KateStory XX: Silver Anniversary

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Thad
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KateStory XX: Silver Anniversary

Postby Thad » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:22 am

"What?" shouted Gok Tinnik.

"Dog patio!" shouted Seelzar Salazar, over the din of the crowd. This wasn't one of those newfangled bars with the high ceilings and exposed, whatchacallum, rafters; Gok wouldn't countenance that kind of nonsense. But the place could still get pretty loud on a Saturday night. "This place needs a dog patio! All the cool new bars have dog patios!"

"You...like dogs?" Gok was taken by surprise.

"What," Seelzar responded, "you think just because I'm a velociraptor I don't love dogs? Come on, man, that's racist, man."

"Okay, okay." Gok put his hands up. "But...okay, look, I gotta ask..."

"Carefully," Seelzar responded. "I pet them carefully."

"Carefully." Gok tipped his chair back and put his feet up on the table.

It was nice to get everybody here, together like this. For once, it wasn't for a wedding or a funeral. Just...the stars had aligned, and they'd managed to all be in one place. Seelzar, and his sister -- her and Janey, Dr. Blackburn, Gok hadn't seen that coming -- and Kelly and Billy and Ernie and -- well, it was a big table Gok had his feet up on.

Gok could put his feet up on the table because it was Gok's table. It was Gok's bar. The sign above the door said McDougall's; Gok liked that, had kind of an Irish dive thing going. But it was Gok Tinnik's.

Gok had always loved Bogart. He'd been a detective, a long time ago. He'd spent a brief but memorable period as a riverboat captain in Africa; maybe he'll tell you that story someday. And now? Now he owned a bar.

A dog patio, he mused. Rick never had a dog patio. But maybe he would have, if he'd ever thought of it. You know, this place would look good with a dog patio.

Vera was saying something. Vera Salazar, Seelzar's sister; she wasn't a velociraptor; Gok had always figured one of them must be adopted or something but had never asked. Vera was the head librarian at Miskatonic University. That was where she and Janey had met. There'd been some friction at first, but power of love, yadda yadda, Vera had gotten over her prejudices and come to understand that demons (and half-demons, like Janey) are just like humans and velociraptors, really, and should be treated as individuals and not prejudged as a group. Anyway, over the years she'd seen some crazy shit at her job.

"Over the years," Vera was saying, "I've seen some crazy shit at my job. There was this one time..."

The Librarian's Tale

---

Yes, it's time, once more, for another KateStory, on this, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the very first one. You -- yes, you! -- feel free to write the next part. Tell us the Librarian's Tale. Or don't. Maybe Gok falls over and they have to take him to the emergency room or something instead. You shouldn't be leaning backward in your chair like that, Gok Tinnik! I dunno, you figure it out. I'm gonna go have a beer, somewhere with a dog patio.

Okay, that's a lie, it's 7:20 AM and I'm going to work. Rain check on that beer. Ahem. Moving on.

The Librarian's Tale
Maybe

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Brentai
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Re: KateStory XX: Silver Anniversary

Postby Brentai » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:35 am

Who, me?
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Re: KateStory XX: Silver Anniversary

Postby Friday » Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:19 pm

Yes, you.
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Re: KateStory XX: Silver Anniversary

Postby Mongrel » Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:17 pm

Friday wrote:
Brentai wrote:Who, me?

Yeah, you.

Fee fee fi fi fo fo fum
Get to writing
on the Brontoforum
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Re: KateStory XX: Silver Anniversary

Postby Friday » Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:36 pm

I was going for a cookie jar thing.
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Re: KateStory XX: Silver Anniversary

Postby Mongrel » Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:39 pm

That works too!
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Re: KateStory XX: Silver Anniversary

Postby Friday » Tue Oct 22, 2019 5:43 pm

MONGREL STOLE THE COOKIE FROM THE COOKIE JAR
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Re: KateStory XX: Silver Anniversary

Postby Thad » Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:17 am

I'll tell you guys what I tell my wife:

I love you anyway.

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Re: KateStory XX: Silver Anniversary

Postby Thad » Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:57 pm

"I wasn't a librarian yet," Vera continued. "I didn't have my MLS yet. I was just a library tech back then."

"Oh lord." Janey stifled a laugh. "Is this the thing with the iguana?"

Lord Fenwick "Fig" Minton winced, sighed, and shook his head. "The thing with the iguana. So many faculty meetings. We had to audit the entire library training course, and take a good long look at the undergraduate curriculum. Vera, we should have prepared you."

The Librarian's Tale
But She Wasn't a Librarian Yet
She Was Still Working On Her MLS
The Thing with the Iguana


The head librarian, in those days, was an elderly gentleman who had probably been in the position too long -- but the skills required to run the library at Miskatonic University are a rare combination indeed, and when you find somebody who has those skills, then by Nyarlathotep you hang on to them.

But nonetheless, the position takes its toll, and over many years, the head librarian's nerves had frayed a bit. He wasn't as sharp as he used to be, and his standards weren't as exacting as they used to be.

It wasn't that Vera lacked capacity -- God, no. She was perhaps the sharpest occult mind of her generation. One day, people would speak of her in awed whispers as the woman who read the Unaussprechlichen Kulten cover-to-cover and still kept her head screwed on.

