...Testing...Testing... IS THIS THING EVEN FUCKIN ON?

rating: +20+x

Somewhere, in a dark room, a vintage television flares to life. In between static lines on the dimly-lit screen, a silver-haired figure can just be made out. The figure quickly glances back before returning his attention to the camera. He begins to speak:

…Testing…Testing… Is this thing on? Hello?
Blasted camera—

The screen fades to black; sounds of what seems to be crashing can be heard. After this, the television blinks white, and a clearer image is now visible on the screen. Along with the silver haired figure, what appears to be a well furnished basement can be seen in the background.

Spec leans back in his office chair and claps his hands together.

Anyway, that's enough of that. I wouldn’t want to make future me watching this video too impatient. Proceeding with log 1A, section E.

Spec grabs a file of papers and a handheld lighter. He looks at the top paper in the stack and begins to read.

Lotka, or as my dear friends at the M.E.G. call them, “Entity-114”, is a 2nd tier reality warper. It possesses similar abilities to the likes of most level-locked entities in The Backrooms, being localized quantum manipulation and nigh-omnipotence. I hypothesize that Lotka could hold the key to unlocking new information about the flow of reality in this monotonous hellscape and lead to more understanding about similar entities such as the Crack puppet or my dear friend Madame Blanche. Considering the aforementioned beings' lack of willingness to chat about the mechanics of their abilities, one from “knowing what I’ll do with the information” and one from simply being too infantile to hold a conversation longer than 30 seconds, I think an interview would prove most valuable.

Man, after reading that, I suddenly realized why people hate talking to me. “I hypothesize?” What kind of talk is that? Suppose I felt like laying it on thick that day. Regardless, that's the end of this log. I’ve got a giant pole-man to interview.

The tape ends.


Spec sits in his chair, staring intently at the black lens of the powered-off camera.

He sighs and stands up, kicking the wheeled office chair back into its place at his desk. Pulling a white sweatshirt off of an ancient-looking coat rack and slipping it on, he walks towards a bare concrete wall which swings aside. In its place, a long hallway lined with all sorts of technology, weaponry, and other assorted valuable items is revealed. Spec enters the hall and the door swings shut behind him. On his way through the corridor, he grabs a few assorted items.

A black worn sack.

A small black device.

A can of hairspray.

A can of off brand WD-40.

He piles everything into the worn sack, and in one swift motion, zips it up and slings it onto his back. Spec reaches the end of the hallway and steps onto a tan grainy tile like that of a sidewalk.

He hits a lone button on the wall, and the tile begins to rise as the ceiling above him slides away, revealing the infinite blue sky of Level 11. The platform deposits Spec into the streets of the level, closing behind him without a trace.

Spec walks briskly through the streets of the infinite city, searching for one building in particular. To most, finding one structure in a city, much less one of infinite space, would be like finding a needle in a haystack. But for Spec, it's just as simple as looking in the refrigerator for your ketchup. His eyes flicker as if they were an old television turning on. A soft red glow emits from them, like faded Christmas lights.

Spec’s field of vision changes. The area around him darkens, and splotches of bright colors appear on different assorted objects. A bench that once looked normal just a few seconds ago, now pitch black. Buildings of twisted concrete and rebar bent into impossible shapes, now a dark shade of vermillion. But most distinctly, a bright pink line twisting and turning throughout the streets, leading off to a building far in the distance— a schoolhouse. After a few minutes of walking, Spec arrives at the building. The lights fade from his eyes, and the world returns to “normal,” at least from his perspective. He walks up the sidewalk to the double doors leading inside, and he passes a brick sign and plaque. It reads:

“M. Davis High School”

Spec straightens, flicks his hair to one side, and takes a deep breath

“Welp, here goes nothing—”

Spec pushes open the doors and steps into the school. The telltale sound of reality breaking as he noclips into Level 52 fills the air— a demented, creaky, fingernails-on-a-chalkboard sound, then followed by overwhelming silence.

