Level 10.1
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Introduction:

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The highest fidelity image of Level 10.1 to date, taken 2/14/2021.

Level 10.1 consists entirely of a manmade lake, named Corpse Lake, located in Level 10. It is located approximately twenty miles, or forty kilometers, from the nearest inhabited settlement: Malt Town. Despite being an easily accessible location, and theoretically still a constituent of the Level 10 plane, this area was given the appellation of "Sub-Level" in hopes of highlighting the erratic and highly perilous properties of this particular region.

The lake is radioactive, toxic, and carnivorous. It was created out of extensive failed attempts at neutralizing instances of Object 24 through extreme heat. Attempting to destroy an instance of Object 24 through melting it only creates a highly dangerous, semi-sentient chemical solution that seeks out the nearest living animal, including humans, and proceeds to consume it through liquidation. Due to the extremely perilous nature of this mixture, the M.E.G. have declared Level 10.1 to be the designated location to dump said liquid in hopes of nullifying its detrimental effects.

The radiation level within one square mile of the lake's surface is about 700 roentgens per hour, or approximately 7 Sv/hr. For comparison, the radiation level of the reactor hall of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant is 34 Sv/hr and can kill a human being in less than ten to twenty minutes. Standing adjacent to Corpse Lake for more than an hour is fatal. Because of the M.E.G.'s lack of supply of radioactive protective gear, nobody, including M.E.G. personnel, is allowed to travel within ten square miles, or approximately 26 square kilometers, without express permission from the Overseers. Because of the extreme toxicity of this environment, those who enter the ten mile radius, now designated as the Corpse Lake Exclusion Zone, will receive no further help or contact from any M.E.G. personnel and will be henceforth be considered deceased. From the moment one enters the Corpse Lake Exclusion Zone, one's skin and clothes will be too contaminated for the M.E.G. to be able to offer assistance of any kind. Over the course of nine months, studies have shown that the radiation level of Corpse Lake has been gradually increasing since the initial creation incident, which displayed a large influx of the substance and thus contributed to such a high number. It is unknown what the cause of it is, and if or when this increase in radiation will effect nearby settlements such as Malt Town.

Biotic and Abiotic Properties:

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Graph of radiation levels of Corpse Lake over time in roentgens/h.

It is unknown what exactly makes Corpse Lake so radioactive. It is assumed to be one of the repercussions of trying to eliminate Object 24 instances. While inanimate, these masks conscientiously resist being destroyed, and thus it can be assumed that both the constant radiation emitted and the fluid's aggressive, hostile nature can be accredited to a sort of defensive mechanism. Debate is still ongoing as to whether or not Object 24, and by extension the fluid remains of it, can be truly considered "alive". From previous reports, the lake appears to retain some sort of sentience and memory, behaving especially threatening towards personnel that were directly involved in the masks' destruction. Quite a number of casualties have occurred since this solution's accidental creation, and the grim reminders of them still lie within it to this day. At first, the mixture was pitch black in color, but has since turned a murky crimson after the blood of several fallen operatives was absorbed through exsanguination. At the time of writing, a year has passed without any similar incidents occurring. The blood has yet to dissolve, and no victims have been reported since August 12th, 2021. This leads to the conclusion that either the solution is not alive, or it can sustain itself without ingesting other living beings or digesting the blood that still sits on its surface.

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Photo of the ultraviolet veins in a petri dish of a liquified Object 24 instance.

It is unknown what exactly causes the radiation that the solution emits. It is considered too dangerous, and the M.E.G. is too ill-equipped in terms of protective gear to safely analyze the substance. As such, the elemental composition of the liquid is entirely unknown. When the liquid was created, several small portions of it were contained in petri dishes and analyzed before the M.E.G. operatives died of radiation positioning. The information gathered by these valiant people comprises the majority of what we know now about the mystery liquid that makes up Sublevel 10.1, however little that is. Included is a picture of a petri dish containing the liquid taken using ultraviolet imaging. The liquid appears to contain a network of strange pathways that only emit ultraviolet light and no other wavelength. Invisible to the naked eye, it seems as if the liquid created by the masks contains several "veins" of some manner. The M.E.G. hypothesizes that these veins are what carry nutrients gained by the liquid to the center. It has been noted that in the exact center of whatever shape the liquid takes, there is a large black area that cannot be penetrated with any form of light. This makes the area darker than the darkest visible shade known to man, Vantablack. It is unknown what the exact purpose of this black spot is, but its apparent function can be likened to that of a heart.

