MidReal Story

An AR game led a teen , Max , to

Scenario: An AR game led a teen, Max, to uncover a real-life crime syndicate.
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An AR game led a teen, Max, to uncover a real-life crime syndicate.
I was walking home from school, minding my own business as I often do, when I stumbled upon something I shouldn’t have seen.
The whole thing started when I downloaded an augmented reality game on my phone.
I’m a 17-year-old high school student who loves playing video games in his free time.
And I mean, like, every waking moment of my life.
When I heard about an AR game that was the talk of the town, I had to give it a go.
It was something right up my alley, and I was sure that, unlike other people who would probably get bored with it in a few days’ time, I’d be playing it for months.
And boy, was I right.
I hadn’t had it for longer than a week when it suddenly got me in the middle of what seemed to be a major problem.
It all started innocently enough.
I took out my phone and went on my usual route.
There were always notifications in the game that caught your attention and urged you to explore a little bit more.
And this time was no different.
A notification popped up on my phone and I opened it, intrigued by what new challenge the game had for me.
To my surprise, there was nothing there… except for the fact that I was standing right in front of a wall that wasn’t on my phone’s screen just moments prior.
What the hell?
The wall in front of me was part of the game’s interface, but I’d been around this area dozens of times before and never saw anything like this.
I looked around and saw no one else there who could help me make sense out of what I was seeing.
Shrugging, I went closer to inspect the wall.
When I got closer, letters started appearing on the wall as if they were being etched by an invisible hand.
Of course I didn’t get it at first… but then it clicked.
It was a hidden message put there by another player of the game!
The words written on the wall were: “Code Red: The fox is in the henhouse.
Repeat, the fox is in the henhouse.
Bring the package to the drop point ASAP.
No slip-ups this time.”
I read the message once more and rubbed my eyes, thinking they must be deceiving me or something.
But no, when I opened them I saw that they were still there.
Okay, this was kind of unsettling…
I mean, what did they mean by those words?
It kind of sounded like something bad was happening somewhere and they were sending out some kind of distress message… But wait!
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I shook my head and scolded myself for being so paranoid.
The game was just that – a game.
There was nothing weird about it.
It was just a way for players to interact with one another in a more realistic way.
There was nothing strange about that message either; it was probably something related to some quest or something like that.
“Yeah,” I murmured and nodded.
I tried convincing myself to not think about it too much and just get back home.
I’d deal with whatever that message meant later on.
But of course, now that I’d seen it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
I didn’t know what it was, but there was something strange about those words.
They sounded so… cryptic.
Whoever wrote them probably didn’t want other people to know what they were talking about.
And why would that be?
What could they be hiding?
I groaned and shook my head trying to forget about it.
I had a physics test coming up and hadn’t studied half as much as I should have.
The last thing I needed was to waste time thinking about things that had nothing to do with me.
After another ten minutes of walking, I finally arrived at my doorstep and went inside my house.
I dropped my bag on the floor and went to my room, where I plopped myself down in front of my desk, determined to study.
But of course, as you might have already guessed, I couldn’t focus on anything other than that strange message hidden inside the game code.
Groaning loudly, I took my phone and opened WhatsApp.
Sarah was online, so I decided to start a chat with her to distract myself from thinking about that stupid message.
She was in college, but we’d been friends for a long time now and we still saw each other often… which was something I was really grateful for because she was also my partner in studying and I honestly don’t know how I would have made it through all these years of high school without her.
Me: “Hey, Sarah, how’s it going?”
Sarah: “Hi, Max!Everything’s fine here, how about you?”
Me: “All good here.Just got back from school and am about to start studying.”
Sarah: “You’re already home?In that case, you must have been walking for almost an hour now…”
Me: “Yeah, it’s a long way back home from school.” I shrugged and typed my next message.
“Do you want me to send you all of our homework?”
Sarah: “That would be great!But make sure to only send me what’s necessary or I won’t do it.”
Me: “Don’t worry, I got your back.And I’ll also send you my physics test questions.” I grinned at that.
She was a lot smarter than me and just by looking through her notes I could get a pretty good idea of what to expect on the test.
Sarah: “Thanks a lot!You’re a life saver.”
Me: “You know I’ve always got your back.”
We talked a bit more about school-related stuff, and that somehow helped me get my mind off things.
When we said our goodbyes and stopped chatting, I got back to studying and went through all of our homework.
It took me a little while to do it all, but after I was done with everything else, I tackled my physics questions.
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Just as I was about to finish doing the last problem, my phone buzzed.
I checked it and saw a message from Alex.
Alex: “Hey, what’s up?”
Me: “Nothing much… just trying to finish my homework so I can go back to playing some video games.”
Alex: “Don’t you ever get tired of sitting in front of a computer screen?
Why don’t you go out for a walk or something?”
Me: “Because it’s Sunday and it’s boring as hell.
What about you?How come you’re not working today?”
Alex: “My shift starts in an hour so I’m still at home.
Anyway, what do you say we play some games together?
It’s been a while since we did that.” I could almost see the wicked grin on his face when he sent me this message.
We were usually on different schedules and we didn’t have time to play together very often.
Me: “Sure, we can do that.Maybe you could also help me with something when we’re done?”
Alex: “What is it that you need my help with this time?”
Me: “It’s nothing too important.You know me, I’m just trying to solve a puzzle.”
I sent him a screenshot of the weird message that had been giving me headaches for the past couple of days, along with the game code I’d found it in.
Just like Sarah, Alex was also a very good friend of mine.
He was a police detective, and he’d been kind enough to take me under his wing when I expressed my desire to work with him and learn more about the life of a cop.
He was tall, muscular, with dark hair and eyes, and he looked so ruggedly handsome that half the women in our town were in love with him.
And even though he looked like a badass most of the time, he was actually a very kind person who would always go out of his way to help someone in need.
Alex: “This is interesting.
I’m not sure what it is yet, but I’ll take a look at it.
Just don’t expect me to solve it right away.” He paused for a moment before sending me another message.
Alex: “Okay, I’ve got it.
I’ll see you online in about fifteen minutes.”
Me: “Alright, take your time.
I’ll be waiting.”
I stopped studying and went back to my computer, where I spent some time playing games while waiting for Alex.
When he finally came online, we decided to play Far Cry 5 together, and he helped me defeat some of the enemies during the missions that gave me the most trouble.
But just as we were getting ready to finish the last mission for the day, we heard someone knocking at my front door.
Alex: “Who could that be?”
I picked up my baseball bat from the floor and stood up from my chair.
The knocking only grew louder as I walked through the living room and reached the door.
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