Object 54

The Holder of the File

In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. When you reach the front desk, ask to visit someone who calls himself "The Holder of the File". Should a look of pain and worry come over the face of the worker, you will be taken deep within the facility.

Beyond a myriad of twists and turns, far more than there should be in a building of this size, you will be taken to an old-style jail cell. Within will be darkness, and one single noise. The rasp of a file against metal. Should at any time the rasping stop, quickly turn and run. Run as far and as fast as you possibly can, and don't worry about taking the wrong path. Getting lost in the depths of this facility will be the least of your worries.

Should the rasping continue unabated, however, walk up to the bars and stick a hand into the darkness. You will feel an object placed in your hand. If it feels warm, drop it and fall to your knees in prayer. Pray you were fast enough, so that when you look up you will still be outside this cell. If you were too slow, an eternity of filing will never get you past those bars again.

Should the item feel cold, however, voice one question aloud in the cell and pull back your hand. The only question to receive an answer will be, "Which side are they on?"

You will feel the file in your hand begin to move. As it shreds your skin and wears through your bones, you must concentrate not on the pain but on your question. The file will rasp away your flesh and bone until nothing left of your hand remains. Should you make it through this ordeal without giving in to the pain, you will find the answer to your question in your mind. Your hand will be whole, and once more you will be outside the facility, a cold and rusty file clutched in your hand.

Many go mad with this knowledge; some use the file to repeat the process in an attempt to remove the words from their heads. If you manage to endure, you will find yourself among those at the reunion.

That file is Object 54 of 2538. It will smooth your way to the reunion, but cannot help you from there beyond.