Object 81

The Holder of Simplicity

In any city, in any country, go to any sizable school or university you can find. When you reach the front desk, ask to see "The Holder of Simplicity". Should the worker utter a single, piercing shriek, place her hands on her ears and close her eyes, you have come to the right place and should feel free to ask again. But, if she simply ignores you and writes something down, your life is doomed; you will instantly become completely aware of everything that has to happen for each action you make to occur, from stepping on an ant to blinking. After you ask the second time, the worker should instantly calm down and ask you to follow her.

She will lead you on a roundabout path, heading through the seemingly endless halls of the school. Count the number of right turns you make - after seven right turns, casually slip into the shadows and let the worker continue walking. Should you fail to do this, you will never get another chance to leave, and those endless halls will swallow you up forever.

If you succeeded in losing the worker, stick your hands in your pockets and look around for a bulletin board. There will be a morass of colorful announcements tacked to it, with an array of eye-catching pictures and descriptions of incredibly exciting activities. Do not be strayed by these - they are trying to hide the one you are looking for. Look for a plain white sheet of paper almost completely covered by the others. Take note of the room number, then look at the time of the activity it advertises. The date will always be today's, but if the time has already passed, then you are too late - they have caught you, and nothing you can do will keep them away.

If the time is later than what it is right then, start searching for the classroom. None of the wall-mounted directories are the same, and the numbering system is horribly random. You will likely never find the place, and will be lost searching for it among the endless halls while the hunters circle in.

If by some miracle you do manage to locate the room, ready a weapon and prepare yourself. If you didn't make it before the listed time, the door will slam and lock, and nothing will ever convince it to open for you again. If you make it in time, take the door at a run, weapon ready.

A heavily decorated biology classroom will greet you. The room's paint job is disgusting - rancid, vile colors drip freshly slathered from every surface. Posters line the walls, emblazoned with pictures of impossible, unholy creatures. Books in dark, lost languages lie scattered on the floor. Yet the room is empty - almost. At the far end of the room, a student sits hunched over one of the unspeakable creatures from the posters, frantically dissecting it with a long-bladed scalpel.

You must ask him the right question, or he will smash the creature aside and turn to find a new subject to dissect - you. At the top of your lungs, scream to him, "Why did it not happen then?"

The student will scream, horribly, and whirl around. Time will seem to slow, and in one second he will tell you the hours-long story of why it did not happen then, and all the things that have gone wrong because of it. When he finishes, the creature on the table will whirl up and attack him, tearing him to shreds in seconds. His calculator will fly from the melee - grab it quickly, but dare not to open it. With whatever weapon you have, target the thing's head and aim to destroy, or it will do the same to you. Whirl for the door - the rest of the class has arrived. They all brought their dissection kits today, but you've ruined their only subject - and now they want you to replace it.

Battle your way out of that classroom. The topography has changed. Where once endless, grotesquely painted halls stretched, bare concrete walkway stretches across a pit of flames to a steel door. Fight your way over there - do whatever it takes to get through that door. The moment you grab the handle, everything will turn white. Shut your eyes.

Count to five, then open your eyes again. You will be holding the handle of the locker room door at the last school you ever attended. Open it and walk into the locker room. Pull the student's calculator from your pocket, turn it on, and press the key labeled "Entry".

A number will appear. Toss away the calculator and find the locker with that number on the door. It will be unlocked - open it.

The whetstone inside is Object 81 of 2538. When used on any blade, that blade will never again grow dull, and nothing will be able to resist its bite.

Now take advantage of the locker room's showers. You definitely need one after this adventure.