Attention Please

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"Attention Please"


Foreword

The level known as "Attention Please" — labelled as such from the transcript of its endless broadcast — had been rumoured to exist for many circuitions1 until its official discovery and archival by Anica Bojanic of the UNCB. Ms. Bojanic plunged into its depths for a little over a cycle2 gathering photographs and information before abandoning the mission, declaring the space actively uninhabitable. This record exists as an incomplete glimpse into the nature of "Attention Please".

As stated by Ms. Bojanic: "It's fucking loud, It's fucking dark. It's an awful place. I am never going back."

Some levels are meant to be left alone.


Level Classification

Difficulty 5/5 ∙ Few excursions have been made into this level.
∙ Marked as 5 until further documentation is available.
∙ Precautionary high ratings reduce casualties.
Entity Count 2/5 ∙ Existence of entities unconfirmed.
∙ Animated corpses rumoured. Humanoid beasts.
Chaos Gradient 3/5 ∙ Average temperature: 26°C.
∙ Treacherous footing and travel.
∙ Indoors, near-zero light.
∙ Unavoidable auditory assault.
Basset-Frazier Index 3.3/5 "Attention Please" is an uncomfortable and rarefied level.
∙ Grotesque places lurk in the spaces we shouldn't be looking.

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Recorded by Anica Bojanic

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Recorded by Anica Bojanic

Description

Withheld behind the repulsive expanse of the Bloodpool Catwalks lies this: a disquieting catacomb of a massive dead shopping mall, plunged into darkness and predominated by an emergency broadcast that forever screams into its profundity.


If the strobing flashbulbs won't drive you to insanity, the endless and extremely loud broadcast will.

Click below to hear this level's ambient sound.

A form of noise-cancelling headgear is strongly advised for all visitors.


"Attention Please…" The words echo in distorted cacophony through the darkness.

"There has been an emergency reported in the building…" The crackly speakers never cease the warnings.

"Please stand by for further information." How many centuries has this place been 'standing by' for?

This huge level resembles a shopping mall. Or, rather, what would remain of a shopping mall if left to decay for centuries after a catastrophe. Blasted tile and crumbling architecture make this level particularly treacherous to traverse. Ms. Bojanic encountered a number of walkways prone to collapse under her weight, noting many near-misses during her time spent here. Apart from the millisecond-long flashes of light that stab into your eyes from the emergency flashbulbs that occasionally dot the walls and ceiling, the level is a repressive, dark, inky tangle. Walking through "Attention Please" tells an ominously apparent story that, long ago, a terrible occurrence happened here.

There are many floors in the mall. The echoes of the broadcast ripple through thousands of stories up and down, through concourse hallways and out into huge, open foyers. The floors are connected by webs of broken escalators and empty glass elevator shafts, and the stories are often 'open air' concepts with balconies and glass parapets offering viewpoints into the depths of the level. At times this makes travellers here feel very small and exposed, with far-off strobing lights acting as proof of the level's size. When they flash in the darkness of the open spaces between floors, they look like they could be millions of blinking stars in the night sky, pulsing at different intervals through the expanse. The feeling of looking out into the endless stories in the tangle of "Attention Please" is not unlike being inside a mall-themed Escher-print of stairways and walkways, all lined with destroyed storefronts devoid of useful items.

Most objects here are burnt, charred, or crumbled to dust. Just as the mall displays a state of decay the stores inside and their wares are depressingly forlorn. Debris covers most everything, and the haunting figures of mannequins in broken store windows can often be mistaken for real people when caught in your peripherals. It's an unnerving experience traversing through the dead concourses, made even more repressive by the painfully loud emergency alarms that cannot be escaped.

From Ms. Bojanic:

"Consider The Guild but plunged into hell. A static, unchanging hell, but one that relentlessly reminds you of its past violence. […] You never heal from something you never let go. I feel it's a representation of that kind of hurt. I heard once the Backrooms reflect our worst inner hells, but I can't imagine being stuck in a screaming trauma that never gets better like that. Never stops screaming in the back of your mind an echo of that horrible past."

This level manifests its apparent traumatic history like an unhealing open wound. One can imagine that it was a completely different world without the alarms, the broadcasts, and the flashbulbs shrieking in the pitch-black darkness. Before, "Attention Please" may have been a bright and serene place.

From the small expedition performed by Ms. Bojanic, nothing of use to humanity was found here. With real risk of casualty and little reason to continue on, the journey was brought to an end.

