Phenomenon 33
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Article by Robert GoermanRobert Goerman

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"Please save my daddy. Please!"

The crying girl could not have been more than twelve years old, maybe younger. She was fragile, dirty, and covered in scratches, pushing a Wretch in that battered wheelchair. Still, there was fire and grim determination in her blue eyes.

M.E.G. operative Mitchell McAllister found them first and pulled the girl to safety with his good arm. He kept his wizened left arm out of her immediate sight; she was scared enough. They were miles away from another human being, let alone medical assistance. He told her, "He's gone, little one. He is not your father anymore."

"Daddy!" she screamed.

A man suddenly stood there, where there wasn't a man a moment before.

With only one useful arm, McAllister couldn't hold the girl back and draw his blade at the same time. "He's not your daddy either!"

The shapeshifting entity was on them in a heartbeat and seized that shriveled limb. McAllister saw suffering and despair in the pseudo-human's eyes and easily pulled free. His left arm was impossibly as good as new. The shapeshifter then grabbed the Wretch with its good right arm and howled like a banshee, convulsing like it was grasping high voltage. They watched the transmogrification as the entity accepted the "Wretched Cycle" and freed the wanderer from the affliction. The father and daughter held each other in a sobbing embrace, while the newly afflicted doppelganger stumbled backwards and melted into nothingness.

As told by Mitchell McAllister
M.E.G. Team "Ricochet"

Description:

Autocorrect is the last hope for many wanderers.

Dr. John Rhinehart, PhD of M.E.G. Team "Epiphany," said it best: "Liminal Echo exists as a widespread condition of the Backrooms that is detrimental to wanderers. Autocorrect, on the other hand, manifests in very rare situations that are immediately beneficial to targeted individuals." Both phenomena affect a mishmash of levels, entities, and objects. So far, four varieties of Autocorrect have been cataloged.


"Collectors"

Collectors are shapeshifters that materialize to absorb the ailments and injuries of wanderers. These manifestations do not communicate. They are often doppelgangers.

[Miscellaneous]

Witness StatementLevel 8 "Healing"

My shortcut on Level 8 went terribly wrong when I slipped and plunged into a deep chasm. Outcroppings of rock slowed my descent before I crash-landed with a thud. I discovered that although I could not move, the lack of serious head and spinal trauma meant that I could feel the agony of my shattered body. I guessed that I was going to die alone and rot here.

I thought I was hallucinating when that glamorous version of myself approached with a broken smile. Why did I suddenly forget my pain?

She held me tenderly, and I heard popcorn popping until her screams drowned out that sound. Speaking of popping, it felt like someone was bursting huge pimples all over my body—those little stabs of pain and gushes of release. To my absolute horror, I watched her bones break, one by one and two by two. Her compound fractures were the worst to witness. That popping makes cruel sense now.

I jumped to my feet, and she collapsed to the floor of the cave, twitching and whimpering before vanishing in plain sight. 

Rachel W.

autocorrect.jpg

Photograph taken of
Autocorrect "collector"
moments after physical contact
with an afflicted victim.
Wanderer was completely healed.
M.E.G. Archives


"Interventions"

The purpose of interventions is to neutralize conflicts between humans and other entities, usually by separating the parties involved. This correction does not appear to do any physical harm to either the wanderers or the entities.

[Miscellaneous]

Transcript of Witness CommentSightless Seer Queen

The M.E.G. got it right when they said that very few things in the Backrooms were as painful as the sting of a Sightless Seer from Level 365, the hall of mirrors from Hell.

My guess was that I did everything wrong, and now I would pay with my life, or worse.

"Get up right now! Run straight down this hall, first left, and out! Now!"

Only my grandpa could make me jump like that. Except my grandfather was still in the Frontrooms. I turned to see a Hound scolding me with that familiar voice.

A chill ran down my spine as the mother of all Sightless Seers came through the mirror.

"It's the Queen!" the Hound barked. "Seer drones only eat your soul. A Queen will feed until nothing is left of you! Run!"

The Hound licked my cheek and softened, "We are not allowed to harm, but I will hold her back for as long as I can."

I ran and made the left turn into a tunnel quite different from the mirrored hallway. Inhuman howls brought tears to my eyes. It was killing the Hound.

"What are you waiting for?"

The poor thing was lacerated from head to tail. He gave me a nip to send me on my way.

Buddy G.

