Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Chapter 2

Phew, chapter 2 of my Camp Nano novel is done at last. It turned out to be a lot longer than chapter 1 but I’m going to post it anyway. Of course, despite its length you can still complete it in a few steps depending on which decisions you make.

If you’ve not done chapter 1 yet then start there (of course). I explain how this whole thing works there and I won’t repeat myself here.

If anyone has a suggestion for a title then please feel free to mention it in the comments! Also please point out any mistakes. This is a first draft and I haven’t even checked through it once yet…

P.S IT’S REALLY LONG

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[1]

You go to the end of the walkway and find a workbench piled high with papers, books, beakers and all sorts of scientific equipment. Behind it, against the wall, there is a row of computers that stretches from one end of the room to the other. Some of the computers are turned on. The room itself is very long and filled with more workbenches and pieces of equipment.

Through the flickering gloom you can just make out a door at the end of the room closest to you. The opposite end is in darkness; the lights there have stopped working completely.

Do you look at the workbench [2] or the computer [3]? Or do you go to the door [4] or the dark end of the room [5]?

_

[2]

You walk up to the workbench which is covered in papers, racks of syringes, beakers and test tubes filled with colourful liquids and a piece of equipment that looks like a glass box with a set of controls at the base. There are also a couple of computer screens mounted into the workbench but they are both dark and don’t respond to your touch.

The sheets of paper are covered in printed tables of numbers, often with notes scrawled around them in untidy handwriting. A dark fluid has from a rack of overturned test tubes has been spilled over them, making most of what’s written illegible. Graphs lay out data that means nothing to you.

The liquids in the test tubes range across the spectrum of colours. Most of the substances in the beakers have congealed or evaporated and left behind a thick residue, but there’s a beaker inside the glass box, sat on a metal plate, that is a blue colour similar to that of the water in the pools.

Do you try and decipher what is written on the papers [6], take a closer look at the glass piece of equipment and the beaker inside it [7] or would you rather move on to one of the computers [3] , the door [4] or the dark end of the room [5]?

_

[2.5]

You walk up to a workbench. It is covered in papers, racks of syringes, beakers and test tubes filled with colourful liquids and a piece of equipment that looks like a glass box with a set of controls at the base. There are also a couple of computer screens mounted into the workbench but they are both dark and don’t respond to your touch.

The sheets of paper are covered in printed tables of numbers, often with notes scrawled around them in untidy handwriting. A dark fluid has from a rack of overturned test tubes has been spilled over them, making most of what’s written illegible. Graphs lay out data that means nothing to you.

The liquids in the test tubes range across the spectrum of colours. Most of the substances in the beakers have congealed or evaporated and left behind a thick residue, but there’s a beaker inside the glass box, sat on a metal plate, that is a blue colour similar to that of the water in the pools.

Do you try and decipher what is written on the papers [6], take a closer look at the glass piece of equipment and the beaker inside it [7] or would you rather move on to one of the computers [3] or the door at the end of the room [4]?

_

[3]

There about a dozen computers along the wall of the lab, each sitting on a desk alongside scattered piles or neat towers of paper. Between them there are cupboards, some of which are open and reveal equipment and bottles of liquid. The computers aren’t touch-screen controlled but older models with keyboards and mice. You approach the closest one and it lights up automatically. You sit in the chair in front of it and are presented with an interface that seems familiar to you. Passwords are required for most of the files, but you manage to open a couple.

Which file will you look at first? The first file is a series of notes laid out like a journal, with an entry every day [8], while the second is an emergency notice with the heading ‘TO ALL HELIOS EMPLOYEES’ [9].

_

[4]

You pass several workbenches, behind which is the line of computers, and reach the door. You look behind you and see the row of pools disappearing into the dark at the other end of the room, then open the door. It opens onto a corridor. In front of you there’s a door with a console next to it glowing with a red light. To either side of you the corridor stretches out as far as you can see before the lights give out. They’re working better here than in the room you came from but it’s still quite dim.

The ground and walls are covered in white tiles, just like the room behind you. There are dark stains in places. The air is free of the strange smell present in the other room but it tastes stale.

You can turn left [C3 5], right [C3 6] or try the door in front of you [C3 7].

_

[5]

You walk past the workbenches and computers, the beakers and test-tubes filled with liquids and odd pieces of equipment. The pools on your right vary between being filled with clear blue water and choked by rampant algae growth. You reach the point where the lights overhead give out and you’re confronted by a wall of shadow. Something has been spilled on the ground in front of you, running between the white tiles. It’s a black liquid that has congealed in places. It smells rotten. It stretches from one workbench on your left to a pool on your right. Everything on the workbench has been knocked onto the floor, resulting in a mess of paper, shards of glass and dark stains. The black liquid has seeped into the pool and stained the water a dark shade of blue. Fingers of it crawl down the side of the pool beneath the water.

You can try walking through the dark patch [10], go around it [11], or, if you haven’t examined them already, turn back and look at one of the workbenches [2], computers [3] or the door at the other and of the room [4].

_

[6]

You search among the items on the workbench and pick up a file with a plastic cover. The pages inside are unmarked by chemicals. They contain a report on ‘subject 565’. Some of the early pages are marked as a summary, while the ones after that are more in-depth and contain many graphs that would take some time to interpret. You read the summary.

Day 1: 0:00: Initiation.

03:00: Subject visible. Development stable and proceeding as anticipated. Too early for advanced testing, but basic tests reveal no problems.

Day 2: 10:00: Stimulated decelerated growth of subject (see results of E202 for applicable resolutions). Advancement through infant stages matches 85% of Tier 8 experiments onwards.

Day 3: Marked growth acceleration. Formation discrepancy exceeding estimated parameters by 0.5%. No visible manifestations of this, however.

Day 4: 02:00: Puberty reached. Physical manifestations developed at a highly accelerated rate between aprox. 01:00 and 02:00. Control methods ineffective. Director Higson has overridden Protocol 14. Subject 565 will not be terminated.

Day 5: Repeated attempts to impair growth have been unsuccessful. Professor Farson has expressed a personal interest in the case and redirected funding to Department 16 from Department 08.

Day 6: 10:05: Director Higson ordered increased security and emergency deceleration as a precaution against Subject 565’s growth. Reinstated Protocol 14.

10:11: Order overridden by Professor Farson. Subject 565 will be relocated to Department 19.

Day 7: 09:00: Reallocation failed. It will be reattempted at 12:00.

12:00: Partial success. Records will now be transferred to Department 19.

The summary ends there, followed by several blank pages. You try to find another file to read but there doesn’t seem to be anything else of interest on the worktable.