Vera Salazar did not want for talent. But she was inexperienced in those days. Neither her undergraduate education nor the brief training course she'd taken had prepared her for what was about to happen.

The trouble was, they hadn't taught her enough about witches' familiars. If it had been a black cat, of course she would have thought "witch's familiar." A black cat, or a wolf, or some sort of corvid, perhaps. But she hadn't put much thought into what other animals witches might keep as familiars.

And so when she saw an iguana in the library, her first thoughts were What's an iguana doing in the library? and How can I get that iguana out of the library before it shits all over everything or whatever it is giant lizards do?

If only the training Vera had been required to take before she started working in the library had been adequate. Those would not have been the questions that sprang to mind. She would, instead, have asked Whose familiar is that? and Why would a witch send her familiar to the library?

And, most important of all, she would have thought to ask, Did a witch send her familiar to distract me and lead me away from my post?

Those were the questions Vera should have asked, if only she had known. But she didn't. And that's why she wasn't at her post when it happened.

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Re: KateStory XX: Silver Anniversary

Postby Friday » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:40 am

Brentai and Thad, reading the previous post, looked at each other.

"What had happened when she wasn't at her post because a witch's familiar led her away from it?" Brentai asked.

Thad sighed. "There's really only two possibilities," he said, shifting his coffee mug to the other hand and then immediately dropping it because it wasn't made for that. "Either the Universe Exploded, calling into question why her being at her post or not would even matter, or something about Anti-Climax and nothing happened, again, calling into question why her being at her post or not would even matter."

"You're forgetting something," Brentai said. "There's a third option."

"I really don't think so," Thad said.

"No, it's true. And it's happening right now."

Thad blinked. "Oh, shit. You're right."

Brentai nodded. "Some jackass could hijack the thread and instead of writing a straightforward story, just take it to a meta-level where you and I are standing around talking about the story. And not only that, but we could also actually discuss, while we're discussing the story, the fact that we're discussing discussing the story."

Thad shook his head. "Fuck. There's only one way out now."

Brentai sighed. "I hate everything about this thread."

And then the Universe Exploded.

Meanwhile, Anti-Climax was sitting at the restaurant at the end of the universe. From his table, he was watching galaxies explode in much the same way that bricks don't through the window.

"Waiter!" he said.

Gok Tinnik, who had fallen out of his chair and gone to the emergency room and then got a part time job here as a waiter, turned to face him from another table where he had been refilling an iguana's water. He headed over to Anti-Climax's table.

"I've been sitting here for twenty minutes and not once have you come over to refill my coffee," Anti-Climax complained.

Gok had seen the type before. It had really only been maybe three or four minutes and the place was literally jam packed with people from all time periods here to see the last galaxy explode. Self-entitled dickholes couldn't understand that maybe the place was understaffed and a lot of people were waiting on their coffee refills.

"I'm sorry, sir," Gok said in his best customer appeasement voice. It sounded roughly like how a brick can't talk. "We're very understaffed today because the writer writing this post said it. I apologize."

Anti-Climax, however, did not hear anything Gok had said because he was too busy looking at his phone. The news was just the same article over and over:

KING OF COMMIES DEFEATED IN MASSIVE BRAWL IN A LIBRARY WITH AN IGUANA

He clicked on one of the five identical links and was taken to the meat of the article:

Yes, that same iguana sitting the next table over to you right now, the words read. He was instrumental in achieving the downfall of the greatest threat the universe had ever seen, and it was because he led Vera away from her post.

"That's fucking bullshit," Anti-Climax said. "The greatest threat the universe had ever seen wasn't The King of the Commies. It was that time Thad dropped his mug because it wasn't left handed when he switched to hold it in the other hand."

Gok nodded. "Oh, because the Mug actually was the universe itself?"

"Yes," Anti-Climax explained. "And when it shattered much like a brick wouldn't when you drop it, there was a slight delay and then the Universe exploded."

Gok sighed. "Look, I'm sure you're right, but it's just not very interesting. Can we hear instead about how The King of the Commies was defeated in the Library?"

"What do you mean, Gok? You were fucking there. You yourself landed the deathblow to the King's heart."

"I have absolutely no memory of that," Gok said, scratching his scalely head. Wait. Was Gok a reptile person? I honestly don't know what kind of creature Gok is and if you think I'm gonna go back and read Katestory archives before I just shitpost in the latest thread you are out of your mind in much the same way bricks don't have minds

"I see," Anti-Climax said. "Defeating the King must have caused him to emit a wave of psychic force, deleting the memories of everyone involved. I suspected as much when the Iguana got all the credit. In reality, it was an epic battle involving every single Katestory character except for the ones who weren't there and many did not survive as the King's power cannot be overstated, but think like Thanos with all six infinity stones and also he's got an invincibility star and a lightsaber. No, two lightsabers. He's duel wielding lightsabers like all zzwwermm zerrrmm zwwwooom you know, like he's swinging them around and then he does a flip? No, two flips."

"That sounds fucking epic," Gok said. "I wish someone would write that."

