The Snake Crawls Part 4: Nothing Is What It Seems
rating: +14+x

June 04th, 2021:

Well… that was my most infamous mission. Still thinking about where I am in life today. This all meant so much to me. Still does, don't get me wrong. The Maidens were my new purpose. They are my true purpose. I felt like I belonged somewhere. Like I was able to fit with the puzzle of the universe. Sounds kind of cheesy but it's true.

Well, days had passed. If that wasn't obvious, we had been on a few missions already. Janice and I got to know each other very well. We are still living within Level 67. The M.E.G. spy wasn't found at the time. Whatever they had been doing, they were hiding pretty well.

During this time I was laying in my bed, facing towards the ceiling, fiddling around with my mask. The room had a window that emitted sunlight, but there was no outside space on the other side. It was strange to think about. Either way, as I was looking at the face of my mask, I had this spark. This motivation. I wanted to paint. Create an art piece. I haven't ever done that since… I was back home. I felt at peace here. This is my new home. It fees just like home. I always was shy about it though. I didn't know what people would think of it.

I then stood up from my bed, leaving a small indent on the mattress as I got up from it, my feet touching the warm sunlight heated floorboards. I open my closet door from there. I found an art canvas and some paint buckets. It had a name engraved on it, "Orlando". I took it out into the sunlight. The dust falling down from it made it look magical. I grabbed one of the two paintbrushes from the bottom of the canvas holder.

I then dipped it into the paint, and I started to draw. I wanted to create a painting of my mask, in various colors. I then started… but before I could even get a good start, someone knocked, then opened my door. I quickly went to hide my art canvas. I couldn't have anyone see it. I rushed it back into the closet. My shirt got caught in it. Pulled up my sleeve in a rush. I didn't have time to pull it back down.


Janice: Kyra? Are you in there?

Kyra: OH! Uhh- Ah- Yeah!

Janice: Heha! There you are! I knew you would be here!

Kyra: Uhh, yeah!… Wh- what, brings you here?

Janice: Well… I decided to see how my friend was doing! Got to make sure they are okay right?

Kyra: Well that's very thoughtful of you! I'm doing fine!

Janice: Heh. Sounds like you were in a rush.

Kyra: Nah! I just… I- I was jogging around my room in circles!

Janice: Really? Heh. Are you sure about that?

Kyra: Yeah! I—

Janice: Kyra… then what's on your arm?

Kyra: Aa- Uhh- N- Nothin—

(The sound of items crashing down emitted from my closet. I then quickly pulled down my sleeve while she wasn't looking.)

Janice: What was…

Kyra: Well uhh, you shouldn't…

Janice: Woah! Krya… Wait…

Kyra: I know. It- it's dumb.

Janice: No this name… Orlando.

Kyra: You knew this person?

Janice: Orlando Richards was the man behind your mask before you found it.

Kyra: What? Wow…

Janice: I knew him. He was our a part of our Team. He loved to paint and create art. This was his room. I didn't know we still had this canvas here.

Kyra: Wh- what happened to him?

Janice: He got taken by a Duller in Level 0 before it changed. We tried to chase after it but it was fast. His mask fell off as the thing was running with him. It was holding him by the arm, it practically broke his arm since he got flung around by the damn thing. It can carry way more weight then it actually weighs. But it wasn't physically strong with its body; its body structure was weak. As it was running, it was stopped by a pack of two Smilers who started eating both the Duller and Orlando alive… We couldn't save him… We couldn't even if we tried. All we had left was his mask. We then put it up in Level 0. And a year or two later you found it…

Kyra: I- I'm so sorry.

Janice: It's not your fault. You're fine. You actually may have heard his voice before.

Kyra: …I have… it's how I knew to jump through the wall on our first mission.

Janice: Yeah… he was a good friend. You fit that mask really well too.

Kyra:

Janice: And… was this what you were trying to hide from me…?

Kyra: I- Uhh… yes… I didn't know what you'd think of me. That I paint and stuff…

Janice: But Kyra! You paint! That is so cool!

Kyra: Yeah… yeah I do. I haven't done it since I was back in the normal world.

Janice: Then, why hide it from me?