If you haven’t done so already you can go over to one of the computers [3], look at the glass box containing a beaker of solution that is also on the workbench [7], go through the door [4] or towards the dark end of the room [5].

_

[7]

The glass box is about twenty centimetres square. It has a white base with a small display and buttons marked ‘temp.’, ‘rate’, ‘disp.’, and ‘power’. The beaker inside the case sits on a metal plate attached to the unit’s base but raised a few centimetres above it. The beaker fits into a little recess in the plate.

The beaker is small and contains a blue liquid slightly darker in colour than the water from your pool.

The device is turned off at the moment. Do you want to press the ‘power’ button [12]? If you haven’t done so already, you may examine the files on the worktable [6], a computer [3] or go over to the door [4] or the dark end of the room [5].

_

[8]

You read through the file.

12/12/AA

Doctor said I had to keep this journal and show it to him every week. I have extra time at lunch to write it. I can feel the others looking at me and wondering what I’m doing while they work. I’ll pretend it’s something unimportant. Well, it is something unimportant. I’ll pretend it’s something else, though. Doctor said not to use the delete key, just write it all out.

Can’t think of anything to say.

13/12/AA

Doctor said it didn’t matter how long each entry was.

14/12/AA

One of the others spoke to me today about the arbiters. I didn’t speak to him. I don’t know what he was trying to get me to do. Slip up. I focus on my job instead. Doctor says to avoid morally ambiguous situations. He’s right, but I already knew that.

Going to write about work now.

One died today and they used my reclaimant solution. Director congratulated me. I didn’t tell him I tested it on rats without authorisation. Don’t want an arbiter to get involved. I hate

No delete key. Doctor said no delete key. Must be careful. No-one can read this. I don’t care what the doctor says.

16/12/AA

Missed a day. Was busy yesterday. Trouble with subject 565. Director took me aside and asked me to begin reclamation on it, keep it secret. Against the wishes of the higher-ups but I

We met after everyone had gone and tried it but it didn’t work. Someone must have tampered with my solution. Have to run tests. Director not pleased.

Subject 565 getting dangerous.

17/12/AA

I spoke to subject 565. No-one else heard us. I believe it was telepathic. They’re trying to move it again but it’s violent.

I’m being watched. Now. The others wonder what I’m doing here. They might find this. Sending it to doctor. Sensitive information. I hope you’re trustworthy, doctor, for both our sakes.

18/12/AA

Meeting with doctor fine. Therapeutic effect of this journal debatable.

I know you read this. You watch me as I write and you’ll read this when I’m gone. Fine. It’s too late. My solution has done its work. Director Farson is moving me to Department 19 along with subject 565.

And probably your funding, too.

The file ends there. If you haven’t done so already you can read the other file [9], check the workbench [6], go to the door at the end of the room [4] or explore the dark part of the room [5].

_

[9]

The file reads:

TO ALL HELIOS EMPLOYEES

PROTOCOL 17 INITIATED

Those unable to remember the procedure for protocol 17 should return to their rooms and wait for assistance. Do not slow down other members of staff with questions. Failure to obey these rules will result in disciplinary action.

You look for more but that’s the whole message.

If you have not done so already you may read the other file [8], search the workbench [6], go through the door leading from the room [4] or explore the end of the room engulfed in darkness [5].

_

[10]

You reach out your foot and touch the substance with your foot. It is slightly warm and very viscous, like treacle. You step on it and can feel lumps beneath your feet. You walk across with one hand on the workbench beside you, taking each step one at a time. Either the workbench beside you is longer than the others or time has slowed down; it’s a minute or two before you get to the end. You think you have crossed the spill but you have to crouch down and feel the ground with your fingers to be sure because the substance has coated the bottom of your feet. Your fingers find smooth tiles. You run them about you to find the edge of the spill and brush over a crack in the tiling, a scratch mark a few centimetres deep and about half a metre long. The edge of the spill is just beyond it.

You stand up and look about but it’s too dark to see anything.

Do you want to turn left [13], right [14] or go straight ahead [15]?

_

[11]

With the spillage lying between the workbench and the pool on your right, the only way to go round it is to turn left and walk round that side of the workbench. There are pieces of glass on the ground so you tread with care, feeling the floor ahead of you with one foot before stepping forward. You hold onto the workbench with your right hand to keep your balance.

You turn the corner and your foot encounters something soft. It’s too dark to see what it is. Do you want to investigate it [16] or release your grip on the workbench and walk around it [17]?

_

[12]

You press the power button and the display lights up. It reads ’33.508’ but there is no indication as to what the numbers refer to.

Do you want to try altering the ‘temp.’ [18], ‘rate’ [19] or ‘disp.’ [20]? Alternatively, you can turn off the machine and, if you haven’t done so already, examine the file on the workbench [6], examine a computer [3], go over to the door at the end of the room [4] or go to the end of the room shrouded in darkness [5].

[13]

You feel your way around the workbench in the darkness. You move carefully as the floor is scattered with glass and paper. You come to a cupboard against the far wall. The door is ajar. You can see what’s inside [21] or continue along the wall and see what else you can find [22].

_

[13.5]

You find a cupboard against the wall. The door is ajar. You can’t see what’s inside but you can feel around to see what you can find [21] or work your way round the wall to your right towards the red light [22.5].

_

[14]

You turn to the right and take a few steps forwards. It’s too dark to see where you are going. You feel small objects, spilled from the workbench, being scattered by your feet. A few things seem to be sticking to the substance that coats them.

If you have been to section [SOMETHING] after using the piece of scientific equipment on the workbench then turn to [23]. Otherwise, turn to [24].

_

[15]

You carry on straight ahead with your arms outstretched to stop you walking into a wall. The floor is clear of debris now. You pause for a moment to remove the scraps of paper that have attached themselves to your tarry feet. You come to a wall with a bulletin board or something similar attached to it. You look to your right and left. You can’t see anything on your right through the darkness but you catch a small flash of red light on your left from about chest height a few metres away.

Would you like to go to the left [25] or the right [26]?

_

[16]

You crouch down and touch the object. It’s soft and covered in cloth. You feel hair and then what is unmistakably a face. The object is a corpse. It’s wearing a labcoat and you can feel something in both of the pockets.

Do you want to take the labcoat [27], leave the body alone and continue ahead [28] or drag the body over to where the room is lighter and you can investigate it properly [29]? If you take the labcoat then its pockets will allow you to keep any small objects you come across later.

_

[17]

You let go of the workbench and step around the object, trying not to touch it with your foot. You get past it and then look ahead. You might as well be blind; there is nothing ahead of you but darkness. You stand still for a moment anyway and then see a small red light flash ahead of you.

Do you want to go straight ahead towards the red light [28], over to the wall on your left [13.5] or turn right [30]?

