Object 58

The Holder of Lies

In any city, in any country, go to any insane asylum or halfway house you can get yourself to. When you get there, walk up to the front desk and ask to see someone who calls himself "The Holder of Lies". The worker will nod cheerily, then get up and gesture for you to follow him. So will about seven other people in the area. Ignore them all - they strayed from the True Path, and now their only want is to bring others to join them.

Walk up to the desk and look under it. There will be a button, flashing rescue orange, labeled "In Case of Emergency". Press it twice, then jam the stool the worker was sitting on underneath it - this button is all that holds the door open, and you do not want it to slam shut on you.

Get up and turn around. There will be a brushed-steel door labeled "The True Path" in front of you. It is the one truth in this place. Ignore all the others; only the True Path leads to the liar.

Go through the door. You may well be driven insane by your position: walking on the ceiling of a hallway that leads in an impossible direction, on its side, painted in an eye-jarring and impossible color. Ignore the visions - the only thing that is true is the path beneath your feet.

You cannot shut your eyes at all here, lest you never manage to open them again. Endure the madness of your position, to say nothing of the sights that will come in a moment, and start walking. The hall's ceiling is tiled in red and white. Keep your feet on the red tiles or you will fall through, and from then on you will only have one purpose: to bring others to join you.

Eventually, after what seems like an eternity, you will find yourself in front of a plain wooden door. Open it and walk in.

You will find yourself in a 30's style office. A man in a black trench coat and a fedora hat is hunched over a pile of papers on the desk, muttering and scribbling. A gun sits on top of a paper-loaded bin labeled "In". Pictures line the back wall, showing the man in a number of places, but you'll notice some things in common about all the photos: one, the man never shows his face; and two, everyone in the photos other than the man appears to be in unimaginable agony.

Edge your hand toward the gun, but touch nothing - this man does not enjoy being disturbed. Steel yourself, then ask into the air, "Where was He when they gathered last?"

Grab the gun quickly, then fire at the man until you run out of ammo. If you don't, or if you miss, he will grab you and show you what his face really looks like. You do not want to see that - when you do, you will appear among the photos on the wall, and you will see why the others there were in agony.

However, if you succeeded, the man will slump over his desk in mid-lunge, dead. A single envelope will flutter to the floor. If you honestly want to know where He was, grab this envelope - the message inside will tell you. But the contents are extremely volatile, and you may find that your mind cannot handle the knowledge. For, while the envelope will tell you where, it will not tell you why. This is more than most can handle.

Don't try and read it now - you have no time. Drop the useless gun and run. Run as fast as you can manage, for without its guardian, the True Path is beginning to stray, and you do not want to be there when that happens.

When you see the steel door, lunge for it. If you were too slow, you will be trapped as a confused worker removes the stool, and you will be tortured endlessly until you agree to replace the man you killed. However, if you were fast enough, you will appear in the lobby, on one of the couches in the rest area.

Quickly, get up and run to the green armchair - the Object is calling, and there are others who want it as well. Throw the cushion off the seat.

You will have revealed a skeleton, twisted in a position of horrible agony. In his arms, he holds a book bound in navy blue and embossed with gold. The name is embedded in silver on the front - it's a long one.

This book is Object 58 of 2538. You have found His law, but it is entirely up to you if you should follow it.