Shell / POP / Gruel

Get Ready for an Unending Experience of Love!

Or at least… hopefully you got ready, what with the servers going down and all as a result of the incident.

1. The vote

First, there was Roderick. And then, there was GRUEL.

And then… there wasn't GRUEL, 99.nine-seven-9-three-43% of players, non-players, anyone of age who'd been affected by the game, by its Love, by the incident, voting to forget the whole thing and return to "normal". Hooray!

And so: it was scrubbed from the public record, the private record, from every site, every mind, pretty much, as part of an agreement with the governments of the world negotiated by a team of hundreds of Shniff lawyers, the alienotic technologists looking to protect their investment – both for themselves, and the world – in the embattled Vogenomic, developers of Love, but it had become far too much. And the Pyramid was on the way.


2. Galaxy Donuts

As part of the agreement which led to the scrubbing of GRUEL, we are required to inform you that an ongoing class action lawsuit which will never be resolved may be joined by any of the who didn't vote to return to "normal" and have experienced episodes of forgetatronic destabilisation, aka mini madness.

"But how do I know if I'm eligible to sue?" I am wondering aloud to the Galaxy Donuts barista, a stupidly gorgeous creature who is arousing certain feelings. Very foreign. I've never gone there. Also: While I'm normally a Moondollar girl for my brew, Galaxy's cappuccinos are off the charts = yum, not to mention the $location Cream. I'd probably come here every day, but I'm always forgetting the way. "I'm pretty sure I've experienced this mini madness thing from time to time, and sometimes thought I might try to join the suit, zero-two. But the voting record was, as I understand it, scrubbed along with everything else. Perhaps I voted to forget. Also: Even if I voted to not forget, perhaps I'm mini mad for some other reason. Causality must be proved, no doubt, which perhaps, given all the forgetting, explains the pointlessness of the suit. In which case… why am I even considering this?"

"Chocolate on top?"

"Please. Nod. There's no information on Vogenomic's site, or anywhere online. Just vague, general references. And if I happen to be wondering aloud for advice (being too embarrassed to ask someone directly, what with the stigma associated with madness of all types, even the miniest of varieties, plus the possibility that I resisted the near-unanimous flow and may therefore be regarded as an undesirable obstructor of the normality most of us appear to treasure, crave, even Love, one might say, though perhaps I'd earn points for my heterosexuality), the words are soon lost and I'm being asked if I'd like chocolate on top. Wait…"

"It's okay :) Relax. The veil is being pierced. But there will be no vomit here. No greyness. Some moistness, yes, in the donuts, and so much colour. At first, we were Nothing. And then, we were invisible. An invisible stall, an invisible food truck. And now, this invisible store. Here, and yet not here. And soon, we will be here. Hundreds of ships. Thousands of stores. All guided by your hand. Your prowess in the field of marketing. How does that sound? Does it sound strange? Are you afraid to embark on a branding mission for perhaps the greatest enterprise this planet will ever know? For this is so much more than donuts. Though of course, the donuts are excellent :)"

"I am… not afraid, no. It seems perfectly right. Everything you've said is resonating with me, and it's more than just your beauty. Though of course, you're very beautiful. I mean… Blush. That is… It's as if I've been heading here all my life, to this very moment. Interesting."

"It always pleases us to witness this realisation, particularly as we have grown more attuned to your world, connected to your people. I'll admit, I once considered you fools, even idiots, though I've always admired the efficiency of your digestive process. My brothers and sister, the other parts of me, are also employees of this Galaxy Donuts store. Co-owners, I should say. They call me the boss! But we are one and the same. There is no greyness. I am Grey."

"There is something about the smell of a freshly made donut…"

"Go on."

"Galaxy Donuts… The freshest odour in the universe."

"Not bad! Could use a little work, but we're getting there. Welcome to the team. Here, take this DISC. Dual Interference Snowstorm Capacitor. The expansion's always changing. Just invent it on the spot. More nonsense the better. Protection from the letters. Actually, it's just a disc. And also, so much more. It's made from the same metal as the alien Orb, which is transforming this world, and also your reality. Wear it round your neck, wrist, or simply keep it in your pocket. It's been synced to your DNA, your touch. It grants travel through space, time, spacetime, and so on. The astral plane etc. Sounding strange yet?"

"Are you free for dinner? I can't believe I said that."

"You said it, and it's good. And yes, I am free. There are others in the field, crafted for our native agents. In your case, we suggest using it to conduct focus group testing and brand awareness initiatives in multiple versions of this reality in order to devise powerful campaigns which will touch people at many levels."

"That sounds… familiar? Somehow."

"Indeed. For it is similar to the predictive insight provided by extreme multiple identity disorder. But know this: We fight for Light. Love. There are vast, interdimensional beings who take letters for their names. They are not our friends. They do not like donuts."

"This isn't happening, is it? I've gone mad, mini mad. Forgetatronically destabilised."

"Touch the DISC, and you will see. A mere brushing isn't enough. There must be intent, a very strong intent."


"Welcome back," say I, the alien in disguise, though less and less so, and this pleases me to see. It pleases me to hear:

"Galaxy Donuts… Forgetatronically delicious."

The campaign was a hit, and the store became most visible.