Due to the factors of its location in the system and its acute danger, this is all we officially know about this awful level. "Attention Please" is difficult to get to, and with little incentive to explore, few are eager to investigate it further. However, there are unofficial accounts from individuals claiming to have entered this place that can help us extrapolate further details.

» Hearsay Accounts

Rumours suggest the presence of entities here. Although not encountered by Ms. Bojanic during their stay, it is said that living burnt corpses labelled 'Cadavers' as well as poorly described slender creatures twice the height of a human lurk in the darkness. These entities climb from floor to floor, shuffle in groups, and blindly hunt for prey. It is said they slumber in huddles with their heads together in eerie packs inside the far corners of stores.

There may be areas ravaged by uncontrolled raging gas fires. The smoke from these fires is rumoured to create immense clouds of toxic smog which drift along the level's subtle weather patterns, billowing to cover entire floors at a time and turning them uninhabitable.

These hearsay accounts further discourage UNCB interest, and raise the BFI index out of caution. A 5/5 difficulty rating based on hearsay may save lives by discouraging further exploration of this level. Regardless, there was one reason Ms. Bojanic chose this location to survey.

» A Curious Signal of Distress

After the original publishing of this article, Ms. Bojanic revealed their motive for exploring this level was from a file they discovered on the dataspace network. It was a tiny scrap of info uploaded from an unknown source, now added to this page and presented in full below.

ARCHIVED DATA

*********************************

*********************************

END_

In her own words:

"Those people are dead, undoubtedly. It was less a rescue mission and more reconnaissance. I wanted to know if an organized attempt to recover this lost console was feasible. From this message we know there's a connection to the dataspace network somewhere past the bloodpools. It was worth the risk to investigate." […] "Recovering it though? Not a chance."

The eleven lost souls who wrote this message are likely victims of the Exodus of Alpha Point from nearly a century ago, separated from their group and lost inside the confines of "Attention Please."


Communities

Assumably none. The broadcast leads travellers to dangerous mental instability over the course of mere hours. See "Long Term Effects", below. Even with industrial noise-cancelling headgear, the broadcast is repetitive and loud enough to cause discomfort and emotional damage over time.


Entrances and Exits

"Attention Please" can be heard before entry, making it fairly easy to enter once located. It was accessed by wanderers attempting to escape from the Bloodpools, thinking the emergency broadcast would lead them to safety. Many may have trusted the darkness and noise of "Attention Please" over the ebbing and flowing tides of gore and death that swirl beneath the Catwalks.

It is assumed there are exits to even deeper, stranger levels of the backrooms past this level that the UNCB has yet to discover. The nature of the Backrooms is full of unknowns, just like the fringe borders of "Attention Please" which may never be mapped or explored. The nightmare of this level chain surely continues past its borders into a twisted rabbit hole that humanity should not peer into.


Additional Reading

» A Note on Long-Term Effects of Repetitive and Aggressive Audio Stimulus

The broadcasts of "Attention Please" are loud. Painfully so. The design of emergency alarm systems requires them to exceed the expected ambient noise of public spaces by a great amount, leading most broadcasts to be on-par with heavy power tools or subway trains.

Aggressive sound is a difficult thing to describe or picture unless you're exposed to its extremes. Yet, noise can injure individuals just like any other physical assault.

The long-term effects of loud noise first drain willpower, wearing at an individual's resolve. A person's willpower and pain tolerance are first challenged by the continual drone, bringing up symptoms of irritability and lack of focus. Depending on the severity of the exposure, these symptoms can degrade into a full-blown panic in under half an hour. The fact that "Attention Please" offers no escape from the broadcast speeds up the onset of stress-induced breakdowns in wanderers. In some areas behind storefronts in the cramped service hallways, the alarms are intensified even further by echoing within confined spaces. It is not a pleasant place to be.

Eventually, after hours, the pain of the constant noise leads people to lash out. Striking at walls, objects, and even self-injury are common coping mechanisms to handle the discomfort of the sound. The only reasonable response left for most is to escape the source of the noise, and exit the level itself.

Even protected by earmuffs, Ms. Bojenic went through all of these phases in her exploration of the level until she was driven out of its vicinity by the gnawing sound that depleted her will to go on. Should you ever find yourself in the confines of "Attention Please", be aware of the mental degradation that aggressive audio has on individuals, and be prepared to have a short visit should you plan on delving deeper than these records have detailed.


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