Addendum: Many believe that it was Autocorrect intervention that saved Anne Dunne and Amy Cochrane from that Man in Black on Level 20. See Anne's Escape for details.
grandpa.jpg

Artist conception of an
Autocorrect "intervention"
creating a portal for the
victim trapped on Level 365.
M.E.G. Archives


"Oases"

Unlike the more stable and permanent safer areas such as Level 184 and The Manila Room, Autocorrect-generated safe areas are here today, gone tomorrow.

[Miscellaneous]

Excerpt of Witness TestimonyLevel Unknown

Jake and I were following the Pilgrims Path to Level 710 and got lost. We still have no idea what level that was. It was a primeval, old growth forest. We kept walking long after our supplies ran out. No people. No entities.

After marking our trail, we saw that the trees were changing positions and realized we were in real trouble. Navigation becomes impossible when your surroundings constantly change.

That's when I heard the song.

"Purdy, purdy, purdy."

It couldn't be…

Brilliant shade of red. Prominent crest and black mask. My Auntie Phyllis had a Cardinal visit her bird feeder back in West Virginia who loved sunflower seeds and peanuts.

I knew it was a hallucination, and I warned Jake to watch for danger.

He told me, "That Cardinal really likes you."

"Just a hallucination," I answered, then asked, "You see it too?"

This wasn't West Virginia.

The flash of red kept circling my head and flying into a dark copse of trees.

After the third time, I followed and yelled for Jake to grab his camera. An arch of flowers stood in the middle of a small clearing, and there was a clear stream and fruit trees all around. We ate, drank, and filled our canteens and satchels. I heard voices, and we ran along the wide path. 

Those folks seemed really surprised to see us and asked us where we came from. I turned to show them the path, but it wasn't there. In fact, it wasn't anywhere. There was only a flat meadow as far as the eye could see. They were heading for Level 710 and asked us if we wanted to join them.

Patricia R.

oasis.jpg

Snapshot taken of an
Autocorrect "oasis." Note
the dreamlike qualities.
M.E.G. Archives


"Rewinds"

Rewinds are the only way to fix dire situations, such as a wanderer dying in a fiery explosion. Time can be paused and rewound. The circumstances are altered. Only standing along the very edge of the temporal anomaly allows spectators to watch it unfold. Standing closer, only the time ripple is visible. Two steps back, and observers naively see just the corrected version.

[Miscellaneous]

Witness StatementTime Anomaly

Tommy and I were sorting no-clipped munitions from Level 246 when he yelled, "Get Back! The timer is…"

No amount of B.N.T.G. credits is enough to buy the sight of your boy burning to death. Tom went quickly. But not quick enough. I wanted to rush in and love him like a father.

I couldn't move!

Everything froze. Things started moving slowly backward before stopping again. The next thing that I know, Tommy is laughing like a fool.

"That gave me quite the scare," he chuckled. "This old analog timer was rusted solid with one second to spare."

Gary T.

ripple.jpg

Photograph captures a
time ripple during an
Autocorrect "rewind" event.
M.E.G. Archives

This dissimilarity in the perception of temporal manipulation was confirmed when groups of wanderers saw things differently depending on their distance from the anomaly. A distance of a little more than three feet (or a meter) could mean seeing the time ripple or nothing unusual at all.


Discovery:

Phenomenon 33 was first discovered when Dr. John Rhinehart, PhD, slogged through our massive "Miscellaneous" files in an attempt to learn why the negativity in the Backrooms exceeded all laws of chance and probability—research that led to his establishing Phenomenon 7 as "Liminal Echo." These M-files mostly included "square peg in round hole" testimonies that failed to fit certain niche categories. His analysis revealed a minority of solid cases with miraculous outcomes, which became the core of "Autocorrect." Even though these one hundred or so events represent a trickle of hope in a raging torrent of hopelessness, they are still a ray of light in the darkness.


Relevant Parties:

The most extreme manifestations of Phenomenon 33 rescue wanderers in desperate need. Why only certain people receive positive outcomes remains a mystery.


Frequency:

Defining the temporal frequency of Autocorrect occurrences is not as easy as it sounds. Wanderer testimonies accumulating in the Major Explorer Group archives, such as the shining examples given here, only reveal that truly miraculous events have rarely happened across the Backrooms.

Can less dramatic encounters with Phenomenon 33 hide in plain sight? Would we explain those experiences as coincidences? A wanderer finds a bottle of Almond Water when they need it most. What if a glass jar falls, breaks, and then suddenly does not? At what point does even a subtle change trigger a butterfly effect,1 unbeknownst to those present?


Do’s and Don’ts:

Do:

  • Whatever it takes to survive!
  • Follow instructions Autocorrect gives you.

Don’t:

  • Assume Autocorrect will save you.
  • Try to summon Autocorrect.

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