Archetypal Criticism
rating: +19+x

Date: November 28, 2022
Location: Base Omega — Level 4


Stretch: You called?

Kat: It's about Level 503. Some nutjobs had the audacity to send us a letter declaring their intention to tear down the M.E.G. or something of that sort. They gave it that fancy "fighting tyranny" slogan. All flash and no substance.

Stretch: I've heard.

Kat: We have enough M.E.G. antagonizing groups to deal with. This one just happens to be complaining about the same things, threatening the same actions, and as you may have expected, it just seems like a carbon copy of all of our enemies' groups. A direct Ctrl C + Ctrl V situation.

Stretch: Discount version of the U.E.C.?

Kat: I'd more equate this to the Masked Maidens, actually. A generic derivation thereof.

Stretch: Can I have a look?

Kat: Oh, sure. I've highlighted some of the important excerpts. The letter's much too long for you to want to read by yourself. Comes off like a villain monologue, so to speak.

Stretch: You weren't kidding. Sounds like… Senior Researcher Mason's doing.

Kat: That was my first thought. It's a shame we lost him to this.


Mason Byrd stormed out of the office, taking one final look at the friendly man sitting in the chair. Mason shared some good memories with him, but now, it was time to move on to a new chapter in his life — dwelling on past memories would be futile.

He remembered the shouting match that had taken place minutes prior, when he desperately tried to protect his home. Level 503's fate would be determined by those crazy bastards running the M.E.G. Mason had finally found a permanent paradise, where he could tinker with scrap metal, grow crops, and relax in a self-built home… only for it all to be taken away by an organization that swore to protect its people.

The M.E.G. clearly had its reasons; Mason acknowledged them, but refused to accept them. He knew he shouldn't be harboring ill will towards the organization that had helped him for the past decade, but he couldn't help but hold a grudge.

That scrapyard meant too much to Mason, and he refused to let it go. If he his remaining option was to suffer the same fate as Hugo R., he wouldn't mind it at all. It'd be much more preferable to die on home turf than to endlessly wander the unknown for… who knows how long? Sure, Level 503 was a mess, but surely, this shouldn't justify deletion.

Relishing in the touch of gravel and the sound of metal, Mason enjoyed every last second in Level 503 while he still could. This would likely be the very last time he would experience this feeling before moving on to another plane of existence. Why not cherish it?

When the rich, blue sky developed what seemed like a streak of magenta pixels in the horizon, Mason knew his time had come. The entire scrapyard would soon be a corrupted wasteland. The fabric of reality would tear apart, and Mason would join this corrupted mess.

An infestation of pixels.

Deleting levels from the database always felt like a routine job, and Mason never thought much about it. If he knew each deleted idea would devolve into a vitiated conglomeration of zeroes and ones, he would have archived all those pages instead. However, it was too late now. Those pages were now nothing more than scraps, and he had no way of contacting anyone from the outside world — he had dug his own grave. Despite this fact, Mason refused to lie in it.

Deleting pages was a dangerous path that destroyed the homes, the lives of hundreds of wanderers. If sending a message to the M.E.G. was the only way to prevent these glitched messes from littering the Backrooms voids, so be it. Those pages were part of our history — why erase them? Why not preserve them?

No longer would Mason be a witness for deletion. He witnessed an invasion, an infestation of his own home.

Perhaps it's time for others to realize what The Infestation is capable of.

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