"There is a road, steep and thorny, beset with perils of every kind, but yet a Road. And it leads to the very heart of the universe. I can tell you how to find those who will show you the secret gateway that opens inwardly only, and closes fast behind the neophyte forever more. There is no danger that dauntless courage cannot conquer. There is no trial that spotless purity cannot pass through. There is no difficulty that strong intellect cannot surmount. For those who win onward, there is reward past all telling: the power to bless and save humanity. For those who fail, there are other lives in which success may come.”
You awaken with a start in the small bedroom of your 3rd floor apartment. Glancing at the time, you groan inwardly and again make an internal inquiry regarding why you keep 'waking up' at 3 a.m. You notice, as in the previous three nights, that your body is covered in a thin sheen of sweat and feeling with your left hand behind, you touch the sheets and find them to be damp and sticky. You also smell a strange acridity in the air, something you recognize but can't place.
Getting up, you change your bed-wear into fresh and throw a clean towel down on the bed, thinking that you 'just can't deal with changing the sheets until the morning.' Since your up, you visit the bathroom, do your business, have a sip of water (your mouth is so dry, weird...) and then nipping the small light by your bed you settle back under the covers, lying on your back, your hands folded and placed on your abdomen.
As you lie in the early morning darkness, the sounds of the city echo quietly. You close your eyes and taking a deep breath, settle back into sleep. You aren't sure how long its been, did you just close your eyes, your body is still in the same position - but a strange sound caught your attention. What was that? A moan? Someone yelling? A cat mewling in the shadows? As you lie there, listening, you hear it again - wait, is that coming from the alley below?
You get out of bed and go over to the window. You push back the blackout curtains and looking down into the alley below you search for... What are you looking for? You listen, body tense and alert. After a minute or so the sound comes again, a long, drawn out, moan of some kind. Now that you are awake you feel that you can almost make it out: HEEELLLLLLLLPPPPPMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEHHHHHHHEEEEEELLLLLPPPPPPPMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEE.
Your eyes settle on the position that the sound is coming from, but you can't see anything tangible. After a moment the sound stops. You open the window - one of those new fangled windows that open inwardly at a 45' angle. Turning your head to point your right ear into the alley below you close your eyes and listen.
An image coalesces in your mind. At first it is faint with the barest of outlines, a slight shimmering in an otherwise elaborate darkness. You focus your attention on the shimmering and it solidifies and seems to stabilize - a form appears, a human-like form, hunched, withered, broken, shimmering in a dull electric blue.
What is that? You think inwardly. This thought seems to catch 'its' attention and an old, wrinkled face turns towards you - when it sees you its mouth starts working and you hear something that sounds like what you imagine chewing rocks would sound like. After a moment, it opens its mouth and you hear it, the long achey groan: HHHHHEEEEEELLLLLLLPPPPPPPPMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEEE.
What do you do? You can ask 3 mundane questions. 1 Spiritual question and take 3 actions.