Spec wanders the seemingly endless hallways, searching for the only entrance he knows to Level 240: pure white doors covered in drawings.

Spec sighs. The randomness of the backrooms never favored him, and he gets the realization he's going to be searching for a while. He reaches into his pocket, grabbing his phone, and he puts in earbuds.

“I might as well drown out the boredom with music. It's not like I need to be alert in this place anyway— it's far from my first rodeo here.”

He hits the shuffle button and pockets his phone as Van Halen starts to play.


After having been walking through the empty hallways of Level 52 for what seemed like hours, Spec passes by an open door with a light on inside.

Interest slightly piqued by the change in monotony, Spec removes his earbuds and puts away his phone.

“Lights shouldn’t be on in this zone— I’m long past the transition point.”

Spec approaches the door quietly, flattening himself against the wall. He’s just about to push the door further open when he hears footsteps rapidly approaching the entrance. Whatever is coming seems to be in quite a rush.

Spec clenches a fist and waits.

The footsteps grow louder…

And louder…

The door bursts open suddenly, and a tall bald man with glasses and a beard exits the room, carrying a stack of papers. He turns towards Spec, and then jumps back, startled.

“Spec! What are you doing here after hours? Busses left the school hours ago!”

Spec sighs

Mr. Freeman, boy am I glad to see you! I wasn’t sure what was going to come from the other side of that door!”

Mr. Freeman chuckles.

“Well, who else would it be? This is the math and science wing of the school.”

Spec shrugs

“Dunno— ‘thought maybe something got in.”

Mr. Freeman grins.

“The only things that get into my classroom, Spec, are my students, and my fellow teachers. Or as I like to call them, my alge-bros.”

Spec tries his best to keep a straight face, biting his lip. It doesn’t help, and a chuckle gets out anyways. He pauses for a moment, before speaking up:

“Sorry, Mr. Freeman— I don’t believe you.”

“And why is that?”

“Well ysee— you can’t really trust math teachers.”

Mr. Freeman cocks his head to the side.

“Oh? And why is that?”

“Because—”

Spec grins madly.

“They’re always… CALCULATING!”

Spec makes finger-guns at the anomalous algebra teacher.

Mr. Freeman laughs and straightens his glasses.

“All right, all right, you win this time. I unfortunately must be going— these assignments aren’t going to grade themselves!”


Spec once again continues down the long hallways of the high school, searching around for the door that will lead him to Lotka’s lake.

“Doors are supposed to be abundant in this level… and I’ve been searching for almost two hours. Just my luck, I suppose.”

Spec turns a corner, passing by two students. They distort as they walk by him, and he feels a pang of sadness.

“I’d kill to be back home right now…”

Spec continues to walk in silence for a few moments.

“Actually, come to think about it, would I really? Everyone’s probably long dead by now, or in their late 80s, and yet I haven’t aged a day. Such is life…”

“Who knows, maybe someone I once knew ages ago found their way here. God, I hope not…”

“What the hell am I doing anyway? I don’t ‘reminisce’ about things…”

Spec stops abruptly, and looks around in a circle, doing a double-take.

“I've got a distinct nostalgic feeling as well. Perhaps the door is nearby. It’d be about time.”

Spec comes to a fork in the hallway and glances both ways, looking for any out of place doors. To his elation, he sees a white door scribbled over in black doodles.

“Seems like I’ve made it. Finally.”

He places his hand on the door and gives it a cautious shove.


Spec steps into the dense forest of Level 240, taking in a breath of the fresh air. It's been quite some time since he's been to a truly outdoor level, even if it's an artificial one. The leaves crunch under his feet as he makes his way towards the central lake.

As he walks, he reaches into his backpack with a free hand, grabbing a tape recorder and fiddling with it, just trying to get it up and running. Wouldn’t want to keep Lotka waiting if he manages to catch him in some free time, of course.

