------------------ 1) What is your present understanding of the ongoing existential threat? 2) By your personal assessment, and there are no wrong answers, what appears to be most out of place in the Hospital thus far? 3) Have you observed any entryway between the "plank's maze" as you call it and any other conceptual zone? If you encountered an entity of this zone, how cognizant and how trustworthy did they appear to be? 4) If you have encountered an entity outside the maze, the abyss or any recognizable conceptual zone, what form did they take, and what meaning do you gather from that form? 5) What have you noted about the behavior or cognitive faculties of Old Flesh manifestations thus far? 6) What do you believe to be the most puzzling or even alarming information imparted by a book during the preceding events? 7) If you have encountered any beings from the Grey, can you assess the overall character of one of them, for me? 8) What do you know of my good friend Doctor Man prior to his arrival at the Hospital? ------

Maybe you've heard of a particular unicellular lifeform inhabiting your quaint little dirt-ball, Naegleria fowleri. Its natural environment is in warm bodies of fresh water, where it steadily feeds upon other unicellular life. Under rare circumstances, however, the amoeba finds itself in the body of a multicellular host like yourself, such as when the host mistakenly inhales contaminated water. Eventually making its way to those succulent head-meats of yours, it finds itself in what is technically speaking another warm body of fresh water, surrounded on all sides by a feast of unprotected unicellular prey that never evolved any defense against such an unlikely intrusion. Though infections are mercifully rare, your chances of survival with even timely medical intervention are quite staggeringly slim as the amoeba multiplies and feeds uninhibited upon your vulnerable neurons.

The irony of this scenario is that you are built from tens of trillions of specialized cells that are each at least as complex as that singular amoeboid, and your defensive systems evolved over millions of years to combat a constant onslaught of intruders - from the simplest of viruses to gargantuan multicellular parasites - which themselves evolved for millions of years to make that battle as difficult as possible. You are practically the god of this micro-realm, billions of highly trained warriors and ancient monsters falling in battle by the time you have finished reading this sentence.

...But god chokes a little on a contaminated swig of water, or snorts a little up its nose during a swim in a pond, and N. fowleri arrives, transported to another reality by the dumb luck and blind negligence of forces inconceivably greater in magnitude than its own existence. Unequipped to process the immeasurably grander significance of its new surroundings, its limited senses interpret only the familiar. (image: fern looking at scizzie and thinking "talking scissors," miss thinking "can't believe I'm still in food service" jay thinking "at least things still die when I stab them")

The cells of your brain, the collective seat of your thoughts and your memories and your dreams and fears and hopes, mean nothing more to the naive visitor than the gooey little morsels of food it is accustomed to grazing upon as unceremoniously as a cow upon grass. Thus, within the catastrophically limited perception of this infinitesimal imbecile, the epicenter of your godhood becomes indistinguishable from wet dirt, and it effortlessly takes apart the foundational bricks of god until god is nothing but an unoccupied object. (image: fern thinking "I'm...helping?")

An object that can never do anything other than rot. ------------------ willis began to grow, veins spreading through the library isaac runs off to get help isaac finds the professor the parliament guy ducks out in his weakened state the professor can understand isaac cheryl comes to and begins hatching a plan to kill the professor, dolphins aren't so sure of this professor goes into library defense mode with remaining strength, intending to ward off willis cheryl and dolphins side with willis to defeat professor and come close to destroying him and the library little dog turns out to be caught in the crossfire cheryl calms willis down by acting actually nice? makes herself actually read the self help book to help the professor's clarity? dolphins kind of afraid of how tough she is even after learning her real identity ------------------- fern back in old body but polyp and stone left with neckslob, where they end up helping save the blob kid from a slob dolphin (left over from balmer fight?) ------------------- Fern saves the abyss ------------------- fern and willis reunite, laboratory is restored and helps out ------------------- fern called to hospital staff meeting -------------------