      They followed a number of the usual ARG folks, so it was clear that games were afoot. Their next post launched it all: “Time waits for no-one. Email with your full name, phone number, and answer the following question: What would you do today if you knew your time was about to run out?”

      A number of us immediately emailed.

      A few posts later, they posted a URL for a new Midnight Commission Slack. The timing was perfect: calls began going out soon after.

      These calls went out regularly from a No Caller ID number. Whenever anyone posted in the Slack that they’d missed their call, or that they hadn’t received a call yet, @zerozerozerozero, the admin, reacted to their post with an Eye emoji: they were seen. That person would receive a call shortly thereafter.

      The calls were from an automated/prerecorded female voice, and went something like this:

      – The voice informed you that this call would be recorded. If you objected, please hang up now.
      – The voice instructed you to count backwards from ten, slowly. You did.
      – The voice instructed you to breathe in through your nose for seven counts, out through your mouth through five counts. It encouraged several breaths in this way.
      – The voice asked you what would make you happiest today.
      – The voice asked you what would make you most frightened today.
      – The voice just had one more question for you… Do you think it was a good idea to tell a stranger on the phone what you’re afraid of?
      – The voice explained that The Midnight Commission would be creating midnight experiences that would take you through either your best dream or your nightmare.

      It was delightfully sinister.

      A few days later, they debuted their first cipher: They were using the Houdini cipher, and it translated to: “THEY ARE THE DECEPTION”

      Their defining moment was the video that followed:

      Everyone on Slack freaked out from excitement. For everyone who wasn’t used to that level of attentiveness in an ARG, it was electrifying.

      Their next cipher hinted that something would be reserved for the “first five” who solved it. The ciphers now had a clear purpose: they were making us eligible for something, but we didn’t know what.

      Meanwhile, a character named Veritas had appeared on Slack. Their posts:

      “Even Death Could Not Stop Our Return.
      Those Who Once Mourned, Rejoice.
      Their End Is Nigh.”

      “Listen Closely, The Pounding You Hear Is Their Heartbeat. We Have Arisen.”

      It definitely sounded like The Midnight Commission was…well…out to get someone. But who?

      And wait, someone had DIED?

      By this point, there were already 68 Slack users. Veritas posted:

      “A single match can burn down a city. Imagine what five could do? Now imagine, 68.”

      And the next day: “Time slips away in their safety. Soon they will remember, as we have never forgot.”

      It was decidedly shaping into a revenge narrative. But we didn’t know who we were seeking revenge against.

      Veritas posted one final post before disappearing: “You do not know who or what I am, yet your desire to be lead towards the darkness calls to you.
      This is your single greatest strength AND weakness.
      As time ticks down to our first gathering you will begin to understand why.
      I know you, and soon, you will know me.”

      (God I love that they did this. At the time I thought this was some typical cryptic ARG bullshit. But turns out, it was totally literal. They DID know us.)

      Through a series of ciphers that I won’t walk you through unless you really want to hear about them, a number of us earned our place in a special event. An event happening the evening of 7/9.

      The email:

      “Who are we?

      Why are we?

      [address redacted]

      Before you step through these doors TURN OFF your cellphones.

      Prepare to find your purpose.”

      We showed up at the allotted location, phones off, as instructed. We checked in with a somewhat surly man guarding the door. We entered and stood in a courtyard, where we stood in a circle and waited as a genial man strolled among us, making small talk and smiling. Eventually five of us (Taylor, Pamela, Tim, Meghan, I forget the fifth sorry sorry sorry, remind me?), were chosen to enter the space early. Perhaps they will chime in and say what happened to them…I don’t know what they saw.

      Then we all entered the space and were instructed to work as a team to solve a puzzle. The importance of teamwork and good communication was emphasized. We broke into five teams, solved the puzzle, and wrote down the answer.

      It was the phone number.

      For the burner phone.

      At the time, of course, we didn’t know what the number was. Our decoded instructions said to call it, so we called it. Taylor spoke to the woman on the other end and delivered the message we’d decoded: to watch the Periscope account @1houruntilzero. (I don’t know if anyone else in the room recognized Crystal’s voice – I didn’t. I just was surprised that this stranger on the phone seemed to be expecting our call and to know what to do with the information.)

