As you reach the first of the memorial benches you notice that your Handler is already there, waiting for you. His hands are buried deep in the pockets of his coat and he is staring out at the rolling blue ocean.
“Her Special Place,” he says, motioning to the plaque on the bench. “And it is a special place, don’t you think?”
You look out at the wind-blasted dunes, the archaic coastal plants that have grown here for centuries, seeding and re-sprouting, clinging to the shore with all their effort, every cell finely tuned to existing in the here-and-now.
“The plants never question,” says your Handler. “They simply grow. They’re perfect in a way; they’re built-to-purpose. Sometimes it’s important to stop and think about these things. There is such a vastness of water out there. It gives perspective to be a part of something that grand, don’t you think?”
To be honest, you’re not sure exactly how it makes you feel.
Now might be a good time to have a mint, if you’ve brought some.
“A great explorer, Charles Sturt, lived not far from here. He devoted much of his life to searching for a gigantic inland sea in central Australia, a sea that he never found. Imagine, seeking something for your entire life that you never end up finding. Would you regret such a search? Would you go back and do things differently a second-time?”
The Handler swipes at the air, releasing a handful of sand in a swirling eddy and an image appears before you. The holographic picture seems to flicker back and forth between contrasting extremes—you glimpse a lady in an old-fashioned one-piece swimsuit sharing an ice-cream with her beau; but then the scene rapidly disintegrates into that of a bleak future… a turbulent sky of hissing clouds that you’re certain are brimming with acid rain.
“You’ve witnessed but a glimpse of what was and what could be,” says your Handler. “Only you are able to prevent such a future from unfolding. All of the tools of The Firm are at your disposal, but it is up to you how you proceed—by looking either forwards or back.”
Grange Hall: Wish to look for a solution to this dark future in the past, then seek out Charles Sturt’s mythical inland sea. Make your way to Grange Hall to embark on this mission. Simply head up Beach Street, directly behind the benches and head to the corner of Beach and Military Road.
St Agnes Anglican Church: Would you prefer to look into the future to avert humanity’s doom? Make your way to St Agnes Anglican Church to find out more. Continue walking down the beach, then turn left onto Grange road and then left again at Military road. You’ll see the church close by.