Somewhere else. I'm walking down a path. There's nothing in sight but trees. Tall, green trees. It's quite different than what I'm used to seeing. There's a change in scenery. The trees are becoming thicker. Slowly but surely, the forest surrounds me. Why am I here? What is this place? Now the foliage is everywhere. I can barely see what's in front of me. Then, a clearing in the endless leaves and branches. Finally. A fork in the path lays in front of me. One passageway leads to a city in the distance. The other, to a dark landscape, dotted with small, bright spots of light. I know what must be done. I've made my choice. We need to- ---------- "Researcher Murz?" What? What the hell just happened? "Murz. You there?" "Ah, sorry. Lost my train of thought..." "Alright...Well, gotta go. Running a bit late," the junior researcher in front of me says as she scurries off. It's rather disorienting. I don't remember being exposed to anything memetic. I just realized. I'm sitting at a console. There's a window on the screen, blinking urgently. WELCOME TO SCiPNET DIRECT ACCESS TERMINAL. PLEASE ENTER COMMAND. Might as well. login PLEASE ENTER USER AUTHENTICATION firstname.lastname@example.org | AlphaRhoTauIotaSigmaTauIotaChi AUTHENTICATION ACCEPTED. WELCOME, SENIOR RESEARCHER MURZ. YOU HAVE ONE (1) NEW EMAIL. Odd. I usually don't get any emails at this time of the day. Usually, if I need to be alerted of something, I get a phone call. I click on the alert. TO: Researcher Samuel Murz FROM: Home SUBJECT: The End URGENCY: HIGH WARNING. THIS FOLLOWING DOCUMENT IS EMBEDDED WITH CLASS URIEL COGNITOHAZARDS. IF YOU ARE NOT THE INTENDED RECIPIENT, DO NOT PROCEED. PLEASE REPORT THIS INCIDENT TO THE NEAREST RAISA MEMBER, CODE 616-DAVAO. REPEAT. THIS FOLLOWING DOCUMENT IS NOT TO BE TRUSTED CAN BE TRUSTED MUST BE DESTROYED MUST BE PROTECTED ... ... Researcher, We understand this is rather sudden, but we need you to do a few things. All will be explained in time, but not now. Wherever you are head to the nearest exit. It's time to come home. OPEN YOUR EYES LET US IN COME HOME WE NEED YOUR HEARTS Before I know it, I'm out of my seat. I'm not controlling my body anymore. I hit a stride, moving quicker and quicker. I shove past one of my co-workers, ignoring the rather angry look he gave me. My mind is in a haze. Is this what Zero-Six-One feels like? I'm outside now. It feels nice. The stars are beautiful tonight. I can see dozens of others with me. They've seen it too. It's beautiful. I was blind, but they opened my eyes. We need to return home.