_

[18]

There are two buttons next to ‘temp.’, each triangular in shape and one pointing up and one pointing down. When you press the one pointing up the metal plate at the bottom of the case begins to hum gently.

Do you want to press the ‘rate’ button [31] or the ‘disp.’ [32] button next? Alternatively, you can turn off the machine and, if you haven’t done so already, examine the file on the workbench [6], examine a computer [3], go over to the door at the end of the room [4] or go to the end of the room shrouded in darkness [5].

_

[19]

There are two buttons next to ‘rate’, each triangular in shape and one pointing up and one pointing down. When you press the one pointing up the metal plate at the bottom of the case begins to rotate. It starts out slow but you press the same button again and it gets faster. It spins about as quickly as it can without the liquid spilling from the beaker.

Do you want to press the ‘temp.’ button [33] or the ‘disp.’ [34] button next? Alternatively, you can turn off the machine and, if you haven’t done so already, examine the file on the workbench [6], examine a computer [3], go over to the door at the end of the room [4] or go to the end of the room shrouded in darkness [5].

_

[20]

You press the ‘disp.’ button but nothing happens.

Do you want to press the ‘temp.’ button [18] or the ‘rate.’ [19] button next? Alternatively, you can turn off the machine and, if you haven’t done so already, examine the file on the workbench [6], examine a computer [3], go over to the door at the end of the room [4] or go to the end of the room shrouded in darkness [5].

_

[21]

You open the cupboard door fully and release an unpleasant smell that divides into a series of component smells, each one equally pungent. The cupboard contains numerous shelves of bottles and sealed vials in racks. They generally seem to be filled with liquid but in the dark you can’t tell for sure with all of them.

If you’ve picked up a pouch or something similar you can take one of the vials [35]. If not then you can investigate the cupboard further [36] or turn right and make your way along the wall [22].

_

[22]

You leave the cupboard and follow the wall. You feel your way along and pass a computer and another cupboard. The computer is unresponsive and the cupboard is locked. You reach the corner of the room and follow the next wall but stop as you see a small red light flash ahead of you, just for a second. It seemed to come from something on the wall at about chest height. You walk towards it and come across a door. The light flashes again to the right hand side of the door. You reach towards it and feel a series of buttons below a small screen. You wait for a moment and see that the light comes from one of the buttons.

You try the door but it won’t open. If you have a keycard then you can try using that [37]. Otherwise, you can continue on your way, following the wall [38] or try pressing some of the buttons [39]?

_

[22.5]

You leave the cupboard and follow the wall. You feel your way along and pass a computer and another cupboard. The computer is unresponsive and the cupboard is locked. You reach the corner of the room and follow the next wall and see the red light flash ahead of you. You walk towards it and come across a door. The light flashes again to the right hand side of the door. You reach towards it and feel a series of buttons below a small screen. You wait for a moment and see that the light comes from one of the buttons.

You try the door but it won’t open. If you have a keycard then you can try using that [37]. If not, you can continue on your way, following the wall [38] or try pressing some of the buttons [39]?

_

[23]

You step forward again with your arms stretched in front of you. You encounter no resistance so you take another step but seem to miss the ground and fall forwards. Your stomach lurches and then there’s a warm splash and a squelch and you find yourself underwater. You don’t open your mouth to cry out but you flail about for a few seconds as a greasy liquid tries to force its way past your lips to choke you. The liquid is thick and tarry and I feels less like you’re drowning and more like you’ve been buried alive.

You kick out with your feet, trying to break the surface, and hit something soft below you. You almost panic and lose control but your hand grabs onto the side of the pool and reasserts some rationality to your mind. You pull yourself out of the pool, unable to open your eyes because the slime is covering your face. You can feel it running out of your nose. The smell is nauseating and you retch without opening your mouth. If you do the slime will crawl inside.

You lie beside the pool for a moment, unable to do anything else. Your heart slows but you can only take short, rapid breaths through your nose and your lungs are crying out for more air. You force yourself up and wipe the slime from your mouth and breathe properly. Instantly your heart speeds up again and you feel faint. You’re covered in warm slime. You try to wipe it away but no matter how many times you run your hands over your face a greasy residue remains. The smell won’t go away either, a stench of putrid flesh. You somehow couldn’t smell it before. You’re about to move when your stomach churns and you retch. Nothing comes out but your whole body heaves again and again. When it stops you pant with exhaustion.

You’re hungry, though the smell and the thought of the slime pouring into your mouth makes you feel sick. Your body is running on empty.

You can’t imagine doing anything other than try and clean yourself. Do you want to go back to one of the pools where the lights are working to wash [40] or just try the next pool along [41]?

_

[24]

There’s a horrible smell in the air and you stop where you are for a moment. The whole lab smells suspect, but this smell is different. It’s rotten. You brace yourself for something unpleasant and inch forward. Your foot finds an edge and you stop. It’s a pool. If you’d been careless you would’ve fallen in. The stench comes from the pool.

Will you investigate the pool [42] or turn left and explore this end of the lab further [43]?

_

[25]

You move towards where the red light came from and come across a door. It won’t open but the red light flashes again next to you. It comes from a console in the wall beside the door. There is a small display and some buttons below it.

If you have a keycard then you can try using that [37]. If not, you can continue further along the wall [44] or try pressing some of the buttons [39]?

_

[26]

You turn away from where the red light flashed and walk on. After a few metres your foot kicks something and it clatters across the tiles. The noise seems very loud in the sterile silence of the lab. You walk on and kick the object again.

Will you pick the object up, if it is still in reach [46], or walk on [47]?

_

[27]

You pull the labcoat from the body and put it on. You shiver as you do. The lab isn’t cold but it’s cool and has been sapping warmth from your body all this time. The labcoat should help. You button it up and then check the pockets. You find a rectangle of plastic that is probably either a key or ID in one of them. In the other there is small box of pills.

You search the body and find what feels like a photograph in one of the pockets. You can take it or leave it behind. You search the rest of the body and find nothing. The front of the man’s shirt is wet, however.

Will you drag the body back to where the lights work to have a better look at it [48] or leave it and carry on your way? You look up for a moment and see a small red light flash ahead of you. You can go straight ahead towards the red light [28], turn left [13.5] or go to the end of the workbench and then turn right [30].

_

[28]

The light flashes again as you approach it. It’s comes from about chest height, a small pinprick of red. You reach the wall and find a door. The light flashes again. It comes from a console next to the door. There is a small display and button underneath it, one of which flashes red occasionally.

The door won’t open. If you have a keycard then you can try using that [37]. If not, you can try pressing some of the buttons [39] or turn left [44] or right [26].

