Smile, you’re on camera.
Every so often, this video appears on some video-sharing site or another, and it’s really creepy — it’s dark and it’s badly pixelated and the sound’s all over the place, but holy shit did you see that the guy just turned into a monster and ran off? Special effects. It’s got to be special effects. You can do some pretty impressive things with a half-decent video editing suite. Still. You’d almost think it was real. Sometimes it goes viral. Sometimes it ends up on a hundred blogs or more, an embedded video and a comment: Hey! This is really creepy. How’d they do it?
The answer is: they didn’t. You’ve just seen content from Network Zero, the Secret Frequency. For going on 10 years now, Network Zero has been making forbidden content available on the Internet for anyone who’ll pay attention. Before that, it was public access cable television. And it’s all real.
Network Zero invites people to join fairly regularly. With the Web 2.0 explosion, millions of videos and podcasts exist out there, and it’s not hard to ﬁnd out if people are on the level. A half-dozen members spend nearly all their spare time scouring dozens of community sites and search engines, looking for more evidence to broadcast, while others, having discovered there are people out there who believe them, work harder to ﬁ nd even more evidence. All too often, the evidence ﬁnds them. Jim Harrison’s enterprise is worldwide now. It’s dedicated to making as many people know about the truth as possible. Maybe that’s what Jim’s mystery cameraman wanted.
Network Zero broadcasters currently active in the Chicago area include:
Members of Network Zero get into the group through sharing information, and as they continue to post revelatory material on the Net and pick up a reputation they gain Status.
• You have a Network Zero password, allowing you to upload video, sound and text to the site and disseminate it across the Net. You gain a free speciality in either Crafts or Expression appropriate to your chosen form of media.
••• Your handle is well-known among mystery-hunting circles, giving you the equivalent of two dots in the Fame merit when dealing with members of Network Zero or internet conspiracy freaks.
••••• You get information sent to you, and you’ve built up a library of thousands of files. You have a limited version of the Encyclopedic Knowledge merit, related to film techniques and recoded supernatural phenomena.
Network Zero is home to a thousand competing philosophies and methodologies, but a few crews have emerged as dominant groups within the Secret Frequency.
Most of Network Zero is home to what are sometimes referred to as Record Keepers. Like journalists, they don’t judge the material they capture: their job is to capture it and to record it honestly and without modiﬁcations.
The so-called Army of Truth takes that to the next level, however, and seeks to disseminate the truth about monsters to he ignorant public at any cost. They will rip open unwitting eyes with strange stunts, viral memes, broadcast hijacking, what-have-you. The group has its militant members, and is also home to a perhaps disproportionate number of weapons-capable individuals.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have the so-called Secret Keepers, a cabal of conspiracy theorists who believe he world has fallen into monstrous hands and see every bit of bad news as an emblem or action sponsored by ﬁendish shadows. They actually seek to keep monstrous information out of the public’s hands, believing it will only spur the monsters to cover their tracks and damage the Vigil. No, they keep the information within the group instead, “building a case” for when the time is right for revelation.