"[I] -->"

SILVER: That’s it?
MEERKATNIP: Yep. Disappointed?
SILVER: …kind of.
MEERKATNIP: Any particular reason why?
SILVER: It just seems- well. It is called ‘The Creation and Destruction of the World Beyond the World’.
SILVER: So- where’s the destruction part?
MEERKATNIP: Presumably, this is only part of the myth- or my correspondent never got around to translating the full text. Either way, it doesn’t show up on any searches I can run. So it looks like we’ll never know. [pause] What do you think?
SILVER: I don’t really know what to think. It doesn’t exactly seem connected.
MEERKATNIP: You think so?
SILVER: I mean- I guess the thing with the Prince of Autumn in the forest sort of has the Tanis… aesthetic?
MEERKATNIP: You know, I’m almost surprised.
SILVER: What do you mean?
MEERKATNIP: Usually you’ll make any excuse to railroad whatever you come across into being a Tanis thing.
MEERKATNIP: Don’t give me that. Everything’s Tanis with you.
SILVER: Hey, I don’t think everything’s Tanis.
MEERKATNIP: Uh-huh, sure. Just most things. Listen, do you need anything else?
SILVER: No, I don’t think so.
MEERKATNIP: Great. I’ve got to go.
SILVER: Okay. Thanks for the-
[Meerkatnip hangs up.]
SILVER: Of course.

"[I] -->"

With these four forces ruling together over the world, everything was in balance and everything was in order for a great many centuries. And the stars and sky looked down on this, and they were pleased.

"[I] -->"

And the last took up her place in the final quarter, and crossed the land in measured steps, letting frost flow from her bare feet, where it quickly crept across the ground, climbing hills and trees and bushes. And as the air began to chill, she began to smile for the first time in her life. Soft flakes of snow drifted down to her outstretched fingers, a gift from the sky. And while she crafted mountains and valleys and rivers that tumbled and wrapped their way around her land, the snow covered the land in an icy frozen blanket, just as she liked.

And finally, she made her way to a vast hill, where the snow was freshly fallen and her footsteps were the first to mar its white face. When she had reached the top, she looked over her kingdom and smiled at everything she had created from nothing, and on that hill she wove herself a crown of ice, and declared herself the Queen of Winter.

"[I] -->"

The third of them took inspiration from both of her friends, and crossed her land in vast skips. Wherever she stepped, flowers of all colors of the spectrum spread like wildfire from her bare feet, and grass- green, lush and springy to the touch, covered everywhere where flowers were not. The sky she painted blue, and she filled the air with birdsong and life and the merry sound of her innocent laughter.

And finally, she made her way to a vast hill, where the grass was greenest and the flowers bloomed richest. When she had reached the top, she looked over her kingdom and smiled at everything she had created from nothing, and on that hill she wove herself a crown of flowers, and declared herself the Maid of Spring.


"[I] -->"

The second of them looked over his land, and decided that he must make it in a different likeness to the Prince's land, so as to have differences between them. And so he crossed his land in the manner of the Prince, and wherever he stepped, warmth and heat spread until the ground was covered in equal measure with grassy land and cracked, scorched earth. He created a ball of glowing light and heat, which he named fire. He spread fire within his land, and then took a large ball of it, shaping it with his hands, and thrust it into the air, naming it 'Sun'. The stars were pleased with this, knowing that it would be a just balance for the moons, and the sky accepted the Sun into itself so it would shine upon all the lands.

And finally, he made his way to a vast hill, where the Sun could be witnessed at its brightest. As he walked, fire and rich, dark earth sprouted in equal measure from his feet, carving the land into something new and different. When he had reached the top, he looked over his kingdom and smiled at everything he had created from nothing, and on that hill he wove himself a crown of fire, and declared himself the King of Summer.


