Lost ARG 2008 - Part 17

Well well. I wasn’t expecting to hear anything more from the Dharma Initative for a little under a month, as advertised on their website. And then this e-mail popped up in my inbox. It was from Hans Van Eeghen, informing me that my ‘results’ were now available, and also updating me on the latest developments with the Dharma Initative. It’s a long read, but there’s a jocular tone to it that I can’t say I ever picked up on in previous missives.


I am pleased to announce that registered recruits can now log in and download your personalized Volunteer Assessment Dossier outlining your full test results as well as your position within the Dharma Initiative.

I want to personally congratulate you on behalf of everyone at the Dharma Initiative for your hard work and diligence during our testing process.

We hope that you are happy with your results. We certainly are. The tests were extremely challenging and the aptitude and excellence displayed far exceeded our expectations.

Now that you are in possession of your results I am sure you are asking the obvious question: what's next?
Our plan was that together we would commence a glorious adventure: the revival of the Dharma Initiative using the myriad talents of all our amazing new recruits. We imagined not just fulfilling long abandoned goals but taking the Dharma Initiative to a new level of greatness as an organization promoting the peaceful social and technological advancement of all humankind.

Then the financial crisis struck.

Sadly, our benefactors were not immune to this crisis. In fact, unconfirmed reports suggest that much of the money designated for the work of the new Dharma Initiative was tied up in highly leveraged mortgage derivatives. This, however, cannot be confirmed because, I am sorry to report, the principals representing the benefactors - my employers - have gone missing. Based on bills still coming into our office we believe they are somewhere in South America.

This stunning reversal of fortune has forced us to abandon our ambitious plans. In fact, absent this funding, the Dharma Initiative was forced to make the only sensible decision we had available: we sold the Dharma Initiative to the television show LOST.

While this might strike some of you as a shock, the reason for this was not simply that they were the only bidder. As the only remaining Dharma Initiative employee who had not fled the country, I felt that at the very least the show would be able to keep the spirit of the Dharma Initiative alive and in the public consciousness until such time as a reversal of the reversal of our economic fortunes occurs.

It is with a heavy heart that I must bid you farewell. Despite my fervent commitment to the mission of the Dharma Initiative, the realities of a broken marriage, heavy casino debt and some unfounded police charges have required that I change my present circumstances. It is with great excitement that I can inform you of my pending senior sales management job at a large multi-brand auto dealership in Dubai. I have enjoyed our brief association more than I can ever express, and if you are ever in the Middle East and need a car, please e-mail me for a special "Dharma rate".

In the meantime, you will hear shortly from LOST showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. They will explain to you their future plans for the Dharma Initiative and how these plans might affect you.

Thank you again, personally, for your unflagging commitment and support. I hope our paths will one day cross again. In the meantime may the spirit of the island guide you.

Hans Van Eeghen
Head of Recruiting
The Dharma Initiative

So, the ARG has now explicitly dovetailed into the Lost show on an official level, and it would seem the next stage of things is going to come directly from Lindelof and Cuse (or ‘Darlton’ as we Losties affectionately like to call them). Frankly, this cynical Comet doesn’t reckon this was part of the original plan for this ARG – rather this is a swift U-turn over the way the thing was going and how long it was taking and the vocal disaffection with the whole thing.

Let’s hope things improve.

Before I get into my own personal results, one last piece of business. I went to the proper website that hosts this e-mail, like in the good old days of this ARG, and checked the source code to see if there were any hidden messages. Tucked away there was this:

!-- DSAqandaatgmaildotcom --

It’s an e-mail address. dsaqanda@gmail.com

Sending a mail to this produces an auto response from ‘DSA Headquarters’, as below.

Alas, I am a Black Swan, so I won’t be able to ask a question even if I wanted to. But is that what the whole White Swan/Black Swan thing boils down to? The right to ask Darlton a question!? For the first time in my life I am proud to be Black!

I headed over to http://www.dharmawantsyou.com/ and logged in to see what my dossier would contain. I found that it was an Adobe document that I needed to downloaded, which I duly did. Within I found a certificate and a Test Results grid. The news was less than inspiring.

My Certificate of Completion apparently awarded me the position of ‘Brick Layer’.

Brick Layer!? Moi! Do they not know who I am!?

Slightly less ego-bruising, at the very nottom of my Test Results, was a field that stated Recommended Department: Infrastructure Program.

Admittedly, ‘infrastructure program’ sounds like a fancy way of a saying I’ll be working on a building site as part of the Dharma Initative. Still, we all have to start somewhere. . .

I did some cursory research, out of interest, to see what certificate awards and departments had been apportioned out to other people. This is by no means a complete list, but it’s just a few of what I learned of in the short time I bothered to look.

Proof Reader – Recommended Department: Communications Divisions
Research Assistant – Recommended Department: Human Interaction Analysis Program
Cook – Recommended Department: Human Services Division

So far so blah. As ever, I’ll let you know more when I know more.

1 comment:

Emzi said...

I got the position of Radio Operator. I wasn't too fond of the idea at first but after finding out that Brick Layer was one of the options, I'll gladly take the position of Radio Operator ;)