Not only will Possession 2 feature greater variety in its regular levels, but there will also be several “special levels” which you will sometimes visit instead of a regular level. The special levels are themed, featuring special tiles and design, and creatures that fit the theme. More interestingly, they usually feature special tiles, features, effects or layouts.
The Tombs are the first special level I’ve made. They’re a series of rooms connected by corridors. Inside, you might be lucky(?) enough to find mummified kings sleeping amongst massive piles of treasure!
Being a ghost, you don’t really have much use for gold. But the mummies don’t know that, and if you touch their gold, they’ll come to life and attack!
There are also cultists scattered throughout the tombs, who wander until they find a mummy, then begin worshipping it. While the cultists aren’t very strong (and the mummies themselves are a bit on the weak side, too), if you’re not careful you could find yourself being chased by a mob!
There’s an upside, though. If you possess a mummy, unaligned cultists may start worshipping and following you instead!
There are other creatures in the tombs, too, such as deadly sphinxes, adventurous archeologists, as well as our old “friends” the tourists:
The curator walked the new security guard through the premises. “Have you visited the Museum of Improbable Things before?” he asked.
The guard shook his head.
“Well,” the curator said, smiling, “I suppose I should take you on a quick tour through some of the exhibits, so you can get an idea what it is you’re protecting. I would recommend you come back some time during normal visiting hours to get the full experience, though. It’s all very fascinating.”
He stopped in front of a case containing a coin. “That,” he said, “As far as anyone can tell, is a regular quarter. It’s not weighted, not double-sided, nothing like that. The strange thing about it is, when you flip it, it always lands on whatever side you want it to land on.”
The guard grunted.
“Moving along,” the curator said, “Next up we have one of my favorite exhibits.” Inside the case was a copy of Led Zeppelin’s fourth album. “Playing it forward, it sounds like it should, but if you play ‘Stairway to Heaven’ backwards…”
“Let me guess,” the security guard said, “Satanic messages?”
The curator shook his head with a smile. “Not at all. If you play it backwards, you can very clearly hear ‘Glory to God in the highest, for God is great.'”
The guard stared at him.
“We don’t have enough time right now,” the curator whined, “But if you’d come back during normal visiting hours you could, of course, see the demonstration.”
“Continuing,” he said, walking to the next exhibit, “This is a VHS of ‘Return of the Jedi.’ The interesting thing about it, is that the ending is not the same. In this version, Luke turns to the Dark Side and joins Darth Vader, they kill the Emperor and take over the galaxy.”
“Never seen Star Wars,” the guard said, “But lemme ask you something, how do you know this, or that album, aren’t fakes?”
“They could be fakes,” the curator said, “They could be, that’s true. But if they’re fakes, the quality is incredible. The actors in the ending of this Star Wars, they look and sound exactly like the real actors. Of course, everyone involved with the film denies that anything like this was ever filmed, but…” the curator shrugged.
“So what the hell is it, then?” the guard asked.
The curator brightened. “That’s a very good question. Nobody really knows where the things in the museum originally came from. But it certainly shows that we live in a much stranger world than anyone thinks, eh?”
“Guess so,” the guard said.
Slumping his shoulders and returning to his “official” mode, the curator continued on. “All the exhibits in that part of the museum are pretty harmless,” he said, “Next up, in this section, we have things that are a little more dangerous.” He stopped in front of a case containing a hardbound book called Able Elba.
“What’s so dangerous about a book?” the guard asked.
“My friend,” the curator said, “Books are the most dangerous things of all! Books have resulted in more upheaval and societal change than…” catching the guard’s stony glare, he cleared his throat and changed the subject. “This particular book was written by a severely mentally disabled woman. According to her caretakers, the woman is barely even literate. Apparently though, one day she just sat down and wrote this book in twelve hours straight. The remarkable thing about it, is that it’s written entirely as a palindrome. A palindrome is a word or sentence that reads the same backwards as forwards…”
“I know what a palindrome is,” the guards said. “That’s definitely improbable, but why’s it dangerous?”
“Well,” the curator said, “Most people, after they read the book, they find themselves unable to speak in anything but palindromes. Apparently for the rest of their life.”
The guard raised an eyebrow in disbelief.
“This is all well-documented,” the curator said defensively, “The book actually sold fairly well at first, what with its ‘inspirational’ back story and all. The publisher stopped printing it once the reports started coming in, though. It got banned from schools and libraries. In fact, it got so bad that the Department of Defense bought up as many copies as they could, burned them, and arrested the woman and her caretakers as threats to national security. You can look all this up, it was in the news.”
