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The Vermin Story

Leela Stone as Vermin 
Tony Liu as Diego 
The below content provides context for "The Vermin Story" 
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The Gate: The Warning That Never Came


Where was the warning before the waves hit?


When the 9.1 magnitude earthquake sparked the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, authorities in India were unable to send out an alert as the country’s sensor system was hit by lightning. Officials in Thailand sent a warning, but only after the first wave hit the shore. In India, the message was delivered to the wrong official. In general, there was no infrastructure, awareness, or technology in place to warn of the impending disaster. 


One of the only ways to effectively mitigate the impacts of a tsunami is through an early warning system, an implemented chain of information communication systems that comprises sensors, event detection, and decision subsystems. Early warning systems should effectively involve the communities at risk and ensure there is a constant state of preparedness. Years after the disaster, the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System was opened in 2007. Almost two decades later, regions surrounding the Indian Ocean are better prepared with networks of seismometers, tidal gauges, and improved communication networks. However, there is still very little support in place for hundreds of thousands of people living in the most vulnerable coastal communities. 




Casey, Michael. “Tsunami 10 Years Later: Is the World Better Prepared for Disaster?” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 24 Dec. 2014,


The Waiting Area: The Collective Unconscious


A term coined by psychoanalyst Carl Jung, the collective unconscious refers to a believed system of knowledge and imagery that is universally entrenched and shared by every human being. Jung argues that although humanity is not always aware of the thoughts and archetypes that fuel this collective experience, in times of crisis, they can tap into the psychological instincts that have been in development for centuries. The collective unconscious does not manifest individually, rather it is inherited invariably among people. 


This theory posits that human beings are not special. Within everyone is a consistent foundation that drives grief, hope, and connection. Every person is a product of a community they have no memory of or experience with. Trauma can be felt because it has stained a preceding generation. Faith can be seized because it enabled the survival of an earlier progeny. Humanity chooses to subsist despite the obstacles because every human is bound to one another by an uncontrollable, untamed force that is the collective unconscious. 


Works Cited: 


Fritscher, Lisa. “How the Collective Unconscious Is Tied to Dreams, Beliefs, and Phobias.” Verywell Mind, 15 May 2020,