Kyra: Ever since I started painting I- I didn't know what people would think of me. My parents wanted to me to dance and sing. I wanted that for myself too. They didn't want me to waste my time on art. I was just always… drawn to it…

Janice: Well… if you're drawn to it. It's best to draw on it!

(She had handed me the paintbrush, holding it from the brush itself.)

Janice: I want you to paint for me. I think Orlando would've wanted you to if he was here.

Kyra: You- Why?

Janice: Well… you have inspired me to write poems again!

Kyra: I- I have!?

Janice: Yeah! Heh… I haven't done that since I was back in the real world either.

Kyra: Wow… I don't…

(I slowly walk up to the canvas, about to place the brush to the paper. Then I jolted back.)

Kyra: I can't…

Janice: You can! Give it a try! Trust me…

Kyra: I- I… I don't know…

Janice: Here…

(Janice walked up to the canvas, grabbing the second brush at the bottom.)

Janice: If you won't do it yourself… I'll do it with you.

Kyra: Wh-

Janice: Look…

(She then placed it on the canvas, brush dripping with purple. My favorite color. She slowly swiped it across the paper.)

Janice: What do you wanna paint Kyra?

Kyra: I wanted to make a version of my mask full of pretty colors… but now that you're here. Why not make both of our masks?

Janice: Half yours and half mine? Full of colors!

Kyra: Yeah… yeah! I'd love that!

(She looked at me with a smirk on her face, then she grabbed my hand.)

Janice: Well then… let's begin! Never be afraid of what makes you special.


We painted for hours. She was really amazing at it. We should've done it more often….

Sorry I…

Continuing on, this shown me how much she really cared for me. That I had met someone that would bother to give me this connection with them. It's all I ever wanted. Well after we finished, we stood back and admired the amazing painting we made together. It showed our masks fused together. My side was mostly purple. Janice's side was mostly blue. I found out her favorite color is blue. The painting had many different paint splats of colors. Green, orange, yellow, red and much more. Black filled in the eyes and mouth for each side. It was beautiful.

I wish it would've lasted longer, because after that, Masked Messengers flew in the room. We were called in by Sub-Sector Colombina and Pantalone. This was important. We walked out of my room and we traveled towards the main command center. When we got there, we were greeted by The Madam herself. Janice and I both bowed down in front of her. The Madam pinched the sides of her dress and lifted them slightly as she curtsied with us. She then started to speak.


Madam Evangeline: Greetings, dear Maidens.

Janice: Madam.

Madam Evangeline: And you must be Kyra! We have already heard so many great things about you. You must feel very welcomed here.

Kyra: Oh! Yeah! Feels just like home.

Madam Evangeline: Fantastic! I am here today to discuss a very important matter about your first mission. Amanda, may you please inform them on our discovery?

Amanda: Of course Madam. You see Janice, when you and Kyra had brought home the USB key full of various M.E.G. data. We analyzed the various videos on the Object 24 Experiment location. We could finally put an end to the corruption. However, it never matched any of our categorized Levels in our database.

Janice: So you want me to analyze the Level location with my extensive Backrooms knowledge.

Amanda: Precisely! You were right the past four times previously and those were all successful missions!

Madam Evangeline: There is a reason you are one of our best Maidens Janice.

Kyra: Yeah! And a good friend!

Janice: Heh… well, I'm gonna need to analyze it myself first.

Amanda: Right! Here's the drive with all you need!

Janice: Thanks! I guess I'll see you later Kyra. You can catch up with me when you can!

Kyra: I'll be there soon!

(Janice ran off into the distance, going to analyze the Level details to find where this experiment lab is.)

Kyra: So… why don't we have more categorized Levels? Don't we have Level 939?

Amanda: Well, The Reflection has mirrors that are inactive. Some mirrors take months to even years to activate. But when they do, they are activated for as long as we've known.

Madam Evangeline: And our population of Maidens is smaller the The M.E.G. as they have a lot more operatives and time to explore multiple Levels.

Kyra: Ahh. I guess that makes more sense.

Amanda: Janice had gave us four successful missions from identifying Levels since she is the Maiden that has been to the most locations in The Backrooms.

Madam Evangeline: Janice and Sully. Best to credit our best.

Amanda: Well yes, but he is always nonsensical. We never know what we're getting from him.

Kyra: Yeah, But he's still a good friend.

Amanda: Well if you say so.

