Object 298

The Holder of Community

In any small town, in any country, get yourself to any government building you can find. Once there, approach the front desk and ask politely to see "The Holder of Community". A look of wide-eyed fear will come into the clerk's eyes, and she will stare into your face, unblinking. Suddenly, the phone will ring and she will flinch, looking at it as though it were a poisonous viper. She will pick up the receiver and hold it to her ear. As she listens to the Voice speaking through it, the color will drain from her face. Keep your silence during this time if you wish to continue your quest, for to interrupt the Voice is to invite its wrath.

Soon the attendant will set the phone back on its cradle and lay her head in her hands, weeping. Put your hand on her shoulder and ask again for the Holder of Community. With anguish writ large across her face she will look at you, and point mutely to the door you came in. Leave the building. The sleepy town you had seen before lies in ruins. Acrid smoke will fill your lungs as you breathe in the stench of death. Hide quickly, for now is not a good time to be standing in the open. Packs of horrifying demons stalk the survivors of this atrocity, and you will be but one more meal to satisfy their unending hunger. Make your way to the tallest building within sight, as that is your only way out of this damned place.

If at any point in your travel you should happen upon a lone figure, cloaked in darkness your eyes cannot penetrate, you must run swiftly and hope he did not see you. He is the Dark Oppressor of this town, and those who fail to escape his ever-watchful eye have only a short while to regret their mistake before he descends upon them, gnashing teeth rending soul from body and flesh from bone.

Should you make it to the building, enter quickly, and barricade the door with whatever lies at hand. Shortly after entering, you will begin to hear the Voice, whispering into your mind. It will be sibilant and seductive, drawing you unto itself. Do not resist, for at any time it can fill your mind with such terrible noise as to make your loudest screams seem a whisper in the storm of its force. Follow it, and you will be brought before an unassuming door. Steel yourself, and enter.

The door will slam behind you, and you will find yourself in blackness without relief for as far as your eyes can see. Silence will have descended, the Voice gone completely. Do not speak, except to ask: "Why do they worship Them?" Slowly the Voice will begin again, a low hum that will build into a soundless shriek. It will continue until you feel you cannot stand it anymore, then suddenly, will cease. Out of the darkness will come a small shadow. It won't appear as light so much as a lessening of the ethereal gloom that surrounds you. It will speak, sounding through the voice of your dearest childhood friend. It will describe in stark, horrifying detail all of the deception and tragedy, the lies and bloodshed that have come from those misguided souls who use the Objects for their own personal gain. This tale will seem to go on for ages, and the spirit's voice will grow sadder with every passing moment, until your heart wants to weep for the loss. Do not. The Voice still holds sway, and though balked for now, it wishes for nothing more than to destroy your mind and leave you gibbering in the darkness for eternity.

When the spirit finishes, close your eyes and wait until you feel hard concrete against your back. Open them, and you will find yourself lying on the steps of the building. The sun will be streaming down upon your face, the blasted ruin relegated to the nightmares of its unsuspecting citizens. Upon your chest will be a small glass ball, inside of it will be an infinitely detailed model of the town you are now in. When you place your hand on it, you will once again hear the Voice. You are its master now.

This ball is Object 298 of 2538. The Voice never lies, but it will always strive to deceive you.