Try the new AI-powered Infinite Story.


You try to play it cool. This could easily just be a test from Master Obreal. He could be testing your faith in his abilities as a leader. But he didn't know you were coming, so... was he just testing random people who stopped in? Who is guarding him right now?

Then again, if this is real, it means you're in trouble. You are sure STOP would have some agenda for you if this was real. Would you even be able to make it back alive to tell Obreal? You scale down the ladder. There's no way to tell.

When you step to the bottom your calves relax into their original positions. The stretch on the way down felt good. You hop in place to test them out and absorb the reverberations from the room. The room is dimly lit, small torches at two near corners and two far corners at the end of a hallway. Both sides of the hallway, however, are blanketed in darkness.

Paul clicks down the rungs behind you, lands, and says quietly, "Stay at the center of the hallway."

Paul begins his walking again. You really can't think of much else to do but to follow him. While you walk, you interest yourself with the walls you were told to stay from. Squinting, you can make out the shape of humans behind bars.

"Prisoners?" you venture, taking his STOP proposition a little more seriously.

"Guests," from Paul.

With silence except minuscule amounts of shuffling from the guests, you follow Paul to the end of the hall, where he opens a thick door.

This second room is completely different from the first. It is lit by a series of fluorescent bars powered by a generator. The room is filled with color: cloth and weapons and dark woods. In the center of the room is a large oval table packed full of fellow Guardsmen and even more strangers. Most notably, the room is loud with laughter and raised voices of excitement enough to make you cringe.

On the whole everyone is ignoring you. Even Paul leaves you and squeezes himself into the mass of flesh the oval table is wearing. There is a lot of yammer about a new generation and a cure.

And all doubt you had about being led to STOP has escaped you.

Soon a young man stands up and shouts until the room is silent. "Here's to a success!" Every man in the room shouts a reply in near unison "I'm going to keep this brief, because it's time to party a little." after pausing for laugher, he continues, "Let's give them a little breathing room, aye? And maybe a beer?" Again, STOP chuckles.

STOP members back away from the table. In the center, docile and calm zombies glance around themselves with what appears to be wonder. All three turn their head in the direction of whatever person is speaking the loudest or moving the fastest.

A pinching sensation climbs up your spine into your neck. This is STOP and they were touching zombies. You hand lifts itself from your side and quivers.