The following is a recorded conversation between a psychologist, Dr. Jacob Pierson, and his patient, Henry Ackel, regarding the Archives in question, recorded through the room's surveillance system. This record has been sealed under Article 23-A of the Neuman Classification Doctrine for an undetermined amount of time, but the records have been opened recently for an investigation. This conversation marks the last known location of Mr. Ackel, who has subsequently disappeared.
Pierson: Welcome back, Henry. Please sit down.
Ackel: Thanks, doc.
[Silence, seven seconds. Both parties take their seats.]
Pierson: How have things been for you since our last talk?
[Silence, fourteen seconds. Ackel doesn't answer.]
Pierson: I take it that things haven't gone that well, then. Would you like to talk about it?
[Silence, four seconds. Ackel hesitates to answer, staring at the doctor. He shifts in his seat, bringing his feet to rest on the edge of the chair's cushion. Pierson says nothing about it.]
Ackel: I can feel the urges again, doc.
Pierson: What urges?
Ackel: Bloodlust. Gore. Murder. It's starting to entice me more and more. I... I feel the need to kill.
[Silence, thirty-one seconds. Pierson writes something down. Documentation indicates that it said "subject exhibits feelings of violent nature. Recommend stronger doses of medication."]
Pierson: How long have you had these urges, Henry?
[Silence, eleven seconds. Ackel seems to be contemplating.]
Ackel: I-I don't know. It's just... every time I wake up from a dream, the urges get stronger.
Pierson: A dream?
Ackel: Yes. I have it every other day.
Pierson: So it's recurring?
[Ackel nods and shifts in his chair, bringing his feet to rest on the floor as he leaned forward. Pierson writes something down, again. Records as to what he wrote are sealed.]
Pierson: Tell me about this dream you've been having.
Ackel: Well... I'm standing on a bridge. Fog, everywhere. I-it surrounds me, and I can't see through it. All of a sudden, there's a door. Red, made of... oak or something. I don't know. And a hooded figure, dressed in white.
[Ackel continues to recount details as Pierson writes down what he hears. Records were opened, indicating the psychologist had also taken down some notes. At the bottom of the last page, the words "maximum dosage highly recommended" were scrawled down. Handwriting experts noticed a slight shaking in the words, noting that Dr. Pierson was growing nervous.]
Ackel: ...and, then... he opened the door.
Pierson: What was inside?
Ackel: ...I don't know. He called it my "archive." Said it was everything that made me who I was. Everything that I thought of, everything that I said, that I did; it was all there. Told me to go inside.
Pierson: Did you?
[Pierson reaches for a glass of water. Ackel hesitates to answer, watching Pierson's movements. When the glass is set back on the table next to Pierson's chair, Ackel gets up and moves toward it. After a few moments, the glass is reset to its former position and Henry returns to his seat. Authorities in the investigation remark that Henry Ackel has a case of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Upon further review of past tapes, experts note that not a single thing in the room has changed or moved in the course of Ackel's visits.]
Ackel: Yeah. It looked... organized.
Pierson: What do you mean?
Ackel: Everything was clean, organized. There were a lot of books. I wanted to count how many, but he told me that the number of books kept constantly growing; that, by the time I started counting, I'd never stop. Each of them was the same height, same thickness; so meticulously detailed, down to the number of words. The room, as big as it was, was a perfect cube.
Pierson: What else was there?
Ackel: He said something about my imagination. Showed me this door and told me to step inside, so I did. It was chaotic.
Ackel: Yes, everything was awry, out of order. Nothing was organized, and it was all overwhelming. I left quickly. He comforted me upon my return.
[Pierson writes down what Ackel explains.]
Pierson: Was there anything else? Anything that could contribute to your urges?
Ackel: There was another door, but he said that I wasn't ready to go through it.
Pierson: Why not?
Ackel: He said I wasn't ready to face my demons. I could feel them, hear them calling out to me. Telling me to kill.
Pierson: What did you do?
Ackel: I don't know. The calls got louder. I remember holding my head, and then... I woke up. Every time, the urges get stronger. It's like I don't want to face my demons, that I want to become them.
Pierson: What stops you from doing it?
Ackel: Nothing, I guess, except some kind of moral compass. I don't really want to murder people, doc. It's just that I can't stop feeling like I should. They're getting to me.
[Pierson takes another drink of water, but places it back in the exact spot as it sat before, so as not to agitate Ackel. After writing something down, he sets the notepad on the table in between himself and his patient.]
