The Narrator talks about how the human body has a physical reaction to a suggested physical harm. There have been incidents throughout history of people becoming sick for no discernible reason, and that it is sometimes caused by stress. The symptoms become viral, spreading from person to person. until the entire community is infected. The Narrator asks what else about everyone's reality is actually a disorder.
Farouk is with two women at dinner, and he dies in the middle of the meal. His body is taken to the temple of the Mi-Go monks. They lower the pod holding Farouk's body into a chamber and then seal it. Later, the monks are eating and they hear someone pound on the chamber walls. They go to the chamber and listen at the seal.
A black creature approaches the sleeping Ptonomy and climbs into his ear. He finds himself standing in the hallway and runs off. Admiral Fukyama watches him and then the others on his monitor.
Kerry is hitting a bag when Cary comes over and asks if she's ready. He says that they have to, and they go to the cafeteria. Cary shows her how to eat with chopsticks, and Kerry says that she doesn't see the point. He tells her that they need her to be independent, and she starts eating and drinking cream soda. Later, Kerry defecates and complains about the process, and tells her brother that she can handle it on her own.
Syd switches mental essences with the cat and searches for the monk, following David's description and talking with him. She sees Clark and several of the child soldiers gathering at a door. There's a bloody handprint on the inside of the door, and inside are the plague victims, all chattering their teeth. Clark and an assistant put on protective suits and go in, and they find a discarded IV bag on the floor.
David and Syd are among the crowd outside watching, and he has a vision of Future-Syd drawing an H. Meanwhile, the Vermillions confirm that one civilian is missing, and Clark finds an open vent. He orders an immediate lockdown, .
David and Syd wander the halls, and David says that Fukyama said that the monks can control their thoughts so he can't locate the Monk telepathically. He explains that he had a vision of Future-Syd writingthe letter "H", and tells her to stay and watch the search.
After entering the tank, David finds himself at the pool. Lenny is on the side crouching and trying to meditate. She asks David for smoke or glue, and David asks her where Farouk is. Lenny complains that they never talk and asks how the team is. David ignores her and calls to Farouk, and Lenny begs David to help her because she's dying and Farouk won't let her go. She asks David to put in a word to get her out or put her out of her misery.
Farouk arrives and David tells him that the Monk is loose in Division 3 and he can't find him. The Shadow King says that there is a secret way to penetrate a monk's mind, and offers David a drink. David asks what Farouk will do with his body once he gets it. Farouk says that he will live in the south of France and gain power, and says that he's a king, not a villain. He ruled over his country and the people prospered, and then David's father came and decided what was right. As they talk, Lenny shoots herself in the head and bubbles emerge.
Ignoring her, Farouk says that he's a refugee and is imprisoned in another man's body. David tells him that he made a choice, and Farouk admits that he chose life rather than death. When David tries to leave, he finds himself on the lawn. Farouk says that David is trying to change the future, and then Future-Syd will cease to exist. He warns that the Monk is contagious and Farouk follows in his trail of devastation.
David emerges from the tank and discovers that everyone is gone. He leaves the lab and discovers that the power is out. Proceeding through the maze of corridors, David finds the dead bodies of a soldier and scientist. He turns and sees one of the civilians facing him, his teeth chattering. David moves past him and turns on the emergency lights, and a cow appears in the hallway. It disappears after a moment, and David goes to the cafeteria. A staff member is sitting at a table, his teeth chattering as he stares off into space. Cary sprays him in the face with household cleaner , realizes who it is, and says that they heard guns and Kerry went to investigate.
David projects his consciousness but gets no answer from the others. Cary says that he saw the Monk and the child soldiers were following him even though they're supposed to be immune. The two men leave the cafeteria and go to Ptonomy's room. Ptonomy is on the floor suffering from the virus, and David says that the victims are in the maze. He doesn't know what it means and enters Ptonomy's mind.
Cary and David find themselves in a flowered hedge maze. Ptonomy is tending flowers, and as they go over Cary steps in black goo on the ground. Ptonomy just says "hello" repeatedly and doesn't recognize David and Cary. David doesn't sense anyone else, and Cary figures that the contagion locks people inside of their own realities. he figures that Ptonomy is living a core desire: to forget after everything and live in the moment. They agree to wake Ptonomy up, and David touches Ptonomy's forehead. The maze blow up, and the trio find themselves back in the real world. Ptonomy is happy to realize that he doesn't remember what happened.
The trio leaves and finds the cow in the hallway. David gets a vision of Future-Syd drawing the letter U, and tells the others that he's fine.
The Monk leads the children through the hallways.
The three men find Melanie standing chattering in the hallway, and Ptonomy says that they should take her to Cary's lab. They pick her up and carry her, and Cary looks in a room and then locks the door. David enters Melanie's mind and the three men find themselves in a black void. They move forward and find a keyboard. David hits a key and messages appear in the sky above them. He types out what they're doing in the game, and they fall onto their backs. Cary figure that Melanie is everywhere, and a message says that they have to keep moving or the minotaur will get them. David yells to Melanie, telling her what happened. The minotaur approaches them in a doggie wheelchair, and the three men decide to run.
Once they're clear, David concentrates and creates a ball of light. However, he's not able to light up Melanie's reality. A message appears saying "Dead End", and David types out that Melanie already had a dream when she met Oliver. Her dream was to be carefree. Melanie appears out of the darkness and tells them that they should go. They appear in the lab, and the cow is there. The letter R appears to David, and he says that he and Cary will look for Syd while Ptonomy and Melanie find Fukyama. Cary tells the cow not touch anything and goes with David.
In the hallway, David has a vision of another R. Cary falls behind, and the Monk slams David into the wall and has the children take him away.
Later, David finds himself in the monastery as one of the monks. The pounding from the chamber echoes through the monastery, keeping the monks from sleeping. One monk bursts into uncontrollable laughter and the other monks confine him. Later, David walks past two monks who have hung themselves. Some of the monks stand, chattering their teeth, and David goes outside and looks at the desert surrounding the monastery where there was once a valley. He reverts back to the Monk, who walks away.
Cary looks for David and finds Kerry standing in the hallway, chattering her teeth. He tries to merge with his sister but can't, apologizes, and then touches his forehead to hers and vanishes. Children run by a few seconds later.
Melanie and Ptonomy find Fukyama's chamber. Fukyama is unconscious in his chair, and ganglia cords run from his head to the Monk, floating in the corner. The Vermillions speak, saying that a weapon was planned but never built and they forgot as more crises came up. Fukyama says that the Shadow King must not find his body or it's the end of everything. Melanie realizes that David is the weapon and that he can destroy Farouk's body. David comes in, and David projects the Monk's consciousness onto the astral plane on the building roof.
The Monk says that bodies don't matter, and that David helps Farouk and he will kill everyone. David has a vision of the final Y and Future-Syd's message: "Hurry". Furious, David grabs the Monk and wonders if he has two Syds or one. He insists that he loves and trusts them, and demands to know where Farouk's body is. The Monk says that David won't destroy the body, and warns that something bad has always happened. He then steps off the edge of the roof and falls to the sidewalk far below.
Syd appears, her teeth chattering, and David enters her mind. He finds himself in a snowstorm near a cabin.
Written by Gadfly on Apr 21, 2018