You follow after your Handler, carefully staying behind objects that could block you from view should he chance to turn around. You consider the day’s events as you walk and are unsure what to make of them. Surely it all had to be make-believe? Some elaborate prank at your expense.
The boat on the horizon seemed real enough, of course, but the satellite-transmitter—an impending missile launch… your Handler in his unlikely-yet-expertly-worn trench coat? This must be reality TV gone too far, but where are the cameras?
As you ponder these thoughts you treat yourself to a mint. Only then do you realise that your Handler has walked up the raised section of the footpath, beside the wooden barrier. When you’re only a few steps away he begins speaking to you, without turning around: “This was once a train platform.”
Not too far away you can hear the sound of a train shunting across its tracks.
“I’m sorry you didn’t decide to join The Firm,” your Handler says, looking at you sadly. “We could have achieved a lot together.”
Impossible as it seems, you feel the rush of air beside you and the whistling of brakes as a train, almost transparent, pulls into the not-station, the station that was. For a moment you see people wearing wide-brimmed hats and carrying beaten-up leather satchels. Some are getting off of the train and others are getting on. Your Handler, it seems, is doing the latter.
“Don’t worry,” he tells you as he steps onto the train. “You won’t see them for long. A side-effect of holographic recombinance, I’m afraid.”
“I’m a hologram, from the future,” says your Handler. And then the inspector—dusty like footage on an old VHS tape—pulls the door closed and the train begins to grind away, with a toot of its whistle.
Within a few seconds, the train has vanished into thin air and you‘re alone on the platform. Below you, cars rush by instead of trains. Your phone beeps and you look down at it:
THIS MESSAGE WILL SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUST IN 5… 4… 3…
Something about the message makes you nervous and before you can really consider the consequences of your action, you toss your phone away. No sooner does it strike the bitumen than it crackles and fizzes, exploding like a firecracker and leaving a smouldering pile of plastic in the middle of the road…and a small crater.
You stand agape. It appears you made the right decision after all, no matter how tempting it might be to take a ride on a time-travelling train.
Oooo…so close! 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