Sea Eagle Sculpture
You make your way back to the beach, looking for the sea eagle sculpture that’s perched atop a hewn wooden beam. Once again your Handler is waiting for you, hands buried in the pockets of his trench coat. Above you both, the sea eagle watches from on high.
“The future approaches, prepare yourself for What Comes Next,” your Handler says without turning. He motions for you to follow him past the eagle and onto the beach, then instructs you to draw a circle on the sand and sit down within it. Perhaps have a mint, while you’re waiting.
What happens next is, at first, subtle. Like the sun slowly dipping beneath the horizon—if you blink, you might have missed it. First, a boat appears on the water. Those on board appear to be wearing gas masks, if not astronaut suits. The sky has changed colour and the air smells different.
Your Handler too has vanished, not even bothering to say goodbye. As you look around for him you notice that all of the buildings along the beach are gone, leaving only ruins. The sea eagle, impossibly, remains. It cuts a striking silhouette against the crimson sky behind you.
The boat draws up to the sand and the figures get off. One of them is holding what appears to be a Geiger counter—you can hear the tell-tale clicking sound that it makes as he swings it in wide arcs across the beach.
The figures stomp towards you, across sand that’s turned to gravel, away from a sea that’s turned to acid. As they come closer you can hear the sound of their shallow breathing amplified by the masks.
This is what your Handler was referring to, you realise. This is What Comes Next. And now that you have seen it you’re beginning to wish that you hadn’t. Dozens of metal barrels bob out on the ocean, trapped between tangled tentacles of plastic waste; the ocean itself glistens with the kaleidoscopic sheen of pollution.
“Hold on,” you say to the approaching figures. “I’ve changed my mind. Let me go back! I can stop this from happening. I can make a difference!”
“It’s too late for that,” says a voice from behind one of the gas masks. You squint into the visor and recognise the face of your Handler staring out at you. He seems older somehow, but it’s hard to tell behind the curved glass. “You wanted to see the future and now there’s no going back.”
“But you went back!”
“One day, you might return as a hologram, in order to succeed where I have failed,” your Handler says to you. His eyes look weary behind the mask and up this close you can tell his skin is definitely more lined with age than it was when you first met him on the jetty. “One way or another, I’m sure you’ll agree… this is not an acceptable future.”
And gazing out at the rolling ocean and the neon-lit wrongness of the clouds in the sky, you know that he’s right. Somebody has to do something.
Oooo…Not good! Would you like to see what your other choice would have led to? If so, you can try a different story arm by heading back to Grange Jetty. Remember that it might take multiple attempts to piece together what The Firm are really up to…
And don’t forget to share your adventure on social media under the hashtags #StoryCity #SCGrange #lovethewestside