_

[29]

The body is heavy but you manage to move it towards one of the flickering overhead lights. It seems brighter than before as your eyes had adjusted to the dark. You hear the body crunching paper and glass as you pull it across the floor.

The body is a young man, slightly overweight, wearing a white labcoat with a small bloodstain on the front over his chest. Underneath the coat there is a lot more blood and a deep wound in his chest like a crater. There is a dark grey dusty residue on his face and in his mouth.

You search his pockets and find a keycard with ‘level 2 access’ written on it. You also find a box of pills that seem to be headache tablets and a small photograph. It’s creased and the colours are faded but you can make out a house surrounded by trees. The sun shining through the branches casts a mottled pattern across the front of the building and the porch at the front. The dark windows of the house stare like empty eye-sockets and you can just make out a slight blur in one of them that might be a person.

Your bodysuit doesn’t have any pockets so if you want to keep these items you’ll need to take the labcoat. If you’d rather then you can leave the labcoat and the items behind. If you put on the labcoat you don’t have to take all of the items. With the labcoat on you will be able to pick up any small objects you come across later.

Now you can either return to where you found the body and turn left [13.5], right [30] or go straight ahead [28]. You may instead leave the dark area and, if you haven’t done so already, investigate a workbench [2.5] or computer [3] or leave the lab via the door at the end of the room [4].

_

[30]

You turn right at the end of the workbench and take a few steps forwards. It’s too dark to see where you are going. You feel small objects, spilled from the workbench, being scattered by your feet.

If you have been to section [SOMETHING] after using the piece of scientific equipment on the workbench then turn to [23]. Otherwise, turn to [24].

_

[31]

There are two buttons next to ‘rate’, each triangular in shape and one pointing up and one pointing down. When you press the one pointing up the metal plate at the bottom of the case begins to rotate. It starts out slow but you press the same button again and it gets faster. It spins about as quickly as it can without the liquid spilling from the beaker.

Do you want to press the ‘disp.’ [48] button next? Alternatively, you can turn off the machine and, if you haven’t done so already, examine the file on the workbench [6], examine a computer [3], go over to the door at the end of the room [4] or go to the end of the room shrouded in darkness [5].

_

[32]

You press the ‘disp.’ button and the device stops humming but nothing else seems to happen. You press the other buttons but nothing happens either.

You could try turning the machine off and on again and start from the beginning [12] or you can turn off the machine and, if you haven’t done so already, examine the file on the workbench [6], examine a computer [3], go over to the door at the end of the room [4] or go to the end of the room shrouded in darkness [5].

_

[33]

There are two buttons next to ‘temp.’, each triangular in shape and one pointing up and one pointing down. When you press the one pointing up the metal plate at the bottom of the case begins to hum.

Do you want to press the ‘disp.’ [48] button? Alternatively, you can turn off the machine and, if you haven’t done so already, examine the file on the workbench [6], examine a computer [3], go over to the door at the end of the room [4] or go to the end of the room shrouded in darkness [5].

_

[34]

You press the ‘disp.’ button and the metal plate stops rotating but nothing else seems to happen. You press the other buttons but nothing happens either.

You could try turning the machine off and on again and start from the beginning [12] or you can turn off the machine and, if you haven’t done so already, examine the file on the workbench [6], examine a computer [3], go over to the door at the end of the room [4] or go to the end of the room shrouded in darkness [5].

_

[35]

You feel about for a vial and take the first one you find. You don’t know what’s in any of them so any one will do. The one you take has a rubber stopper in the top and is full of liquid. You put it in your labcoat pocket.

You can investigate the cupboard further [36] or turn right and make your way along the wall [22].

_

[36]

You fumble about on the top shelf, trying not to knock over any of the bottles or vials. Something has already been spilled, however, and you place your right hand into a puddle of a cool liquid. You pull your hand away and the coolness becomes a burning sensation. You try to wipe it off your hand while not crying out in pain or alarm. You dry your hand somewhat but it feels wet again after a moment. It might be bleeding. The pain is increasing.

You can wash your hand at a pool close by [49], go back to the lights to look at it and maybe wash it in a pool you can see [50], or wash it in one of the liquids stored in the cupboard [51]. Alternatively, you can ignore the pain and continue to explore [52].

_

[37]

There is a slot in the console next to the door so you swipe the card through it. The display lights up for a moment and beeps, then the door slides open with a quiet whirr. It reveals an expanse of stars and the bright purple of a nebula. Beyond the door there is only darkness that falls away into space. You step back in surprise, then realise that the door leads onto a corridor with a glass wall. There is no danger of falling into space, so you step through the doorway into the corridor. The window stretches from the floor to the ceiling all the way along the corridor, or as far as you can see, anyway. None of the overhead lights are working so you can only see by the light of the stars. There is a low humming sound coming from your right. You can’t see anything to your left.

Do you want to turn right [2 C4] or left [3 C4]?

_

[38]

You turn away from the door and walk by the wall. After a few metres your foot kicks something and it clatters across the tiles. The noise seems very loud in the sterile silence of the lab. You walk on and kick the object again.

Will you pick the object up, if it is still in reach [46], or walk on [47]?

_

[39]

You press a button and the screen lights up. Four horizontal bars flash on it. There are twelve buttons below the screen, arranged in four rows. Ten of them correspond to numbers but you don’t know what the other two are for. You press four of the buttons and each bar is replaced by an asterisk on the screen. The screen flashes red for a second and then goes blank. None of the buttons do anything now and the door still won’t open.

If you have a keycard you can use that [37]. If not then you can either continue to explore this area by, if you haven’t already, following the wall to the right [38] or left [44] or you can go back to the other end of the room and go through the other door [4].

_

[40]

You stumble towards the lights, wiping away the slime as it drips into your eyes. The first few pools you pass look unpleasant, the filters in the walls choked with algae and a film of scum floating on their surface. You stop at one that looks clean.

The best way to clean yourself would be to climb in the pool. Would you like to do that [49] or would you rather just sit at the edge of the pool [50]?

_

[41]

You feel along the edge of the pool with your hands until you reach the corner, then reach out to find the next pool along. You make sure there’s no chance of you falling in again. The slime drips into your eyes so you shut them. You couldn’t see anything anyway.

You put your fingers in to test the pool and it seems to be filled with water. Do you want to climb in [51] or just sit at the edge of the pool [52]?

_

[42]

You crouch down and dip your fingers into the water, though it turns out not to feel much like water at all; it’s thick and greasy. You take your fingers out and the slime sticks to them. You wipe your hand on the edge of the pool. The smell coming out of it is awful and makes you want to retch.

Do you want to turn left and explore this end of the lab further [43] or climb into the pool [53]?

