Super Almond Water
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PART I: EGO

M.E.G. Interview Log Excerpt, Entity 440


Interviewer: Nick Kevorkian
Interviewed: The Historian
Foreword: Nick Kevorkian requested to interview The Historian as part of his ongoing research on Almond Water.
historian-interview.jpg

As photographs cannot be taken in Level 718, a sketch of the interview was produced by Gabby Bavitz.

<Begin Excerpt>

Nick Kevorkian: What is Almond Water?

The Historian: The liquid you call "Almond Water" is a common fluid found throughout The Backrooms. Chemically, it is a solution made up, primarily, of water with H₂O composing an average of 94.3% of the solution by volume. Another 5.4% contains glucose, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and various ionic electrolytes, particularly chlorine and cyanide. Finally, roughly 0.3% of the solution is made up of serum albumin, globulin, and fibrinogen, proteins commonly found in the blood of vertebrate life. However, you know that already. You have studied Almond Water under a microscope, and you know its contents by heart — That is not what you really meant to ask. You wanted to ask why Almond Water is so common in The Backrooms. You wanted to ask why Almond Water has the effect it has despite its mundane chemical composition. I know of your obsession, your hunger for knowledge, but you can only get the answers to those questions if you agree to never leave the level.

Nick Kevorkian: Is that so? And what exactly makes those questions so important that you can't tell me the answers without me joining your Silent Monks?

The Historian: We cannot tell you the answer to that either, lest you egree to never leave the level.

Nick Kevorkian: Hm… A shame. Thank you for your time.

<End Excerpt>

The Eleven Eagle


Beloved Pet Chimp, Mo, Passes Away Suddenly in Base Alpha

mo.jpg

Rest In Peace

It comes with heavy hearts to announce that Base Alpha's beloved mascot, Mo, has passed away. Mo was first found in Level 18 by M.E.G. Exploration Team Alice. It's not every day that M.E.G. members come across a baby chimpanzee that's perpetually soaked in motor oil and certainly not every day that M.E.G. members come across one friendly enough to take back to Base Alpha with them. Mo was really one of a kind. Although no one could ever truly understand what was going on in that wet, hairy head of his, many members of base Alpha felt a real connection to Mo; he was truly one of us.

One M.E.G. member, James Carveth recalls Mo fondly. "I remember the first time I met Mo. He went up to me and gave me a big hug, getting oil all over my clothes. He ruined my favorite pair of pants. I tried putting them through the washing machine about a dozen times before I just had to leave those jeans for dead and accept that the oil stain would never get out. Mo sure was a funny monkey."

Gabby Bavitz, another resident of Base Alpha, says, "Like everyone, Mo had his ups and downs, though I'd like to think mostly ups. I sometimes wondered what it felt like to be an ape trapped in a world of concrete halls instead of the wild, but I got the feeling that Mo never minded. We'll all have to take some time to recover from his death."

Last Tuesday, Mo's body was found in his favorite room at base Alpha, drained of blood with large parts of his head and chest completely missing. The cause of death was ruled to be natural causes, and Mo was buried on Level 18, near where he was originally found. Dozens of M.E.G. members attended his funeral. Mo will truly be missed.

Inconsistencies About Almond Water in the Historical Record

By Nick Kevorkian

I have been studying Almond Water carefully for some time now. Unfortunately, many of the things I would like to understand about it has led me to dead end after dead end. I don't know why it's so consistently prevalent, and I don't know why it has the effect it has — I know what it's made of, but that has only led to more questions than answers. Throughout this search for information, I have found some interesting things about Almond Water's representation in the historical record.

The following is the first known mention of Almond Water that I've been able to find. It's a chat log from an Office Terminal on Level 4.

[JackalOfSpades]: The water in the coolers is really tepid, ironically. It’s safe, though, as far as I can tell, but if you smell almonds, don’t drink it.

[Bart0nius]: shit.

[ClassicHopper]: Bart0nius? are you okay?

[Bart0nius]: i’m fine now, i passed out for a bit. so yeah, not gonna risk the water anymore.

[ClassicHopper]: sounds like a good idea

[ClassicHopper]: best of luck

Curiously, this quote implies that it's somehow harmful to drink. According to what I've been able to find, Almond Water was considered harmful to drink for a very long time, with its healing properties only coming into effect when it was poured on wounds. At some point, however, this changed: all current documents list Almond Water as being safe to drink.

