Object 496

The Holder of the Sought

Seeker, you have been searching for some time now. You have been in mental hospitals, laboratories, ancient libraries, ruins, different dimensions, and everything in between. All the while you have been searching, but more importantly, you have been doing as your name implies: Seeking.

Yet your presence hasn't always been welcomed, and often, your arrival is met with downright hostility. However, you keep seeking. Keep striving, going. Farther and farther you go, it becomes an obsession, a curse, and each Object brings you closer and closer to the eventual end of your seeking.

However, you yourself are never sought. You're never desired, called upon, or approached. The world sometimes feels cold, as you are the one always finding others, and sometimes, it feels as if you don't exist until you initiate it. Yet you will soon find out that you are more than just a Seeker. You are a part of a giant cosmic game, a player in a plan that you may never understand. This Object will not become available until you have been seeking for a while. How long? I cannot say. However, you will know when it does. Be prepared, though, you won't come across the Holder of the Sought on your terms.

You will randomly, and without warning, awake in a mental hospital or halfway house in some city in some country. Look around the desolate room, and realize it is decrepit. Rust is splattered across the room, trailed and dotted as if blood from a murder scene. Filth is everywhere, and covers your dirty, turned-orange mattress which rests on your ancient spring bed. Bars cover the window leading to an overgrown courtyard, which sits under a perpetually yellow sky. There is a steel door, with no knob or handle from your side, and the only mark is a little flap that slides you food twice daily by an unknown source. Night never falls, and the only noise you hear is the wind blowing in through the window, often carrying a weak dusty, and almost decaying, scent.

It is enough to make someone go mad. Stay strong though, keep with it. Days will turn to weeks and to months, and perhaps years. You will start to think you truly are mad, and question your sanity. Don't succumb to these feelings, for if you do, you will belong there, and never leave. Yet if you hold through one day it will pay off...

You will awaken to a knock at the door. As your eyes adjust, it will open to a nurse with a strange tall man. Although you see him clearly, it will be odd, as his features will seem blurred, and almost dreamlike. The more you stare at him, the less will be revealed. The nurse will leave, and in a slow, almost robotic manner, he will ask, "Are you the Holder of the Sought?"

If you are to answer yes, he will grab your arm, and tie a blue ribbon upon your wrist. You are now the Holder of the Found, yet no one will ever seek you, and the Object will drive you mad. Yet if you answer no, he'll ask other questions. He'll ask about the Objects you've acquired, the places you've been, and monsters you've fought. Keep answering, and with as much detail as you can, until he says, in the usual monotone, to "stop". He will then grab your arm, and tie a red ribbon upon it, and leave.

Days will pass, and soon you will be back to your usual routine. Try not to go mad again. One day, however, you will hear another knock. This time, a man with a black surgeon's mask will enter in scrubs, and signal you to follow him. Do not instigate conversation, don't make eye contact, just walk beside him. As you walk down the hallway, you will see barred prison cells. Inside, you'll see the familiar faces of some of the Holders you've come across. Some will be joyous and wink at you, some will ignore you. Others will reach out through the bars and attack you. Keep your cool, and just keep walking, and try to survive.

Soon, you will come to a room, which he'll lead you in. Inside will be what seems to be an operating room. There will be old dusty books, various surgical tools, and stains on the floor from blood, urine, and feces. Pictures of medical experiments and grotesque mutilations cover the walls. Somehow though, what should be disgusting to you feels quite homely, almost like the room you grew up in. It is almost as if this is where you belonged all along.

Eventually, the door will open again, and the man from weeks earlier will come in, escorting a series of six men around your age. Some will be short, tall, or average with different hair, eye, and skin tones. It will be what seems like a good cross-section of the population.

Motion for the first to come up to you. Ask him three questions that you have been asked through your great journey. Ask about his life, his family, his quest for the Objects. Anything. Whatever he answers will be wrong, and the man from earlier will turn to you and ask, "What will be his fate?" You have two choices to give. You can tell him to run, and never look back. If so, the man being questioned will flee, and never bother you again. You could also request for him to be tortured for his ignorance, and he'll be escorted to another room, from which you will hear the screams of his suffering.

After that, the next will come, and follow the same system, as will the next three. Each time you'll have the options of torture or freedom. You can choose for everyone to have the same fate, or mix it up. The choice is yours.

When the last comes up, follow suit and ask him the questions. However, he will give you answers pertaining to your life. He'll know anything, your pets' names, parents' hometowns, Objects you have possessed. Anything at all you ask, he'll know about you. After all this, take the ribbon off your arm, and hand it to him. Ask it comes off, a great burn will shoot through your hand, and become visible as a deep scar on your wrist where it rested moments ago. As he takes it, a great burden will be lifted, and you'll feel free of what seems like a curse. He shall thank you, and exit out the door.

The strange man will then approach you, and his face will finally come into focus. He'll smile at you, and look strangely familiar, but you cannot put your finger on it. He will then exit through the torture door, and the screams from earlier will resume.

Of the first five men that approached you, beware. Three are normal people like you are, where two are beings from worlds unknown. For every real person you sent to be tortured, his eventual release will leave him bitter, and prepared for revenge. He will forever hunt you down, and eventually, HE WILL FIND YOU, and you must kill him to escape. For every otherworld being you let run, they will mock your ignorance. They, too, shall forever seek you, yet they'll take a more demonic and monstrous form this time, and no matter how many times you fight them off, they will keep appearing until you complete your grand quest. These might be during the most inopportune times, such as in the middle of approaching a Holder, or during a time when you must be quiet and still. If a human is freed, he will be grateful, and perhaps may come across you again at a later time, and be of assistance to you. Each demon you send to be tortured will consider you their equal, and never bother you again. When you question them though, they all will appear human. Only through non-physical clues such as body composure and mannerisms may their identity show itself. Still, it is very hard to tell.

The man with the ribbon will cross your path again down the road. When? It cannot be said, but when you do, you'll know, for it will signal the start of your search for the Holder of the Found.

Your burn is Object 496 of 2538. It is a constant reminder of how it feels to be finally discovered.