"I'm surprised no one at RIT cares about this," says Skyler Tyler, a fact-checker at Reporter, as she discusses the latest developments at the campus magazine in the tunnels under the Kate Gleason College of Engineering.
Lurking in the shadows trying to apprehend the artists responsible for the bias-related incidents from February, Tyler is armed with soap and cleaner liquid in the unlikely event that the vandals turn up. She's visibly nervous.
"I didn't sign up for this," Tyler admits, freezing as distant footsteps interrupt her. The stench of broken dreams follows an area man as he comes into view.
This accidental interaction is the latest in a series of disturbing events various Distorter writers have come across recently. Closer investigation has revealed that for the past two months, the Reporter staff has taken to policing the RIT campus as a vigilante organization, solving campus crime and dishing out its own brand of justice. It seems that after RIT announced last December that some Public Safety officers will be trained and deployed with the ability to access arms in cases of active shooter events on campus, Reporter magazine decided to contribute to making the campus a safer place for everyone.
"Public Safety cannot be relied upon with the safety of students, as they are under control of President Wrestler," stated Boss-Ass Bitch, editor-in-chief at Reporter. "We are here for the students, not the administration."
Several heated arguments, stabbings, burns, spills, gas leaks and a mass shooting later, Bitch decided that selecting a single form of armed resistance would not be inclusive or respectful of the staff. She signed an executive order authorizing all Reporter staff to use "any means necessary to subdue and subvert individuals at RIT who engage in inappropriate and/or disruptive behavior." According to Bitch, this may include guns, knives, drones, flaming hoverboards, reckless skateboards, hot coffee cups and Chipotle coupons among others.
According to various sources, the first few weeks saw a positive response from the staff, as cases of online trolling, catfishing and KKK-disavowing were successfully dealt with. There were some mixed responses over a staff member interrupting a heated argument over the Sanders-Clinton race for the Democratic nomination from a bunch of feminists brawling over who their vote should go to on the basis of their gender.
After a month's worth of ruthless but effective vigilantism, in classic Reporter fashion, things have gotten out of hand.
Various complaints across campus against Reporter vigilantes have culminated in the Wrestler administration outlawing Reporter. Wrestler has instructed his secret police to subdue Reporter staff using any means necessary. In response, they have disappeared without a trace. However, the acts of vigilante justice continue with unconfirmed sightings of people sipping coffee in the dead of night while brandishing pens and laptops in a threatening manner. Facilities Management Services (FMS) has had to clean up coffee puddles all over campus and the ongoing coffee wars between Dining Service locations have made it difficult to identify the spill source.
"We have a right to caffeine," complained Christie Christie, a second-year student from the Department of Alliteration. "Between the Coffee Clash and the Reporter Resistance, it is becoming harder and harder to get coffee on our way to and from class. We need to find another fix. You can't expect college students to not be addicted to something."
Rumor has it that with the coffee supply on campus being hijacked by the warring factions, students have taken to arming themselves with soda cans in preparation for the ever-increasing likelihood of an all-out armed conflict. According to recent Dining Services inventory reports, soft drink sales have skyrocketed across all food services on campus, although it is unclear what portion of these are being hoarded as weapons.
"They say we're selling more soda cans," said Dann Daniels, a Gracie's student worker, responsible for sorting out recycling from landfill. "All I know is, I'm seeing the usual number of bottles and cans daily. Also, SAVE ME PLEASE!!!"
Of course, no campus trouble would be complete without hipster involvement. Unicycle Dude, President of the Campus Society for Hipsters (CSH), told Distorter in an exclusive interview that the CSH is planning ahead for the inevitable war, like everyone else.
"Ours is a two-pronged strategy, combining our natural defense mechanism with a biting attack plan," said Dude. "As you know, we're famous for our nerd glasses. We're using them to our advantage, gradually increasing the glass size to cover maximum facial surface area. It is brilliant because it is simple. And it works against coffee, soda, nerf bullets, whatever!" And that isn't all either. According to Duke, they've come up with a novel way to deal with the potential trouble. "We don't need to be governed by the Dining Services war-profiteers' evil supply-and-demand strategies, for our weapon is intellectual and freely available. We'll fight back against all attacks using the best weapon known to mankind: sarcasm."
Fortunately, a truce has been reached at a secret meeting between all the stakeholders in the uprising. Under the terms of the agreement, Dining Services can safely return to charging an arm and a leg for its ordinary food, Public Safety will return to using guns only during active shooter situations and Reporter can go back to being a delusional self-aggrandizing mouthpiece for a largely indifferent student body.
"Everyone seems to think this is all over," Tyler says, sipping hot chocolate with the area man who turned out to be a fellow vigilante. "But we know at Reporter that it isn't. Just yesterday, one of our members came across a tub of red paint in one of these tunnels," Tyler continued. "Right around the corner from here, in fact. What was it doing there? Who left it behind? Why? We are going to find out."