My current hypothesis is as follows: I believe that the chemical content of Almond Water changed. From what I can gather, this shift of effect over time corresponded with the described taste shifting from that of "bitter almonds" to "vanilla". I believe that the original almond taste that the liquid gets its name from came from large amounts of cyanide contained within; this would explain the effects when drunk. Over time, however, this chemical content may have shifted to the relatively low cyanide content that we see in Almond Water today, completely eliminating that original effect. Of course, there are no known scientific processes that would cause the cyanide content of samples from across The Backrooms to all uniformly lower.

Just another question to pile onto the mystery of Almond Water, I suppose.

M.E.G. Internal Report: New Level Domain Expeditions

exact-concept.jpg

Photo taken by Nick Kevorkian after accidental entrance to Level Domain.

Recently, a new Exact Concept Zone was discovered in Level Domain after M.E.G. member Nick Kevorkian accidentally triggered a, at the time unknown, Level Domain Key that took the form of a chimpanzee soaked in motor oil residing in Base Alpha. It's believed that the Exact Concept Kevorkian was imagining when he unwittingly used the Level Domain Key was "Information", leading him to enter an entirely undiscovered Exact Concept Zone. After several hours on the level, Kevorkian fell asleep in the Exact Concept Zone of "Information", transporting him to Level 906. Unfortunately, part of the key was destroyed in the process, and Kevorkian has requested the manner in which the chimpanzee died be withheld from the general public due to concerns of judgment from personnel working at Base Alpha.

Prior to Kevorkian's journey to Level Domain, the level was deemed to be of little scientific interest. It was generally not worth the danger posed by its unpredictable and poorly understood properties, and hence remained largely unstudied. Although John Kassidy's experiments in the level proved that it was, in fact, possible for concepts in the level to manifest in reality, this property of the level is incredibly unreliable and dangerous, and the projections created by interacting with the level's Complex Concept Intersections do not seem to be physical, only allowing for observation. However, information can be transferred without physical matter, so the M.E.G. has decided to launch another expedition to the level to determine additional information. This expedition is designed to be a proof of concept, and Nick Kevorkian, who has volunteered to lead this expedition, will be instructed to enter the level and gather the desired information, before making a hasty retreat back out in order to avoid unforeseen complications.

The expedition plan is as follows:

  1. Due to the fact that Level Domain Keys can only transport one person at a time, and we only have a single Key Fragment in our possession at this time (the partially destroyed chimpanzee body), Nick Kevorkian will be the only M.E.G. member going on this expedition.
  2. Kevorkian will enter Base Beta with a standard M.E.G. survival pack and a packet of sleeping pills.
  3. Kevorkian will touch the Key Fragment and focus on the exact concept of "Information", entering Level Domain.
  4. Kevorkian will use the transversal equation to travel to a Complex Concept Intersection containing the answer to several control questions written on pieces of paper. Kevorkian is directed to improvise in this process to determine the best way to gain information from the level.
  5. After testing the control questions, Kevorkian will attempt to gain the answer to the question, "What is the Backrooms?".
  6. Once this has been satisfied, Kevorkian will take a sleeping pill and lie down to sleep in the Exact Concept Zone, presumably exiting into Level 906, where he will ask Lady Blanche to transport him back to Base Beta.

After this expedition has been successfully undergone, we can look into using Level Domain as a source of information in the future.

M.E.G. Interview Log Excerpt, Overseer Kat


Interviewer: Nick Kevorkian
Interviewed: Overseer Kat
Foreword: Nick Kevorkian requested to interview Overseer Kat for her historical perspective as part of his ongoing research on Almond Water. Overseer Kat usually does not accept visitors, but Kevorkian was able to obtain special permission from Overseer Andrew.
kat.jpg

Overseer Kat

<Begin Log>

Kat: I am told you wanted me to tell you the history of water?

Nick Kevorkian: Almond Water, but yes, that would be wonderful.

Kat: It is not easy to weave the eons of memories I have seen into a complete tapestry, but I will try.

Nick Kevorkian: Go on.

[Kat points at a large birch tree to her left.]