“I’ll have to do that,” the guard said.
They walked to the next exhibit.
“This,” the curator said somberly, “Is a camera that takes a picture of how you’ll look when you die.” He lifted what looked like a regular Polaroid camera out of the case and pointed it at the guard. “Say cheese!”
“Don’t.” the guard said, putting his hand in front of the lens.
“What’s the matter?” laughed the curator, “Afraid to know?” He glanced at his watch. “Damn it, I’ve got a dinner with the Board of Trustees across town in half an hour, I’ll have to show you the rest of the exhibits later. That OK?”
“Sure,” the guard said.
“Alright,” the curator said. “Well I’ll see you later. Don’t touch anything, I know how interested you are in this stuff!” he slapped the guard on the shoulder and dropped the camera rather unceremoniously into the case before running out the door.
The camera’s circuitry must have been pretty damaged. The bump from hitting the bottom of the case caused it to take a picture, nearly blinding the guard with its flash. After blinking for a few seconds and regaining his sight, he gingerly reached into the case and took the picture out of the camera’s slot. He shook the photo a bit as it slowly came into focus.
The photo showed him lying on the floor of the museum in a puddle of blood.
He lifted his eyes from the picture and stared into the depths of the museum where the rest of the “dangerous” exhibits lay, suddenly wishing he’d listened to more of what the curator had said.
We were on our way to see someone Todd called the Eyeball Kid. I don’t know how he found these people. While most of us were cowering in fear at the nightmare we’d seen the world become, Todd seemed to thrive on it. It’s like Freak had only confirmed what he already knew about the world, and now he’d thrown himself full-heartedly into the weirdness.
We pulled up to an apartment complex. A pretty shitty one, too. Todd led me to room 27 and knocked on the door, which opened immediately, still on the chain.
“Who is it?” a voice called out.
“It’s me, Todd,” he said, smiling.
The door shut, then reopened, revealing a haggard-looking young woman, early twenties at most. Her sunken, tired eyes told me that she, too, was a Freak user. She glanced at me suspiciously.
“It’s alright,” Todd said. He pulled a bottle of pills out of his pocket and handed them to her.
“He’s in the den,” she said, wearily, stepping back into the shadows to let us pass.
“What was that?” I hissed at Todd. “Did you just give her Freak?”
“No,” he said, “There’s no way she’ll ever take Freak again after what happened to her kid. They’re sleeping pills. She has a hard time sleeping, understandably.”
“What happened to her…” I began, then stopped, gasping. We’d entered the den. Sitting at the table was a young boy, about 6 years old. What shocked me was his eyes. They were too big for his face, bulging out so far his eyelids couldn’t even completely shut around them when he blinked.
“Hey Teddy,” Todd said, pulling a piece of paper and a box of crayons from his pocket. “It’s me, Todd. You remember me, right? Want to draw a picture for me?”
The kid nodded, grasping blindly in the air in front of him until Todd put the crayons and paper into his hands.
“Don’t worry,” Todd said, stepping back and standing next to me, “They’re fake eyes.”
“What happened?” I asked.
“His mom used Freak when she was pregnant. He was born without eyes. Just empty sockets.”
“And you wouldn’t believe how expensive kid-sized glass eyes are,” Todd said, shaking his head, “You have to get ’em custom made.”
“Why are we here, Todd?” I asked.
“Turns out Freak’s got some literary sensibilities,” he grinned bitterly. “It took the kid’s eyes, but he can see the future. And if you bring him a piece of paper and some crayons he’ll draw it for you.”
“Todd,” I said, “If he was born without eyes, how does he know what a nod means?”
“I try not to think about it,” he said.
By now, the kid had finished drawing. He waved the paper in the air to get our attention. Todd stepped forward to take it.
“Thanks, Teddy,” he said. “You can keep the crayons.”
The kid smiled at him, showing a full mouth of very sharp teeth.
Todd stepped back and glanced at the picture. I craned my neck to see, but he held it away from me.
“Come on,” he said, “What if I’m having sex in it or something?”
It would have had to have been some really messed up sex, though, because as he looked over the picture, all the color drained from Todd’s face. Wordlessly, he passed it to me, and I could immediately see why.
