Friday, November 23, 2012

Ingress 1 - A New Day

They said it wasn't a game. That wasn't going to stop me. It was 4:30am and the Sun had yet to even tease the horizon with its presence. That wasn't going to stop me either. The mix of excitement and nervous energy in my stomach certainly wasn't going to stop me, yet none of my determination could quell the burning question in my mind, "Just what exactly have I gotten myself into here?"

As I step out of the door to my home and into the dark, morning air, the chill of the pre-dawn wakes my senses. I feel immediately alert of my surroundings. The screen of my phone glows brightly and its speaker emits an eerie sound that waves and laps at my subconscious. The scanning software that I am running on my phone, has come from some ‘leaked technology’ and is causing quite the buzz on the social-webz. Some people are ranting about portals while others are ranting about shapers and still others about some guy who bought a glitchy phone off eBay. A phone which is apparently the source of the leaked app. I can’t resist all this talk of ‘exotic matter’ and some mysterious conflict over the potential future of humanity.

On the screen is an easily recognisable map of my current location. I can also see groupings of sparkly things swirling in the distance. A woman’s voice chimes in and explains the sparkly swirls are exotic matter (XM) which has leaked into my universe. Ingress, the scanning software, or perhaps the name of the woman speaking to me goes on to explain that although the app can detect none locally, portals have begun to form at key locations around the world. Some more warnings about the coming conflict are followed by an explanation that a training scenario is required and a simulation portal is created. 

The app calls out the detected simulation portal as being some 80 metres away in a field across from my home. I begin moving towards it, looking first straight ahead and then at my glowing scanner. The swirling mass of energy so apparent to my scanner is hidden to my human eye. Only now does the sense of seeing beyond the veil begin to settle in the base of my skull. I continue to progress towards the portal, eyes transfixed by the glowing, swirling, pulsating energy. I follow the instructions given to me by the woman’s voice. I attack, defend, acquire tools and utilise them to strengthen the position of the newly subjugated portal. It is obvious the skills I have just been shown will be of great importance in the coming days. 

As the simulated portal disappears from the scanner’s screen, I snap back into the world that existed before all the talk of portals, exotic matter and shapers. I snap back into the world where I am simply standing in a field, alone, staring at the fading glow of my phone screen as the sun just begins to crack above the horizon. This is the dawn of a new day. This is a beginning. This is the moment I realise, the world is not what it seems.

--- to be continued ---