Object 235

The Holder of Valor

In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. When you reach the front desk, look into the eyes of the attendant and ask her if you may visit "The Holder of Valor". The room will begin to darken, a subtle wind will begin to pick up, slowly strengthening into a mighty gale. All signs of life will begin to slowly fade from the room, then following it, the furniture will begin to fade as well. The last thing standing will be the receptionist, hunt in midair like a lifeless puppet on strings, deathly red eyes locked with yours, who amidst the gale will emit a low and evil laugh, as if the Devil himself were ridiculing you. Before darkness enshrouds you, she will disappear, leaving a terrifying echo among the winds.

As the shroud of darkness dissipates before you, an ancient and long, winding, old stone road will begin to materialize. The laws of physics will appear skewed, but do not mind. Flames will leap from the darkness beyond the road, faces ever-changing inscribed in the hearts of the fires, screaming their final desperate messages as they descend into nothingness. As the road waxes and wanes around the edges of reality, a cool, silvery mist will descend upon the path. Thoughts of despair will cloud your mind, suffocating feelings of joy and rendering thoughts of hope futile. You will see the world burn before you, your loved ones murdered by Their hands. None will survive, no matter how courageous they seem to be. Only those brave enough to withdraw themselves from these imaginations will bear the willpower to continue along the cursed road, for many souls have cast themselves to the flames bordering the nothingness in an attempt to free their tainted mind.

As you travel farther into the Void, it will become increasingly difficult to walk correctly. Even if you trip and fall among the dreaded road, do not fear and begin to trek on once more, or you will become consumed by the Void growing around you. If your resolve remains untouched, your soul unkempt from the horrors of the mist, and if you keep your body moving forward, then a hooded figure will appear before you, gazing in your opposite direction. It will steal a glance from you beneath its hood, and begin to quickly enter the labyrinth of roads before you. Though your body may not be able to bear the weight of the thickening mist, you must urge it to continue at a faster pace to remain behind the figure, or it will lose you in the labyrinth, only to gaze upon your body and laugh in amusement as the beasts of the Void consume your essence before it. Only by strengthening your determination will you catch up with the hooded figure.

As you draw near the end of the maze, mind teetering upon the brink of madness, the hooded figure will slowly turn around, removing its hood. Its face shall be that of your closest friend, and in such a dark, hopeless place, it will be a warm reminder of life. As you approach the figure, the face will begin to grow paler, smile vanishing into an emotion of wicked nature. As you approach the figure, your body will begin to slowly lose the dwindling energy that it had hours ago, and you will find yourself at the mercy of the figure before you. Your "friend" will emit a low laugh, weakening your spirits to the point of collapse.

As your body dies further, as the final sliver of hope departs your body, this is where you must triumph, for in its arrogance the hooded figure has left its greatest weakness unguarded; Hope. Only those with the strongest Valor can hope of overcoming the looming figure, for if you cower before it, no mercy shall be spared for you, and your soul will join those in the flames. If you have managed to summon forth your will, the figure will begin to shriek, horror wrought upon its eyes. Its very flesh will begin to melt away until only its dark, yet glimmering, cloak remains.

Don your enemy's final remains; they should fit just fine. The cloak you bear upon your shoulders is Object 235 of 2538. Among the dark and troubled times, despair and hate reign supreme. As long as you wear the cloak, they will part in your presence.

Their Downfall is at hand.