The Prior Administration

Hello, Ellis. We hope you’re doing as well as when we last talked.

We understand that handing the archive over to you will be an incredible burden on your mental health. Please remain at all times in the best frame of mind. Don’t hire anyone with records of mental illness, notable aversions, anything along those lines. Check their resumes, pick them apart with a fine-toothed comb. We can’t afford another lawsuit.

We hope to wash our hands of the whole ordeal, distance ourselves, set up offshore bank accounts. What we’ve been through in the past few months is enough to make anyone quit. You’ll feel that way eventually. When you do, and you want to join us here in Jamaica, don’t feel ashamed. Keeping the archive intact is a near-superhuman feat. We were only able to do it because we started thinking it would be easy. Our expectations were quickly proven wrong.

We do have a few tips for you. First, people will inquire about the shift in management. They will start rumors, threads, and the like. Especially offsite. To this end, we have arranged to deactivate the Hypnagogic Forums. They were a burden to our ends and ultimately proved counterproductive. If anybody asks, please tell them that we’re still on good terms with the project and have ultimately severed ties with it. That’s partially true, about us willingly severing ties with it.

We’ll also help out by manufacturing a scandal concerning our V.P. Scandals are a good diversion in times like these. V.P. says she doesn’t mind, even if her name is dragged through the mud, so long as it will provide an alibi for us to get away. Trust us, after a few years in the saddle you’ll also be willing to do anything to get out. There might not be a way out for you, but we’ve gone over all the paperwork and if you really want to take this upon yourself, then there’s nothing we can do to stop you. In all honesty, it’ll be an incredible weight off our shoulders.

Our second tip for you concerns The Others. As we discussed during our physical meeting, they may not arrive for a few months. They may believe the Archive is dead. But they will start eventually once they’re onto you. They’ll ramp their game up fast.

The Others will attempt to coerce and badger you into deleting the server and all content contained therein. They will carry this on for weeks on end, sometimes months, and at intervals provide you with a short break. They will pose over phone and e-mail as family members, coworkers, and friends. They will intimidate and harass you, threaten you with meaningless legal jargon. DO NOT attempt to retaliate or use violence against The Others in any way. Over the years we have found these threats to be for the most part harmless. However, any show of force will prompt swift retribution. We suggest informing the new staff of this as well. It ended badly for one of our interns. He now gets his food from a tube.

There are few ways to discern whether you’re talking to The Others or the genuine article. They can be clever in manipulating their voices and appearance, and can fabricate any photo or document you ask them to provide as proof of identification. Under happier circumstances, I would suggest creating a password for any further correspondence, but we may need to cut ties here and now. The Others are thorough in their requests for deletion and they will not leave you alone unless you decide to delete the Archive and scrub any evidence of its existence from the Net- which, though virtually impossible, may be the course of action you take after your stint as chairman of the organization.

We do not understand yet precisely how far The Others can manifest in the offices, or if they can influence the course of events. Given their established ties with continuity and temporal mechanics it would be best to err on the side of caution and consider your actions at all times. Weigh the consequences of one decision over those of another, and develop a mental state wherein you’re fully aware at all times of your presence in the corridor between the past and future. Knowledge of the operation of time is one of the greatest weapons we can yield against The Others. They think they know everything on the subject, but we might have an advantage over them in some areas.

This next bit is perhaps the most important. It is the reason given by them for the conflict at hand, and under no circumstances should you reveal it to any of the employees, even the senior staff. Doing so was our mistake and we regret it deeply.

The Others want our project deleted because they feel it threatens them in some way- either their existence or their state of being. They rely on the stability of well-defined eras and years, and what we’re doing uproots their established model. To Hell with established models is what we say. If someone can cross boundaries between borders and between countries- after all, what is a border but a human construct- then who is to say that we cannot cross boundaries through time? Shake hands with the past and steal ideas from what is yet to transpire? This is our true mission statement, Ellis, our purpose. To blur the lines between man-made boundaries and in effect make all time universal. This is only the first step in an exciting new frontier. We expect you to uphold this directive.

You shouldn’t face many obstacles from the public. We take pride in our PR campaigns, our positive image on various social media networks and subcultures. We have confidence in your leadership and skill set, and your stated ability to uphold our original vision, while simultaneously taking things in a new direction. You are a godsend in these times, and we thank you deeply for your sacrifice.

Please refrain from asking us any further questions. We couldn’t begin to answer most of them even if we wanted to. There are some things man was not meant to understand.

Best regards,

-The Prior Administration