Object 162

The Holder of Sickness

In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or hospital. Go to the front desk and ask to visit "The Holder of Sickness". The worker will shudder and begin to sweat profusely, retching and clawing at his skin. He'll take you down a long, white hall and you will feel so sick that you'll double over in pain. You will become feverish, your nose will bleed, and your eyes will cloud with infection. You will vomit and soil yourself profusely and want only to lie down in your now filth-encrusted clothes, but do not succumb to sickness or you will lose your way and be cursed to wander these empty white halls forever.

The attendant, now covered in virulent sores and pustules, will collapse and be taken away by faceless nurses, leaving you at a small metal door, slick with fresh blood. The door will open to another white hallway, with buzzing fluorescent lights and peeling paint. It is so long you cannot see the end. Do not think about the attendant, as he is beyond anyone's help now.

As you walk down the long hallway, you will see doors appear on either side of you containing surgical suites. Nurses and doctors with pale, contorted, and eyeless faces surgically mutilating patients that might have once been human but barely resemble them now. The patients, screaming, in pieces, in elaborate bondage and decaying on the operating tables, are so gruesome that it will be difficult to look away. Nevertheless, you must not allow your eyes to linger on the patients, the doctors, or anything in these rooms or you will become one of these unfortunate patients, one of these failed Seekers, your suffering eternal and more acute than the deaths of a thousand cancer patients.

If you feel yourself being sucked by an invisible source into one of the rooms, all hope is already lost. Resign yourself to being on the operating table, splayed, immortal, fully conscious, and experiencing the hell of waking surgery for all time. If this happens, your only prayer is that time ends one day.

If you manage to reach the end of the hallway without going mad or becoming one of the patients, you will reach another small metal door, this one crusted with old brown blood and viscera.

It is open. Claw your way through the crust around the frame and walk through the door. Inside is a small, immaculate, and bright room that stinks of anesthesia, disinfectant, and old blood. The only sound to be heard besides your heart beating in your throat is the buzz of the fluorescent lights, which, in combination with the terrible feeling accompanied by the room itself, is enough to drive some mad.

In the middle of the room, prominently set, will be a high-tech gurney surrounded by all manner of equipment. On the gurney, strapped down tightly, lies a pale child, his bright blue eyes staring up at the light in terror. He will cry bitterly and beg you to help him escape. You must resist the urge to pity him, for if you do he will become a doctor and you will become his patient. You must only ask, "What lies inside?" The child will convulse in misery and begin to cry more pitifully than before.

You must now search for what you came for. Take a scalpel and cut where you will, for the Object you seek is somewhere inside this child. He will be fully conscious and his screams of pain will echo through the small room so loudly that deafness and madness may begin to afflict you. Work quickly.

Saw through bones, cut out organs, and lift layers of mucosa and viscera to seek out this Object. He will begin to change shape as you operate on him. He will turn into your oldest friend, your child, your parents, your spouse, and even yourself, and beg you to stop. You must not stop, even for a second, because his organs and flesh will regenerate and if he regenerates completely, he'll turn his attention to his tormentor.

Search every inch. Squeeze every content from his intestines. Slice open his brain and search every crevice. Feel your way through every layer of his muscles and turn every organ inside out until you find a soft egg-like item about the size of an eyeball.

Carefully peel off the membrane to reveal a small black tumor, covered in white and yellow pus that smells horrific, pulsates, and squirts all manner of putrid fluid. Burn the membrane and take care to put the tumor somewhere where it will never be touched by bare hands or have its stench inhaled.

This tumor is Object 162 of 2538. Keep it quarantined or it will spread.