As he’s on the brink of zoning out in his work, he gets snapped back to reality by the voice of a teenage girl.

“Hello?”

Spec practically jumps a foot in the air.

“AAH—”

“Hello there, can I help ya?”

The girl crosses her arms, seemingly annoyed by Spec’s aloofness.

“Yeah, you can help by telling me what exactly you’re doing here with-”

She waves her arms to the sides, gesturing at the wires running across Spec’s body.

“—all this. The last time someone older came in here with equipment like yours, things went south ‘real fast.”

Spec clicks his tape recorder on and stashes it in his pocket.

“I can assure you, I’m not here to cause any trouble. I’m just here to ask a couple questions to the headlight-eyed girthy black pipe cleaner that resides in the center of this place.”

The girl rolls her eyes and scoffs.

“You explorers and your attitude… They have a name, kid. Its Lotka. Use it.”

Spec grins.

“Whatever you say.”

He extends a gloved hand.

“First things first, to whom do I owe the unexpected pleasure?”

The girl hesitantly shakes his hand, still wearing the fed up expression.

“Camille. Camille Northcot.”

“Well Camille, glad to make your acquaintance. You can call me Spec.”

“Spec? What kind of a name is that?”

Camille scoffs, and Spec grins once more.

“A kind of a name an unoriginal idiot gives themself when they don’t want to get cursed while pissing off one of the insufferable losers out there that call themselves ‘gods.’”

Spec pauses for a moment.

“All due respect to the few G’s out there that keep it chill though.”

Camille gives Spec a look of straight confusion.

“What?”

“Nevermind— can we get going?”

“Certainly.”


The two make their way to the center of the level, stopping at the edge of the lake. Camille had left to go meet with the children of the Level, so Spec was basically on his own.

“Lotka?”

“You here?”

Spec calls out, to no avail.

“Damn, guess this is gonna have to be done the hard way…”

Spec extends a hand towards the surface of the lake, and the water ripples outward away from his hand, freezing as if held back by an invisible wall.

“Down we go…”

Holding back the water in this manner, Spec descends into the lake in a sort of makeshift air pocket.


After a few minutes of descent, he arrives at the center of the lake. Not wanting to risk going too deep, he keeps the bubble levitating and calls out for Lotka again.

This time, however, he's gifted a response:

What brings you to my domain, small one?

A pair of glowing white eyes peer back at Spec from the depths of the lake.

“Lotka, I presume?”

“The same.”

Spec sighs.

“Perfect! I’ve uh— been looking for you, as you can tell… I’ve got a couple of questions to ask you about yourself and this place if you don’t mind. Mind answering?”

“Certainly. I always enjoy a little bit of conversation from those who pass through my domain.”

“Excellent! Can we maybe do this somewhere a bit more comfortable?”

Spec pokes at the air bubble surrounding him.

“I’d much prefer to have a conversation without the impending fear losing focus will cause me to get squished by the increase in pressure from the surrounding environment.”

Lotka appears to look at Spec quizzically, if a giant furry lake-dwelling creature could look quizzical.

“What is… pressure?”

“Ah, nevermind that. Shall we go to the surface?”

“Of course.”

Spec and Lotka quickly breach the surface of the lake. Upon entering the fresh air, the inhabitants of Lotka’s domain wave excitedly towards the half-emerged being, saying hello to their caretaker. Spec hovers a few centimeters above the water, mild dispersions of energy radiate off of himself before diffusing into the air around him.

Spec clears his throat:

“So, Lotka- I just want to say ya don’t have to feel pressured into answering any of my questions; just know your help is greatly appreciated. I understand if you can’t remember, memories of events are too painful, et cetera et cetera.”

“Anyways, first question: how did you end up here?”

There is a moment of silence, and Lotka shifts in the depths.

“I… am afraid I cannot answer. I’ve been in this place for as long as the sun has remained in the sky.”

Spec nods.

