We’ve all seen them. Hiding in our periphery, in the shadows. Looming where they know they will be overlooked, day in and day out. Waiting for their moment to strike. How long did it take you to notice them? It took me months. Perhaps, dear reader, you have no idea what I’m talking about; perhaps you haven't noticed them yet. In that case, this article will change your life forever.
The east entrance to MTCC is a revolving door. I hope that this fact, at least, has made it to the forefront of your consciousness. (If not, you may be too far gone to save…) What may have escaped your notice, however, is that nestled between this revolving door and the windows from Illinois Tech’s bookstore lies a flight of stairs. These stairs are framed by walls a bright color of orange and enclosed behind a glass door. A naïve individual might even say they look inviting. But the top of those stairs isn’t visible. The glass door is locked. And isn't it strange that no one seems to notice them? There is only one reasonable conclusion to draw here: there are secrets at the top of those stairs that aren't meant for human eyes.
It took three brave TechNews individuals to finally uncover this secret, and two of them didn’t return.
“It wasn’t a big deal,” reported TechNews writer and fearless investigator George Anderson, shrugging as though he hadn’t just risked his life in order to better inform the people. “We just went over to Patrick Fina's office over in OCL and asked him. Apparently, there's a space up there holding all the AV equipment for the TVs around campus. Oh, and all the ducts and stuff for the HVAC system are up there apparently.” Anderson’s voice might have sounded nonchalant to an untrained ear, but a truly enlightened individual would understand immediately that his tone was merely a façade. Anderson, despite his carefully composed exterior, was terrified. “AV equipment"? "Ducts"? Fina couldn’t even come up with a creative lie…
When asked about the two TechNews investigators who did not return from their quest with him, Anderson still refused to give up the ruse. “Oh, the people that went with me to ask? They went to 7-Eleven to buy ice cream. Relax, man.” Anderson laughed, the sound clearly created to cover up his nearly-cracking composure.
7-Eleven? As if. How could Anderson dismiss the lives of his peers so quickly? Obviously, they must have perished on this dangerous quest for truth. The stairs' true secret is one so malevolent that you cannot hope to uncover it and not lose lives. But how could Anderson place such a low value on lives of his fellow TechNews investigators?
But then Anderson went on to say something truly shocking.
“What did you expect the answer to be? It’s not like there’s an alien civilization up there or something,” Anderson said with a smile.
And there it is: the truth that we all deserve. Hidden, sometimes, where we least expect it: slipped into a joke that seems just a little too true, hidden in a brief comment at the end of a conversation. An alien civilization? But of course. Perhaps we knew this all along… we just didn’t have the strength to accept the truth.