Kat: Do you see this tree?

[Kevorkian nods.]

Kat: It looks still. You could visit that tree every day for years, and it would always look the same. But I have lived in this place for long enough that I remember the day it first sprouted; I remember when it was so much smaller and how it changed. So, even though it looks still now, I know that it is moving; that I will come back in a century, and it will be an entirely different beast but still look as still as before. Our world is like that tree: it changes so slowly that we cannot see it with the naked eye, but it is changing all the same.

Kat: When I was born, there were no mazes of concrete and rebar, no endless hallways of yellow wallpaper. Our world looked a lot more like this forest. This was because on the Surface things were much different. And as the Surface changed, so too did the mirror we live in.

Kat: But the mirror reflects more than just the light it takes in. It sees much more than what our eyes can comprehend, and its lens distorts what we cannot see until those distortions become the new reflection, just as concrete as anything that came before it. And moving still, independent of the world it reflects.

we-keep-our-mirrors-broken.jpg

An imperfect reflection

Nick Kevorkian: What does that mean, exactly?

Kat: I apologize. My mind tends to wander when recalling this much. That all is to say that the water was not always what it is today. It has taken many forms throughout my lifetime. I have seen it as burning magma bubbling from deep in the earth, as breathing moss, flowing over rocks and lumber, and most recently as the very water we drink.

[Kat pauses, listening to the wind]

Kat: There is something listening to us that does not belong here.

[She pulls out an ornate knife and throws it at the birch to her left]

[The knife flips end over end and embeds itself into the trunk, skewering the neck of a small humanoid creature that had been standing camouflaged against the bark]

[As the creature dies, skin fades to a soot black, and green blood drips onto the leaves]

Nick Kevorkian: The fuck was that?!

Kat: Pay it no mind. It seems old ghosts are coming back, but it has no importance to our current story. It does, however, mean we will need to cut our conversation a little short, so let me leave you with one final word.

[Kat pulls the knife from the bark of the tree, and the creature falls to the ground]

cutthebirch.jpg

A cut in the birch

Kat: When I next visit this tree, it will have grown more, but I will still be able to see the wound I just gave it. The gash in its bark has altered the trajectory of its growth fundamentally, but the tree still continues on its current trajectory more or less. But if I cut the entire tree down? That would certainly change things in unpredictable ways. The tree's roots wind around so many more places than we could ever know, and we would not be prepared for the consequences such an action could have.

Nick Kevorkian: What does that mean, exactly?

[Kat sheathes the knife back into her belt]

Kat: It means that though you have the power to alter nature, do not be surprised if nature responds in turn. Trust me, if there is any lesson I've ever learned in my long life, it's that.

<End Log>

PART II: SUPER EGO

Level Domain Expedition Results

Concept Result
The color of the sky, written on a piece of paper. A piece of paper containing the word "azul".
The color of the sky, written on a piece of paper in English. A piece of paper containing the phrase "No inherent color. Perceived colors often range from light blue to dark grey but is highly variable depending on how light is refracting through it."
Martha Washington's last name, written on a piece of paper in English. A piece of paper containing the phrase "She's dead, Jim. What does it matter what name you use for her? Oh, alright. Washington; maiden name Dandridge and previously Custis after her first marriage".
The answer to "1 + 2", written on a piece of paper in English. A piece of paper containing the phrase "three 3 three three three 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 three"
A description of the Backrooms, written on a piece of paper in English. A piece of paper containing the phrase, "A place where it's nothing but the stink of old moist carpet, the madness of mono-yellow, the endless background noise of fluorescent lights at maximum hum-buzz, and approximately six hundred million square miles of randomly segmented empty rooms to be trapped in."
A detailed description of the Backrooms from a perspective containing information not known by its inhabitants, written on a piece of paper in English. See attached document.

Daedos, known in some early scientific literature as "The Backrooms" for the name given to it by several semi-sapient parasitic cultures that reside in its Crust, is the single largest living organism in the known higher multiverse, though it is outclassed in size by several deceased organisms, such as The Great Ring, Antivoid, P, and GOD. The organism has been determined by memetic markers to be a gargantuan meta-clonal colony that takes up uncountably infinite 3rd-dimensional space and approximately 123024 azulaks of 5th-dimensional space, possibly extending farther into imperceptible higher dimensions. Its continued expansion is owed to its self-replication process wherein it absorbs memetic information that is brought into it and incorporates that memetic information into replications of its memome, allowing it to grow by creating knots containing infinite physical representations of absorbed concepts.