_

[43]

You turn left and walk ahead with your arms outstretched to stop you walking into a wall. The floor is clear of debris now. You come to a wall with a bulletin board or something similar attached to it. You look to your right and left. You can’t see anything on your right through the darkness but you catch a small flash of red light on your left from about chest height a few metres away.

Would you like to go to the left [25] or the right [26]?

_

[44]

The wall leads you to the corner of the room, which you follow past an unresponsive computer and a locked cupboard. You get to another cupboard that is open, however.

Will you feel around inside to see what’s there [54] or follow the wall back to the other end of the room where the lights are still working. You can then, if you have not done so already, go through the door that leads from the lab [4] or explore a workbench [2.5] or computer [3].

_

[45]

This section does NOTHING mwahaha.

_

[46]

The object is an empty beaker. You put it to one side and carry on ahead, trailing your fingers along the tiles of the wall. You take each step carefully but when you put your right foot down there’s nothing there and you fall forward. Your stomach lurches as your centre of gravity shifts and you plunge into a dark pit. There’s no splash as you hit water; the pool is empty and you hit the bottom with a crunch. You lie on the tiles, unable to move. You hit your head and, though you can’t see anything, you can feel the pool spinning around you.

You pass out.

When you come back the pain is worse but you feel like you can move. You roll over onto your back and feel your ribs moving about in your torso. You cry out in pain and listen as the echo bounces across the length of the lab.

You hear something that isn’t the echo, a soft thud. It was so quiet that you might have imagined it.

Do you want to lie where you are as quietly as possible [55] or try and crawl to the edge of the pool and climb out [56]?

_

[47]

You walk forward, ignoring the object. You take a couple of steps and kick it again. You hear it roll away from you and then a pause and a smash, like the object has rolled off the edge of something and smashed on the ground.

Do you want to continue ahead [46] or return to the door [25]? If you return to the door you may not take any of the options you took before.

_

[48]

You push the ‘disp.’ button and humming sound from the machine begins to increase. There’s a flash of light and a vapour rises from the beaker as the liquid evaporates. When there is only about a centimetre left the device stops humming and the rotation slows to a standstill.

Do you want to open the box [57]? If not you can turn off the machine and, if you haven’t done so already, examine the file on the workbench [6], examine a computer [3], go over to the door at the end of the room [4] or go to the end of the room shrouded in darkness [5].

_

[49]

The water in the pool is cold but you welcome it as you wash the foetid slime from your body. It twists through the water around you. You duck your head below the water and wash the muck from your face and hair. When you look up again the slime has formed a layer of scum on top of the water around you. You’re going to have to go through it to get out of the pool, but you’ll be much cleaner than before. You spend a minute removing the last of it from yourself and then head to the edge of the pool.

A red light flashes on the wall behind you and you turn to look at it. It flashes on and off, faster and faster. You swim towards the edge of the pool, ignoring the slime that clings to you once again. Just as you place your hand on the pool’s edge there is another flash of light, blue this time, and pain arcs through your body. Your muscles contract and you lose your grip on the edge of the pool. Black spots dance in front of your eyes for a moment. You swim to the edge of the pool again but there’s another flash of light and electricity runs through your body. The scum floating around you seems to boil as the lightning flashes more and more frequently. The pain is unbearable. You try to move your limbs but they just spasm. You remain conscious for a few moments more, then you pass out.

Soon there is nothing left of you in the pool but bones, and they dissolve eventually.

[END]

_

[50]

You kneel down by the pool and wash water over your face. The slime doesn’t come off easily but you manage to stop it dripping into your eyes. You wash the slime from your hands and it spreads through the water. The dark tendrils twist and eventually rise to the surface to form a layer of scum.

You wipe off most of the slime and a red light flickers on the wall at the other side of the pool. It flashes on and off and gets faster and faster. You watch it for a moment and then there’s another flash of light, blue this time, from the pool. Electricity arcs through the water. You move away from the pool as the lightning flashes again and the scum seems to boil. It disperses itself through the water and turns it dark, but as the lightning flashes again and again the water begins to clear.

You hear a noise to your left, from the dark end of the room. You can’t use the pool any more but you’ve removed most of the slime. Do you want to go towards the noise [58] or leave the lab through the door on your right that you saw earlier [4]?

_

[51]

You lower yourself into the water. It is cold but you welcome the sensation as it washes off the greasy warmth of the slime. You duck your head under the water and wash the slime from your face. It doesn’t come off easily but after a while you feel clean. You tread water for a minute, listening to the faint sound of the water lapping against the sides of the pool.

There’s a loud splash in front of you and a wave of water rushes pas you. You turn and swim back to the edge of the pool but something grabs your leg and pulls you backwards and down under the water. You kick out with your other leg while your arms flail and you try to keep above the surface. Your foot connects with something hard and then something grabs that leg, too. You manage to take half a breath before you’re dragged down below the surface. Your legs are released but you feel hands grab onto your arms and then your throat and your face. You grab onto the thing and try to push it away but your hands just sink into soft, cold flesh. You clutch at the things arms and the flesh sloughs away until all you can do is grab onto bone and wrestle against the thing, but it is far stronger than you. One hand squeezes your throat while the other forces its fingers into your mouth and tries to pull it open. You can feel air escaping from your lungs and bubbles running up your face.

You don’t last long. Water floods down your throat and into your lungs and you feel heavy and sleepy. The thing bites into your arm and the pain is extreme, but you don’t feel it for long.

[END]

_

[52]

You kneel beside the pool and dip your hands into the cool water. You wash the slime from your face and as much as you can from your body, but it doesn’t come off easily. Eventually you feel clean enough to carry on. You stand up and, as you do, hear a sound to your left. In an instant your heart is racing. You look towards the sound and see grey shadows in the dark. The sound was a soft click. You could have imagined it. Now there’s just silence.

Do you want to walk towards the sound [59] or leave the dark end of the lab? If you want to leave you can either go straight to the door at the far end of the room [4] or, if you haven’t already, examine a workbench or a computer [60].

_

[53]

You lower yourself into the pool. The slime it is filled with is greasy and warm but it doesn’t kill you. You’re not sure if you are disappointed or not. The water, if it is water, is too deep for you to stand in, so you hold onto the edge of the pool. Your foot brushes against something soft in the water and your heart starts beating at double pace. The smell of the pool is making you feel ill. It smells of decay. It’s almost enough to put you off the idea of dying.

Do you want to explore the pool [61] or climb out [62]?

_

[54]

You open the cupboard door and release an unpleasant smell that divides into a series of component smells, each one equally pungent. The cupboard contains numerous shelves of bottles and sealed vials in racks. They generally seem to be filled with liquid but in the dark you can’t tell for sure with all of them.