Pierson: Alright. I'd like to suggest that we place you under supervised care, Henry. Somewhere outside of the city, where you can get the help that you need.
Ackel: Do you think it'll work, doc?
Pierson: I do, Henry.
[Body language experts indicate that Pierson was lying. Silence, eight seconds.]
Pierson: I'll arrange for a transport to a care facility outside the city. You'll leave to it from here, okay?
[Ackel nods and Pierson moves to his desk to make the call. Video ends.]
Two days after arriving at the Fenley Mental Care Facility, Henry Ackel went missing. One day later, 17-year-old Ashley Welsh was found in her home laying face-down in a pool of her own blood, by her parents, one mile outside the city in a small suburban area. Upon coroner's examination, the cause of her death was a single gunshot wound to the back of the head, with an exit wound through the frontal lobe. Several scars were found on her arms, but these were made pre-mortem, long before her death. Coroner theorized that she used to self-injure, but no evidence of fresh lacerations suggested that she stopped at some point.
Ackel is considered a prime suspect in the murder of Ms. Welsh, as the tape's playback shows that he had an urge to kill. Attempted calls to Jacob Pierson by the authorities were unanswered, but they were able to pick up the following phone call between Pierson and a very-labored Ackel.
Ackel (breathing heavily): Doc... I did something bad.
Pierson: Henry? Henry, where are you?
Ackel: I don't know. I've never been to this part of town before.
Pierson: You left the facility? Henry, we sent you there so you could get help.
Ackel: I couldn't, doc. The demons; they're too strong. Their voices are loud. It was the only I could get them to stop.
Pierson: ...what did you do?
Ackel: She was such a good girl. I didn't want to kill her...
[Pierson doesn't answer. Ackel continues, his voice changing, becoming more devious.]
Ackel: They told me to. They told me she needed to die. It was her purpose, as killing her was mine.
Pierson: Henry, you need to turn yourself in.
Ackel: Can't. Not before I'm done.
Pierson: Done with what?
Ackel: There's one more person they need me to kill. I'll see you soon.
[The phone hangs up.]
Thirty-three hours later, Dr. Jacob Pierson was found wounded, but alive, inside his home, four miles from his office. In the living room, where the doctor was found, the body of Henry Ackel was slumped over a coffee table, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities questioned Pierson for several hours before he agreed to give up the evidence that would have led to Ackel's indictment and conviction. Pierson was invited to Ashley Welsh's funeral, but he refused to attend. Days later, he returned to his office and continued his work.
Once again, Jake found himself sitting at the edge of his bed, recalling the moments when he stared death in the face. Henry's own face was twisted with agony, tears streaming down his cheek as he clawed at the side of his head, yelling for the voices to stop. The flash of the muzzle and the bullet that ripped through his leg, leaving him crippled. The look of regret that flashed in Henry's eyes as he turned the gun on himself was a look of horror that couldn't leave the doctor's mind.
The light of the moon filtered through semi-open shades, bathing Jake in an ivory light. Summer heat left him sweating in the middle of the night, and the thought of calling the repairman tomorrow became evident. The air conditioner was broken for a while; what pushed him to "power through it," he had no idea. However, it would be fixed soon. Through labored breaths, the doctor pushed himself back onto his bed, pulling up the covers over his body. Laying on his side, he let himself drift off to sleep.
He awoke on a bridge, surrounded by fog as he got to his feet. Instead of his usual sleepwear, he was fully dressed in casual clothing. Taking in his surroundings, he couldn't see past a radius of ten feet. Attempting to walk in either direction would prove futile, as he couldn't see where he was going. Suddenly, a cold voice echoed from the other side of the circle.
"I hear that you're looking for an answer."
Turning around, Jake locked his eyes on a hooded figure, cloaked in white. A mask covered its face, and it stood roughly half the height of the doctor. It held a wooden cane in its bony hands, using it to leverage itself from falling towards the ground. One of its arms extended forward, pointing at the man across from where it stood.
"Jacob Pierson, psychologist; twenty-nine years old. Father, Dorian. Mother, Lucy. No siblings. You're here because of Henry Ackel."
Eyes widened, Jake took a step forward. "How did you know that?" he asked, a concerned look on his face. The realization hit him - this figure, this masked entity - this was what Henry had talked about all those weeks ago. He froze where he stood, trying to figure out what was going on.
"Henry spoke of you, though he needn't have," the figure continued, taking small steps toward the man. "All of his thoughts were recorded, word for word, letter for letter..." The figure produced a bloodstained and decaying book from thin air, holding it in hand and watching the withered pages flip through before looking back at Jacob and snapping the book shut.