“Yuri!” screamed Zed the Collector, “You son of a devil! I know you stole my brand new Elvis stamp last night!”
Whenever anything in town went missing, everyone blamed Yuri the Unvisible Man, even though as far as anyone could remember, he’d never actually ever been found guilty of stealing anything (in fact, half the time the “stolen” item was actually just lost and the owner usually found it a few days later).
“What a shame,” said Eugene the Thief (who accounted for the other half of the missing objects), shaking his head, “He truly is a menace.”
Yuri, fearing yet another attempted lynching, immediately took off his clothes and ran, bringing Zed’s chase to a halt. Zed spat on the unvisible man’s clothes and cursed.
“A man like that is nothing but trouble,” Zed said, “And not just because he’s a thief — no offense meant to your self, sir.”
Everyone in the village knew that Eugene was a thief, but nobody could ever prove it. And everyone liked him too much to try.
“Not just because he’s a thief,” Zed continued, “But also because I have a daughter. I’m worried what sort of mischief an unvisible man can get up to with the women in town!”
His daughter, Yulia, smiled to herself as she walked home from school with the other girls, because she knew first hand just what sort of mischief Yuri did get up to with the women in town, or at least one woman in particular.
“It’s unholy,” agreed the thief, “A man no one can see has too much to hide.” Secretly, he was just jealous of Yuri’s transparency and thought that he could put it to much better use.
Yulia made her way through the forest to the river bank where she knew Yuri went to sulk whenever he was blamed for a crime. She knew that he was there because of the twin indentations in the ground marking the resting place of the unvisible man’s buttocks.
“What can I do?” Yuri moaned, “I’ll never be accepted, wherever I go! Nobody trusts an unvisible man. Your father will never let us marry!”
“You need to show them that having an unvisible man in the village is a good thing,” Yulia said, “You need to do something good that no visible man could ever do.”
“I’ve got it!” Yuri shouted, snapping his fingers (or so Yulia assumed, he could have been cracking his neck for all she knew). “I’ll finally catch Eugene in the act! That way, I’ll clear my name and also help the village at the same time!”
“That’s wonderful!” Yulia exclaimed, leaning over to try and kiss him, but falling flat on her face because she was three feet too far to the left.
So, for the next few nights, Yuri sat on the roof of his house watching for Eugene. It was difficult work. The nights in this part of the country could be bitterly cold, and of course he had to sit through the whole night entirely naked. Some nights, Yulia would sneak out and bring him warm borscht, which made it slightly more bearable.
It seemed as though Eugene was living easy off the profits he had made from selling Zed’s prized Elvis stamp, because the village was free of any larceny for two weeks (though Yuri was still blamed when the widow Ivanova’s cat batted her favorite necklace under the dresser). The cold, sleepless nights began to wear on Yuri’s resolve, and he feared that he’d missed his chance.
However, a stroke of luck came into his life when a famous merchant came through town. The people in the town were so pleased to see a foreigner, they insisted he stay the night free of charge in Nikolai’s inn. Yuri knew that Eugene wouldn’t be able to resist the call of the merchant’s many riches, and late that night, his suspicions were confirmed as he spied Eugene sneaking towards the inn.
“Stop, thief!” he shouted, leaping off of the roof and landing on Eugene, knocking him unconscious. He shouted “Thief!” until a crowd began to gather.
“What’s the matter?” shouted Ivan the Sheriff, running up to the scene, wearing his uniform over his nightclothes.
“Yuri’s attacked Eugene!” shouted Zed.
“He’s too dangerous,” Ivan said, shaking his head. “Back when he was just a simple thief, we could let him roam free. But a violent unvisible man is too dangerous to have in town. There’s nothing left to do but to throw him in jail.”
So they did.
Angels poured out of the rip in the sky in a never-ending stream. The blinding white light shone down from the hole almost metaphorically, as if it were illuminating the spiritual darkness of the city below. And still the angels poured out of heaven, landing in heaps in the streets of Las Vegas.
And this had to happen on the day I’m assigned to take the new guy around, Officer Jarvis sighed to himself.
The kid stared at the sky, his fresh face glowing in wonder and fear.
“Has this ever happened before?” the rookie asked, gasping.
“New one on me,” Jarvis grunted.
By now people were beginning to notice the tear between heaven and earth. Some screamed, some sunk to their knees and cried, some tried to run away.
“But what does it mean?” the kid asked.
