Level 134

Disclaimer

This article features the themes of cancer, homelessness, and death from both of them, too. If that is something you find disturbing or uncomfortable, please skip the interview logs at your own discretion.





rating: +27+x

SURVIVAL DIFFICULTY:

Class 0

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  • Populated by Harmless Entities
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The front of an old, capsized ship that is free of the level's inhabitants.

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Two ships within a dry patch of Level 134.

Description

Level 134's landscape is one that exists as an entirely flat plane of shallow, deep blue water. It is dotted not only by occasionally permeating dunes of sand that outcrop from the ocean in irregular patches, but also by rusted or rotted ancient sea vessels. Said boats are set in an abandoned, capsized state in the water.

The water always stays at a consistent, low height, experiencing zero changes in height or general movement due to a natural lack of tides. This level's oceans are never dragged in, nor are they moved out. This lack of movement happens despite the existence of a sun, moon, stars, and a general cycle between day and night which would, in most cases, create tides.

The waters stay at a consistent depth of 2ft (0.61 m), only altering when rising up to patches of sand or occasional pockets in which the depth lowers to a hardly noticeable 2 1/2ft deep. The water is a deep shade of cerulean blue and has an element of blue cloudiness in its makeup, which elicits an illusion of far greater depth than what it actually holds. The bed under the water is soft, wet, and relatively firm sand. Though it is dense enough to hold people's feet in motion and dense enough to hold and partially embed old vessels in its mass, staying in-place for too long has caused the sand to somewhat give way in prior explorations.1

Though most of Level 134 comprises of blank, shallow oceans, occasional, small outcrops of sand appear above sea-level. Most of these islands will be no longer than a few meters, though some have occasionally been found that stretch to upwards of 30 to 50 meters from one end to the other. Ultimately, however, these islands are just as barren as the ocean's waters, possessing no life other than the level's natural entities.

Boats

As briefed at the start of the article, Level 134 is home to a fair collection of old, capsized seafaring vessels that dot and run its surfaces. Existing both in shallow waters and the occasional sand islands, these old boats can usually be found embedded into the ocean and seabed. They are often sunken anywhere from just a few centimetres in, all the way to being buried up to the deck and cabin.

The boats show ageing of around 20 years of neglect and abandonment at the minimum, and are mostly rusted or rotten depending on the build of the ship, or covered in moss and algae if it resides in the ocean. These boats also have questionable structural integrity in their wood or metal construction, regardless of their location.

Boarding the boats is often easy, with most wanderers choosing to use the ships' ladders, ropes, or anchors or otherwise simply scaling its construction without additional aid. The decks of these vessels possess little to the eye, with most being empty of supplies, food, or much else besides nails, rotten rope, and shards of glass. The cockpits are, in most instances, left in a surprisingly pure and untouched condition. However, they are still subject to the same weathering as the exteriors of the vessels. The dials, levers, and buttons that the prototypes of these wrecks carry are coated in the previously described decay that varies depending on where the ship has been abandoned.

The compartments of these crafts contain undamaged, yet aged, components for typical ship engines of their size and calibre. All of these mechanisms have been consumed by rust and age in the same way as the other ships. For ships that are wood-based and would not rely on engines for motive power, the undercarriages will be an extremely sparse space, sometimes containing empty, musty barrels thrown haphazardly within them.

Ultimately, these boats are virtually as lifeless as the rest of the level, except for the one entity that inhabits these boats.

After-thoughts

These creatures are humanoid, and come in all forms of builds, weights, genders, and ethnicities that one would expect from people. They possess the outline of clothing like dresses, skirts, shirts, tops, hats, etc, with it all being masked in smoke black that gets more transparent the closer to the centre of the body it is. From this, however, no internal organs or any of their bodies below surface level can be viewed.

These humanoids, dubbed as “After-thoughts”, will aimlessly wander the decks and cabins of the crafts they appear on. They're oftentimes found spouting sentences that, upon first glance, may seem to be nothing more than random babble and nonsense. Talking to them is an easy feat, though most speak in a cagey, introverted, and somewhat fearful manner. For the longest time, this was ultimately an unknown phenomenon that occurred with the denizens of this scape. However, after the formation of the M.E.O.D., research started to better understand the After-thoughts.

Bases, Outposts and Communities

M.E.G. M.E.O.D. Operational Outpost 51

While Level 134 has been known about since 2017, an official base by any group was not in its conception until the first few months of 2022 by the M.E.G. at the time of its construction and planning phase. During this, though, the “2022 13.1 Incident” occurred. Following the immediate aftermath of the event, all work on OO51 was ultimately abandoned to focus people and supplies on the investigation of the anomaly. The project only reignited five months later at the formation of the M.E.O.D.

With the added number of groups and people under the wing of this conglomerate organisation, it was decided that one of the first projects to prove the worth of the M.E.O.D. would be to restart the creation of OO51 and the thorough examination of the After-thoughts to confirm or deny theories around them.

Work started in November, with the base construction being completed in December. Currently, it houses 13 inhabitants that originated from both the M.E.G. and the Kalag Institute in order to catalogue and understand what the After-thoughts were.

Investigation of the After-thoughts

As stated prior, at the formation of the M.E.O.D., it was chosen for the new heads of the organisation to prove the worth of it to skeptical groups that had yet to join the organisation. As such, using the strength of the former M.E.G., B.N.T.G., some smaller undocumented groups, and loaned help from the at the time unamalgamated Kalag Institute, it was officially found out that the After-thoughts were deceased individuals caught in transit between the level or Frontrooms variant they hailed from, and The Grave.

Through conversing with the newly renamed After-thoughts, it was learned that their babble and nonsense were actually random memories of their lives, which they exposited to themselves over and over again, often times being memories that troubled or shook them in the time that they were alive.

As well as the above information, it was learned that talking to these purgatory-stuck souls aided and benefitted these people on their travels to the beyond. While not all souls that wound up in Level 134 were troubled, upset, or unfulfilled in life, 21 of the 25 initial focus groups were as such. Through speaking to these people and resolving their qualms, the time taken for them to reach The Grave was reduced significantly. It has even been documented that occasional After-thoughts sometimes leave immediately upon being 'enlightened' after their troubles were resolved.

While there are 75 recorded or transcribed interviews and talks with After-thoughts, for the sake of brevity, only two examples of interviews with prior souls have been chosen for this article.

Sally

Brandon Tetley

Entrances And Exits

Entrances

Inside Level 46, a wanderer may occasionally be able to find trapdoors buried into the sandy dunes. Once sufficiently uncovered, they can be used to reach Level 134.

As with most of Level 797's exits, holes in the walls along its path can occasionally lead to this level. This is particularly so in more waterlogged and flooded cave systems.

Jumping into the ocean via the “freezers hatch” on Level 880 will wash any individual who did so onto the “shores” of Level 134. Most wanderers materialize specifically on the rims of the small sand islands.

Exits

By diving into portions of the water that exceed the usual 2ft (0.61 m) depth, one has a slight chance of re-emerging on Level 121.

Although extremely rare, the top ends of escalators are occasional sights within Level 134 and are entirely functional despite possible water and sand interference. Boarding these escalators and allowing them to noclip oneself through the floor will lead a wanderer to Level 233.

At seemingly random chance, it is possible for the ocean beds to partway and transport those underneath the opening into Level 499's ponds and rivers.

Rusted, somewhat oddly placed periscopes within the waters can occasionally rise up from the bed and water. Grabbing onto these and allowing oneself to be pulled under by them will awake oneself on Level 880.


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