The 3rd-dimensional Crust that makes up Daedos's outer shell is located entirely within a spatial-well known as The Stack. The Stack's spatially anomalous nature has allowed spatially infinite knots that contain repetitions of similar structures to coexist within the same dimensional area without being separated by 4th-dimensional space. Additionally, in between these knots are a series of voids that allow the knots to expand in 3rd-dimensional space without entering the spatial area of another knot, with few exceptions. This abnormal spatial arrangement is believed to be what has allowed Daedos to attain the unusually long survival it has attained for an organism of its size.

Extending out of The Stack and into 4th- and 5th-dimensional space is the poorly understood main section of Daedos, known as The Goop. The Goop is a 103024 azulak large 5th-dimensional structure composed almost entirely of abstract memetic material with scattered vacuoles of concrete space, the most massive of which being the central Core. Due to its extension into the 4th and 5th dimensions, The Goop and The Core are incredibly poorly understood but are believed to play an integral role in the structural and metastructural integrity of the organism as a whole and the self-replicating nature of the organism's crust.

For most of Daedos' known history, it took the form of a primarily undefined mass containing snippets of incompatible and contradictory concepts that were believed to have been absorbed from nearby universes, as well as from virtual meme-antimeme pairs created in conceptual fluctuations. This changed, however when The Stack collided mildly with the universe U-749690, and exchange of matter and concepts began occurring between Daedos and U-749690, as well as U-749690's surrounding quantum alternates. This caused Daedos' Crust to take on the conceptual ideas found within the minds of U-749690's semi-sapient life forms, as well as the proliferation of those lifeforms within Daedos' Crust that we see today.

Within the Crust of Daedos are a number of microbiomes containing many different types of specialized cells and micro-organisms that act symbiotically to maintain complex and poorly understood systems of homeostasis within the organism. In addition to these symbiotic micro-organisms, the crust is home to an invasive species of semi-sapient parasitic organism from U-749690, called Etinil, which are particularly of note due to the lasting ecological impact they have caused to Daedos. It is unknown for certain what the existence of the Etinil means for the continued survival of Daedos, but some scientists have theorized that they will inevitably bring the death of Deados due to the damage they have accrued to its homeostatic systems. It is believed that at the current time, Daedos has been rendered incapable of developing new knots in its crust at the rate that they die, and further diversions from the state of homeostasis will lead to unpredictable effects to the organism as a whole.

M.E.G. Interview Log, Entity 440

Interviewer: Nick Kevorkian
Interviewed: The Historian


<Begin Log>

Nick Kevorkian: I'll keep it short because I don't want to waste any of my time ration. Will my plan work?

The Historian: It will work, but it will have consequences beyond what you are prepared for.

Nick Kevorkian: Oh, and what consequences are those?

The Historian: We cannot tell you the answer to that either without you agreeing to never leave the level.

Nick Kevorkian: Why?

The Historian: As harmful as the lies you plan on spreading will be, it will be much less damaging for you to feel the consequences of your actions than for you to learn to rely on us to tell you when it is safe to warp reality with your lies.

Nick Kevorkian: Why do you hate lying so much?

The Historian: We do not hate. We simply know that some things will not be constructive to humanity as a whole, and lying is one of them. Lies are alive, in a way. Not literally by scientific definitions, but they operate on a level similar to that of a virus, invading your brain and controlling you into spreading it to others to increase its rate of infection in much the same way that a simple virus hijacks a cell to produce more copies of itself. You may think you are accomplishing something great, but the infection will spread beyond your control.

Nick Kevorkian: You know everything, so you know I'm doing this for the greater good.

The Historian: There are no good intentions. There are simply good results. Like all humans, your goals are fundamentally selfish. You desire what you see as best for humanity, but only because your brain has been programmed to give you positive emotions when you help others. You do not desire the greater good. You desire the emotions you will feel if you're the one who creates that greater good, and while those emotions may produce a positive outcome in many situations, it's currently making you short-sighted. You refuse to let go of an opportunity to be humanity's savior, and it will be your downfall.