"...in a book, just like this one."
Jake said nothing, watching the figure encircle the area. It continued to speak, its voice starting to take on a more masculine tone.
"You're here because you're wondering why Henry Ackel decided to kill. Ashley Welsh, high school student; seventeen years old. Father, Craig, deceased. Mother, Ariana. Murdered by Henry Ackel, via gunshot wound to the back of the head. Before the murder, he spoke to you. You suggested that he get help at the Fenley Mental Care Facili--"
"How do you know all of this?!" Jake interrupted, growing angry. Fists clenched, he ground his teeth at the nonchalance of the masked figure who now rested at his side.
The figure chuckled. "I know this because I know you. I know all of you humans. I am called the Scribe, and I appear to those who have questions."
The voice shifted location, coming from behind the doctor now and forcing the man to turn around. Upon doing so, he noticed a red door of solid oak standing upright, in the middle of the bridge. The figure stood next to it, motioning to its surface.
"You're looking for answers, Jacob Pierson. I am providing you the opportunity. All you have to do is open the door and step inside."
Jake hesitated, not knowing what lay beyond the door. Inching forward slowly, he let his hand find the doorknob and turn it, pushing it open. The door swung in a wide arc and revealed what looked like a college library within. Confused, Jake stepped inside as the door closed behind him.
The shelves were lined with books that had no labels, each one equal in height but varying in thickness. On the shelves themselves, labels denoting subjects were located beneath each row. The area of the location was massive, and he could swear that he saw it expanding. Moving into a different part of the area, he noticed an open book that rested on a pedestal, constantly being filled with words. Upon closer examination, Jake noticed that the words were his thoughts, being graphed into a book. He took a step back, reeling in suprise at the discovery. He turned the other way, staring down a line of desks that seemed to stretch on forever. As he wondered where he was, the figure replied.
"This is what is known as an Archive," it explained, reading the exact thought Jake had in questioning his location before letting the page turn on its own. "This is a collection of everything that makes you who you are. Everything you've ever thought, said, done, et cetera - it can all be found here."
"This is... this is amazing," Jake replied. "But, it's a little... boring."
"Your Archive is a reflection of your current self, Jacob Pierson," the figure spoke, walking across the flattened carpet that composed the floor of the library-styled area. "Your personality, your beliefs, your views and influences. Everything about your current self determines the layout and design of your Archive."
"So... you're saying that I'm boring," Jake retorted, crossing his arms.
"You said it, not I," spoke the figure, chuckling a little afterward.
Jake went to reply, but was immediately startled when he saw what looked like a ghost pass in front of him. He jumped back, hitting the pedestal and both it and the book over.
"What was that?!" he screamed, grabbing at something to use as a weapon.
Without turning around, the figure held up a hand. "Relax," he said. "Those are other people, not ghosts. They, like you, are in their Archive. To you, they are ghosts. To them, you are the same."
Jake's thoughts turned to Henry at that moment, and the memories resurfaced, but he pushed them aside. "You said I came here because I wanted answers as to why Henry wanted to kill. How am I supposed to find those answers?"
"You humans always get your information wrong," the Scribe quipped, fumbling inside of a pocket on his cloak. "You ask the wrong questions, get the wrong information, and the assumptions? Oh, don't get me started. You never go straight to the source and, when you try, you don't try hard enough. You take things at face value..."
Removing his hand from the pocket, he unfolded it and held it out in front of Jake, possessing what looked like a small and obsolete coin.
"...instead of digging where it counts."
"What is that?" Jake asked, reaching out to take the coin. The Scribe's hand closed quickly, long and sharp fingernails barely grazing the flesh of the human's hand.
"Be careful, Jacob Pierson. This is a Key."
"A key? It's a coin."
The Scribe responded by throwing the coin at Jake's forehead. The human hissed in pain, clutching his head as the Scribe caught the coin in his hand. "What the hell was that for?"
"See without your eyes, you fool," the figure remarked. "This is called a Key. A Key is a significant personal token that belongs to an individual. This token acts as a 'key' between Archives. When you possess someone's Key, you are allowed to travel from your Archive to theirs, and vice versa. In the Archives, people sometimes use these to find their answers."
"And I'm going to need this, I assume."
"You want your answers, don't you?"
"Yes," Jake replied, reaching for the coin again. This time, he was able grasp it, but the Scribe caught his hand.
