Willis and Isaac had continued to follow the grimy path, winding through an increasingly elaborate maze of increasingly deteriorated bookshelves, increasingly empty save for the odd grey-zone relic, or more worryingly, scraps of scaly fish-skin and silvery exoskeleton. Willis still wasn't certain if those scuttling, metallic things were really supposed to be library staff or not, but that first one had seemingly helped them out, and it dampened his mood to see the creatures in various states of disassembly. On closer inspection, one might have deduced that their remains bore a distinctly chewed appearance, but the boy was more exsanguinator than masticator himself, and so this detail unfortunately flew right over his weird little rubbery pretzel of a head.

  Had the arguably weirder Isaac been a bit more linguistically experienced, he might have been able to tell Willis that a certain pervasive stench reminded his distant grey-zone memories of something. Something he wasn't afraid of, but aggressively disliked for reasons only understood by the original, human occupant of his mangled physiology. Perhaps some of you are concerned by the number of things Isaac can recall from the life of one Jacob "Jay" Bateson, but the effect really wasn't quite that Isaac "used" to "be" this individual, and rather more comparable to an impressionable child picking up a handful of bad habits from an exceptionally rotten older brother.   The trail of dirty footprints branched off a number of times. Whatever was responsible had been spending quite a few layers messing around in the planked library...or, conversely, messing around enough in the regular library to hasten its plankification. Willis banked on sticking to what he determined to be the "main" path, which he judged according to whichever way he felt like going at the time, but his distractable nature soon lost the trail altogether, and he finally found himself at an abrupt dead end.

Before he could turn back, he suddenly felt that there was something odd about the bookshelves he had run into. Their vibroscent was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike that of the Hospital, in a familiar way that made him feel as if their contents were intended specifically for him to find.

The objects themselves had the distinctly watery, mealy miasma of the greyzone, and meant nothing to him...but he supposed they might have been useful. Having four inventory slots available, he supposed he could afford to take two of the cryptic objects.

PICK TWO! (updated)


Willis doesn't know what these are called, but you do. To him they're just a bunch of crunchy tubes that smell like that nice, trustworthy lady he just met. Maybe they're her favorite food, is the kind of thing it makes him think!


Reminds Willis of the cafeteria, but it smells a little more like real fleshmatter. Hideous grey-zone monstrosities don't even know the difference!


Willis can't be bothered to even read the back cover, but this is the kind of book that prattles on endlessly about how it's supposed to be a BAD thing to just smoke cigarettes and wander zones all day avoiding your real human problems.


The kind of thing that specifically likes to eat salt-water grey zone beasts might be really into this.


A metal can full of liquid with an artificial, nasty flavor. Designed to deter the grey zone's hairy monsters from gnashing on things.


A mechanism scientifically designed by the grey zone's top technicians to asphyxiate aquatic bioforms.


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