Object 389

The Holder of Magnetism

In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. Be sure to bring one bar magnet in each pocket, and DO NOT LET THEIR OPPOSITE ENDS TOUCH THE ONES OF THE OTHER.

Tell the clerk in a voice no louder than a whisper: "Bring me the Holder of Magnetism." The clerk will nod and take you down one of the hallways. If she doesn't nod, and asks you to leave, take the magnets and ease them together, the north pole of the one in your left hand to the south pole of the one in your right hand. Do not let them touch, or you will be hounded from the building. Feeling threatened, the clerk will take you down the left hallway to Room 983. If you had to use the magnets now, put them back in your pockets. With the clerk reaches for the door, tell her it is fine, that you can take it from here. She will tell you that it is your funeral (which it usually is, for only the most prepared Seekers can get any further).

Open the door, but take care, as the door is made of metal and hooked up to a dormant shock generator. If a magnet touches that door, the generator will start up, and you shall be electrocuted. When you go inside, turn on the lights and close the door, in that order. A dark figure will ask you to play a little game with you. If you have the ball, you're safe from this point on. Give the figure the ball. Take out the magnets. If you have ever experienced static cling in your life, the magnets will bind themselves to you, and your entire being will become magnetized. If you did not give the figure the ball, the figure will take an ordinary playground ball, and coat it in searing metal, hotter than all of the stars and cosmos put together. Every time the figure throws the ball to you, you must be able to bounce it back to him. If you don't, it will be doing one of two things. The throw could be so hard that you get slammed into the door, or the ball will stick to your magnetic body; its searing metal welded to you forever, and you will live as an outcast. Your only hope for passing this trial is the shield. The number of throws that you must return is different for every Seeker.

If you pass, he will free you of your magnetic form, and take off the metal on the ball, and give it back to you. He will then take out another ball, and you will feel that your other Objects are being pulled out of your hands or pockets. Clench them tightly. Fail to do so and lose them forever.

Finally, ask the being: "How can they bring the Objects together?" He will answer with Object 389 of 2538.