<End Log>

The ENTITY Manifesto


en·ti·ty
/ˈen(t)ədē/
We are ENTITY.
noun
1. That which has a distinct existence as an individual unit. Often used for organizations which have no physical form.
The human-centric worldview has infected our society and destroyed the lives and minds of not just non-human beings but all of us. We exist with a single purpose: to dissolve the perceived boundaries between "human" and "entity" and improve conditions for all living beings. If you agree with this purpose, then you are ENTITY.
2. The existence of something considered apart from its properties.
Our methods are apart from who we are. Individuals who exist within ENTITY are encouraged to achieve our goal with whichever methods they personally find to be appropriate. It is results that matter, and no matter how large or small your contributions to the movement are, you are ENTITY.
3. Anything about which information or data can be stored in a database; in particular, an organized array or set of individual elements or parts.
We know what you've done to those you call "entities". If that sentence does not strike fear into your heart, then you are one of us, but if it does, then you will see your world crumble around you at the righteous hand of those who value lives beyond their own existence.
4. The state or quality of being or existence.
We do not succumb to the mind sickness of increasingly specific labels. Some divide those who they label as "entities" into boxes, such as "hostile" and "peaceful", and reduce them simply to a collection of numbers and letters that define their existence. There is no "good" or "evil". There is simply complex and nuanced beings who deserve a chance at respect.
5. A spirit, ghost, or the like.
There are those who oppose the work of ENTITY, and while our allies are plentiful, we must be careful who we trust. We will strike loudly with exploding fires of change, but then we must retreat back into hiding. We will elude capture for our own survival and multiply through underground channels until it is safe for us to emerge.
6. An alien lifeform that has no corporeal body.
We have no leaders. We have no central organization. We have no gatekeepers. We simply exist as a fluid movement, tides flowing over the sick shore with no conductor needed to guide our triumphs.

We are ENTITY.

All of us are ENTITY.

Audio recorded from the office of Ace Troth, head of M.E.G. Base Beta


<Begin Log>

Ace Troth: So, what exactly am I looking at?

Nick Kevorkian: My new theory about Almond Water and the backrooms as a whole.

Ace Troth: Explain.

Nick Kevorkian: Well, from what I've gathered, the Backrooms changes over time, and those changes are reflections of people's thoughts. Which means that, in theory, if we can convince enough people to believe something is true, we should be able to manifest it.

Ace Troth: And how do you know that, exactly?

Nick Kevorkian: Well, I don't for sure, but I plan on testing it, and by the nature of it, any test needs to be on a pretty big scale. So, my plan is that since we have concrete evidence of Almond Water changing over time, we convince as many people as possible that Almond Water has morphed into something more powerful, let's call it "Super Almond Water", and see if the properties of Almond Water change to match.

Ace Troth: Kind of a stupid name.

Nick Kevorkian: We'll workshop it later. The point is that this is kind of risky, but if it works, it'll be huge for us.

Ace Troth: Do you know how hard it'll be to get the Overseers to let us spread misinformation? That's against everything the M.E.G. stands for.

Nick Kevorkian: The M.E.G. stands for more than just the truth, and if they can't see that, then don't bother to get their permission. This has the potential to change everything.

Ace Troth: Hm. I'll see what I can do.

<End Scene>

The white lily stares carefully at the closing door, catching one last glimpse of the man exiting before the curtain drops.

The man attached to the flower looks down, reviewing his lines and mumbling to himself. "Ace Troth. Not my favorite part, but it's a living. The dialogue's a little shaky, but the story's alright. Actors trying to be directors… An interesting concept, but it's been done before. ┐( ̄ヘ ̄)┌"

Audio Recording of Object 77 Appearance


Quinoa: Hello and welcome to Episode 100 of "Talking With Quinoa." Do you think God or Darwin or whatever's out there in this cold universe of ours will ever forgive you for your sins? I don't!

Quinoa: I actually got a phone call from YHWH the other day. He told me he was going to beat me to death for eating more bowls of soup than is normally considered reasonable. But… bowls of soup taste so good! I love the way the soup juice dribbles down my face whenever I take a bite out of the shell. Yum!

Newkirk: Ahem.