      We were given the opportunity to sign a blank book, which signified the declaring of our allegiance. I know Cristen and possibly others refused to sign. There was too much unknown.

      About this point, Meghan started Periscoping from the @1houruntilzero account. You can watch that account to see the rest. Long story short, the friendly man from the beginning had us sit down and spoke to us about his plans for us. He reminded us that the very first cipher we solved was a Houdini cipher. And this was not an accident: it was because Houdini was a skeptic. Like us. During Houdini’s era, con men and charlatans used spiritualism and mysticism to con a vulnerable society…today, not much has changed. He explained that he had used these ciphers to draw us in, and that we were going to “bring this war to their front door.” The time had come to explain “who we are”. Now, we would meet our leader.

      And Morgan walked into the room.

      Suddenly, so much of what was cryptic about The Midnight Commission made so much sense. Their story of rising from the ashes. Their goal of revenge. Their suggestions that we would be burning something to the ground. Their seventh IG post: “We are but a copy of a copy. Look within and you will find a fragmented truth.” The Midnight Commission was the Resistance was BOS.

      Morgan told us that last year, he thought the Resistance was real: then it was stolen from him. He lost friends. He lost people he trusted. They lied to him. But some of us had banded together and made it real. He showed us the BOS tattoo on his wrist. Now the liars, the corrupters, the recruiters of the vulnerable are back. And together, “We will burn the OSDM to the motherfucking ground.”

      He stormed out amid applause. Then he went dark, as Meghan did after meeting him.

      I can’t emphasize this enough, being pro-Resistance: in retrospect, the Resistance knew how to make us feel SEEN. They acknowledged us. A lot. They were incredibly responsive on Slack. They made probably forty of us feel spotlighted on Instagram when they shared recordings of our voices. They responded with discreet guidance as we theorized. And this continued in person, with the man in the courtyard chatting to us about our shoes, our wedding rings, etc. Even mid-speech, acknowledging Tim several times for being the first to correctly name the Houdini cipher. The Midnight Commission was attentive, pro-teamwork, and pro-communication, and they weren’t bullshitting when they said they saw us and knew us all.

      I hope this helps catch everyone up to speed.

    • #19306
       Taylor Winters

      Thank you @daela for your thorough description! I was actually typing up my account as well, but I think you did a perfect job!

      I agree 100% that they made us feel heard and validated. I really enjoyed feeling valued for my brain and my ability to solve some tough ciphers. And they were fun too! I hope there are more–I’d love to continue solving ciphers.

      But that’s all just practice for the real tests I will have to go through. My loyalty still lies within the OSDM, their quest for data, and the face card at the top.

    • #19309
       Taylor Winters

      Also, for @bcbishop’s character guide. The man with the dreadlocks, in the plaid suit jacket was named Sage. Yet when I asked the “surly” man who was younger, dressed in all black, his name, he simply replied “I didn’t give it.”

      And regarding what Tim, Meghan, Pamela, Julie and I saw when they took us: they called us into the main room and had us stand facing the wall. We waited maybe a minute or two until we heard footsteps behind us. We were led into a pitch black side room and again, instructed to face the wall. They then left the room leaving us in the dark. After some time the younger man returned and had us each raise our arms as he touched our shoulders, he asked “Why are you here?” Most of us responded with “To face the darkness.” He then left us alone again. After some more time, he returned and told us to leave, holding @meghanmayhem back. He then told @timsmyname to hold up as well, but then let him go. The four of us returned to the group, as Meghan remained with them.

      • #19312
         Tim Redman

        Slight modification to @taysavestheday account. After being frisked and questioned, @meghanmayhem was lead out of the room leaving the four of us alone. For me, that was a tell for what this was going to be. That and nameless guy’s angry breathing which is very similar to Pat’s angry breathing at Ascension.

    • #19311

      I really enjoyed this reveal. Having very little backstory as a new participant this year, I know there are a lot of nuances from the resistance/BOS that I’m as yet unaware of. Regardless, I was really pleased to be included in this uprising and I hope there are more puzzles and clandestine meetings to come. Today was a pretty great showing of smart people working together towards a common goal. I hope to see more of it.

