Object 339

The Holder of Choice

Before you attempt this Object, there are two things to make sure of. It is heavily suggested that you be younger than thirty when you attempt this, or the Holder may very well react violently. Secondly, make absolutely certain that no one follows you there, or knows that you're going.

In any city, in any country, visit a location where gangs, drug dealers, and hoodlums hang out. Seek a girl with equal parts black and red hair, and ask her to take you to "The Holder of Choice". If there is no such girl, do not worry; you'll be granted another chance by this particular Holder. If she is there, she'll reply with nothing but a smug grin and walk away. Follow her.

She will take you to a nearby building. It will be old and rundown, and there will only be a few other people there. They will appear to be teenagers sampling different drugs, and I suggest that you make no effort to see through that illusion. She will ask you, almost in passing, about what brought you to this place. Your answers here will play a part in what is to come. Speak informally - you do not wish to appear uptight in front of her.

You will be taken to a makeshift table in the back, and she will lay out a pill and a syringe. The pill will be a deep black and feel cold to the touch. The syringe will be perfectly normal, except that the liquid inside seems to almost glow with a bright, clear liquid. You can choose either one, but the experiences will be entirely different.

If you choose the pill, you will be filled with an unearthly contentment. For the next few hours, you will know nothing but the greatest peace and happiness of your life. However, just as drugs can dull your senses, this one will leave its mark. For the rest of your life, your every happiness will be lessened.

If you choose the syringe, you will be left in paralyzing agony for the next few hours. Do not show pain in front of the Holder, however, as she will not take kindly to you insulting her wares. If you can survive this ordeal, you will find that most of your pain receptors have burned out. You will never again know physical pain as you did before.

Whichever one you take, you will find it almost impossible to concentrate once the drugs wear off. You must, however, as the Holder is about to ask you something. Cut her off and ask, "But what does it mean?" Her grin will disappear, and she will tell you exactly what it means to your quest.

If you took the pill, then from this point forward every Object will be all the more difficult to take. The pain will be multiplied for every one, with the only difference being that it will not, in and of itself, drive you insane. If you took the syringe, then they will find new ways to test you, and you will beg for the mercy that was simple pain.

At this point, you may ask her whether or not you really had a choice. She will answer with a simple yes or no, and it will leave you relatively unharmed. The one thing that will truly cause you anguish will be the realization that, whatever choice you've made, you'll only be worse off for it.

After all, that choice was Object 339 of 2538. In this quest, you will never find the "right" choice.