Object 405

The Holder of Sloth

In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution you can get yourself to, precisely on the winter solstice. You must go at midnight. If you've come to the right place, the door will be unlocked for you. Go inside quietly and walk to the front desk, ringing the bell there three times. A staff member in his pajamas will appear and sleepily inform you that the visiting hours are over. He will ask you to leave. You must then say that you wish to visit a patient who is called "The Holder of Sloth".

The worker will pause for a moment, and then let out a sigh. It is a long and deep sigh, and as it reaches your ears you will feel the heavy chains of sleep tugging at your mind, threatening to drag you down into the darkness. You must resist, resist with all of your might if you wish to ever know the light again. It will be the greatest test of your strength to remain awake on your feet, and if you succeed, the worker will lead you away down a dark hallway.

When you reach a heavy metal door at the end of the hallway, he will open it for you and close it after you pass him by. This hallway is darker still, with cell doors on either side, the barred slots on them revealing nothing but infinite black emptiness. At the end is the final cell door, and the one you seek. If your legs are as honed as an Olympic runner's, you may escape the facility with your life; otherwise, your torment will be never-ending.

If, however, the door is dark, you may open it and walk in. The cell is empty but for a small, round table in the center, which is illuminated - though there is no light source that you can see. On it sits a small teenage girl with pale skin and white hair, with a heavy collar about her neck, which is bound to the table with a heavy chain. She will look at you pitifully, begging for respite. Be cautious, this look has broken many Seekers that made it this far.

Ask her, "Will They ever stop seeking us?" She will raise herself up and tell you a story. She will tell you of all the horrible things that have occurred through all the history of the world, which could have been avoided but for the apathy and inaction of humanity. All of the most despicable crimes that went unpunished and ignored. Every gruesome detail will pass her lips, before she moves on to tell you of still more. She will explain all of the grand and wonderful things humans could have accomplished if they had tried harder, in detail so intimate, only someone who had undeniable knowledge could speak of it. These are wonders and accomplishments that could have been celebrated by people of all races and creeds, if only people had put forth the effort.

If you manage to keep your sanity this far in, congratulations; you are one of few. Yet the task is not over. The girl will lie down and ask you to leave her be, as the tale she has told you has drained her bones of energy. Now, you must grab hold of the chain and pull. It detaches from the table easily enough, but the collar holds firm. Pull with all of your might, as the girl weighs more than it would seem.

She will scream and resist, as you drag her off the table and begin down the hallway, but pay her cries no heed. She will claw at the floor to the point her fingers are shredded, begging you to leave her be in her cell, and wailing at the cruelty you are showing by dragging her from her safe place. As you go further down the hall, chunks of flesh will be torn from her body as it slides against the floor, and her wails of anguish will pierce your very soul. Her tissues will be torn from her bones and leave a wake of carnage in your path, but you must reach the door at all costs, never letting go of the chain in your hands.

When you finally reach the exit, all that will be left is a skull and bent spine, covered with blood. Finally, the collar will spring open, freeing the ruined remains. To put the collar on your own self is to assure that you will never be moved again.

The collar is Object 405 of 2538. Though you try to build yourself a stronghold to save yourself from Them, you only construct your final grave.