Object 222

The Holder of Science

In any city, in any country, go to any available laboratory, and ask the head scientist if you could request a conference with a man who calls himself "The Holder of Science". If his eyes narrow and he begins to perspire, flee, as the Holder is currently not of presence (but his experiments are). If he grins like he has been waiting for this moment for an eternity, you must tell him that you are prepared. He will then push you backward, and you will fall into a hole.

You will be falling for hours, perhaps days, but you must remember to keep your eyes closed. As long as you do not open them, any hunger, thirst, or pain you may feel will be an illusion. Otherwise, you will die of dehydration before you ever reach the bottom.

When the tube begins to be illuminated by dark purple halogen lights (the color of Iodine gas, if you can recognize it), you will know that you are exactly one hour from the bottom of the hole. You will see the purple glow through your eyelids, but at this point, you do not need to leave them closed any longer. You will begin to hear mechanical noises, very faint sounds of small explosions (they will get louder as you get nearer to the bottom) and the tortured souls of the Holder's biological creations. Make sure not to make a sound yourself, or they will promptly emerge from the walls, ceilings, or floor and devour you. When you finally reach the bottom of the hole, you will likely be knocked unconscious by the impact of the ground, no matter how soft it is. Feel free to rest here for as long as you want, it is the last time you will be able to for a while.

When you awaken, you will notice that the hole you fell through has been shut, and you have about eight feet to stand up. Don't stand around for long, as you will notice that the ceiling will begin to slowly move down. You must find the door before you are crushed, and the door will only reveal itself to those who were truly meant to complete their quest and those who have collected over one hundred Objects. Quickly walk through it (crawl if you must) and watch as it bolts shut behind you.

You will find yourself in a small, congested laboratory, lit by the same halogen lights that you saw earlier from the ceiling. There are tubes with specimens suspended in formaldehyde piled against the walls in massive quantities. A man with long brown hair stands in the center of the lab, performing dissections and experiments on a creature whose horror cannot acknowledge you unless you speak. Unless you ask the correct question, he will silently strap you to a lab table and begin to experiment on you, only for you to become one of his formaldehyde-drowned specimens, living for all eternity but not having consciousness of any sense sans sight. You will be forced to watch his terrible, mind-wracking, and gruesome experiments until the end of time.

If you do not wish to resign to this fate (which I doubt any human does), you may ask the Holder the following question: "What do They know and what do They seek?"

The Holder will stop his experiments, and begin to explain to you in a sinister and dark voice, more evil than anything that you have heard in your life. Most visitors die merely from hearing him say his first word, however, if your will to live is strong, his voice will not destroy you. He will explain the knowledge that They have accumulated over the years, and the knowledge that They still seek and require. He will then ask for your left hand. Obey and hold out your left hand, or the fate that will await you is more terrible than anything mentioned thus far. He will draw a razor from his lab coat pocket and slice through your arm, letting your hand fall to the floor. He will then hold forth three items: a hand that appears to be made of pure mercury, liquid and yet solid at the same time; a formula for creating pure gold from any material available; and a vial of liquid that has the consistency of the heavens. The formula will make you rich beyond your wildest dreams, and the liquid in the vial will grant your soul indefinite life. Deny both of them though, since they are not what you came for. Request the final object.

The Holder will nod, and the hand will be fastened to your wrist stump. You will then have what feels like a seizure, and wake up on a patch of land or water exactly one mile north of the laboratory you started at. Cover your new hand, as it will attract the attention of those you fear.

The mercury hand is Object 222 of 2538. It will allow you to walk through any metal as if it were air. Your nerves, now a part of the hand, will tingle, longing for contact with the others.