0: NEFX - Stroboscopic Visions into the World of Waste

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Harbinger Speaks

You’re in that part of your mind again, aren’t you? Too many unit rations before bedtime, I see. Well, let’s settle in while you're in deep sleep, shall we?

When you think about all that you endured in the various institutions you were shoveled into as they pertain to where you are today, is it any wonder you wander about your days in a kind of dazed shock? Do you not wonder at times if you can even truly think? And all the times they conveyed to you that you were within the core of high stakes doings, the be all and end all — where are any of them now, and what of the supposedly familial furor they made together, which they formally counted you as part of with a frightening simmering subtext of “or else”? You remember them well. They were the soldiers of thought-funneling. They were the compulsive disciplinarians. They were the begrudging trapped careerists. They were the liars. They were the standardized. They were the bullies. They were the fake friends. They were the unwitting prisoners. They were the smiley-faced backstabbers. They were the sneering peers. They were the dishonorable makers and meeters of higher-up-aggrandizing quotas. They were the desperate attempted harvesters and embodiers of human livestock. They were the ones who had it in for you from day one. They were robots, they were clowns, they were all that got you down. The iconic moment -- not the worst by far, but the one you always remember first — was when one of them pied you in the face. Everyone laughed. Even those tasked with protecting you. Some say the has-been brags and pontificates about what he did decades ago to this day, and maybe wants to do it again, barging into different places to speak of his exploits. But maybe that's just the start of it. This mental scourge you face in all of its ramifications, which seem to pile up year after year, has eaten, grown, and evolved across time and experience, far beyond the days of equation drills and paste. It just all started in these rooms and halls, which have come to be a subconscious symbol for all that has haunted you until now. And now, it will end in these places (or what fragments of them you may recognize as have been brought up, rearranged, and mapped onto the rough structure of your various debilitating thoughtforms). You see, you never really graduated. Oh sure, you got the requisite grades, attended the ceremonies, got the diplomas, and went on…But the unresolved tensions remain, and they’re stunting you terribly. Just the other day you bit the head off of a kid who is just like you were. Why, it is precisely because you went through all this, particularly in the way you did, that you just can’t graduate, can't get out of your OWN. ASS. You never really took stock of what it all meant, of how to transcend the fenced boundaries of it all — in part because that was never the purpose of these places anyway. Quite the opposite, actually. You were pinioned before your wings grew.

This is your chance to get it right, to cut the scourge off at the source, to wheel your own green mile, to trounce the archetypal figure (or two) of every lost one who tormented your spirit and the spirit of so many (for the same was once true of them too). This is your inner love letter to the education system you've wanted to write for so long, delivered to it with a hidden timed mailbomb. You will die a thousand deaths, yet you shall wreak a thousand more. When you get through and awake, you’ll be positively transformed. In each of these places you will need to retrieve a key (stepping fully onto its carrying platform to retrieve all the essence around it) and to step on the non-moving door floors to lift the platforms blocking the exit. After a few places you will need to throw a switch each time. Other different platforms will teleport you. You will want to use the overhead map built into your power wheelchair. Your spawning point will always have health to come back to, though you may need to step away from that point for it to come back. You will sometimes have to clear the path of enemies to proceed, even if it means staying near your base where there is safe harbor for the time being. Sometimes you can cross diagonally between tiles, though it is difficult. Keep all this in mind and make a note or screenshot of it if you must -- it won't be repeated. You can find the keys to your salvation — but even where you see them, you must navigate and overcome the logic of your various tortured thoughtforms in all their fatality in order to attain the keys and use them to escape. What matters in the course of this is not that you kill all those you find, only that you leave them behind, dead or alive. Whether you need or even simply want to kill any to do so is up to you — this time you won't be asked to clean up anything. Farewheels, dear one. PS: Don’t bother with the vending machines around here unless you like expired milk. I drank literally everything else in them. Sorry.

Harbinger Speaks