"Beware, human," the Scribe warned, pulling the doctor close. "When you go inside his Archive, it will be different from yours. You will be able to know who and what he was. All of his records are there, from birth to death, but be warned. He was unable to face his demons and they overwhelmed him. They can do the same to you. It is what you humans call 'influence.'"
Jake immediately let go of the coin. "Influence?" he asked.
The Scribe placed the coin on the table and took a seat. "Do you know why humanity does what it does?"
Jake shook his head, which prompted the Scribe to continue.
"Humanity does what it does because of the Archives. Every major event in your world that has transpired was because the people who initiated them visited this place. They saw who they were, down to the last letter. They visited the levels of their Archives, both the upper - and the lower. They were either corrupted or made altruistic. All conflict has stemmed from here, but it was by their own doing that they became the people that they were; that they are."
Jake took a seat in front of the Scribe, his face lightly peppered with agitation. "How could you say that?"
"How could I not? I've guided them here. They wanted answers to the questions burning inside their minds, and I gave them the opportunities to find them. Beyond that, they have to find what they're looking for on their own."
"So, are they by themselves the whole time?" the human asked, staring at the coin.
"Not always," the Scribe remarked. "Sometimes, people help each other. That's why there are Keys. Well, that's one of the purposes for the Keys."
"One of the purposes? There are more?"
"Only one more."
Jake stood up and pushed the chair under the table, grabbing the coin off its wooden surface. He ran a thumb over the coarse silver surface as he asked. "What other purpose do the Keys serve?"
"Another question that will be answered when the time comes," the Scribe replied, shakingly lifting himself from the chair. Gripping the wooden cane tight, he looked up at the human.
"I need you to know that, once you go into Henry Ackel's Archive, you won't be able to come back out until you return the Key to its rightful resting place."
"And where's that?"
"You'll find out when the time comes."
Jake Pierson turned toward a white door on the far side of his Archive. Gulping down his apprehension, he started walking, keeping his eyes forward. Each step brought back a different shred of the memory that continually haunted him. By the time he reached the door, his body trembled from the aftershock of the trauma. He nearly died at the hands of the person he tried to help, but he didn't know why.
Grasping the handle, he turned it and pulled the door open, submerging himself into what lay beyond. The door closed behind him as an echo of laughter maneuvered its way through the halls of his Archive.
"I hope you know what you're looking for, Jacob Pierson. It's easy to lose your way when searching for the truth."
Welcome to "The Archives", a psychological thriller-fantasy RP about finding the truth behind the questions that need answers. You play a human being at a crossroads in your life, faced with a situation that could have a major impact on you. You search for answers to questions that have plagued you for the longest of times, and someone has come to lend you a helping hand.
Enter the Scribe, an entity that holds the opportunity of realization. Through him, you are allowed to enter a world that is composed of everything that makes you who you are - your own Archive. Your thoughts, your actions, your words, significant events, ancestries; everything that is about you can be found here. Through here, you can learn more about yourself, from that stupid thing you did in middle school to impress your friends, to that one dark secret you take isolated to your grave.
Inside your Archive, only reachable in the dreaming state, its design and layout depend all on who you currently are; your beliefs and viewpoints, your personality and perspective. These aspects about you determine the way your Archive looks and, when you change, it changes. At one point in your life, your Archive could have been a peaceful zen garden in which you could feel enlightened. Other times, it could have been a hellish asylum, rusted over and bloodied from your darkest and deepest desires. It ALL depends on you.
You'll find that, in your Archive, there are multiple floors. These floors help separate the altruistic side of you from the demon you could or could not be. The ground floor, the Core, is in between good and evil; the "neutral ground." The higher floors are accessible, while the lower floors are sealed by singular door. This door can be opened easily, but is only highly recommended to those who believe they are ready to face the demons they possess. Otherwise, you can be overwhelmed and corrupted.
With you is a Key, a small and very personal token, a belonging of your own. With this Key, you are allowed a couple of features. The first feature is the ability to access areas of your Archive that are usually sealed. These areas may contain vital information, such as secrets or ancestry. It can also be used to open the door to the lowel levels of your Archive, but should only be attempted when one is believed to be ready to face their demons. If you venture into the lowel levels unprepared, you can be corrupted by your demons, or even killed. If this door opened at any time, it should be sealed shut immediately, whether or not you decide to go down below.
The second and more interesting feature of the Keys is the ability to transfer to the Archives of other people. This is done by possessing another's Key. When you do, you transfer to their Archive and stay until the Key is returned to either its owner or to the owner's resting place. The same is said for them possessing your Key to transfer over to your Archive, but you may be wondering how this works.
