The Portal

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A group of Agents reached out to me earlier today.

They told me they were going to create a Portal, and I should be there. Handed me some GPS coords and a timestamp.

My curiosity was piqued.

I arrived to a large mixed group of Agents in an unpopulated and barren place — they were gathered around some central point I couldn’t see through the crowd.

My night vision quickly acclimatized. I recognized some there as old hands. Some were unfamiliar. Some had the soft glow of light near their skin — New Wavers. I didn’t know that NWE and NWR mingled, but they had come together for this moment unbound by Faction.

A young woman recognized me. “Are you here to help create the Portal?” she asked.

“Just an observer.” She nodded and took me by my arm closer to the center.

As if on queue, the soft hubbub of chatter died — and each Agent produced a small package and threw it into a pile in the center. A somber ritual conducted in silence. The stack of parcels in the center grew until finally there was nothing left to add to it.

Some of the older Agents walked to it and leaned down. A few moments later, the pile was ablaze — the flames reaching higher and higher — approaching inferno status.

I worked my way to the edge of the fire — forcing back the discomfort from the heat. I could no longer tell which Faction the Agents belonged too — the firelight had turned them all a golden hue. I kneeled down to look at the parcels they had thrown in. Calendars. Planners. Notepads. Artifacts of a year past.

The Agents stood around the fire, gazing through it silently — I could tell their minds’ eyes were elsewhere — inside their memories, thoughts and experiences.

Eventually, the fire began to die, the glowing embers turning to ash. The Agents, one by one, began to exit their reverie. They turned and walked away in silence.

Soon, just a few of us were left. The fire had nearly died, but my skin was still tingling from the heat it had created at its apex.

“This was the Portal?” I asked the young women from before. Lost in thought, she took a moment to respond. She smiled.

She looked different. Younger? Or perhaps just refreshed… unburdened…

As I was driving back the thoughts grew clearer in my mind. It wasn’t an XM Portal they had created, obviously, but a Portal of the mind — a Portal of shared human experience. They had built it and crossed through its threshold together. I heard similar rituals were conducted in other locations around the world as well.

My phone pinged as I was arriving home. It was a message from one of the Agents who had invited me.

“Welcome to the other side.

-PAC


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