Deconstruction of Victims:

⚠️ CONTENT WARNING ⚠️


The following description contains graphic depictions of the way in which the substance of Level 10.1 causes the untimely and gruesome demises of wanderers who come in unprotected contact with it. While it is encouraged that one reads the article in whole in order to fully understand the dangers of both this Sub-Level and this substance, the details listed below are potentially discomforting.


Radiation Poisoning:

Upon coming in contact with radiation from the substance of Level 10.1, wanderers will develop radiation poisoning. This is constant no matter how much radiation wanderers are exposed to, whether it be a lethal dosage or what would normally be non-harmful. This makes exposure to the substance incredibly dangerous, as coming in contact with even the smallest amount of radiation, even though a protective suit, spells guaranteed death within the next hour. Radiation levels have been measured to be deadly as little as one centimeter inside the Exclusion Zone, and yet the area outside of it remains completely radiation-free (except for one notable exception, described in an attached report.)

Wanderers who become afflicted with radiation sickness from Level 10.1 develop all the major symptoms of it within thirty minutes. Observation has proven that all wanderers will go through three distinct stages within an hour of contamination before eventually passing away.

Stage One: Within 10 minutes of contamination

Wanderers begin to experience strong nausea and dizziness, with occasional vomiting. Headaches have been reported, and mild fevers begin to develop. Sporadic boils begin to appear on wanderers' skin. Many claim that they have felt fatigued, and there have been several cases of stomachaches and cramps.


Stage Two: Within 30 minutes of contamination

Wanderers experience a large and grotesque outbreak of boils covering their entire body. Many of them expand and burst, exposing blood to the open environment. Vomiting becomes extreme and violent, with occasional blood leakage. Stomachaches become nearly unbearable, causing wanderers to keel over in pain. Disorientation inundates many wanderers at this stage, causing them to lose consciousness. Studies have shown that many wanderers at this stage start to bleed internally, and their stomach acid begins to destroy the protective coating in the stomach and eat through their body from the inside by unknown means.


Stage Three: Within 60 minutes of contamination

This stage is the most gruesome and dangerous stage of the substance-induced radiation poisoning. Before a total of 60 minutes has elapsed since coming in contact with the radiation, all the blood within wanderers' body will converge and congeal in the center of their body. This motion will tear through a majority of the wanderers' vital organs and cause them to die through hemorrhaging. Once the wanderer is deceased, the substance will then burst forth from the victim's stomach and take on all the properties of the substance in the Corpse Lake. It will be just as radioactive, just as hostile, and just as dangerous. This has the potential for a domino effect of infection after infection if proper isolation and quarantining methods are not taken. Because the bodies of dead victims produce new amounts of this substance, those who develop radiation poisoning are to be considered dead and to be isolated from any other potential victims, regardless of whether or not they are wearing protective suits.


Physical Contact and Blood Draining:

The other primary way in which the substance, and by extension, Level 10.1, kills its prey is through direct physical contact with animal cells of any kind. Upon coming into contact with any part of a human's body, most likely the skin, the substance will begin to latch on and instantaneously solidify into a semi-solid of the same consistency and stickiness of a spider's web or coagulated glue. The substance will then begin to drain the victim's blood through the ultraviolet veins present in all parts of its amorphous figure. Nothing but the blood will be removed from the victim's body, and when every trace of it down to the atomic level is absorbed, the substance will automatically reverse its coagulation, return to a more liquid form, and retract from the cadaver, leaving naught but the wrinkled remains.

