Object 357

The Holder of Anguish

Make your way to the nearest death-row prison block you can find. Find the manager of the facility and ask to see a prisoner named "The Holder of Anguish". Should the warden's face show a look of resignation and reply that he was executed that morning, then get yourself out of there as quickly as possible, for the Holder's spirit won't be too happy that you were late for your appointment. If, however, the warden takes a look at his clipboard and nods, then follow him to where they keep the permanently next-in-line.

He will lead you down a long, cell-lined corridor. If you look into the cells that run parallel to the walkway, you will notice that as you approach the room of the person you seek, the prisoners become more deranged, starting with your regular Joe at the mouth of the passage to the large, mutilated bodies of the criminally insane at the end. The prisoners will eye you closely, and if each of them advances to the bars of their cells and beats on them in unison, then beg whatever god you may worship that your death is quick. If, however, they know the goal of your quests, they will sit quietly and nod in recognition as you walk past.

Should you reach the end of the hall unharmed, the warden will turn to you and tell you to be quick about your visit, for the prisoner's scheduled execution is near. Respond only with, "I'll be quick about my business," and the door should open for you. It isn't suggested that you utter any other form of acknowledgment, for there's always an empty cell that needs filling.

If you succeed in gaining entrance to the cell of the Holder, you should find yourself in a blackened room, the only light coming from a lamp hanging in the center. The glow from the dim bulb illuminates the form of a man with a hood over his head, strapped down to a wooden chair with what appears to be a metal dish over his head. Remember that you have a limited time, and quickly ask him this question: "How did they survive it?" The Holder's head will then look toward the wall behind you, where a large switch that you hadn't seen in the darkness will now be visible. Try not to think too much about it, and throw the switch.

A loud screeching noise, much like a train coming to a halt, will fill the room, and your body will be suddenly racked with pain. Unbearable pain. Every muscle in your body will contract and the veins in your neck will stretch to the point of bursting. Your eyes will fog with blood and your lungs will stop functioning. You will receive visions of every painful experience that any organism that has ever lived has undergone. You will feel the compounded pain of past millennia. You will thirst for death.

You will not die, though. Just when you think you can't take anymore, the pain will cease. Take as much time as you require to recuperate, for, as you may have guessed, the Holder is now dead and has patience to spare. Rise from the floor and remove the hood of the Holder if you can stomach the smell of burnt flesh. The face will be scorched, rendering any recognition impossible. The force with which the prisoner tightened his jaw during the execution will have crushed every tooth, save for one. Rip the tooth from the gums of the Holder, and make your way from the cell.

The tooth is Object 357 of 2538. They must never come together.