The Zonehopper's Guide to the Perception Range
Zonal Field Notes I
You can only find this zone at night, down narrow enough alleyways between city buildings. It's one big dark alley that keeps going and going, spiraling outward and rarely ever splitting. The dumpsters are harmless as long as they're still snoring, and the chalk outline guys only eat whatever trash is left lying in them, but keep an eye out for the green gecko looking graffiti drawings. Stand in one place too long, and they'll try to drink your dimension, fattening up and floating away like a balloon while you flatten out into a two-dimensional image yourself.
I've only woken up here after two particularly bad hangovers, and once I fell asleep again, I woke up at home. It'll look like you're inside a giant, raw turkey, all pink meat and giant white ribs and a spinal column high overhead. It'll connect to another, identical cavity, and another and another, and they're all lit up by festive string lights woven all around the bones. My second time here, I got chased around for a bit by some kind of white, rubbery ostrich looking thing that just kept squawking "Why I oughta! Why I oughta!"
Bunny jail. That's what it seems to be. Fuzzy, giant stuffed bunny looking creatures in decrepit prison cells, all sorts of proportions and colors and just kinda milling around staring a hole through anyone who passes their cells, only shrugging or shaking their heads if they're asked any questions. I got curious enough to open one up, once, with a small and harmless looking enough occupant. Turned out the cells aren't even locked, but when I slid it open, the bunny started screaming bloody murder. Still only standing there and staring at me, but shrieking its bloody head off, plasticy eyes bulging clean out of their fluffy sockets until I closed it again. The subsequent "whew, thanks, that was close!" remains the only words I've ever heard from any of them.
Yeah, the code I got was just plain "5." I guess it makes sense for a zone otherwise known as the Hand Factory. Human hands, just like ours, or maybe they just appear as whatever you consider a hand, I guess. For some reason, hands have to be made in a factory and "shipped out" to other zones or hands just...won't exist. They're a natural body part your species may have evolved with, but you still won't be born with them if your specific pair of hands doesn't come out of the factory at the right layer. The people are oversized hands, too, and for some reason, they have a concept of "time" like we do in the grey zone. They seem fairly convinced time is real after all, but only for their kind. Handkind.
To be honest, I think this is just to excuse all the nice watches they wear.
Looked like home to me, but the people were all wearing oversized costumes of themselves, big goofy mascot caricature suits of my mom and my neighbors. They all acted otherwise completely normal, but they had the same weird, falsetto voice coming from the inside. When I spied on "mom" through a crack in her door (sorry, "mom") I caught her taking off the big head.
...Instead of a person, a wilted cactus with plastic googly eyes protruded from within the costume, which I could see was filled completely by potting soil. It made a motion as though it were wiping "sweat" from its "brow," then put the head back on.
Zone X/K=Opal 12(halved):
A world like the inside of a goldfish aquarium. There's air, but the ground is mostly bright, neon colored gravel, there are huge plastic plants, the buildings are all molded from solid hunks of resin with painted details, and the people are just big, smelly, waddling goldfish in clothes, heads sticking straight up, mouths gasping seemingly out of synch with their voices until you realize they talk out of whichever gill is facing you. Nothing else is too different, but their news media seems largely concerned with the rise of "cat paw incidents."
Just a flat, pea green plain, grooved like a big fingerprint. I've walked to where it stops at a grey-blue void, and peeked over the edge to see another person staring back up at me, standing on the opposite side of the green disc. They looked a little "off," like an unblinking wax model with painted-on features. They pointed at my face and burst into laughter until seemingly pulled back, rather violently, by something unseen. An entirely different, booming voice offered me a "SORRY ABOUT THAT."
Zone 1/4=76(x)(u), Aquamarine phase:
Blackness all around you, a concrete ground, monotony only broken by forests of featureless white poles and sometimes "The W." Literally a big, walking letter W with eyes, like something you might see on Sesame street, wheezing and murmuring and aimlessly roaming like it's always searching for something. It won't hurt you, or acknowledge you in any way really, but sometimes it's just dead for no reason I've yet determined. Lying there in a puddle of purple blood, sometimes impaled on one of the white poles. Slip into this zone again and it'll probably be up and walking again like nothing happened, but the purple stains are still there.
The Library. A dark, dusty maze of bookshelves broken up here and there by chunky wooden desks, dead potted plants, sometimes even a wall of shattered, glass windows opening up into the abyss. I don't know why it's so run down, or at least run down in my perception. Maybe I don't read enough? The books don't make a whole lot of sense, mostly word salads, but sometimes that little squeaky bookworm guy will pop out and lecture you on the importance of literacy. He's harmless, I think, but REALLY pushy about getting you a library card. Just ask him where to find the "children's fiction" and he'll give you a sequence of turns to take. This will always dump you out at the nearest actual library to whatever you consider home, right in the science section.
I've heard this called "the frog hotel." It...it's uh...really not a hotel. Not exactly. There aren't any "frogs" either. Not exactly. I don't...entirely want to talk about what happens in the frog hotel. Despite not exactly being a hotel and not exactly having frogs, you'll understand why it's called that if you can't get back out fast enough, and just...there's no putting it in words, really, but I'm definitely in the market for a decent therapist who understands zone stuff, I can say that much.