Chapter 0.5: Odd admin

You approach the front desk, doors still swinging behind. They vanish the next second, forgotten pixels dying in the present. The receptionist flickers her eyes upwards for a second and, unimpressed, goes back to filing her nails. Empty. The room is entirely white, devoid of detail, and contains only the two of you. It's hard to recall how you got here.

"Excuse me...?" you ask politely, strolling over.

She glances up again, takes in your nervous smile, and puts on an expression of deepest loathing and pure, unwavering resentment.

"Whot?" The single, guttural word is thrown out as quickly as she was from school, Essex accent thick as the skull it comes from. Ah, easy now with the insults! Maintain an air of politeness, air of politeness.

A desk drawer shudders violently and opens a crack. The woman abruptly pushes it closed, her eyes never leaving you. For a second, you pause, unsure how you know what you want, but certain you want it. "Ah, urm. Right, well I was just wondering where I might find the contest entry if... Would you mind...?" You give her a pleading look. She interprets it as the early signs of a stroke but, seeing you still standing, emits a disappointed, heavy sigh. The rattling drawer bursts open and a few springy links fly out. The woman grabs them and hurls a few numbers over; number 1 almost takes an eye out.

"Type in the password an' tha'ull get you in." She snorts as you stammer your thanks, eyes flickering over for more interrogation. She knows you don't know. Deep within, you can't shake the feeling that you're just another useless iteration, searching for...

Searching for what?

The receptionist interrupts the thought before it can mature and confirms your suspicions. "If you know the password, anyway." She tuts, punctuating the return of the bored nail filing.

The handful of purple, floating links wobble excitedly. You give one a poke. It blips and clicks excitedly, shimmering with pride at being chosen over the others. The World goes white for a second and a number floats dreamily in the air in front of you.

How odd. You wipe it away.

Ah yes! The memo he left you- that had the password on, didn't it? He did leave you the memo... right?