"Yeah, that's not going to happen," said Anti-Climax dismissively. "There's only constant in Katestory and that's I, Anti-Climax, always win in the end."

Outside, the final galaxy was exploding because Thad dropped his mug, which wasn't a brick. Gok watched it impassively, knowing soon the restaurant would timeloop back to the start of the last of the final galaxies exploding. Honestly, once you see a galaxy explode once, you've seen 'em all. Behind him, several customers (not the Iguana, because he had manners and empathy) were screaming about their coffee. But Gok was only part time so he didn't really care. Besides, he had to split his tips anyway and the pay was shit. That's how it goes.

"Yeah, it's too bad," Anti-Climax said. "Truly, the story of the fall of the King of The Commies is the best story. Ever. It's a real shame nobody will ever write it, and all we get is some bullshit headline about an Iguana. I mean, I don't mean to detract from the Iguana's contribution to the fight. It was, after all, important that Vera was not at her post."

"Why?" asked Gok.

"Well, you see--"

Just then, the universe finished exploding.
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Re: KateStory XX: Silver Anniversary

Postby Friday » Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:01 am

And then nothing happened.

Thad sighed.

"I hate you all. But I love you anyway. In much the same way bricks can't."

"That joke is getting old," Brentai observed, sipping his coffee in one fluid motion and with honed reflexes. "Waiter! I need a refill on my coffee!"

Gok walked over and silently poured cold shitty keurig into Brentai's mug.

"Thanks, this stuff is really bad for you," Brentai explained. "But I'm gonna drink it anyway. And then I'm gonna plug this snippet into Talk to Transformer and finish this post that way."

Brentai drank his coffee and looked around the room, looking for something to read, something to talk about, anything. Gok sat down across from him and sipped his coffee in the same practiced way.

"So what are you reading?" Brentai asked. "A book about vampires?"

Gok shrugged. "I don't care."

"Well then, what are you doing?"

Gok sat back, his head in his hands, his gaze unfocused. He had never been particularly good at reading. He'd read for a little while when he was young, but he stopped reading once his eyes had started to glaze over. He hated looking at books that had words written on them. He liked simple texts, words he knew the meaning of, without any need for translation. He preferred books that had pictures in them, to be able to visualize.

"I'm thinking about getting a book that doesn't use pictures," Gok said softly. "I don't know why, but I just… I want something to read without words."

"You'll have to get one made by the right person," Brentai said. "They're expensive, even by the standards of our society."

"A book about the world outside of this one." Gok nodded, "I can't imagine why."

"There's a lot of books on the subject." Brentai said. "But what I have read are mostly in the form of books, and there are a lot of those out there."

"How is that different from reading with words?" Gok asked.

"We use words to communicate, but the world is so much more than that," Brentai said. "The world can take up to a lifetime to fully explore."

"Oh?"

"And then once you have explored it, you can explore it again, but with words only, and this time you will have something tangible to show for it." Brentai continued. "If you want to truly understand something, then you have to have a record of it."

"And you're telling me that there isn't such a thing as record-keeping?" Gok asked.

"I'm not telling you that there isn't such a thing as record-keeping," Brentai said. "You'll find that there are some records that, when viewed from a distance, can look like they're created by your own hand. This one, for example, is actually the creation of a human."

"Well, it certainly looks like you," Gok said.

"But, my Lord, it was a piece of my own mind. I created it."

"You created it!" Brentai shouted, raising an incredulous hand. "You're a God, and you're not supposed to be playing God, you know."

"A God," Brentai repeated.

"The Gods of the Old Ways were different. They had something they called 'The Power' and they would make beings for themselves. Gods were always part of the fabric of the universe. This is how our world began."

"So?" said Gok, in a whisper, "You're saying that the Gods you worship are part of the fabric of the universe?"

"That's how it all started," said Brentai. "Before you came along, there were other Gods, gods of other worlds, other places. I created my God to be a part of my world, the world of the Old Ways."

Gok's mind boggled.

"That was why you came," said Brentai.

"I wasn't sure I wanted to stay," said Gok.

"You had your reasons, Gok. I'm glad you came."

"I was hoping for a new world to come home to," said Gok. "A new world with my own God in it."

Brentai laughed. "But you're a part of me now," he said. "I'm sorry you left. But now you're back, in the old way. I hope you'll help me create a new world in your name."

"Yes, master."

The sun was down. Brentai, with a long, thick stick, had set up a camp of rocks around the edge of the sandstone canyon. The camp was the first of many that Brentai would set up across the world.

Brentai, of course, was an old man by now, his face long and wispy. He looked more like a spirit of the desert than a spirit of the forest. He still carried a long, heavy stick.

Hello, boys," he said, sitting down next to Brentai. Brentai did not respond.

"Do you know how to talk to girls?" Brentai asked, taking off his hat.

"I've been told that I can't," Brentai said, smiling. "I don't understand it."

"It's okay, Brentai," Brentai said. "You don't need to understand it."

And then the universe exploded.


You know the one I mean.


I'm gonna need some time to digest this.

There is no God.


I love you, but I know that's stupid and I know you hate me for saying it.

I'll be back later with some answers.
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