Cleaner Energy Now (also known as cleanerenergynow.com or CEN for short) is an alternate reality game that served as a viral marketing campaign for the release of developer Duckroll's 2016 video game Echoes: Operation Stranglehold.
Cleaner Energy Now was first advertised by a subliminal message hidden in morse code posted on Duckroll's youtube; players who investigated the website cleanerenergynow.net discovered that the pages appeared to be hacked by an anonymous user. As players solved puzzles, fake 'data' logs were posted to the cleanerenergynow.net site which gradually revealed more of the fictional back-story, involving a marooned refugee stranded in the ocean and his attempts to find Azrael.
Cleaner Energy Now began when brochures were received in the mail by people who had previously participated in alternate reality games. The brochures contained letters leading to the website. At around the same time, videos posted by Duckroll on Youtube contained morse code messages that led to cleanerenergynow.net, a 'hacked' site related to alternate energy research.
The game's plot begins with a boat drifting at sea without any fuel in an unknown location. The boat's occupants in an effort to survive and contact any surviving allies, break into a web server, which happens to host a clean energy website known as Cleaner Energy Now. To the distress of David Tannahil, the website's manager, the hackers attempt to send signals which appear largely as codes, hidden in images or other text, interfering with the operation of the Cleaner Energy Now site and corrupting much of the content.
David, attempting to regain control over the corrupted website, tries to reason with the mysterious hackers. But most attempts to contact them fail and end in silence, however one hacker is insanely paranoid and makes ridiculous demands. David tries to forcibly shut out the hackers. Furious, the hacker (identified as "radical") lashes out at the web manager, makes threats, deletes whole portions of the website, and obtains identifying information of David promising to take revenge. Alarmed, David announces that he is removing himself from the situation.
As Radical delves deeper and deeper into insanity he begins to post random dumps of information on the website, largely detailing Radical's history and his day to day events. Soon another hacker appears (identified as "fleabag"). Fleabag makes malicious threats at Radical and tries to obtain Radical's location. Radical tries to erase Fleabag but is outwitted, as Fleabag manages to gain control of the website. Fleabag continues to overwrite Radical's programming with his own mysterious goals, with it eventually being revealed that he is a pirate who raids ships and boats sailing for Azrael.
With the assistance of other characters revealed by data logs of the site's day to day operations, it's revealed that Radical witnesses his companions die of thirst and awaits to die himself. But before he is able to commit suicide his boat floats within visual distance of Azrael. However, Fleabag has already hacked into Radical's computer and likely knows where he is. In a moment of clarity, Radical sees how he has been manipulated by Fleabag and turns the boat around.