“What does it mean?” Jarvis said, surprised the kid didn’t get it. “It means I’m not going to make it home in time to watch Survivor tonight.”
“Well I was walkin’ home from Willie P.’s one night after knockin’ back a few sixpacks of his homebrew, so make no mistake, I was pretty sloshed. Walkin’ next to Old Man J.’s field, all of a sudden I see the field erupt into flames, and I was thinkin’ maybe Willie slipped a little of the ol’ Lucy D. in there (he’s known to do it, the joker).
“But no, this was the real deal. Stepping up to the flames I could feel them singin’ off my arm hairs. I walked over to the pit and who should jump out but the damned old Devil himself. A bit shorter than I’d imagined, he came about up to my knee.
“‘Make a wish!’ he cried, with a voice like rocks scraping against rocks.
“‘No sir,’ I said, ‘I know how this works, I make a wish and you take my soul. No thanks!’
“‘It’s not like that,’ he said, ‘If you want, you can just do me a favor instead. 24 hours after the wish if the favor’s not done, I’ll take your soul! Now, WISH!’
“‘Well alright,’ I said, and my drunken mind went the only place it could, ‘I wish I had another beer!’
“POOF! All the flames were gone and didn’t even leave a scorch mark. In my hand I held a nice cool Natural Light, maybe the greatest beer on God’s Green Earth.
“In my head, I hear the voice of that damn Devil, and he’s sayin’ ‘In return, you gotta steal somethin’!’ I don’t think much about it though, so I head on home.
“Next day I’m having my traditional day-after-visitin’-Willie hangover breakfast at Waffle House, when I suddenly remember my promise. At this point I’m still half-convinced it’s the onset of the ol’ Delirium Tremens, but just to be safe I stick the fork in my pocket and walk out.
“When I get back to the field, sure enough, flames shoot up, the ground cracks open and out jumps the devil. I toss the fork at his feet, casually, like I’m a movie gangster.
“‘Not quite what I was expecting,’ he growled, ‘But it’ll do. Now, your next wish!’
“‘Well, my car’s a bit shot. How ’bout a nice new Ferrari?’
“‘Consider it done!’ shouted the Devil, and sure enough, when I turned around there was a shiny new car with the keys in the ignition.
“‘This time,’ the Devil grinned, ‘You gotta kill somethin’.’
“I looked down, thinkin’ it over. I started pacing around and I accidentally stepped on a fresh little dandelion, and as you can imagine that made me feel right awful.
“But the Devil was even more upset than me. ‘When I said “Kill Somethin'” I didn’t mean a flower!’ he shouted, grimacing, ‘Bah. You won’t fool me next time! Now, your final wish!’
“‘Well, the car’s nice,’ I said, ‘But what’s a good car without a nice garage to park it in? I wish for a brand new mansion!’
“‘Done!’ shouted the devil, ‘Now, as payment for this, you gotta kill somebody.‘”
“Oh my God,” she said, staring at the storyteller with wide-eyed wonder. “What’d you do then?”
He took a long, slow sip of his beer. “I’m not proud to tell you this, but I thought about that long and hard, and I came to a decision.
“‘Nah, not gonna happen,’ I said, and kicked that bastard right back down the hole and went home to my nice new mansion.”
I can’t get rid of the damn tape. Lord knows I’ve tried. I’ve thrown it in the trash only to find it on the ground the next day. I’ve buried it in the yard only to have the neighbor’s dog dig it up. I’ve thrown it in the river only for it to wash back up against the shore a few days later. I tried burning it once, and that seemed to work, but a few weeks later when I was cleaning out my fireplace I found it buried under the ashes. I went to Bakersfield one week to visit my sister and I found it in my suitcase.
Whenever I’ve shown it to anyone, they’ve just said things like “Great effects!” or “You really outdid yourself this time!” or “You ought to get a studio to look at this!” I tell them that it’s real and they just laugh.
I’ve asked Frank about it. He was there when it happened. We were doing some location scouting and thought it would be great place to shoot…all you have to do is watch the tape to see how wrong we were.
“You made the movie without me?” he frowns, pretending to be angry. “Who’d you get to help you?”
“You’re there!” I shout, “You’re in the video! You remember what happened that night!”
He just gives me a weird look.
Why is he pretending he doesn’t know what I’m talking about? Does he just not want to admit the truth about what happened? Sure, we’d all be better off if it wasn’t real, but I know it’s real…isn’t it?