If you’ve picked up a pouch, pocket or something similar you can take one of the vials [35]. If not then you can investigate the cupboard further [36] or return to the other end of the room. There, if you have not done so already, you can go through the door leading from the lab [4] or examine a workbench [2.5] or a computer [3].

_

[55]

Your breathing sounds very loud, though you try to keep it as quiet as possible. You hear another sound, a soft click, and then another. You hold your breath and hope it’s just your imagination. The next click seems to be closer. You can’t imagine moving without making a sound. Your muscles are tense with fear and even that is enough for your ribs to pain you.

There are no more sounds. You breath out slowly, then can’t hold back a quiet gasp as something lands in the pool next to you with a thud. You hear it moving, whatever it is, and crawl away from it, no longer thinking about being quiet.

A bony hand grabs your face and you cry out. The hand squeezes and then another grabs your arm and the thing crawls onto your chest. The pain is enormous. The thing’s flesh is soft and slimy but its hands are hard and cold.

Teeth bite into the top of your head and you cry out in pain. You try to force the thing from you but it’s far stronger than you are and pins you in place. The teeth scrape away at your scalp. You scream and the hand lets go of your face and grabs your lower jaw. Its fingers are in your mouth and fill it with the taste of mould. It pulls down on your jaw and then wrenches it to one side. The bone breaks and the thing’s teeth bite down again on your head.

Pain gives you strength and you roll over, throwing the thing from you, though its hand still grips your jawbone and yanks it down again, you feel like it must almost be torn from your face.

You try to scream and stand up but the thing is on you again in an instant and on top of you again. You feel your ribs crunch under its weight. You feel its teeth sink into your face and one hand tear off your jaw while the fingers of the other burrow into your arm.

Soon you stop distinguishing the causes and there is just pain, then you die.

[END]

_

[56]

The noises continue as you crawl towards the edge of the pool where you fell in. There are quiet clicks and squelches and thuds. Your fear and the silence of the lab make them sound louder than they are.

You reach the wall. There were no handholds to climb out with in the other pools and you can’t find any now. You try to stand up but your legs don’t seem to respond. You try again and a sudden pain makes you hiss air out between your teeth.

Whatever is approaching must know you’re there.

You try again to stand but all you can do is pull yourself into a sitting position that sends jolts of pain up your spine. You sit there are stare into the darkness at whatever is approaching, but you can’t see it.

You can hear it. It gets closer. It’s only a couple of metres away you think.

It’s closer than that. It grabs you by the arm and then its other hand covers your face, squeezing your mouth. You feel your teeth tearing out of your gums and taste blood as it runs across your tongue and down your throat.

You struggle and grab the thing but it is much stronger than you. It pushes your head back against the wall and then sinks its teeth into your neck and tears out a chunk of flesh.

You die quickly, but not as quickly as you hope.

[END]

_

[57]

The box is sealed at the top by a catch. You undo it and lift the top up on its hinges. Vapour and a smell erupts from the box. You sneeze and mucus runs out of your nostrils, which are burning with the smell. You can taste it on your tongue. It tastes like bleach. It makes your eyes run, too. After a minute the smell is gone but your nose and eyes continue to sting for some time.

There is very little liquid left in the beaker and nothing useful in the box. You turn off the device.

If you haven’t done so already you can now examine the file on the workbench [6], examine a computer [3], go over to the door at the end of the room [4] or go to the end of the room shrouded in darkness [5].

_

[58]

You keep your eyes and ears focused on the darkness ahead of you as you approach the place the sound seemed to come from. The lights flicker overhead. You reach the last light, beyond which is a wall of shadow, and stop. You can see the edge of the black tar that lies in a puddle on the floor, but beyond that nothing.

Your body is trembling. Your imagination hears noises all about you but you think there is something ahead of you, just hidden in the shadows. Perhaps you’re not being rational.

Do you want to continue ahead [63] or turn around and ignore whatever it is you may or may not be imagining [60]?

_

[59]

You step forward and feel a thick, tarry substance beneath your feet, like the stuff you saw before. You probably walked over it just a minute ago but didn’t notice, being covered in muck anyway. You ignore it and walk ahead. You move slowly, making sure of every step.

Something collides with your left side and you fall. You land in a pool with a squelch, maybe the same pool as before. Something heavy is on you, pushing you under the surface. You feel hands clutching your arms and pinning them at your side. You hit the bottom of the pool and kick out with your feet but the thick slime slows your movements. The thing is much stronger than you and you can’t escape, no matter how your struggle and fight. Slime runs up your nose and before long you have to open your mouth for air. You fight the urge but you can’t escape the thing’s grip and you open your mouth. Slime oozes over your tongue and between your teeth and down your throat. You feel heavy and stop struggling. Sensation fades and you can only dimly feel the ground against your back and the teeth biting into your arm as the thing begins to feed.

[END]

_

[60]

You turn away from the direction the noise came from and hurry towards the workbench by the pool you woke up in. You wonder what to do next when there’s another noise behind you. It might be a footstep.

Do you want to turn around [64], hide behind the workbench [65] or run to the door at the other end of the room and leave the lab [4]?

_

[61]

You push off from the edge and try to swim across the pool. The slime laps over your face and sticks. You swim a length anyway. By the time you reach the end you’re exhausted. You wipe the slime from your eyes, though it’s too dark for you to anything anyway. You pull yourself along the edge of the pool but something grabs your ankle. You panic and lose your grip on the edge of the pool and are pulled under. The hand releases your ankle but grabs your arms and pins them to your side and pushes you down from above. You hit the bottom of the pool and kick out with your feet but the thick slime slows your movements. The thing is much stronger than you and you can’t escape, no matter how your struggle and fight. Slime runs up your nose and before long you have to open your mouth for air. You fight the urge but you can’t escape the thing’s grip and you open your mouth. Slime oozes over your tongue and between your teeth and down your throat. You feel heavy and stop struggling. Sensation fades and you can only dimly feel the ground against your back and the teeth biting into your arm as the thing begins to feed.

[END]

_

[62]

You pull yourself up over the edge of the pool but something grabs your ankle. You cry out but it was inevitable and you’re hardly surprised. The thing pulls you down and you lose your grip on the pool’s edge. The hand releases your ankle but grabs your arms and pins them to your side and pushes you down from above. You hit the bottom of the pool and kick out with your feet but the thick slime slows your movements. The thing is much stronger than you and you can’t escape, no matter how your struggle and fight. Slime runs up your nose and before long you have to open your mouth for air. You fight the urge but you can’t escape the thing’s grip and you open your mouth. Slime oozes over your tongue and between your teeth and down your throat. You feel heavy and stop struggling. Sensation fades and you can only dimly feel the ground against your back and the teeth biting into your arm as the thing begins to feed.

