The ARC was in trouble. James Lester called a quick meeting in his office for all the staff and he now waited impatiently for the group to arrive. Jess, who was always prompt, sat at his side, but everyone else was late.
"They'll be here," Jess promised, seeing his impatience.
Lester nodded curtly to her and, as if on cue, the door swung open. Claudia and Becker rushed in, followed closely by Emily.
"Sorry we're late," Claudia said, "Becker was showing us the new locks for the EMD lockers and well, Emily and I accidentally locked him in the locker and we couldn't figure out how to get it open again."
Lester raised his eyebrows, "Should've left him there."
Becker crossed his arms and glared. Jess giggled, "How'd you end up getting out?"
"I don't wanna say."
"I saved him," A voice said, and the team looked up to see Connor proudly entering the room, holding Abby's hand beside him. "He was all panicky and scared too. Did you all know Action Man is claustrophobic?"
"Am not. I wouldn't have gotten in the locker if that was true."
Connor just shrugged and grinned.
"Alright," Lester said, "that explains why you guys were late, but were is everyone else?"
"Matt took Stephen and Ryan with him to check the layout for the grounds at Prosporo. They said they wouldn't be long. Nick, Jenny, Danny and Sarah were out for lunch but they said they'd be back any moment." Jess said.
Sure enough, the remaining seven team members ran into the room a moment later and seven apologies were heard.
"Alright," Lester said, clapping his hands together and standing up. "The reason I've called you all here today is to talk about… fundraising."
"Yes, fundraising. Apparently the government thinks we are a group of low class idiots who run around doing absolutely nothing and getting paid way too much for it. They may be right about the idiot part, at least for some of you, but we all know our work is actually very vital to society. Anyway, they've decided to lower our incomes by… well, a lot. Actually, we're on the verge of being shut down."
Everyone gasped, "But, if they shut us down, people will die!" Sarah protested.
"Thank-you for pointing that out," Lester said sarcastically, "I didn't realise. Anyway, obviously, our mission is of utmost importance, so we have to figure out how to get our own funds. We need ideas that will raise money, without letting anyone onto what exactly we do at the ARC."
"We could have a bake sale," Emily suggested.
"Unfortunately, Darling," Matt spoke softly, "Prices have gone up since the Victorian Era and computers cost… well, a lot." Emily hadn't quite gotten used to the new standards of currency yet.
Connor held back a chuckle.
"While you're all thinking about it," Lester continued, "We have a second problem. Now that there have been so many anomalies opening up and Jenny has been doing a lot of field work, well, let's just say our cover stories have gone down hill."
"I don't have time to do both," Jenny protested.
"I'm not putting down your work; you are needed where you are, but we do need to come up with something. The anomalies are opening up in far more public places and far more often lately and people have been asking questions, a lot of questions. We can't afford to hire a second PR person, so I need you all to put on your thinking caps. I know you're all experts at everything, so surely one of you can solve our problems."
"Maybe it's time we just told everyone the truth," Nick said, and beside him Stephen nodded.
"No can do," Danny protested and Claudia nodded her support of Danny.
"He's right," she said. "If we tell everyone, we'll have a few idiots who think they know everything going through the anomalies just for kicks and causing us a much bigger mess."
Abby suddenly felt Connor's hand start shaking in her own and she looked at him. His eyes were lit up and she knew that look. Connor was thinking something brilliant. She squeezed his hand encouragingly.
"I've got it!" He exclaimed and everyone looked at him. "Nick is right."
"Of course I'm right." Nick said.
"We don't just tell everyone," Connor said, "We show them, and by doing so, we keep our secret and raise money!"
"How does that work?" Lester inquired.
"We make a TV Show."
Everyone except Jess looked puzzled. "Connor!" she squealed, "That's brilliant!"
Everyone looked at her. "Don't you get it?" she asked. "We make a TV show about the ARC, the anomalies, etc. It's fun, it's exciting, it'll be a huge hit. We'll make a ton of money."
"And everyone will know what we're doing…"
"No, that's the brilliant part about it. If they see any of us, or the anomalies, or anything, they'll assume it's all just part of the TV Set. We tell them everything, and they'll think that everything they see is make believe, part of the show! We could call it Primeval!"
"Uh… what if we're camera shy?" Stephen asked and Sarah nodded beside him.
Matt laughed and punched his arm playfully, "Then we'll just kill you off early on and you won't have to take part for long."
Everyone looked at Lester for his approval and he nodded, "Alright then, Jenny, get ahold of a camera crew and everyone go brush up on your acting."
They all nodded and ran from the room.