(A Maiden then walked up on us during the conversation.)

Mackie: Okay sorry to interrupt but- OH! Greetings Madam!

Madam Evangeline: Mackie Guilford at our service once more I presume?

Mackie: Indeed Madam.

Amanda: Have you returned with news about the M.E.G. spy within our main Station?

Mackie: No sadly. I came back to tell Kyra that she is needed by Janice.

Kyra: Oh! I'll be there right away!


I was excited. Were we finally gonna end the corruption for a little while? Even if it wasn't long, that would be a huge success! My mind was thinking all kinds of things. How would we celebrate? I wanted to complete this mission. We weren't going out for it, as another Maidens team would be sent out. But I was just as excited as if I was there.

I ran as quickly as I could to the data center room. I saw Janice sitting in a chair, looking through the footage. I watched with her as it showed a glass room. It was poorly-made glass, as it was starting to crack from the attacks of the patient inside. He was already wearing a mask. It was a Volto mask wearer. As the footage was playing in slow motion, Janice spoke.


Janice: You see this? This poor human being. Caged like an animal.

Kyra: Yeah… that's horrible. I'd rather be trapped within The Backrooms alone then be experimented on.

Janice: Definitely. We live in a crazy world with equally crazy people.

Kyra: Yeah I learnt that the hard way…

Janice: Well you see those boxes right there…? Those are food packaging boxes. And that over there is some equipment packed away, taped on the blue wooden paneling at the bottom.

Kyra: So… what is it?

Janice: Could just be miscellaneous equipment, but there is something familiar about it…

Kyra: What's that in the corner? It's also dripping in front of the glass here.

Janice: That is what I was getting to… the black goo… I need more.

(Janice then changed the video to another experiment log.)

Janice: There…

Kyra: What is that?

Janice FrostFluff is a cookie brand only ever seen within two Levels… Level 176 and Level 20. And judging that 176 is a grocery store…

Kyra: That would mean it would be Level 20?

Janice: Yes! That's it! I am confident that is it!

Kyra: Okay! Let's go tell the others!

Janice: On it! This is very important to get right.


We burst out the door, running to the command room. I almost tripped on my own feet I was so excited. Janice and I turned around the corner and accidentally ran into some Maidens; we apologized while we continued sprinting to the command room.

We reached the command room with The Madam and Amanda Wright. We proceeded to tell them the discovery.


Madam Evangeline: Ahh! My dear Maidens. I was hoping you'd come back with effective news.

Janice: Indeed we have Madam.

Madam Evangeline: Wonderful! What may it be?

Janice: We believe that The M.E.G. has a secret experiment base in Leve—

(Janice doubles over in the middle of her sentences, choking on her words.)

Madam Evangeline:

Amanda:

Kyra: …Janice…?

Amanda: …Uhh… is everything alright…?

Kyra: Janice…? What's up…?

Janice: Uuuuhhh… The Electroscape… They are hiding within The Electroscape. Find a maintenance door in Level 3 and plug in the computer. You'll be transported there.

Kyra: Wh- but I thought we agreed on Level—

Janice: Trust me on this…

Kyra: B- but… okay. I trust you.

Madam Evangeline: Then it is settled! To The Electroscape and to hell with the corruption!

Amanda: Great job Janice! We'll be sending a team right away! You will have the honor to oversee this mission.

Janice: Yes… thank you Amanda.

Amanda: Thank you Janice! We couldn't have found this without you.

Madam Evangeline: Well let's begin the show!

Kyra: Okay. Let's hope this works…


This was it. This was the mission that people would remember. I would be recognized by people. Loved by people. We would have people care for what we did. Amanda went back to her Station. I assumed the Team she assigned lived there. The Madam thanked us for our bravery and discovery. I couldn't believe it. My hands were shaking from the excitement. I just wanted people to care for me all my life down here.

And it was all thanks to Janice. She shown me that there is nothing to be afraid of. That I can be something in life down here. That I mattered. To not be afraid of what makes me special. And that my mistakes is what makes me human. It's what makes me perfect…. she was perfect to me. I needed to tell her something. I at first, didn't know if I had the strength to do it, but she had showed me not to be afraid… I had to tell her…

I had to tell her how much I loved her…

But…

There is something I need to show you…

Something was horribly wrong…


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