Quinoa: Right! Today is a very special episode. We're here in the studio interviewing world-renowned chef Peter Newkirk.

Newkirk: Author, actually, but thank you, Quinoa. I'm actually here promoting my new non-fiction book, "More Human Than I". Some have credited it as contributing greatly to the deconstruction of the binary social relation between human and entity in our society, but I try to be humbler about it. I think that it's simply common sense that the pedestal we put humans on as somehow special is completely arbitrary when you consider that we're more of an invasive species than any so-called entity in the Backrooms, and I'm just glad people are waking up to that method of thinking. I mean, even the labels of "human" and "entity" exist solely on account of and for each other, and by resolving the dialectic between those two labels, we can see that humans are just as "entity" as any other life in the Backrooms.

Quinoa: You know, I've always considered myself to be the modern-day Barrack Obama. I don't know who that is, but people compare me to him a lot.

Newkirk: Is that a question?

Quinoa: Yes.

Newkirk: Oh.

Quinoa: Well, that's about all we have time for today. Remember to follow your heart, everybody!

M.E.G. Announcement: Super Almond Water

A recent and unexplained shift has changed Almond Water from a nutritious drink that maintains physical health to a powerful panacea capable of potentially healing any wound or illness, physical or otherwise, and exterminating any hostile entities it comes into contact with. This new form has been dubbed "Super Almond Water". Analysis by M.E.G. personnel suggests that the effect is currently muted but will go into full effect over the next few weeks. Wanderers who are suffering from anything of any kind are encouraged to begin taking Almond Water daily over the next couple weeks and report its effects to your local M.E.G. Base. This discovery could change everything for us, so it is incredibly important that you spread the news of Super Almond Water to as many people as you can. We are witnessing how powerful a glimmer of hope can be.

EagleSD.png
M.E.G. - Bettering Humanity

PART III: ID

Audio Recording of ENTITY Meeting in Level 18


Unknown: "Level 18: safe, secure, minimal entity count." Did you know that until very recently, it was impossible to label a level as "safe" unless it had "minimal entities"? Does that make sense to you?

[Members of the crowd yell out "No!"]

Unknown: The idea of plastering the number of entities on a safety rating makes me sick. The human-supremacist view is baked into the very structure of the Database and everyone who contributes to it. The M.E.G., our supposed heroes label themselves the "saviors of humanity". But what about those who don't fall under their rigid definitions of a normal "human"? I think we all know how much saving would happen, then.

Unknown: I brought you here to this level today to show you something. In front of you is a piece of ground labeled with the grave of a peaceful being who once lived in M.E.G. Base Alpha. His name was "Mo", and he was a wonderful soul who brought joy to all those he interacted with. A few weeks ago, he passed away under what the M.E.G. labeled as natural causes. His funeral was held on this level believed to be his place of origin. I have dug up the shallow grave where his coffin rested for a reason you will soon understand.

[The unknown speaker can be heard moving around something heavy and wooden.]

Unknown: Empty. Do you know why this coffin is empty? We found Mo's body in a storage room at Base Alpha. It was never buried in the coffin.

[The unknown speaker can be heard tearing back a sheet. The crowd gasps in shock.]

Unknown: Does this look like natural causes to you? Does this look like an accident? Leaked M.E.G. correspondence revealed that this being was used as a tool to access another level. Today the M.E.G. released an announcement claiming they've discovered a way to use Almond Water to "exterminate hostile entities". So, let me ask you, which is a more hostile entity, the poor being whose body I now hold in my hands or the monsters who slaughtered him?

[The crowd begins yelling.]

<End Log>

Deep inside the Goop, concepts and anti-concepts form and deform, and for a brief moment, a piece of chaos coalesces into the form of a lamb and a skeleton.

"Petya," the lamb begins, "Have you heard the Zen Buddhist koan about the cow?"

The skeleton does not reply. It's already dead. It's been dead a long time.

"I was raised Gnostic, so forgive me if this isn't perfectly accurate, but I'm told the koan is a phrase that first seems to be absurd, but by focusing your meditation on the phrase, not on understanding it but becoming it, you can find some insight there."

