Object 74

The Holder of the Mark

In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. When you reach the desk, ask to visit someone who calls himself "The Holder of the Mark". The receptionist will freeze, as though he has known this moment was coming for a long time and is afraid it has finally arrived. He will stutter and tell you there is no such man here, but be insistent. He will eventually yield and after looking around to see if anyone else is here, he will beckon for you to follow him.

He will lead you along corridors of increasingly smaller size, until you eventually have to stop. He will point you to a door at the end of a corridor so small you have to crawl to get to the end. It will be perfectly normal except for a large exclamation mark in the center and a smaller question mark on the doorknob. This is your last chance to turn away, and if you have the slightest hint of doubt in you I recommend you do so. If your will is strong, open the door gently and pull yourself through.

You will emerge in an ornate hall, covered with wall paintings depicting famous historical dictators and murderers, butchers, rapists, and serial killers. Do not linger on them, for the souls of the people reside in those pictures and the twisted hate of their life has been amplified in their death, waiting to reach out and rend you limb from limb, delighting in your slow and painful death.

When you finally reach the end of the hall, there will be a small wooden box with an insignia on it that is old and faded. You will feel a sharp tingle go up your spine as you behold this item and then a voice behind you will say: "Beautiful, is it not?" You must reply: "As the full moon." If he is not satisfied with your response, pray he doesn't make you one of his paintings and instead gives you a painless death. But if he is satisfied, he will say: "You ask?" You must say exactly: "How do we destroy them?" He will laugh and say he doesn't know, but then will simply state, "You're bound to think of something." You will then wake up in the nearest bathroom, your eye in excruciating pain. As the pain recedes, you will see that your pupil has now taken the shape of the mark on the box back in that room.

That mark is Object 74 of 2538. It will allow you to behold the ultimate truth. Whether or not the experience will be worth it is another matter.