Object 305

The Holder of Dilapidation

In every city, in every county, there is at least one building that has been abandoned for as long as anyone there can remember. They'll give several reasons why it's been that way for so long - the owner refuses to lease it out, it's in a bad part of town, something nasty happened in its past that dissuades people from occupying it - but no matter what the tale is, nobody will ever remember a time when the building was in use.

Before beginning your trials with this Holder, make sure to acquire a key that is damaged beyond use. Once you've obtained such a key, go to the backdoor of one of these buildings, grip the knob firmly, and say in a determined voice, "I seek the Holder of Dilapidation." Then attempt to turn the knob. If the knob refuses to turn, leave the building at once; this portal to the Abandoned Realm is no longer usable. No ill fate shall befall you as long as you wait at least one week before trying again and you never attempt to use the same building.

If the knob turns, push the door open and enter. The building will likely be dark as pitch on the inside, so use whatever means you can to find a secluded spot where you wouldn't be noticed if the building were occupied. Then fall asleep.

When you wake, you should notice that, no matter the state of the building when you first entered, it now appears in pristine condition and seems to be fully occupied. Now make your way out of the building, taking care not to be seen by any of the building's occupants; you'll have a lot of explaining to do as to how you suddenly appeared in the building, and they're not likely to buy any story you give them.

When you step back out onto the streets, you should find yourself in the same city you started in, only noticeably emptier. For the most part, this doppelganger city consists only of the buildings that are currently vacant in your world, fully occupied and doing steady business. However, a perceptive Seeker will learn that the rule goes both ways; though harder to locate, you should eventually find an abandoned building in this city that in your world is occupied. Just make sure not to be spotted by anyone during your search; they're highly perceptive to people who don't belong in their world, and they'll likely call the police on you. The police force in this town is far more ruthless and brutal than what you're accustomed to, to say the least.

When you find this building, take out the key you should have brought with you. If for whatever reason you didn't bring the key, I'm afraid you're stuck in this city for the rest of your life. You'd best start learning how to live a life of total secrecy, as you won't be interacting with anyone ever again.

If you brought the key, you should notice that, no matter how broken and useless the key was when you started, it should now be good as new. Insert it in the keyhole and use it to unlock the front door. Enter the building and make your way to the top floor. This will invariably prove difficult, since this building has been left to rot for centuries. The elevators, if there even are any, obviously won't work, and the stairs are treacherous, ready to claim the life of the hasty Seeker who doesn't watch their step. If you can make it to the top floor, search the rooms until you find one with a hunched, haggard figure huddled in the far corner. Do not try to approach this being, and make no sound other than to ask, "What have they left behind?"

Without turning to face you, the figure will begin to speak of everything that has ever been tossed aside after it has outlived its usefulness. It will speak not just of buildings and inanimate items cast aside by those who found no usefulness in them, but also of people disowned by loved ones, social outcasts rejected by society, and eventually of those that Seekers just like you have carelessly thrown to the winds in their insatiable lust to unite Them. You must show no emotion throughout any of this; should you show even the slightest hint of pity, sorrow, or anger, the floor beneath you will give way and you will plummet to your death. Should you remain stoic until it finally stops speaking, the Holder will gesture for you to leave. Do so; it has nothing for you, and to hang around any longer than necessary is to invite your demise upon you. Make your way back to ground level and leave the building. When you step outside, you should find yourself back in your world, the building you just left exactly as it should be. If you check the nearest trash can, you should find a small black box on top of all the refuse within. Take it quickly and leave; you don't want people questioning why you're digging so adamantly through garbage.

The broken picture frame you'll find in the box is Object 305 of 2538. How much will you be willing to cast aside?