When you are in your own Archive, you can see other people around you, but they take the form of ghostly apparitions. These people are in their own Archives, which could or could not vary differently from yours. Since the Scribe, in general, controls the Keys, they remain the only physical feature that can be shared between two Archives. There are several guidelines to the usage of Keys, in terms of transference.
- Only two people can share Keys at any time. For example, if A shares with B and allows them to transfer over to their Archive, A and C can not share Keys. Neither can B and C.
- When one transfers over to another's Archive, the other can not hold the first's Key. For example, A allows B to transfer over because B now holds A's Key. A can not hold B's Key while B is in A's Archive. Doing so will produce catastrophic results, potentially ending in coma or death due to the clashing of psychological frames.
- When in another's Archive, you are permitted to look through the records of another person. However, taking records from their Archive to your own is strictly prohibited, as doing so will cause a psychological break in the person from whose Archive you stole. In doing so, you have given them express permission to enter your Archive, hunt you down, kill you and take back what is rightfully theirs to preserve their sanity.
- When in another's Archive, waking up is impossible. It can only be done when in your own Archive, by yourself.
- Last, but not least, be careful with whom you give your Key. There are corrupted people that will transfer over to your Archive just to kill you.
Now's let talk about the main features of your Archive.
- The Memory Hub - All of your memories are recorded, constantly, into books, which are then shelved for your convenience. Somewhere inside your Memory Hub is a pedestal with an open book. This book is your current volume of thought. When the book is filled, it closes and then reopens, the pages becoming blank once more for more thoughts to be added. At the same time, a new book is added to the others for your immediate viewing.
- The Lower Levels - These levels are the darker side of you. Your demons and perversions and all things malevolent can be found here. The deeper you go, the darker and more dangerous it gets. It is highly recommended that you stay away from the door that leads down below. If at any point you decide to go into the lower areas, seal the door behind you. Demons can potentially corrupt your Archive, leaving you unintentionally malign.
- The Upper Levels - These floors represent the more benevolent side of who you are. Your accolades and accomplishments of good nature are found here, and many come to the upper levels to feel a bit better about themselves. Apart from this purpose, they serve none.
- The Imagination Ward - This area is another sealed off place inside your Archive, in order to keep your imagination from warping the Archive to anything of its own design. Because of multiple leaks, some people have developed multiple personalities, their Archives changing involuntarily and constantly. Here in the Ward, anything you imagine can be created. Since the Ward is immeasurable in area, your creations can span on into infinity. However, it is very easy to get lost, so it is recommended that you keep, in mind, a marked pathway that leads to the exit. People with overactive imaginations will find that things are created on their own, persisting in development until they are unrecognizable. This is the reason why those people are oftened spurred from entering the Ward.
- The Graveyard - This area is the only area in your Archive that stays sealed until your death. Upon death, the door opens itself, leading to a large grassy hill. Atop the hill stands your gravestone. If someone possesses your Key, and you are dead, the only way they can leave is by returning to your gravestone and burying the Key. However, when one is dead, their Archive becomes hostile, attempting to assimilate you as the conscience that holds the Archive's functions together. If it succeeds, you die, and your psychological mindset stabilizes the Archive. It is recommended that you do NOT let it succeed.
These various and static areas are featured in each Archive, but their layout and design is, much like the rest of your Archive, based on who you currently are, so they can change as you do.
Your character will interact with both the real world and the Archives they find in their dreams. How you are affected in the Archives will usually affect how you act in the real world, and vice versa. It's all about your mentality and personality. Seeing as how you are just a normal human being, you don't have powers or anything of the superhuman/supernatural sort. When faced with danger, it's all about survival and who you are deep down inside your soul.
Utilizing both the resources of the real world and those of the Archive, you will search for the answers to the questions you've been wanting to resolve. In the process, you could change and solve internal conflicts. You can bring an end to someone's suffering. Anything, within the literal bounds of the real world, can be done, as long as you're willing to find the truth.
Keep in mind that your character is human. That being said, here is the skeleton by which you should design your character. I expect you to know what to put down.
Appearance: <--- You can put a picture for the character sheet. In the actual RP, I expect a description of moderate detail.
History: <--- Your character's life. Can tie into your purpose(s), if you wish.
Purpose(s): <--- Your reasons for entering the Archive.
Yes, the framework is rather small. You're not going to need much of anything else, but I do expect at least some good detail put in. Mary and Gary Sues are not allowed; try to make them complex.
Alright. Who's interested?