"[I] -->"

The boy was the first to create his quarter, and as he first set foot on the earth, seedlings sprang into being around him, spreading wherever he walked and growing as he left them behind. With massive strides, he covered his land with seedlings which bristled and sprouted. And he placed his hands on the ground, and pulled, and all at once they grew into many magnificent species of plants and tree and bushes. From the animals, he created tree-climbers and majestic creatures that stood on four legs and raised their massive horned heads proudly, as well as many others.

And finally, leaves of many colors showered down from the trees and plants and bushes, covering the ground like a great carpet that wound its way up to the top of a vast hill, and it was up to that hill that the boy made his way. When he had reached the top, he looked over his kingdom and smiled at everything he had created from nothing, and on that hill he wove himself a crown of leaves, and declared himself the Prince of Autumn.


"[I] -->"

Long before anything ever was, there was a moon, and there was a boy, and the boy stood on the moon and looked down at the nothingness below and decided to make something out of the nothingness, and with the help of the stars and the sky he created the world, and this is how everything began. Together, they created the earth and the seas and the planets, and crafted hills and valleys and many, many creatures, but although it was wonderful, there was no light to balance the dark and there was no difference between any of the creatures, for they all looked the same in every way.

The boy returned to the moon to talk to the stars and sky and told them that he was lonely. The stars twinkled coldly, and made no suggestions- for they have no feelings or cares for transients, and only care about for balance of chaos and order in everything and how to maintain it.

The sky, however, felt an amount of pity for the boy, and suggested quietly that the boy create some companions to help him on his way. And the stars agreed that this was acceptable, and even offered their help.

So the boy plucked three stars from the multitude there were in the sky, and the sky helped him craft them into three beings that looked like him in essence, though were not identical to him.

The world was divided into four quarters, and the stars agreed, being the forces of justice in this world, that the boy and each of his three friends would take a quarter and rule over it as their own, bringing life into it as they pleased.


"[I] -->"

(NB: the woman in question here does not have any official name that’s on record. She will be referred to as ‘Meerkatnip’- as mentioned by Mr Silver in his notes- throughout to prevent any confusion.)
SILVER: What’s up?
MEERKATNIP: How about you just cut to the chase and ask what I’ve got for you.
SILVER: All right then. [laughs] What do you have for me?
MEERKATNIP: I have… a creation myth!
SILVER: Um. Okay. [pause] Is it relevant to Tanis in any way?
MEERKATNIP: Sure is, or I wouldn’t be telling you about it. Pulled it off a Russian onion site- HaidaGurl had linked to it a couple of times in some other places, and I thought it might be relevant.
SILVER: HaidaGurl- as in, Veronika Pilman?
MEERKATNIP: That’s the one. She’s been a lot more active recently.
SILVER: So she’s alive?
MEERKATNIP: Looks like it. Either that, or somebody’s pretending to be her- using her accounts. Although I don’t know why they’d want to do that.
SILVER: That’s weird.
SILVER: You said it was a creation myth?
MEERKATNIP: Yeah. I got a friend to translate it from Russian. I just sent it to you.
SILVER: Okay. Would you mind reading it aloud?
MEERKATNIP: [laughs] Really? Me?
SILVER: Sure- why not?
MEERKATNIP: Usually Alex does it.
SILVER: She’s on break.
MEERKATNIP: [sigh] Fine. Hang on, let me pull it up.
MEERKATNIP: [clears throat] ‘The Creation and Destruction of the World Beyond the World’. A traditional myth from an undisclosed culture that I’m not even sure exists. Here goes.

"[I] -->"

26/02/17, 5.13pm- squad was dispatched to check in on the disappearance of Nicodemus Silver after his therapist reported him missing for at least two days. It was discovered that the area surrounding his house, including several civilian residences, had become victim of one of the many meteor strikes that have been frequenting the country in the last week. Upon closer inspection, it appeared as if his house had not been destroyed, but rather removed from its foundations in its entirety. The basement was still set into the ground. It is not known at this time if he has survived, and a missing persons report has been filed.

