Death: Purgatory

Level 1

I’m in a square room with four white walls and one door.  Inside there are two chairs — one orange and one blue.  There’s also a bed.

Why am I here?  How did it get to this stage?  You know what, I should just leave.  But… I should figure this out.  I need to figure this out.  Blue or orange?  I’ll choose: blue.

Time passes.

Maybe I should have chosen orange instead.  Why not play the villain for once?  I’m sure that way I’ll at least get some answers. 

More time passes.

Ok, that did nothing.  Maybe I’ll just sit on this bed.  Hmm… it feels comfortable.  I’ll just lie down for a sec.  I’m exhausted, and I’ve been here for hours.  I’ll just close my eyes for a few minutes…

Level 2

This room feels “warmer” than the previous.  It’s smaller and the lighting has a more orange tint to it.

“Hello sir, here’s a tray with breakfast.  And if you get bored, there are some magazines over here.  Someone will be with you shortly.”

Finally!  I’m starving.  Let’s see what magazines are here.  They’re a few years old but they’re still mildly interesting.  OK, I’ll just sit here on this bed and wait, I guess…

“Do you know why you’re here?”

“I… have some theories, but you’re the experts.  You tell me.”

Level 3

“Hey there!  I know it must feel weird being here.  The others here sometimes treat newcomers a bit “differently”.  Don’t take it personally.  I’m just going to do a neural scan on you.  Is that OK?”

“Uh… Sure.”

The large machine does its thing.  Loud humming and whirring noises emit sounds all around me.  It’s a little unsettling, but it’s all over in a few minutes.  A few minutes later, the man returns.

“Okay, so I reviewed the scans and there’s nothing physically wrong with you.”

“…Then why am I here?”

Level 4

I’m being escorted to a room at the end of the hallway.  

“You can shower and change clothes here.  There’s a towel, soap and shampoo over here.”

“Thanks.”

“We’ll see you in the morning.  Get some rest.”

“Sounds good.”

I follow orders, shower and change clothes.  Afterwards, I look out the window and spot some greenery and nature.  The first semblance of normalcy I’ve seen in days…

Level 5

I meet another individual.  He’s pessimistic and a bit dark, almost my complete opposite in many ways, but he’s also highly intelligent.  We share some thoughts on why we think we’re both here.

Later, I find out he’s been there for months and has not been progressing through the levels as quickly as I have… until the day we met.  Since then, he’s been improving dramatically.  Some of his family members even personally thanked me because I gave them “hope”.

I didn’t really do anything special…  All we did was talk.

In the following days, I mustered up the courage to talk to more and more individuals.  Trying to piece together why each of them are here.

Level 6

“We’re going to transfer you to another department.”

I must have struck a nerve.

“Uh, okay…  Can I at least say goodbye to my new friends?”

“No.  Get your things and come with us.”

I’m escorted to a new “division”.  This new place is filled with a lot more strangers.  It’s a little intimidating but I accept the challenge.  

I mean, what choice do I have?  I figured, if I want to get out of here permanently, I’ll have to use some “ingenuity”.

One by one, I talk to each stranger finding out why they’re here.  I even somehow befriended the toughest “bully” there, theoretically earning the rank of “Alpha”.  I mean, it’s “survival of the fittest“, right?  Why not aim for the top of the food chain?  I’ve always enjoyed challenges… Let’s see how far I can go.

At this point, almost everyone knows who I am and what I can do.  I’ve easily earned both the respect and admiration of the entire establishment.

I see individuals level up and leave but days go by, and for some reason I’m still here… trapped.  More strangers arrive, in an endless cycle.  How mind-numbingly frustrating!

Will this ever end?

Level 7

“We’ve been monitoring your progress and we’re satisfied with the outcome.  You’ve been an absolute pleasure to work with!”

The feeling wasn’t mutual.

“Uh… Thanks.  So I’m free to leave?”

“…Well, yes.”

What were they expecting? A thank you speech?!  I step outside, and never look back.  

Finally, freedom. 

*fade to white*

… So, what’s next?

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