For an unknown reason, this process will never happen to plant cells of any kind. As such, grass and other plants can freely grow on the banks of the lake. Algae species and other adjacent lifeforms, such as trichodesmium, have been observed to flourish in the lake. Experiments have been conducted in the past to sample specimens that survive in this otherwise perilous environment, and are logged below the list of casualties.

Archived Official M.E.G. Notice, Distributed to the Citizens of Malt Town, April 4th, 2021:

NOTICE: April 4th, 2021

Regarding Level 10.1:

The location for 10.1 was chosen due to the original depression containing an entrance to an undocumented level. The reason this level remains undocumented is because there are no known entrances, and all who have previously entered have never been heard from afterwards. It was thought that the substance could be disposed of by hopefully pouring it into the depression to be transported to this level, but this has not been the case. Instead, it appears that Corpse Lake has been able to absorb a liquid coming from the level (presumably water) to increase its volume dramatically. Corpse Lake continues to grow in volume to this day, albeit at a very slow rate. Regardless, citizens of Malt Town are to kept on high alert at all times and to prepare for possible evacuations at a moment's notice.


Compiled by Jeff A. Guzman, Chief M.E.G. Recordkeeper, Base Alpha

List of Casualties from Level 10.1 and its Associated Substance:


Date Name Position Cause of Death
12/15/2020 Holly S. Surview Volunteer Specialist Radiation poisoning from initial experiment
12/15/2020 James A. Lucas Volunteer Specialist Radiation poisoning from initial experiment
12/15/2020 Jake Jonas Volunteer Specialist Blood drained by substance
12/15/2020 Samantha Bluewood Volunteer Specialist Radiation poisoning from initial experiment
12/15/2020 Toga Hajime Volunteer intern Blood drained by substance
12/15/2020 3 Unidentified Volunteers Volunteer Operative Blood drained by substance
2/14/2021 Sudo Wu M.E.G. Volunteer Photographer Radiation poisoning after taking a picture of Level 10.1 and being exposed to radiation
3/2/2021 Johannes Bloomberg Wanderer Radiation poisoning after unknowingly entering the Exclusion Zone
3/XX/2021 5 Unidentified Civilians Wanderer Presumed radiation poisoning
4/12/2021 Unidentified Wanderer Masked Maiden Member (Bauta) Unknown, possibly killed by the substance?1
5/10/2021 2 Unidentified Civilians Wanderer Radiation poisoning
5/11/2021 Amahle Kamisi Wanderer Radiation poisoning, spread by unusual winds
5/11/2021 Lindsey Abel Wanderer Radiation poisoning, spread by unusual winds
5/11/2021 Jonson Bakke Wanderer Radiation poisoning, spread by unusual winds
5/11/2021 Luiz Garcia Wanderer Radiation poisoning, spread by unusual winds
7/27/2021 Subi Adisa M.E.G. Operative and Volunteer Specialist Radiation poisoning after gathering trichodesmium
7/28/2021 Lucas S. Grant M.E.G. Operative and Volunteer Specialist Radiation poisoning after substance outbreak
7/28/2021 Sucy Alarie M.E.G. Operative and Volunteer Specialist Radiation poisoning after substance outbreak
8/10/2021 Sebastian Alfonso M.E.G. Operative and Volunteer Specialist Radiation poisoning from equipment malfunction
8/12/2021 Amelie Heroux Wanderer Radiation poisoning after unknowingly entering the Exclusion Zone


The M.E.G. has found it necessary to document all casualties related to Level 10.1, as studying the cause of death and recognizing patterns is of utmost importance. Furthermore, the tragic nature of this location asks for us to commemorate those who valiantly gave their lives in the hope that their discoveries may aid those in the future, as well as the misfortune of those unlucky enough to stumble into the Exclusion Zone without any prior knowledge of it. The M.E.G. hopes that by publishing this information, the number of accidental deaths due to radiation poisoning begins to decline henceforth.


