The dorodroni (/ˈdɔrədroʊni/) is a stranger that resembles a hole in the ground, with this shaft appearing to extend downwards at an infinite depth. Its inner walls appear black and smooth, and its silhouette is simplified in shape, with attenuated limbs. Although its body lacks any distortion or translucency, the dorodroni cannot be interacted with on a physical level; objects placed upon the hole do not drop downwards, and instead behave as though placed on the flat surface upon which the dorodroni rests. Similarly, an individual who touches the dorodroni feels only the surface below, albeit at a temperature 15-28ºF cooler than the surrounding area. Despite the dorodroni's lack of substantiation within the physical world, its body does respond to light, and its inner walls can be illuminated via flashlight beams or other sources. No light is bright enough to reveal any bottom to the dorodroni's depths.
The dorodroni remains invulnerable to all environmental changes, and can only be destroyed by firm impacts to its body or the immediate area. Breaking the ground around the dorodroni, for example, causes it to flicker or fade away with a grinding, crunching sound loud enough to induce a ringing in the ears for up to an hour following its death.
The dorodroni appears on level surfaces that lack cavities and remain predominantly solid at a depth of at least 29 feet. It only forms on cement or asphalt. It appears only during cloudy weather, and prefers dimly-lit areas, although it is far more likely to generate outside than indoors, with 89.5% of dorodroni appearing in exterior environments.
When it presents, the dorodroni opens up from a small crack, expanding to full size in anywhere from a couple of seconds to several weeks. Individuals within groups tend to surface close to one another.
The dorodroni possesses an observant but inert disposition. Like other inanimate strangers, it does not move or interact with the world around it in any observable way, with even its speech emitted at random. The dorodroni remains silent 96% of the time. When vocalizing, faint noises do echo upwards from the dorodroni's depths. These noises range from pounding clanks and throaty rumbles to rhythmic rattles and muffled speech in the dorodroni's own language, which is variable, but simplified.
Although the dorodroni's body cavity cannot be filled in, it can be covered up by any flat plane or object large enough to hide its surface. A concealed dorodroni emits a shuddering, plaintive gasping sound for several days before it dies an early death.
Standing on or near the dorodroni creates a sensation of extreme height, accompanied by unsteadiness, dread, and light-headedness. While unpleasant, this effect causes no long-term impressions, and ceases once the sensitive steps off of the dorodroni.
As it reaches the end of its life, the dorodroni grows thinner and its edges less clean. In some individuals, small cracks or discoloration begins to appear in the inner walls; other individuals experience a dampening of luminosity, with light illuminating the depths less easily. Eventually, the dorodroni becomes perceived as flat, before it closes up completely, leaving nothing behind but a small cracked area upon the pavement below.
Physical contact with a dorodroni immediately prior to its death causes a sensitive to feel the sensation of expansive hollows beneath the earth, experienced as a vivid mental image with no hallucinatory effects. These visions becomes more definite as the dorodroni draws closer to death, but disappear at the moment of death.
The dorodroni's death triggers major personality changes in sensitives making contact with its body at death.
In the weeks following this encounter, affected sensitives feel, in succession, a sense of profound isolation, tandem with the wistful feeling that one should have been "born empty", finding comfort in the specific idea of being an organ-less shell. Companionship becomes less actively sought out, but does not disappear altogether, tending only to be expressed in quiet, routine ways. Though there is no social anxiety attendant, affected individuals can find their social needs sated by only five to fifteen minutes of personal conversation per day. Individuals still have the capacity to grow lonely or experience depressive effects when these basic needs are not met.
This sense of isolation was accepted in full, and presented, at first, with positive changes. The affected sensitive's impulsive social habits were slowly shed: excessive recreational spending became reasonable with nearly no non-essential purchases, and tidiness, organization, and other habits become the norm. Although hobbies were preserved, all goals beyond maintaining physical safety and financial security were severed. The victim tended not to seek promotion in their job, nor seek out further commitments.
All the time that this had freed up, they spent within their apartment (brown-walled, nothing of decor), where they stared forward at the blankmost, darkmost spot that they could find; the bare wall by their bed, the open closet at the room's other end, through the doorway at the study that they'd cleared out (when? they couldn't recall). Twenty or thirty years passed...they didn't miss their hobbies, not really, not when they could instead spend their waking hours looking forward because that to them, that expanse of naught, held some kind of fundamental truth otherwise unspoken of.
And when the building was hit, when the jobwaters dried up, when I found myself taken to the street, whatever spell I'd been descended into I was lifted from with such same abruptness...and then the empty corners and the rooms with nothing in them, they were nothing at all, and the time that I'd spent with it carried no value, either. I'd wasted time...and withsendristed, falldaunted en the thrane. T, Lindsay. In Travels, 32