The Exitway Anomaly
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exitway

Perceived Freedom

I remember we found it, almost by a chance request. Rumors here and there of some kind of room within a room; A space where those who went in simply wouldn’t come back out. I couldn’t tell you who initially reached out to me, but I feel it would be best not to mention a single thing that might indicate the location of this space. Under no circumstances do I recommend anyone try to find it.

It was my responsibility to send out a team of approximately twelve personnel to establish a temporary research camp before we could determine the threat of the room… Little did I know, the following would be permanently ingrained into my mind.

There we arrived, standing before the darkness of corridors and rooms. Before entering, we began setting up all our supplies. A few tents, a table for my control desk with some laptops–everything I would need to keep track of things. Along with all this, we had a small RC rover, which would be my main way to check the safety of the rooms ahead, though I wouldn’t know for certain if it would return in one piece.

I had the rover wired to a complicated set of devices, all hooked up wirelessly to my laptop. From my remote position, I could operate it and observe the corridors from the safety of the camp before ordering people in.

Click clack, click clack.

The rover moved seamlessly, the metal wheels transitioning from tile floors to a patterned metal surface, illuminated only by the red of random exit signs and the headlights of the rover itself. The walls were a shade of tar black to compliment the darkness which overcame everything, leading the way down the corridor and into a complex of wider rooms that almost held some kind of impossible quality to them. It was unusual for a small storefront-style room to have all these complex spaces behind it.

“Hello?! I can hear you!” I heard over the buzzing of the device’s engine and the sound of metal on metal rolling.

“Please! I’m- I’m stuck! I can’t get out of this fucking place! God, please!”

I looked to Marion to my left. They shook their head at me; I knew exactly what they thought. This could’ve easily been a trap, so I kept on searching with the rover, attempting to track down the distant echo of a frightened voice. The pursuit of the echoes kept guiding me through the endless monotonous spaces of dark rooms and benches. On rare occasions, we would find some with windows, showing the nighttime exterior of a suburb, though the exit we saw was blocked by a shutter.

It was almost like a wild goose chase. The longer we explored, the less progress we made. No matter how far we traveled, we couldn’t track down the source of the pleading voice. It was there that we decided to recall the rover. Retracing the steps was easy, turning around and taking the same route it traveled on. I sat there, gradually watching the beams of headlights project through the same corridor we sent it through as it returned.

As soon as it returned, members of the research team began to do a routine observation of the device, just in case anything had suddenly changed. The whole time, I sat there and thought. Why would it be so hard to leave this place? Unless the effects of this space could only be felt if someone were there in person, which could’ve very well been the case.

“Do you think it’s worth sending a dispatch into it?” Marion asked, giving me a little glance as they organized some other supplies nearby. I was torn on whether or not to confirm, but as the expedition leader, I had to make the call.

With a small bit of hesitance, I gave a nod to them. “Yes, but just one of us. I don’t want to take too many risks in losing half the team.” I confirmed with them, watching as Marion got a bit of exploration gear on.

“Then I’ll be the one going in first. Switch to my camera feed, won’t you Doc?”

“As per our usual procedure. Hasn’t gotten you killed all the other times we’ve done it.”

Marion gave a small chuckle at my joke, adjusting the helmet which had a small camera hooked up to it. After they had pressed the button to start recording, I switched to their camera feed, watching as they tapped it, looking at me with a thumbs up. After giving one back, watching myself stare intently at my laptop’s screen through Marion’s camera, I saw it shift.

Strong, piercing rays of light guided the way. Marion began to take their first eager steps into the dark. They were always headstrong, being the first to volunteer for almost any in-person exploration. This time wasn’t any different, and regardless of the environment, they remained brave.

Click clack, click clack.

Marion kept walking, soon realizing that the corridor led to an entirely different room. A space with a glass set of doors and windows, shuttered like previous one we had seen, though this one was larger. However, the calling returned, louder than before.

“Hey! I- I hear you! Is someone there?!”

“Yeah! I’m coming! What’s your name?” Marion called back as a reply, audible through the camera much like the echoes.

