Object 492

The Holder of Observation

In any city, in any country, take a seat anywhere that you can watch the public pass. You don't necessarily have to sit; you don't even have to stay in one place or do this in one sitting. Just carefully keep vigil over the swarms of people you come across. Eventually, you will come to notice that one out of many every two hundred people will be... different, for lack of a better word. You will not know how to describe this sensation, but if you are at all serious with your quest, you will learn to feel the difference.

When you are ready, approach one of these oddities. If this is the first Object you seek, you may have to ask this person to take you to the Holder of Observation. If you have taken at least one Object prior to this, however, this demand is unnecessary, as the person will already know what you desire. This person will lead you away; this is your last chance to turn back.

Once you are in an isolated area safe from witnesses, this person will glare at you intensely, and you will feel as though you are being pushed away from the person by an unseen force, but you must stand your ground. You will be in utmost agony as each atom is ripped from your body, the force of the glare eroding you away, but you must resist, or all will be for naught. Eventually, you will have completely disintegrated, what was once your body now just a group of isolated particles scattered around. Yet you will still be able to see.

You will be able to see everything in the universe; no side of any object is out of your range of sight. With your newfound omnipresence, seek out a peculiar clock tower suspended somewhere - anywhere - in the universe. The human mind was not built to be able to see everything at once, so it will take time to sort out one scene from the next, but you must hurry. You will have just one earth hour to lay your vision upon this Holder, or you will remain trapped in your present state, never again to enjoy the benefits of a physical body. Be wary, though, for you may accidentally see something your mind cannot handle; though your human incapability for true omnipresence will prevent you from instantly focusing upon these objects, it won't protect you from losing your sanity, which is all that you have left at this point.

Once you find it, focus in on the clock tower. Somewhere within its walls is a door marked by an eye. The rooms and hallway of this clock tower are constantly changing, so you must act quickly. As soon as you locate the door, shift your gaze into the room beyond, or it will instantly transport itself to a different part of the clock tower. If, at the time you enter, you have already used up more than three-quarters of your allotted hour (hope you've been keeping track of the time), give up now. You will need around fifteen minutes to interact with the Holder.

Behind the eye-marked door should be what appears to be a humanoid creature garbed in a black cowl. Look only at this entity from behind, as its face is one of the many things that can break your mind. The entity should feel your gaze and speak to you in your native tongue. It would do you good to pay attention, as this Holder is both wise and benevolent, a combination that you will rarely come across in your quest for the Objects. He will share with you everything that his billions of eyes have seen on every known planet with intelligent life in 14 dimensions, his memory dating back eight-six billion earth years. There is no way that your mind can comprehend all of this, and the cloaked figure will know, choosing to stop when you have heard enough.

If your hour has not been fully expended by this point, your vision will snap back to the alley in which you had disintegrated, and your physical body will reform within it. Once you are again material and you regain control of your limbs, you will notice that a badge which you have never seen before is pinned to the article of clothing closest to your heart (if you are not wearing any clothing - in which case, how did you even start your journey without being arrested for indecent exposure? - you will find this badge pinned through your skin over your heart). On the badge is a simple marking shaped like an eye.

You are now allied with one out of every two hundred people (as well as one out of every 200 members of every dominant extraterrestrial species, should you ever come to meet them). They cannot carry out your tasks, but they can provide you with almost any information that you desire.

This badge is Object 492 of 2538. Your time is running out; you'll need all the help you can get.