With much effort and strain the door *KlunkT* open. A burst of electrical sparks greeted me on the other side, as I drop exhausted to the grated floor. My head hit the steel grated sheet with a rattling thunk. Lights flickered in this room, the automated door on the firtz behind me undulated in and out of the wall. Another shower burst of electrical sparks. My muscles began to relax but my brain felt like mud, so I allowed myself to drift.
Blackness and starbursts met me there. A warn loop of entering a room and finding a way out played on the reel of my mind, over and over. A horrifying snake pit in one room, as the floor gave out on either side of the walk way I stood on. A huge slicing pendulum swung by barely missing me in another. In another, lights flicker on in a large corridor illuminating various cells staggered on either side showing clones of myself in each one staring wild eyed at me. Until toward the end a baby me, adolescent me and finally senior me- this one disinterested completely in my being there, and staring at the floor while sitting on his bunk. Then of course a minotaur-like half man half alien creature that lurks the halls in places like this lunged out of a shadowy corner, right when I caught glimpse of the exit.
The last room I had been in played like an airplane crashing scenario. I must had been knocked out by a plume of noxious gas upon entry because when I awoke I was seat-belted into an airline passenger seat. As soon as I came to a feverishly and panicked pilot came over the loud speaker.
“We’ve lost control! Brace for impact!”
Instantly the passengers began howling and screaming in all manner of high pitched screeching, upon looking around, say, for instance to my left sitting there and everywhere, to add more yet another disorientating facet to the experience were nude women. Unclothed women, they’re faces contorted in a fixed look of horror. I look past my row mate out the window, as I remain seated in the aisle seat. Out the window a black void until a white crack crackles and disrupts the sky to illumine clouds and showering rain, and also the wing, where a grimacing goblin could be seen clinging to ripping at and throwing behind it shreds thereof. I unbuckled my seat belt with white knuckes amidst the howling and screeching, as I did the intercom crackled back to, and let out over it was a demon chuckle of sorts.
Then there I saw the door and lunged for it. I moved toward it as the door sense me and slid into the walls of the plane, I jumped through. On the other side, silence, motionless.
I stood up in a dimly lit spot, seemingly at the middle. I look behind me to see the door I had just previously lunged through silently role away from me as if on a track, or wheels. Pure silence insued, as I was left with a diminishing rapid heart rate and my adrenaline levels stabilize- while Standing there, trying to hold onto the calm. I sat cross legged for a while, appreciating the nothing of the place. No disaster sequence or insane seemingly random horrors assaulting me. No abstract quandaries or existential angst for a change.
After a while I get up. I step forward, and hear a *clonk* type sound, as if produced by a women’s heal echo. Then with every step the same. I knew before I started to move again that of course the aberrant oddities would begin emediatly in this dubious illusory realm.
Wherever I was.
Senses assaulted at every turn.
It was obvious I had become the play thing of some mischievous cosmic force or entity. Extricated from the normal, real realm of and thrust into a holographic ethereal world.
As I walked, contemplated my situation, so did the spot light, keeping time with me. I would stop and so would it. I looked up to see merely an impossibly distant blare of light, fixed in a surrounding black.
Black as well described my surrounding outside the perimeter of my lit companion circle. The floor was seemingly colorless, maybe gray or green, linoleum- or a similar material.
This went on for hours. Nothing, a light directly above, and more nothing ahead, behind and all around.
Finally, a mist becomes visible out there in the darkness. I am suddenly aware of another place made possible there out beyond my dimly lit proximity. I make my way toward the dimly lit other place. Mist rolling by, in back of what I continually confirm as a silhouette, a silhouette of a man, perhaps.
Presently, I stand perhaps 5 meters away from a standing black figure.
“Hello?” I say which echoes out.
Too big eyes open suddenly, the whites producing light. The eyes are larger than a mans, and the skin around them is green.
Behind roles by a solid plum of mist, as if on queue. I decide I’ve grown weary of constant prestidigitation regardless of whether or not its intended for my sake, my entertainment or enjoyment or not- its far beyond having worn on me. I am frustrated at this point, and here before me is yet another anomaly, though, in human shape- something I can understand. I decide with a clenched fist that perhaps I can take this clown.
“Hello,” speaks a voice from several non local locations, as if spoken unanimously by a encircling group surrounding me- all but from one place had it apparently emitted, the man who stood before me.
‘Very impressive- and clever- and awe inspiring,’ I thought to myself.
“*sigh*, well, who are you, I’m sure you’re going to tell no matter-“
“SILENCE” the omnipresent voice erupted. Despite myself I jumped- which angered me, having been manipulated like this.
Dramatically the figure then raised his arms to show a sort of winged cape that had draped around him.
That was it. The melodrama was too much, I had encountered far worse and this was the limit of my patience.
“You may call me-“ before the voice could finish I charged forward with clenched fists determined to deal violence.
Suddenly the man lifted up by unseen wires, that nevertheless strained squeakily pulleys above him that sounded their strain.
I stood below his feet, trying to make out his costume, of which I could not in the darkness. I look ahead just as the door out of there silently had been wheeled up, within sight by, I had decided, stage hands behind it- who are now no doubt feverishly making up the next room.
In an annoyed tone, I turn my head up to address the man suspended above me “okay, so I do know the law and I am willing to sue for kid-“
The man had silently positioned himself to face me. Wide eyed and staring down.
“ I am the Green Man.”
He said, this time having actually spoken the words from his centralized self.
“ How very mundane,” I quip.
To which the Green Man responded by shrinking away, fading into darkness.
That was the first encounter I had had with the Green Man, who would from then on became a running theme in the rooms ahead.