“Just call me Marcus! Thank god someone else found me, I- I have no clue how long I’ve been here! Where are you?!” The echoing voice replied.

Marion looked around a bit, determining the source of the voice. “They sound close now…” They said to themselves, probably so I would hear.

“Careful, something feels wrong here…” I said to them, audible through the crackle of a walkie-talkie they had on their waist. “Keep trying to talk to them.”

I kept listening to everything the whole time, watching as Marion moved along the randomly appearing rooms and halls. No one space seemed the same, and no matter where they went, Marion never looked back at the room they had just entered.

Without Marion knowing, I began sending the rover in, controlling it simultaneously as the conversation between the pair within the anomalous space continued. Marcus’s voice was getting louder, but the camera on Marion began to freeze and pixelate. They were getting too far for the laptop to receive its signal. Regardless, I could still hear the conversations the two had as they met.

“Christ- there you are! Scared the shit out of me!” Marcus suddenly exclaimed, sparking a conversation between the pair, trying to reassure each other.

The two kept going on and on, explaining where they were from. Marcus seemed to have recently shown up in The Backrooms in general. He was lost, confused, and lacking any supplies and preparation. In the meantime, I kept trying to get the rover to them, following the sounds of their voices.

“Heh, we all have moments like that. There are outposts out here that can help you out.”

“Oh yeah? God, to think I wouldn’t find anyone here. This is one of the only places where I haven’t been chased by anything! What are all these fucking monsters.”

Marion laughed at it a bit. “You’ll learn at some point… Have you seen any other people here?”

Awkwardly, Marcus was trying to explain that they hadn't seen anything–or anyone for that matter–in this place. Regardless, Marion kept pushing him to follow them back. This was fruitless though, as it seemed that every single room they went through had been shuffled like a massive jigsaw.

Whilst the two searched for a way out, I began treading new ground with the rover. I heard their voices echo, and aside from the now-frozen video feed, it was my only way of finding them.

“Shit, it seems like I’m stuck now too. You seeing this, Doc?” Marion asked me.

I didn’t reply for a moment, finally spotting the pair with the rover, though for obvious reasons, they hadn’t reacted to it.

“Do you see the rover, Marion?”

“No, but… I can’t find my way back. God, I should’ve known this would be hard.”

I didn’t yet know how to address what I was seeing, but all I could tell them was to keep moving, as much of a lie as that was.

They weren’t moving at all. I found Marion’s body collapsed on the floor in close proximity to another. They were both still intact, though their bodies were shriveled up like raisins. Despite only being in there for minutes, Marion looked like it had been years since they entered. Their skin was taught and darkened like leather, their body merely a boney husk in clothes. Next to them was the body of who I could only assume was Marcus, their voice echoing further and further in sudden confusion as it was slowly absorbed into the ground.

“Marcus?! Where did you go?! Doc- something’s wrong! You’ve gotta get me out!”

“Marion, I…”

“What? Am- Am I stuck in here for good?”

I didn’t reply to Marion, taking the sudden action of turning off my laptop and walkie-talkie. It was better for them not to know the truth of whatever purgatory they found themselves in. At least with the silence, they might continue to linger.

Conclusion of Investigation

SURVIVAL DIFFICULTY:

Class unknown

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The Exitway Anomaly is an endless room accessed via a dark corridor on an unspecified level. No light besides that from red exit signs and occasional shuddered glass storefronts is present within The Exitway Anomaly, leaving most spaces within it pitch black. The majority of spaces within this room consist of black, rectangular tables and similarly sized and shaped benches. No one similar room within the anomaly has been recorded as showing up again.

It is unadvised to venture into Exitway Anomaly alone, as anyone who does has a guaranteed chance of succumbing to the room’s effects. For some unknown reason, this room will keep those who enter it in a perpetual state of limbo, seeming to have died long ago regardless of how long they were in it. Those who have been lost to the room previously only perish once and for all when they seem to recognize the fact that somehow, they are no longer alive. At this point, the wanderer’s body will be absorbed into the room, though it is unknown where these remains end up.


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