Object 25 - "Babel Balm"
rating: +14+x

Description:

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Three sticks of Babel Balm without their lids.

Babel Balm is a substance that can be found in small, unlabeled, red capsules akin to standard sticks of lip balm.

The capsules can be anywhere from 4 to 8 centimeters in length and do not exceed 2 centimeters in width. Babel Balm capsules are found most commonly on the floor in Level 0, Level 3, Level 4, and Level 11.

The substance held within the capsules is slightly opaque and white in color, and has a consistency similar to that of standard lip balm. It also releases a small amount of visible light, allowing it to be seen in the dark but not to significantly illuminate its surroundings.

Properties:

If applied to or near the lips, Babel Balm allows users to be understood by anyone that can hear their voice, regardless of language barriers. Listeners will hear their native language being spoken by the user and the lip movements of the user will appear to match the language the listener perceives. However, this effect does not allow the user to understand what is said to them by listeners who have not applied Babel Balm, so proper conversation requires applications to multiple people.

Alternatively, if Babel Balm is applied to physical text, the text will be legible to any potential readers. This only applies to written/printed text and will not work with digital mediums.

The duration of Babel Balm's effects varies depending on how well it is applied. Informal tests conducted in multilingual outposts seem to indicate that Babel Balm can last anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours.

Babel Balm also acts like regular lip balm and can be used to moisturize chapped lips. Users claim the balm has a taste similar to that of Chapstick's original flavor.

Uses:

The full extent of Babel Balm's uses has yet to be explored, but it is regularly used for communication in outposts. Packs of explorers usually have a Babel Balm supply used for trading at outposts and for when new wanderers noclip into The Backrooms.

Babel Balm is also used by wanderers who find discarded journal pages written in other languages, and you can expect signs and documents in outposts to come equipped with sticks of Babel Balm for easy reading.

M.E.G. members have wondered if Babel Balm could be used to communicate with entities, namely Dullers, Facelings, and Smilers. However, no one has found a safe and effective manner of applying Babel Balm to any of these entities. Because many entities lack lips, it is suspected that Babel Balm would not work on them in the first place, although some M.E.G. members are still curious.


Tests:

The M.E.G. has conducted several tests with Babel Balm in order to get a grasp of its full capabilities. A log of these tests and the results that ensued is shown below. Please note that any experiments conducted with Babel Balm without the advice and consent of The M.E.G. are not recorded and any supposed results from those experiments have not been verified.

  • Test 25A-1: All M.E.G. members observing this test spoke English. A stick of Babel Balm was applied to two other M.E.G. members: one of which knew only English (E-1), the other only Russian (R-1). E-1 applied the Babel Balm and began speaking in what appeared to be English, yet R-1 claimed to understand E-1 perfectly whilst speaking in English as well.
  • Test 25A-2: All M.E.G. members observing this test spoke Russian. The procedure for Test 25A-1 was repeated, and the results were very similar, only now E-1 and R-1 were both observed to be speaking in Russian.
  • Test 25A-3: One M.E.G. member, who spoke English and Russian, was observing this test. The procedure for Tests 25A-1 and 25A-2 was repeated. E-1 appeared to be speaking in English and R-1 appeared to be speaking in Russian, but both E-1 and R-1 claimed they could understand one another perfectly. E-1 and R-1 were asked to hold a conversation for as long as they could. After approximately one hour of talking, E-1 and R-1 suddenly looked very confused and claimed they could no longer understand what the other was saying, despite speaking in the same language as they had been for the previous hour.
  • Test 25B-1: English-speaking M.E.G. members found a journal page left behind by a wanderer who had been writing in Mandarin Chinese. After applying Babel Balm to just the corner of the page, the entire page's text suddenly appeared to be written in English. The page read "Found some sugary water. Drank it, and the pain in my head went away. Hope I lost those shadow monsters." After 15 minutes, the text reverted back to its original language.
  • Test 25B-2: An M.E.G. member who spoke English and Spanish (S-1) sent a mobile text message to an English-speaking member (E-2) that read "Hola. Quiero ver si esto trabaja." Babel Balm was applied to the phone screen of E-2. After several minutes of waiting, E-2 expressed frustration and claimed the message did not appear to change in any way. Test results are inconclusive.
  • Test 25C-1: A team of three M.E.G. members, equipped with Smiler Repellent and 3 sticks of Babel Balm, traveled to Level 2 and attempted to engage with a Smiler (ES-1). After ES-1 showed itself, two members quickly tried to apply Babel Balm to the mouth of ES-1 but were unable to apply it before being attacked. The third member used Smiler Repellent to force ES-1 away.
  • Test 25C-2: Two M.E.G. members explored Level 0 in search of a Duller (ED-1). ED-1 was eventually found and, as expected, began to run away as soon as it noticed the two members. One of the members hastily applied some Babel Balm and shouted "Wait!". ED-1 did not stop fleeing, however, it looked back at the member who had called out for a split second before it disappeared around a corner. As for why ED-1 looked back, it is not known if the M.E.G. member was actually understood or if ED-1 was simply reacting to the noise.
  • Test 25C-3: An Adult Faceling (EF-1) wandered into a temporary M.E.G. outpost on Level 4. One member of the outpost applied Babel Balm to their own face and asked EF-1 what it wanted. Not getting a response, the member took the Babel Balm and attempted to apply it to the lower half of EF-1's face. EF-1 grabbed the Babel Balm before it touched its face, forcefully threw it away, and ran out of the outpost.

The M.E.G. plans to further test Babel Balm's capabilities in the near future, specifically with regard to its effects on entities.


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