[END]

_

[63]

You turn away from the sound and walk over to the workbench beside the pool you woke up in. You wonder what to do next.

There’s another sound behind you, something like a footstep. You turn around and see something walking towards you from the darkness at the other end of the room. The flickering lights reveal a humanoid figure limping slowly. After a moment it steps under one of the working lights and you see a person formed from black, rotting flesh. In places the flesh has fallen away, revealing grey bone. Its eyes are black and dead but it seems to be looking at you anyway. The only sounds it makes as it moves are its footsteps and the faint clicking of its joints.

Do you want to run out of the lab [64] or confront the thing [65]?

_

[64]

You run past the rows of pools, workbenches and computers and reach the door. You turn around and see the thing shambling towards you, though it is some distance away still.

You open the door, step through into a corridor and shut it behind you. There is a console in the wall beside the door, a small screen and twelve buttons next to a slot for swiping a keycard through.

If you have a keycard you can try using it [66]. If not you can either try pressing some of the buttons on the console [67] or move on [68].

_

[65]

You look around for a weapon. On the workbench next to you there are files, beakers and some kind of device that looks like a glass box. You can take either take a beaker of liquid to throw at the thing [69] or the glass box, which looks fairly heavy [70]. If you picked up a vial of liquid from a cupboard earlier then you can use that [71]. Otherwise you’ll have to face it unarmed [72].

_

[66]

You swipe the card through the slot and the screen lights up. The door is locked. You should be fine unless the thing has its own keycard. You turn around and look at your surroundings.

You stand in a corridor. In front of you there’s a door with a console next to it with a small red light. To either side of you the corridor stretches out as far as you can see before the lights give out. They’re working better here than in the room you came from but it’s still quite dim.

The ground and walls are covered in white tiles, just like the room behind you. There are dark stains in places. The air is free of the strange smell present in the other room but it tastes stale.

You can turn left [C3 5], right [C3 6] or try the door in front of you [C3 7].

_

[67]

The screen shows four flashing lines which presumably correspond to the code you’re supposed to enter. You guess a four digit number and enter it and the screen flashes red. It will no longer respond when you press anything.

The door isn’t locked but you look through the window, made from glass reinforced with wire, and can’t see the thing. It may have gone back to wherever it had been hiding.

You turn around and look at your surroundings. You stand in a corridor. In front of you there’s a door with a console next to it with a small red light. To either side of you the corridor stretches out as far as you can see before the lights give out. They’re working better here than in the room you came from but it’s still quite dim.

The ground and walls are covered in white tiles, just like the room behind you. There are dark stains in places. The air is free of the strange smell present in the other room but it tastes stale.

You can turn left [C3 5], right [C3 6] or try the door in front of you [C3 7].

_

[68]

You look around at your surroundings. You stand in a corridor. In front of you there’s a door with a console next to it glowing with a red light. To either side of you the corridor stretches out as far as you can see before the lights give out. They’re working better here than in the room you came from but it’s still quite dim.

The ground and walls are covered in white tiles, just like the room behind you. There are dark stains in places. The air is free of the strange smell present in the other room but it tastes stale.

You can turn left [C3 5], right [C3 6] or try the door in front of you [C3 7].

_

[69]

There are a lot of beakers on the workbench but most of them are nearly empty, spilled over or full of substances that have congealed into sludge. You find a fairly large beaker containing a green liquid and grab that. There’s a sealed bottle containing some white pellets next to it and grab that too.

You remove the stopper from the bottle of pellets and then throw the beaker of liquid at the thing. The green fluid splashes over its face and the beaker bounces off its shoulder. You throw the pellets at it next but it doesn’t seem to notice them even though they stick to its skin. It steps forward and starts to climb over the workbench towards you.

You can pick up the piece of equipment that looks like a glass box and throw that [73], throw a vial of liquid if you picked one up earlier [74] or face the thing unarmed [75].

Otherwise you could try running away [76].

_

[70]

You unplug the device from the wall and pick it up. It’s heavier than it looks and might do some damage to the thing.

The thing stands across the other side of the workbench. Its eye sockets point almost in your direction, skewed slightly to one side. Its mouth opens and its throat bulges but no sound emerges between its yellowed teeth. Its drips a tarry black substance from its body.

You throw the device over the workbench and it hits the thing on the head and shatters. You duck down for a moment to avoid the shards of glass flying through the air and when you look up you can’t see the thing. You might have knocked it to the ground. You stand still for a moment, wondering what to do when a hand appears over the edge of the workbench and pulls the thing back to its feet. Its skin is cut open in a dozen places across its face, chest and shoulders and its face hardly looks human any more. Shards of glass stick out of its soft, tarry flesh and one cheek has been torn away, exposing long teeth and black gums.

The thing begins to climb over the workbench towards you.

You can try throwing a beaker of one of the strange liquids on the workbench at it [77], throw a vial of liquid at it if you picked one up earlier [74] or face the thing unarmed [75].

Otherwise you could try running away [76].

_

[71]

You take the vial from your pocket and look at it. The liquid inside is a dark red colour. You pull out the stopper and move behind the workbench so the thing is on the opposite side to you. It doesn’t move round the bench but stops opposite you. Its eye sockets point almost in your direction, skewed slightly to one side. Its mouth opens and its throat bulges but no sound emerges between its yellowed teeth. Its drips a tarry black substance from its body.

You take aim and throw the vial at it. It hits the thing in the face but it doesn’t even flinch. The liquid splashes over its face and hisses. Smoke rises into the air as its flesh dissolves but the thing still does nothing to react. After a moment of not quite looking at you the thing begins to climb over the workbench.

You can try throwing a beaker of one of the strange liquids on the workbench at it [77], pick up the piece of equipment that looks like a glass box and throw that [73] or face the thing unarmed [75].

Otherwise you could try running away [76].

_

[72]

You rush towards the thing with your fists raised. It doesn’t react and you collide with it, raining down punches on its soft body. Your fists are soon covered in the black tarry substance that covers the thing.

The thing takes your punches and seems completely unfazed.

You send a punch towards its head, hoping to knock the thing to the ground, but its arm lashes out and grabs your neck and your punch goes awry. Its fingers squeeze your throat and you try to tear its hand away from your neck. It’s no use; the thing is far stronger than you. You kick it and writhe in its grip but before long your vision is fading. Stars explode in front of your eyes and you pass out. You don’t wake again.

[END]

_

[73]

Working quickly you unplug the device from the wall and pick it up. It’s heavier than it looks and might do some damage to the thing.

