Object 250

The Holder of the Human Spirit

In any city, in any country, go to the city center to find a private office building. Barge into the building, and don't stop for anyone until you reach the receptionist. If the receptionist is male, quickly leave the building; you may still be spared, but never again attempt to try for this Object in this city. If the receptionist is female, however, then ask to see the one who calls himself "The Holder of the Human Spirit". Should the crowd that has gathered from your entrance start laughing, you will know you are in the right place. Turn to face the crowd and restate your intentions. If the crowd quiets down and leaves, this Holder has found you worthy; if not, the crowd will descend upon you and you will be forced to live eternity slowly having your soul being torn to bits.

When the crowd leaves, turn to face the receptionist. She will have a look of pride of more intensity than you have ever seen. Ask her for a job, and she will start you out doing the worst, most degrading, and disgusting jobs you have ever imagined. Live through this, without missing a day, and in a year you will be promoted. Repeat this cycle, and eventually, you will be chosen to be on the board controlling the company.

In your first board meeting, you must sit down. Wait patiently for everyone to assemble; you don't want to end your life after spending this long on this hunt. Once everyone has sat down, you must be quick and make the first statement, or all of this will have been for nothing. You must ask them, "What happened to humanity?" These men and women sitting around you will in turn explain in detail the tale of every person who sought to take something that they did not deserve, and what became of the ones who had their life's word taken away. They will tell you of every person driven mad by those around them, and of every man who sought to fight against reason. The last man will tell you about every person who beat the odds, and allowed humanity to continue to evolve. When this man utters his final word, you must draw a gun and kill every person in this room, except for you and the last man. If you did not bring a gun, or had it confiscated by security, then you are a fool for attending this meeting, for every person in this room will descend upon you and pull at your very soul. The pain will be horrible, and it will not dull with time. You will be stuck like this forever; no one can save you now.

Once you do this, the man alive will stand up, bearing the look of a proud father. He will lead you to an elevator and hand you a cell phone. The door will close between you. You must now take the phone in your hand and call the number of your own office. The receptionist from the start will pick up. You must now restate your intentions of seeing this Holder; nothing else, or this elevator will tumble down the shaft, never hitting the bottom. You will be doomed to spend all eternity in this hell. The receptionist will hang up and the elevator will begin to move upward at a speed that seems unnatural. It will continue upward for days, until finally opening at the top. A thin girder will be all the foot room you will get. Looking down, you will see a flaming pit with human figures stretching their hands up for help. This is the fate of Seekers who cannot complete this quest. Do not try and help them, or they will pull you down to join them.

At the end of the girder bridge, a man will be standing and staring at a sunset on the far horizon. When you are within 10 paces of him, stop. He will turn around and you will be blessed with a face of utmost beauty, one without guilt. Tell him you have come to replace him, and he will silently pull out a statue of Atlas from his pocket. This statue will have no globe. During this exchange, you must say nothing and watch the sunset as he walks away toward the elevator. You must continue to watch the sun until it is completely gone; at this point, turn around and go back to the elevator, and press the button labeled "home". When the door closes, you will pass out. When you awaken, you will be in your bed at the place you call home, the statue clutched in your right hand.

That statue is Object 250 of 2538. As long as you have it, you will never be cheated. Can you do the same?