The year is 2097.

Washington, DC. Contrivance Headquarters.

Disasters cue a temporary local social collapse: distrust, crime, supply hoarding, chaos.

The whole nation has even gotten close to it over a few incidents.

The government has grown tired of recovering from the panic that kills faster than any disaster.

The Contrivance program is started to make a point.

Every year, a lottery dictates one household from each state to participate. Those chosen are put into a sweeping, no holds barred simulation of such a social collapse scenario. Televised for often weeks, it goes on until one household remains, who has evaded “natural” disasters, other participants, and running out of supplies.

This isn’t one of the nation’s beloved apocalypse movies. This is a horrifying glimpse of what the future holds if society refuses to hold together.

As much as Contrivance torments its participants, it possibly haunts no one more than its creators.

The Devisers, the makers of Contrivance, might be monsters, might be misfits. One thing is certain: they have plenty of dark secrets of their own. Contrivance might be a labyrinth to navigate, but the Devisers are a puzzle of their own.

So here are some of the pieces. The puzzle, like life, is ever incomplete. Search through it. See if you can find something worth piecing together. Ordering of the pieces frequently doesn’t matter, but going in order will provide detours without getting you lost. Where needed, pieces include “Previously On” at the beginning, and sometimes, optional links at the end.

You just might be surprised.