Archived Notice from Overseer-C, Published August 10th, 2021:

Exclusion Zone Boundary:

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Barbed wire fencing around the Exclusion Zone.

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Another shot of installed barbed wire fencing.

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The Exclusion Zone warning sign displayed on the fences.

This is a notice to all wanderers and M.E.G. Operatives alike. As of August 10th, 2021, nobody is to cross the barbed wire fencing without express permission from the Overseers and proper protective gear. Barbed wire fencing, as well as warning signs, have been installed around the perimeter. Crossing the boundary without proper and functioning high-caliber radioactive protective gear will result in certain death.



Signed, Overseer-C


Archived Test Logs and Incident Reports:


The M.E.G. has decided to publicly release copies of archived reports pertaining to Level 10.1 and its substance in hopes that the additional knowledge provided may be helpful to stranded or curious wanderers in Level 10 who are contemplating entering the Exclusion Zone. These archived reports are arranged in chronological order.


The 24 Incident:

The 24 Incident occurred on December 15th, 2020 in Base Beta in Level 11. While no eyewitness reports are available due to everyone directly involved in the creation of the substance perishing during the events of the incident, a reconstructed approximate timeline of events has been transcribed in their stead. In addition, two pictures were provided, one taken before the events of the incident, and one depicting the aftermath.


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Image of the superheated press used to melt instances of Object 24 in a Base Beta research facility.

[[Timeline begins 10:20]]

[[Operative Samantha Bluewood and an unidentified male volunteer begin readying the machine 10:20]]

[[Operative Holly S. Surview arrives with the specialized container of masks 10:30]]

[[Heat press internal temperature reaches 2500K, or approximately 2200°C, hot enough to melt technetium 10:45]]

[[Surview fits about 5-6 masks inside the machine 10:50]]

[[Heat press internal temperature reaches approximately 3000K 11:30]]

[[Operative James A. Lucas logs that the masks have begun to melt. This is the only piece of eyewitness information recovered 12:16]]

[[Substance is officially created out of the first batch of masks 13:02]]

[[Substance created from each individual mask congeals into one solution 13:05]]

[[Heat press is deactivated and begins cooling 13:05]]

[[Heat press reaches stable temperature and substance is brought out of the machine 13:15]]

[[All operatives, who are not wearing protective gear, are exposed to radiation emitted from the substance 13:20]]

[[Substance violently attacks Operatives Toga Hajime and Jake Jonas, coming contact with them and leeching their blood, killing them almost instantaneously 13:20]]

[[Substance absorbs the blood into itself and grows to an approximate size of one cubic meter (35 cubic feet). Three other unidentified M.E.G. operatives come in contact with the substance and are leeched 13:25]]

[[Radiation levels within the facility rise dramatically. All other personnel in the facility are promptly evacuated and suffer no lasting injuries 13:30]]

[[Samantha Bluewood, James A. Lucas, and Holly S. Surview are thoroughly irradiated and are unable to escape the facility in time. They die due to rapid radiation poisoning, dying in less than ten minutes 13:33]]

[[Airborn particles of the substance enter the corpses of the deceased operators and mix with their blood, adding to the overall volume of the substance present 13:35]]

[[The substance lies in a puddle in the center of the facility and becomes dormant, yet still radioactive 13:40]]

[[A specialized team with protective gear is called in after radiation levels are observed. 17:40]]

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Inside of the facility after the initial event, taken 17:56

[[Substance is contained within nuclear waste barrels and safely transported to Level 10 for dumping. 19:45]]]

[[Substance is dumped into what is now Level 10.1 21:20]]]

At the time of dumping, the total volume of the substance was approximately two cubic meters (70 cubic feet). However, while the radiation levels went down, the total volume of the substance dramatically increased to 0.8 cubic miles (3.33 cubic kilometers). This increase is theorized to be the result of several endemic entities, such as Gluffs, or undocumented wanderers coming in contact with what is now called Corpse Lake. However, it is possible the increase is due to an influx of water from the original unknown level whose entrance Level 10.1 now covers.

REPORT END


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