    • #19313

      Slow fucking claps. Holy shit haha

    • #19314

      *dis tew much*

    • #19315
       Brad Ruwe

      Looking back over everything, I’m shocked I didn’t see this coming sooner. As the events of the night went on I got more and more “clued in” to what was happening, picking up on little details here and there. The location we went to was the same location we went to for the Focus Group. Having our phones checked at the front door. Working together on certain tasks that challenged us in certain ways. It was just too much Deja vu.

      Yet even with all of that, I still kept telling myself it just couldn’t actually be part of Lust. Just no way.

      Well played BOS. Well played.

    • #19317

      Thanks so much for your write up Lauren, for those of us in the dark! Totally a cool surprise reveal!! Can I ask, when you say The Midnight “appeared” on Instagram, what does that mean? I have Instagram and never saw anything appear?

      • #19324
         Lauren Bello

        @sfire8 Oops I meant that they made their first post. I can’t remember if they followed me or not – they definitely didn’t follow all of Lust’s follower list – but they followed enough people in the immersive community to make it clear that they were an immersive project.

    • #19326
       Brad Ruwe

      Few things to note:

      This would explain why the OSDM was so intent on monitoring @111error with iConfidant. They likely had suspicions he was leading the new BOS and were trying to use their usual tactics to gain evidence / blackmail on him.

      The man in the holding room asked if I was religious. Given the whole skeptic slant of the Resistance, it makes sense. I’m an altar boy turned atheist.

      Could the BOS be the force that extinguishes the flame to allow us to grab the key? Plunging us into darkness to allow us freedom? Midnight Commission was big on the darkness, of the unknown.

      • #19331
         Lauren Bello

        This would explain why the OSDM was so intent on monitoring @111error with iConfidant. They likely had suspicions he was leading the new BOS and were trying to use their usual tactics to gain evidence / blackmail on him.

        – YES, I can see how they were setting this up now. This is why they’d break into his apartment looking for evidence. At the time it was unclear…what would they even be looking for evidence OF? Now we know.

        The man in the holding room asked if I was religious. Given the whole skeptic slant of the Resistance, it makes sense. I’m an altar boy turned atheist.

        Oh, interesting. Did anyone else get asked a question like this?

    • #19332
       Michael Rizzo

      Haha @daela so I was maybe the 5th or 6th person to enter the main waiting area last night. Sage had shook every person’s hand prior to me, but when I extended a hand he simply looked at it and then at me, refusing the shake. Though he later told me he liked a certain part of my shirt before noticing my cigarettes and giving me a “tsk tsk”

    • #19335
       Brian E

      @daela Thank you so much for your detailed breakdown on this, it’s ironic I heard about Midnight Commission, and it was around that time that I decided to just stick with one ARG for the time being, as there are many that have popped up recently.

      Last night was very confusing, not understanding what was going on, how did I completely not know about this was my thought. Then it all made sense.

      Doesn’t fuck around, and so you’re all in good hands, and who knows what’s going to happen next.

      Glory Be!

    • #19336

      Was the “surly guy” the guy who took Meghan and smiled at the camera?

    • #19337

      @111error Doesn’t fuck around, and so you’re all in good hands, and who knows what’s going to happen next.

      Ha ha, excuse me while I scoff in the corner with my bottle of bourbon…

      Also, I would like to share this analogy to describe how I feel, because I, like @mistere, decided I only had time for one ARG… So, you’ve been in a relationship for what? A year… Sure you flirt with other people (other ARGs), but it’s nothing serious because you’re in love, right? You’re committed to THE ONE. Then you find out your partner has been fucking around with your ex best friend. Yeah, that about sums it up I think…

    • #19339
       Lauren Bello

      Was the “surly guy” the guy who took Meghan and smiled at the camera?

      Ohhhhh interesting. I don’t think so – I think Surly Guy was a bit smaller and lighter. Pretty sure Guy Who Took Meghan is still unidentified.

    • #19349

      Whaaaaaaaaaaaat the fuck. Wooooow. Playing while playing, a game in a game….

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