You grit your foreign feeling teeth, and make your decision as quickly as your fear and body’s
reluctance to move allows. Pushing on, you feel sweat begin to form beneath your suddenly all-toothick pelt, despite the fact that the air around you isn’t all that hot. In a way, the moisture made it
easier for you to continue onwards, now sliding somewhat through the vent, making more progress
with time as the shape of the metal changes, and you get used to the strange pattern of motion that
Eventually, you came to a place where the vent capped of in a dead end. Luckily, however, there
was a grate to the side of the way, and you could feel the lightest of traces of fresh air against your
face as you craned your neck towards it, unable to see anything through the thick metal bars. This
appeared to be as far as you were going to go, and so, with little other choice, you reach out and try
to jimmy the grate away like you had done to climb in these vents.
Once you were somewhat successful in this endeavour, you wiggle your form through the gap your
hands make with some difficulty, scraping yourself painfully on the sharp edge clearly not designed
for contact with bodies.
As you right yourself, turning away from the partially broken grate from whence you had crawled,
you notice that the space around you to be dark in here, almost darker than it had been in the room
you had come from, but you could feel nonetheless that it was much bigger and open. Though,
perhaps this feeling only came from the absence of boxes and from having been in such a cramped
position for such a long time.
“You're here too.”
The voice coming out of nowhere caused you to jump with a fear unlike you had ever felt before.
Wheeling around in the dark, you lift your hands in an unsure way, trying your best to defend
yourself, but stagger back against the wall and the vent as you do so, and nearly fall over before
your eyes even find where the words had come from.
At first you saw nothing, in the relative darkness of the space, and your eyes strained to make out
even the slightest details, dilated through your terror. Then, something flicked like a switch, and
light flooded your eyes – though not any light from outside, but a light from inside, that stung even
the insides of your reflexively closed eyelids. Suddenly, vision just came to you, it was as simple as
that. The change hurt like hell, it really did, pain splitting through your skull like a crack of
lightning, almost causing you to stagger backwards all over again, but once you got over it, you
could finally see, now, though in a shade of greyish, muted colours. The corners of the room,
featureless and composed almost entirely of bare metal, the well-polished floor not unlike that of
the rest of the rooms you had already been in, and the single door at the end of the space.
However, out of all things, these were not the most interesting or urgent. That title belonged solely
to the single figure stood not far away from you to the front, not much taller than you, and not all
that large, either. The creature was strangely warped in its stance to seem somewhat like an animal
and bore a muzzle that trailed dark silver fur to a body clad in little more than scraps and tatters of
what had once been white cloth above yet more pelt. Its eyes were yellow and inhuman, but there
was no question that it was watching you, and intently so, staring across the space with earnest
Finally forcing yourself to speak, you gasp out. “What… what are you?” With all this stress, it felt
almost like you were going to have a heart attack any time soon, if there was another scare.
The creature tilts its head at you, seemingly intrigued. “You’re new, I see.” It holds out its…
hands... and in that moment you realise something. They look exactly like mine.
A new wave of shock comes over you, and though it is less violent than the last, it is none the less
horrifying. That’s what I look like?! Slowly, almost unwilling to believe it, you pat at your face all
over again, feeling your features slowly. It takes a while for you to collect yourself, during which
time the creature simply stands there calmly and stares, but when you eventually do, you are still
unable to speak in anything more than a creaky, weak voice. “What is this place?”
The creature shakes its head, turning slightly from you, almost as though it is uncomfortable with
the question. The movement allows you to see more of its body – the lean, bestial form that it takes,
leading to thick, digitigrade legs – and your eyes follow with unwilling scrutiny. “Well, that’s just it.
I’m as unsure as you are.” It gestures upwards to the invisible roof. “This place specifically is just
one of the unfinished rooms. Above, however, is where the Young live, and where things like us are
born.” After spitting out ‘things’, the creature’s tone darkens. “Then, when they’re done with us,
they leave us down here to observe us, see how long it takes for us to go crazy.”
Your jaw drops at this, but the creature gives you no time to respond, and beckons once more with
its strange, unfamiliar hands. “Come. You should meet the others.”
For a moment you hesitate as it turns and begins to pace away, but soon your resolve hardens. You
are here now, and there was no running away from what secrets this place had to show.
It was time you went and found out exactly what was going on here.
Written by Doppelfoxx on 11 August 2022
The end (for now)