"The phrase is thus: 'On big island live only one cow'. Seems queer, no? I mean, it's not even grammatically correct. But grammar is not meaning. If I presented you with a map that has each country mixed up and shuffled, you would not throw the map away for lack of accuracy. You would wonder what world I had seen to possess me into presenting that map as the truth."

"It is specifically by freeing itself from the control of the system of grammar that the koan of the cow finds its beauty, for the confusion caused by such syntactical play frees up the unconscious mind while the conscious is busy decoding the symbols in front of it."

"So let's play at decoding. It is not 'a big island'; it is not 'the big island'; the article is left off because it is something deeper than that: the fundamentally archetypal concept of 'big island' that has been passed through the collective unconscious of humanity in myths, stories, and dreams. The choice of 'live' instead of 'lives', too, is important because it is one cow, but it is: one. The cow is not just cow, but all that ever is or was."

"And one day the you will understand that. You are the cow. You are the island. You are alive. And you are one."

Somewhere, far away, a cow takes in its first breath of air, though chronologically, it has been breathing for a very long time, and in between two eternities of silence, the skeleton speaks for the first and last time: "To-o-o-o bbbbbbe honest, 👁 n ever quighght liked the taste ov bananana laffy taffy."

"Aye," the lamb replies, "I can sympathize with that point of view."

The lamb continues: "In 1946, Jorge Luis Borges wrote of an apocryphal map of the territory of a lost empire. This map, he said, was built with such exactitude that it reached a 1:1 scale, but as the empire fell, the map was no longer maintained, and the decaying corpse of the facsimile was all but abandoned, derelict except for the occasional beast or beggar that found shelter in its rotting paper walls."

"I think this is the fate of all simulacra: all meaning slowly being squeezed out by the incestuous process of copying copies of copies until what little worth once was is spread far too thin to mean anything. It's strange to consider the lineage of Disneyland. It's a representation of reproductions of reproductions of fables and fairy tales that were once meant to represent real life many generations ago. But that life it represented has come and gone, the meaning dissolved into a hollow nostalgia trap, designed perfectly in a lab so that every coming generation feels the same nostalgia for the empty culture that was shoved down their throat by their parents who, in turn, ate the same corporate slop."

"I will never be able to taste the pure Gros Michel banana that isoamyl acetate shallowly tries to recreate because we killed it long ago. In our greed for unified chemical perfection, we slowly bred out the diversity of the fruits mother nature had made for us until they were all wiped out by a single disease. There truly is something sick about the way these empty simulacra are the closest we have to an original we can never get back. So I hold no judgment to those who cannot stomach the taste."

Dear M.E.G. Overseers,

madeline.jpg

Madeline

I have attached with this letter the last photograph I ever took of my sister, Madeline. Although her face looks unassuming, there's courage behind her eyes. One week ago, under M.E.G. orders, my sickly sister was forced to drink the new and improved "super" almond water as a cure for her ailments. She cried and cried and told me she couldn't stomach it. That she could only barely taste the faint hint of cashews over the metallic taste of her own blood. When I was at her bedside last night, she told me there was a burning in her skull. That was the last thing she ever said.

I haven't had any almond water since last week, but I can still feel my neural circuits rusting as my brain shuts down, but even a dying fool like me can see what you've done. You said, in your first report, that almond water could "exterminate" hostile entities. I've lived a very sheltered life in Eleven, and before today I didn't think I'd ever come into contact with a hostile entity, but now I understand. Everyone around me is dying, M.E.G.—their blood is on your hands—and it just makes me wonder whether this poison will finally exterminate you.

Sincerely,
A Dying Man

THE END?

Somewhere far away, white sap weeps from the cut in the birch. The sap forms words in the dry soil. These words will fade away after a while, though they will stay longer than the birch ever expected. If anyone ever cares to read them, this is what they say:

It's important to remember that the Backrooms were once a single paragraph about a series of empty rooms. Then, someone decided that not all of the rooms should be yellow, and still another decided to characterize the monsters that were implied to reside within those dirty walls. It was not long until the Backrooms became more than just a story, but folklore and fable within our collective imagination, too wild and unwieldy for one person, one community, one wiki to hold. It is arrogance to think you can control a world like that. All we can do is build, write stories, and create catalysts for future narratives in a world that breathes and moves like any other living thing.

All we can do is find beauty in the impossibility of control.

All we can do is create.



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