He proved to make a cameo appearance in every disparate themed room. Once as a disfigured woman’s pet dog. Another as a dead captain of a pirate ship, who, once all the panic stricken shipmates lept screaming to their deaths into the storming ocean; got up and did a jig before himself leaping out of a window himself. Another time, while working apparently in an office building for a corporation that manufactured dog-sized slugs, appeared as a receptionist that would keep winking at me throughout a board meeting.
This particular room was very amusing. Especially once they took-out these large slimy slugs out of their suit cases and plopped them all before them. Apparently they had thought of me as a potential foreign investor, as they proceeded to demonstrate their technology.
They all pushed their fingers into the writhing slug mass before them to pull out of the body of the slug a tube. At the end of the tubes protracted into insectoid like mandables to latch onto the skin of the neck as galeae sucked out of the tube and into a vein to where it continue to unreel itself to the base of the skull. The businessmen then appeared to have epileptic seizure, as their eyes rolled back and the slunched in their seats. Then the lights dimmed and a screen at the front of the board room descended down. Projected onto the screen then was a melee fight scene between futuristic soldiers, shooting eachother, killing each other for points and then respawning somewhere else in the game. I laughed until hoarse and in tears.
Afterwards the angry business men left in a hurry. Then I was approached by, presumably, the CEO while wiping tears out of my eyes who red-faced put a hand on my shoulder and asked the winking, green in complexion, “receptionist” to please escort me to the elevator.
This way please, the green man- with a woman’s body of course, sauntered in front of me, beckoning with a curly finger and winking the whole way.
“Right this way sir,” as she waved her open palm toward the elevator, which, dinged just as “she” did so.
“I’ll see you on the other side” I replied as I tripped into the next room.
This next room was squishy, and made up of flesh- everything. The walls were lined with nipples, every corner was covered in epidermis, scraped scared bruised and bleeding. Every light fixture was a bulbous sac of aluminous liquid. Every door handle was a thumb or a toe, the fixtures appliances and architecture consisted of and knees and elbows, hair and fingernails, lips and, most horrifyingly, eyeballs. I instantly stepped into a porous opening that displaced a blob of puss, which effected a chain effect from the wall where there had been a puckering anus of sorts that sprayed excrement and methane. The whole slodge through the place produced rude sounds and offense odors, erupted corpuscles, probing eyeballs or feeling hairs. A breeze of cold air rushed down one hallway, at the end of which I could finally see the exit, as the whole place contracted with goose bumps.
Onto the next room of course.
Presently I lift my head from the grated floor, just as yet another spurt of buzzing electrical outburst showers and dissipates above me. I pull myself to standing, as the door behind me yet still undulates in and out of the wall.
Before me, off in the distance I see a portal to the outside. Looking through, my faint reflection seen upon the window, I can see silently whirling purple galaxies, in slow motion, and be speckled stars everywhere.
“This is a maintenance room,” said the Green Man behind me. I see in the reflection of the window his person emerge from the shadows.
“Oh yeah?” I jadedly retort.
“We’ve run out of rooms to play in.”
“Yes, we are almost to the end.”
“Does there even exist the concept of ‘the end’ in this place?”
“Eventually there is always an end,” said the Green Man, walking toward me now.
I turn to face him, his skin green, his eyes too large, and his robe covering him. He has no nose, and affixed upon his face a permanent grimace, cocky and arrogant.
“There is no rationale to this place, if you are attempting to teach me a lesson you are failing miserably.”
The Green Man places a thought bent finger to his chin as he looks away pensively. “Hmmm, “ he says.
After a while: “Are you telling me we are on a starship, floating through space.”
“I’m not telling you what is obviously apparent to your senses.”
“This whole place is an exercise in tricking my senses.”
“So how am I supposed to know what’s real.”
“You’ll know when you arrive at it.”
I had at this point no energy to refute him, or decipher the meaning of coded words.
“Well,” I said “take me to the next room, let’s have more nonsense.”
“This is it,” he replied.
“What do you mean?”
“This is the last room.”
The idea that there could even be a last room had escaped me as a possibility countless rooms ago. I look around the decrepit dark room, flickering light showing shelves of mechanical parts with wires sprouting out. Dark, in the corner a defunct droid stood, all manner of tools and probes, broken devices lay about. In another corner a broom and mop bucket.
Looking back out the window, a swirling galaxy, and the star pocked void of space still presented ahead of me.
“So, am I to think this is real? Am I to deduce that I am on a starship, and this entire time had been dragged through an obstacle course of illusions, holodecks upon holodecks?”
“You’re not asking me this, you’re telling me.”
“So who are you?”
“I’m the Green Man.”
“Right, and, this is your ship?”
“No, I am a chaotic god from the old times, I have embodied this shape, and took this form so as to appear to you using language and a symbol structure your mind can comprehend.”
He then points toward the door. “Beyond that door you will find the bridge of the ship. We are currently floating through space. The exact coordinates of where we are uncertain since the Universal Positioning Unit is off line. No worries though, as you said there are holodecks here, and, you can queu up anything you need to know in order to do repairs.”
“Okay, so, this room is a tutorial for the next room, got it- and now I will be a commander of a Starfleet in the next room.”
“No, this is where you are now. No more illusions.”
The Green Man went on to explain how he had brought me to the void of space aboard a floating wrecked starship that had been destroyed by a virus long since having died along with the crew. The Green Man took it upon himself to refurbish the ship, to suit his purposes, which, apparently had been to psychologically terrorize me.
Sure enough, beyond the next door, was the bridge to a ship. Strewn about were skeletons, wrapped in a leathery old flesh and tattered matching uniforms. On the computer the Green Man showed me the make-up of the vessel.