The case of the missing EIC

Marco may have reached the peak of The Peak, but there’s nowhere to go from there but down

ILLUSTRATION: Tiffany Chan / The Peak

By: Paige Riding and Sara Wong

It was a dark and stormy night . . . no, no clichés here. This is just a public roast of our boss and us getting away with it — although, our story does begin at SFU, where the only “comprehensive” aspect about it is how wholly it destroys a student’s excitement to learn. Now that’s dark.

Anyway! Our story starts with a walk around the AQ when we stumbled across three free Renaissance Coffee coupons! Interesting. Why someone would let go of the Holy Grail of SFU coffee deals was beyond us, but nothing makes sense in this world anyway, so why not enjoy a cheeky little coffee.

On the way to the café, we texted Marco, The Peak’s Editor-in-Chief and resident iced coffee aficionado (yes, he looks exactly how you think someone with this title would look, thanks for asking). 

Sugar-free or regular vanilla syrup?” said the message left on read. In any other scenario, no one on planet Earth would be surprised that Marco didn’t take three seconds to respond to a message; however, Marco not replying to a message about iced coffee, one of his self-proclaimed personality traits (we let this guy run our paper?), was more questionable than the people who don’t just pick up a copy of this paper for the crossword.

Naturally, the first place to check was Marco’s office, where we’d likely find him hunched up listening to the same three Wallows songs on a loop while he desperately searched for pitch ideas. When we headed there, though, the place was empty. No Marcos here. If not here . . . then where?

“Do you two work here?” a voice murmured behind us. We whipped around.

In front of us stood our natural enemy: a smart-looking student in a UBC hoodie. 

“I work at The Ubyssey,” began the student. God, they really were our nemesis. “I wanted to speak with your EIC, but I see Marco isn’t here.”

We turn to each other. Convenient . . . The only other person in the office happens to be a person who wouldn’t mind if Marco and The Peak fell. UBC already has a relatively construction-free campus and like a billion students. Let us have something, please.

“Anyway,” the UBC student said warily as they noticed our passive-aggressive glares, “I was just visiting your campus with a coworker to report on SFU’s construction during the pandemic. Your Student Union Building is finally done, huh?” the student half-smiled, then turned to leave. “If you manage to find your EIC, please let him know we were looking for him. Thanks.”

The UBC student sashayed away. Remembering why we were in Marco’s office, we began looking for clues that would point to his whereabouts. There was nothing out of place, unless you count a giant framed copy of The Peak Fall 2019, Issue 10, which features Marco on the front cover — but us Peak employees are used to this type of shit, anyway. 

“There’s nothing on the computer. I guess it’s time to look elsewhere?”

“Yeah . . . hey, does this picture stick out to you?”

“It’s a blown-up picture of Marco’s face. What do you think?”

“No, I mean yes it stands out, but what I’m trying to say is that the gap between the frame and the wall seems . . . off.”

We removed the picture from the wall to discover the mouth of a tunnel, lined along the edges with mini potted plants that stretch into the distance as far as the eye can see. That can only mean one thing . . . Marco must be nearby.

A few minutes later, we arrived on the other side of the tunnel, entering an empty room. Walking out of the open door, there was a straight path ahead of us, but also two more corridors veering off in different directions. The procession of plants had come to an abrupt halt. 

“M . . . Marco?”

“. . . Polo . . .” said a weak voice from further in. Of course this guy would make a pun during a time like this. We ran ahead, passing the plants from cameos in ~artsy~ Instagram stories and plants Marco spent more time caring for than the Opinions section he briefly covered. 

We soon found Marco trapped under huge vines, unable to move. Little Shop of Horrors is quaking. Shock? Fear? A single ounce of remorse for this plant-obsessed, Bleachers-stanning H&M employee reject? All we could say was . . .

“. . . Looks like we need a new EIC.”