Object 505

The Holder of Disease

Poor Seeker. You carry the worst, most damnable disease of them all; the ever-burning desire to reunite Them.

Do you believe in magic, my child?

Do you seek a cure for your illness?

Unfortunately, I can provide for you neither for these things. However, should you prove deserving, I can give you the next best thing.

When you know for certain that you are ready, go to the nearest hospital and tell the receptionist that you seek "the Final Cure". The receptionist should nod and motion for you to follow them. They will lead you to a set of chained double doors that none but the two of you seem able to see. They will unlock the chains. If at this point your heart falters, know now that this is the last chance you have to turn back with no penalty. Feel no shame in doing so, as I have no punishment in store should you realize you're not ready for my challenge. Come back once you've gained the necessary resolve to proceed.

Should you decide to proceed, know now that as soon as you cross the doors' threshold, you will instantly be infected with a powerful, incurable plague. What this plague is able to do to you depends on the actions you are about to take.

I have no long, convoluted halls filled with demons for you to trudge through. Indeed, all you'll find beyond those doors is an ordinary hospital room, empty save for a table with ten tiny glass vials resting upon it. Each vial will be filled with a clear liquid, but while they all look the same, they have very different effects when ingested.

Three of these vials are filled with a lethal poison that will kill you within minutes. Consider this the most merciful of the wrong choices you can make, as it will save you from suffering the devastating effects of the plague.

Another three vials are filled with ordinary water. With this choice, you effectively get the same results as if you'd simply walked away after entering the room; in about a day's time, the plague will take full effect, striking you with the most severe illness you've ever suffered through. You will vomit blood for hours on end. You will hardly have the strength to lift a finger. You will hallucinate the most disturbing scenes imaginable as the disease starts to attack your brain. At this point, all you can do is wait for the plague to finally take your life, though how long that will take I cannot say.

Three of the remaining four vials will have a diluted healing potion in them. This potion will reduce the strength of the plague inside you but will not remove it. Despite sounding benign, this is actually the worst choice you could make. Because the plague will always be inside you, you will suffer the most excruciating pain imaginable for the rest of your days. The potion will see to it that all manmade wounds are healed within seconds, making suicide impossible. All you can do is wait to die from natural causes, suffering every day while you do so.

The final vial, however, contains the Objects you seek; the aforementioned potion in its full strength. Not only will a single drop of this potion eradicate any trace of the plague in your body, it will also cure any physical affliction you may be suffering at the time. From this point on, the potion is yours; just be sure to use it sparingly, as the vial only holds a few drops, and I'd hate for it to run out on you when you need it most.

Choose carefully, Seeker; the minute you touch a vial, the other nine will vanish on the spot, making second-guessing worthless. Once you make a choice, you're stuck with it. However, don't think I'm leaving this all up to chance; indeed, while it will be a blind choice for an ordinary person, the perceptive Seeker will be able to spot the subtle difference that separates the Object from the imposters. Will you?

The healing potion is Object 505 of 2538. If only physical illness were all you had to worry about.