“I see. Have you ever tried to leave?”

“No. I am happy here, in my little paradise away from the horrors of this terrible place. These children are all I have, and I am all they have. I could never leave them.”

“Understandable. Some folks say you created this place yourself, is that true? If so, what was this Level like before you hosted your own episode of ‘Fixer Upper?’"

“I don’t follow, young one…”

“What was this place like before you made it into what it is today?”

Lotka shifts in the lake, appearing a bit uncomfortable.

“You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.”

The giant creature appears to relax.

“Thank you. I’m sorry— the memory of that place is too painful to recall.”

“Of course. You’re the one who took time out of their day to talk to me.”

“Just two more quick questions, and I’ll get out of your hair. How is it that you accomplish your manipulation of this place? Do you know the origins of your power?”

“How is it that humans breathe? Do you know the origins of when you learned how to blink? As long as I’ve been in this place, I’ve been able to change it as I see fit just as you do things as menial as speaking. It’s just second nature. You don’t have to think about moving your arm, do you? You just move it. If I want to create a tree, I just do it.”

As if on cue, a tree starts to grow out of the depths of the lake. Spec stares at it for a minute and then turns back to the towering black creature.

“See, after something like that I usually make a bad pun, but making ACORNY joke really WOODN’T be appropriate.”

Lotka narrows its eyes and gives Spec a death stare. If it could groan, it would have.

Spec simply grins.

“My last question was going to be if you could create something for me to see your process, but ya just did. So I suppose that's my cue to…”

Spec looks back up at Lotka for the last time.

“Leaf.”

The colossal being shakes up and down slightly as if chuckling.

“Where would you like to go, small one?”

Spec turns off his equipment, stashing it in his backpack.

“Level 11.”

A portal opens behind Spec, showing the familiar city streets just outside his residence. Spec turns back towards the shoreline, waving a goodbye to Camille and the children, before turning back to Lotka himself.

“Take care of yourself. And the kids.”

“Same goes for you, small one. Though I don’t believe I’ve gotten your name.”

“Ah— how rude of me, I must have forgotten to introduce myself-”

Spec says apologetically.

“You can call me Spec. At your service. I’d shake your hand, but you seem to be lacking in the arms department, and you’re also about 50 times my height.”

“See you soon, Spec.”

“Adios, Lotka.”

Spec steps through the portal and is gone with a flash.


Somewhere, in a dark room, a vintage television flares to life. In between static lines on the dimly-lit screen, a silver-haired figure can just be made out. The figure quickly glances back before returning his attention to the camera. He begins to speak:

“Jesus christ, if you don’t turn on, I’ll throw you back into the dumpster I dragged you from.”
“AAAAAAAAAH—”

Spec sits down in his office chair, staring into the camera.

“And there you have it, dear viewer that, just like my mental-health, doesn’t exist.~”

“Lotka, like most other entities in this place, has been absolutely NO HELP to my mission. I’ve lost count of how many times that this has happened. At this rate, transcribing any old interviews with entities will be pointless. If I can’t figure out what makes them tick, I won’t be able to solve the problems this place has.”

Spec sighs in exhaustion.

“Entities all say the same thing, ‘It's just second nature.’ While I believe it for some, there are a few… higher ups that definitely have more say in the game. But we all know what happens when I get in close proximity to those people when they turn hostile, don’t we? Biggus Swordicus is probably still scraping the remains of that level out of the blue channel. Every time I think I'm getting closer to another revelation, every time I think I've finally figured out how to FIX this place, I always get sent back to square one, often making things worse."

Spec leans back in his chair for a moment. After a short time, his phone buzzes, and he takes it out, reading the text. He sits back up, wearing his signature grin, once more masking his internal turmoil.

"Well, until next time future me. My boyfriend wants cuddles, and you know we're not one to decline. Ciao."

Spec stands up from the chair and vanishes in a flash of crimson light.

The tape shuts down.

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