codenames have been changed to protect the innocent
It's five pm. I've just left my workplace, and wandered over to two unclaimed portals.
I sit down, calmly, between them, and pull out my phone. My other hand has a sandwich. I sit there, peacefully eating my dinner.
Just another visitor to this garden of statues.
It's freezing, raining, and windy, and I am attacking a sculpture.
I must be a strange sight, head down, one hand gloved, one hand frantically fiddling on a phone. Circling this sculpture in full view of the residential district, on a day when most people have the good sense to stay inside. What is that strange figure doing?
I have good reason to believe the enemy operative who claimed this portal lives nearby. I have to do this quickly, before he can come and stop me.
I cannot even get close to the sculpture because of the rain. I cannot do this quickly.
I do it quickly.
out today. I need to get a few specific keys, in a specific order, so I can tessellate the major part of my suburb with fields.
I'm certain this will work. Positive.
It doesn't work. One of the ranges is wrong, and I can't make the link I want to make. And I'm not high level enough to boost either portal.
But... if I backtrack to one of the other portals, I can use it as a midpoint. I'll cover less area, but it'll be something
But I am tired, and I would like to not get home half an hour later. Which do I value more?
That night, a shining, pulsing field soothes me to sleep.
It is very
late, and very
dark. I and a fellow agent have decided to meet here. We need to take this portal, and make it level 3, quickly. Then we can push fields around it in all directions. The rest of our local side has prepped the area around us for this push.
Just names, these people. Six characters on a phone screen. I know their commute, their rough levels, and their commitment to keeping my city shining bright. But they're just names.
And the name who is to meet me here is late.
I grumble. I take down the enemy portal by myself. I'm fiddling with its range when it's just half level 3, when I hear a voice.
"Hey. You must be..."
I look up. "rafael?"
He is an eager, well-built man. Late twenties, well-dressed, and a guilty mania in his eyes.
"Yea! Actually, my name is ██████. What's yours?"
A person. Huh.
I smile. "Just call me zake."
I am loitering outside a college, trying to get a GPS fix so I can take this portal. This is the cloudiest I've ever seen, and it's not happening.
A well meaning soul asks me if I need help.
I try not to start. I smile my best smile, and ask for the directions to ██████████████.
I have chosen a place far enough away that he does not know, but he tries valiantly. Eventually, I interrupt him, suggesting that I'll just head inside the college and ask the porter.
He nods at this, and we take our bikes into the bike rack together. I hang back, fiddling on my phone, and wave to him as he leaves.
"I think I've almost got it...!"
He smiles at me. "Good luck!" he says.
Five minutes later, the portal is ours.
I now know the various landmarks around here by name, location, and optimal route. I am on friendly terms with a local gatekeeper, who thinks I come in so regularly just to enjoy the view. I have braved rain, and cold, and dark, to keep the fields above shining brightly.
This is #ingress
. This is the secret war happening in my hometown, and in every hometown in the world.
And it is not a game.