It’s only a metre away from you and making its way over the cluttered workbench. It leaves a black trail behind it as it crawls.

You throw the device and it hits the thing on the head and shatters. You duck down for a moment to avoid the shards of glass flying through the air and when you look up the thing is lying across the workbench, surrounded by broken glass.

It gets back up and carries on crawling towards you.

Its skin is cut open in a dozen places across its face, chest and shoulders and its face hardly looks human any more. Shards of glass stick out of its soft, tarry flesh and one cheek has been torn away, exposing long teeth and black gums.

It’s right in front of you. There’s no time to throw anything else. You either face it with your fists [75] or run away [76].

_

[74]

You take the vial from your pocket and pull out the stopper.

It’s only a metre away from you and making its way over the cluttered workbench. It leaves a black trail behind it as it crawls.

You take aim and throw the vial at it. It hits the thing in the face but it doesn’t even flinch. The liquid splashes over its face and hisses. Smoke rises into the air as its flesh dissolves but the thing still does nothing to react, it just continues to crawl towards you across the workbench.

It’s right in front of you. There’s no time to throw anything else. You either face it with your fists [75] or run away [76].

_

[75]

You step back. The thing reaches the end of the workbench and knocks a couple of glass bottles onto the floor which shatter. Paper from the workbench sticks to the thing’s body. It pushes itself off the edge and lands on the floor on all fours. You seize your opportunity and attack now, while its guard is down. You kick it and punch it as it stands up but after a moment you realise that the thing hardly seems to react to your assault at all.

You send a punch towards its head, hoping to knock the thing to the ground, but its arm lashes out and grabs your neck and your punch goes awry. Its fingers squeeze your throat and you try to tear its hand away from your neck. It’s no use; the thing is far stronger than you. You kick it and writhe in its grip but before long your vision is fading. Stars explode in front of your eyes and you pass out. You don’t wake again.

[END]

_

[76]

You turn and run towards the door at the end of the room. Your breathing and the slap of your bare feet on the tiled floor sound very loud, while the thing behind you makes no noise at all. You can’t hear if it’s pursuing you at all. You turn your head as you run to look behind you and see the thing is mere metres from you, crawling on all fours. Its mouth hangs open and its empty eye sockets seem to be staring at you with hunger.

You reach the door. There’s no time to even pray that it will open. You reach out towards the console next to it but the door slides open on its own and hisses shut behind you. You’re in a corridor but the thing is right behind you.

There’s a control panel next to the door on this side too. If you have a keycard you can try using that [78]. If not you can try pressing some of the buttons on the console to try and lock the door [79] or just try and run [80].

_

[77]

There are a lot of beakers on the workbench but most of them are nearly empty, spilled over or full of substances that have congealed into sludge. You look for one you can use, throwing files and piles of paper to one side. You find a fairly large beaker containing a green liquid and grab that. You look up and see that the thing is half-way over the workbench, shoving equipment aside, face turned towards you.

You throw the beaker of liquid at the thing. The green fluid splashes over its face and the beaker bounces off its shoulder. It ignores the liquid as it runs down its face and drips onto the workbench.

It’s right in front of you. There’s no time to throw anything else. You either face it with your fists [75] or run away [76].

_

[78]

You fumble with the keycard for a moment and hear the thing slam into the door, which begins to open, though slowly. It beeps as it opens, like the sound of a truck reversing.

You slide the door shut and swipe the card through the slot. The display on the console flashes green for a moment.

Then you stand still for a minute, breathing deeply. The thing presses its face against the glass window, leaving black smudges on its surface.

You turn away and look around.

You stand in a corridor. In front of you there’s a door with a console next to it with a small red light. To either side of you the corridor stretches out as far as you can see before the lights give out. They’re working better here than in the room you came from but it’s still quite dim.

The ground and walls are covered in white tiles, just like the room behind you. There are dark stains in places. The air is free of the strange smell present in the other room but it tastes stale.

You can turn left [C3 5], right [C3 6] or try the door in front of you [C3 7].

_

[79]

You fumble with the number pad for a moment and hear the thing slam into the door, which begins to open, though slowly. It beeps as it opens, like the sound of a truck reversing. The screen in the console displays four flashing lines. You begin to press a four digit code but a hand reaches through the gap left by the opening door and grabs your arm. You pull against it but can’t get away so you hit the arm repeatedly with your other elbow.

The door opens enough for the thing to get through but it doesn’t step out into the corridor, instead it pulls you back into the lab. You can’t fight it; it’s far stronger than you. It drags you all the way back to the dark end of the room. You fight and scream every step of the way and you beat at its arm until the flesh falls off and leaves only dirty bone but the thing doesn’t seem to care.

It throws you into a pool in the darkness but there’s nothing in it and you hit the bottom with a crunch. It doesn’t hurt as much as you expect. You lie there and the thing jumps down after you and begins tugging at your leg. You lie like that for a few minutes, unable to move, barely able to breathe.

Eventually the thing crawls over your body and begins to feed on your face, pulling strips of skin away between its teeth.

You don’t live long after that.

[END]

_

[80]

You’re in a corridor and can go to the left or the right. You have an instant to decide which way to go before the thing comes through the door. You run down the corridor a short distance and look back.

The thing is standing in the doorway. It grips the door with one hand and leans out into the corridor, its face pointing in your direction.

After a moment it disappears back into the lab. A red light flashes on over the door and a calm female voice says, ‘Intruder detected in Department Eight. Initiating lockdown.’ You hear the door slide shut and then a quiet hissing sound.

You walk back to the door. The console next to it flashes red, on and off. The light above the door does the same. You look through the window but there’s no sign of the thing in the lab.

You turn away and look around.

You stand in a corridor. In front of you there’s a door with a console next to it with a small red light. To either side of you the corridor stretches out as far as you can see before the lights give out. They’re working better here than in the room you came from but it’s still quite dim.

The ground and walls are covered in white tiles, just like the room behind you. There are dark stains in places. The air is free of the strange smell present in the other room but it tastes stale.

You can turn left [C3 5], right [C3 6] or try the door in front of you [C3 7].

_

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About lemonmachine

I am Kieren McCallum, a third-year English Literature student at UEA, Norwich. View all posts by lemonmachine

2 responses to “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Chapter 2

  • dwankan

    I haven’t had a chance to get into this yet, but I saw it and wanted to post a quick note. I used to love the choose your own adventure books as a kid. Are they still around?

    • lemonmachine

      They’ve recently released a couple of new Fighting Fantasy ones (one was called Blood of the Zombies or something silly like that) but otherwise I don’t think anyone still makes them. They’re a bit out of fashion. You can buy second-hand ones on amazon for a penny, though, so you could pretend they never went away 😛

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