The present world must suck. In this postmodern era, it's considered 'normal' to lose oneself within the fictional realm of popular culture. Afterwards, most people return to their humdrum lives feeling a little less empty. A growing subculture however, refuses to come back to the crappy reality the rest of us inhabit.
One weekend in March, two of the biggest "alternative reality" events opened their gates to the nerdy public: the annual Grand Slam Star Trek Show, which draws 30,000 rabid Trekkies in one weekend, and the Renaissance Faire, which draws at least as many people during its two month run. Like any good media freak show, scores of reporters, flashing credentials and big, expensive equipment, try to home in on the big 'story'. What exactly makes these nerds tick?
Now, I don't exactly have credentials or big expensive equipment. I had a notepad, a disposable camera, a fake press pass that was stolen from a movie set, and a raw idea that just might give me the scoop. I would gain the freaks' trust (thereby winning more probing interviews) by becoming "one of them".
Although hastily slapped together, my costume was pretty good. Made from a black wool cape draped over a black dress, and topped with a black plastic, feather-studded helmet I had around the house, I looked like Mordred in a homosexual production of the musical Camelot. No one would suspect I wasn't one of them.