Characters + Holds
In recent months, twenty-six volunteers were selected to take part in a social experiment. They would give up one year of their life, to science. Upon completing the experiment, they would be rewarded handsomely.
For one year, they would disappear from their lives. They would tell family, work, and friends only that they were going on a Pilgrimage, and they would be gone for one year. On December 31st, 2013, they would leave their lives, and be taken to a secret place referred to only as The Compound. A large block of property and a mansion completely blocked off and barricaded away from the outside world.
No phones, no cellphones. No television, no radio. No newspapers. No letters. And no leaving, for one year. Just twenty-six very different individuals, all selected for very different reasons, living together, no matter what. Could you do it? It seemed very simple, at the time. Everything they needed would be provided... all they had to do was give up a year, and get used to hidden cameras over their shoulders. It would be worth it.
What they weren't told was that it would be a simple social observation. It would be a study, not only of how strangers would adapt to their surroundings and live together, but of how different people would react to various stimuli – including the occasional stressful situation.
Everything starts off fine and dandy. The days go by, and just as everyone is starting to get comfortable, that's when weird things begin to happen. Subtle changes, at first. For several days, the temperature in the house cannot be controlled, leaving parts of the house at sky-high temperatures. Then nothing. Then it seems like in the middle of the night, walls and hallways are changing, revealing rooms that no one seems to remember.
No power or electricity for a week. Having your inner-most secrets exposed the next. Waking up one morning to find one of your housemates - maybe one of your new friends - has been removed, and replaced. And then you discover that perhaps the lot of you aren't so random at all. It seems, that each and every one of you is somehow connected...