Level 421
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The level, as most see it.












































































































SURVIVAL DIFFICULTY:

Class unknown

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Level 421 is a uniform environment, occupied by one sole material in all conceivable directions an individual can face. Most never see the material the level is made of, yet constantly feel it encapsulating tightly around them. The weight of an infinite mass gyrating around their body in a light, almost ticklish sensation that constricts and weighs on their lungs. The effects of the material only become noticeable after the dread of the level has already set in; adding to the panic one feels when reality hits. When the panic sets in—and the movements of one's body disrupt the uniform environment—the level has already claimed them, and their life becomes another statistic to add to the thousands it has already tallied.


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An image of the level only possible through luck.

Description

Level 421 is an endless ball pit, one of infinite length, width, depth, and height. All wanderers within the level, as inaccurate of a term as "wanderers" is in this level, exist solely within the middle of an infinite array of plastic spheres. However, as the middle of Level 421 is as boundless as its non-existent perimeters, the distance from survivor to survivor is as equally infinite as the level itself. Suspending each unwilling participant of the level in an isolation that lasts as long as the survivors do.

Eternal in size, light from a hypothetical outside of Level 421 does not penetrate nor permeate where any survivors travel. Those who had flashlights, lighters, lanterns, or more anomalous emitters of light on their person prior to arrival are not only the individuals that will be able to see within Level 421, but also the only individuals that will be lucky enough to survive it. Despite this level being completely uniform in design, any source of light—no matter how small—provides context to what is entombing and wriggling around ones body. Providing a sense of knowledge and understanding of the environment where a sense of safety and security is lacking. Above all else, any form of light is pivotal to survival.

Air exists solely within the gaps between the polymer spheres, as well as within their perimeters. It is made of a composition similar to breathable atmospheres, though notably having a distinctly high concentration of carbon dioxide, and a lower concentration of oxygen. Whilst not a balance different enough to cause poisoning, the increased carbon dioxide has been noted to cause slight deliriousness in those that inhale it. However, these effects can be negated by breathing slowly, remaining steady, and keeping calm whilst traversing.

The plastic balls of the level, even when being contained in a boundless landscape, are tightly packed against one another. The density and packed nature allows encased people to swim slowly, using labored force to displace the order of the spheres around them and make slow, steady progress in a fruitless travel.


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exploration of the level.

As one traverses Level 421, pushing slowly and with more body strength than any one person would believe they would need for a landscape so seemingly simple, the feeling and scope of the landscape may begin to set in.

Full of unchanging, patternless colour, the land around survivors can feel as though it loops, or worse yet as though it isn't moving at all. The slow swimming often feels inadequate to survivors; almost as though there would be more to see if the speed of swimming could increase.

Survivors often find themselves trying to move faster, exerting more weight onto the ocean around them. Pushing faster with their arms, legs, hands, feet, and face, all in an attempt to reach greater distances. The faster pushing causes more of the plastic balls to displace around them, filling their ears with the hollow sound of bouncy plastic.

Upon speed yielding no results, survivors often find themselves either panicking or attempting to swim at a speed even greater than they already were before. No matter the option survivors pick, the panicking or increased speeds both cause the materials around oneself to subside faster, breaking the perfect equilibrium between the stability of the balls beneath survivors and their own balance often subsides.

When the equilibrium breaks, the survivor begins to fall, plummeting through the infinite depth. With nothing to grab, nothing to catch a fall, and with no change in material, individuals who undergo plummeting plummet forever. Lost to the untouched depth, figuratively claimed by the level.


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Stuck within the level.

Alternatively, the sane or the knowledgeable may choose to keep slow whilst attempting to swim across Level 421. These survivors may keep their head level, their movements sparse, and their energy perfectly conserved in order to properly navigate Level 421 without dooming themselves to fall for eternity.

Though the environment feels as though it unchanges for these survivors, the ones that follow the correct movements religiously stay afloat. Breathing may begin to get tough for these survivors as they begin to inhale all the sparse air around them.

As they slowly move, the plastic balls around them continue to disperse around their bodies. The same, continuous feeling of lukewarm polymers brushing lightly on one's skin and clothes. Eventually, however, something more substantial begins to graze one's lower limb. A longer, smoother, ciliated material, yet still one just as lukewarm as the rest of the level. By the time survivors even begin to notice though, the sensation is already over, and their travels resume.

Whilst the survivors press on for longer, similar sensations occasionally transpire. Individuals may pass them off as tactile hallucinations, or anomalous materials buried amongst all else. However, as the brushing-past gets more frequent, as do the sounds of more plastic balls subsiding.

Some survivors pause, only to hear the sound of movements persist. Regardless of reaction, many attempt to move once more. Whilst both arms try to persist, only one leg moves. The feeling of a cold, smooth material clasped around one's lower leg.


Unable to progress, the only sounds that follow are the sounds of more plastic polymer displacement from sources not from oneself. The sounds grow in volume, proximity, and in numbers, all whilst more cold skin envelops and cocoons you in place ever more. With every new organ that holds yet another section of one's body, one noise of shuffling ceases; only to then be replaced by two new ones.

Eventually, after one's whole body is constricted and restrained, the sounds of moving plastic spheres are replaced by a growing sound of static. The sound approaches slowly, only becoming obvious when it is the only noise one can perceive. As it grows closer, the hands grip tighter, sinking oneself deeper into the plastic Mariana's Trench.

Perhaps it is possible to wriggle free, to instead suffer the eternal fate of plummeting rather than the eternal fate of death. Ankles and fingers still slightly wriggle, the neck still tilts and turns, and the rapid, panicked breath indicates there's still enough room for movement. As the static grows, distorting and growling, you feel small parts of you becoming free.

First an ankle, then a palm, followed by three fingers on the opposing hand.


The grip of the ciliated flesh around oneself weakens as more of you gets free, able to shuffle with more force and vigour that eventually frees entire limbs.



As more of you is freed, the sounds of displacing plastic balls begin to reignite. Initially, one may believe the sound is of the ciliated flesh beginning to vanish.

But as the sounds multiply, as does the quantity of flesh that latches onto yours.




It becomes harder, yet not impossible, to escape. Only a wrist getting free. It feels enough to escape, use a free hand to pry off whatever one can…










. . .







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But it's already too late by then.



. . .



Entrances And Exits

  • This level is mainly accessed through ball pits scattered around Level 0, Level 3, and Level 853, as well as within designated play areas inside Level 283 and Level 458.
    • Sinking into these ball pits will feel tough and difficult, though it is equally unpreventable as soon as the immersing commences.
      • Select survivors reportedly hear the sound of static upon beginning to sink in, however, such reports remain unconfirmed.
  • Some speak of exits to Level 729, accessible only by noclipping through patches of plastic balls that are one uniform colour. Whilst such areas do exist in the level, doing such a thing would be almost impossible to do seamlessly.
    • Such an exit would also require one to have constant access to a light source, as blind-guessing where such a passage out would be without a source of illumination would be pointless and fruitless.
rating: +34+x

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