Mr Silver has been involved in police investigations previously, having gotten lost in the forest for unknown reasons on two separate occasions. It’s not certain that he is in the forest again, but it’s deemed likely at the moment. His ex-girlfriend, Amalia Chenkova- listed in his emergency contacts- has been informed of this situation and is in the process of returning to Seattle from Russia, although this may take several days/weeks, considering the meteors that are disrupting flight times.

Alexandra Reagan, also listed on his emergency contacts, has not been seen in several days either, and the studio that Chenkova, Silver and she all worked for has been also destroyed in a meteor collision. Part of the studio appears to have been unearthed and removed completely in a manner similar to Mr Silver’s house. The subject of her podcast (edit: this is apparently something like ‘radio for the internet’?), Dr Richard Strand, has been reported missing by his workplace.

(Note: We shouldn’t worry about Strand, he goes missing a lot. He’s probably a murderer too, by all accounts. He won’t be missed.)

Geoff Van Sant, another contact of Mr Silver’s, is missing too, as is his house (another meteor strike, presumably). Nobody reported him missing.

Foul play is suspected.

Attached to this report are transcripts of a conversation between Mr Silver and another person who is also unable to be tracked down at this time. (It’s not certain if they’re missing or just unable to be tracked down, since no records of anybody called ‘Meerkatnip’ were found, apart from websites referencing the ‘TANIS podcast’ and a website called Archive of Our Own.)

They were found on the hard drives in the Pacific Northwest Stories offices surviving the meteor strike, and are compiled here for your convenience.

"[I] -->"

"[I] -->"



Okay, good.

Forget the self-insert antics, folks.

It’s time for an Intermission.




There we go! Now I look less like a shitty version of Andrew Hussie.

I now resemble a shitty version of myself.

Just as well you won’t have to deal with me anymore, then.

Also, before we get any further, I really need to do this.


Oh wait, fuck, how did you get in here?

This trope of the author becoming a character in the world of their comic is so overused in Homestuck fanadventures it’s unbelievable. I told myself I would never put myself into my own works and yet here we are. Basically, fuck everything. My plans have gone completely off the rails and things are terrible.

Plus I look awful in this art style



We were just getting to the good bit.


<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


MEERKATNIP: changing

"=-> Nic: Press enter"

NIC: There we go!
NIC: Anything happening on your end?


ALEX: Come on, guys, give us something to work with here.
ALEX: This doesn’t exactly make interesting listening.

GEOFF: Is the game running
NIC: I think?
NIC: The prompt screen shut down as soon as I hit enter.

NIC: Yeah?
MEERKATNIP: Nic, this is
ALEX: Should we start the game too, or-?
MEERKATNIP: Oh my god, shut up, Alex!
MEERKATNIP: This is wrong!! This shouldn’t be happening!!!

NIC: Holy shit, MK, what’s happening?
NIC: I can’t see anything wrong.

MEERKATNIP: Of course you can’t!


NIC: Okay, guys.
NIC: It looks like I’m connected.

MEERKATNIP: I’m connected, too.
NIC: Cool!
NIC: Let’s get this thing on the road!
NIC: It says ‘hit enter to begin’.

MEERKATNIP: Well, then.
MEERKATNIP: Why don’t you hit enter, hero?



MEERKATNIP: Nic’s going to connect as a client player first & I’m going to log in as his server.
MEERKATNIP: We’re going to see how far we can get before the rest of you need to join in, but whenever that happens, Nic will be the server to Alex, and Alex will be the server to Geoff, then Geoff gets me into the game.
MEERKATNIP: We all got that?

ALEX: It seems simple enough.
GEOFF: But like
GEOFF: what does the game actually do?

ALEX: Nobody knows!
ALEX: It is a mystery! :)



NIC: Geoff!
NIC: Glad you could make it! :D

ALEX: Hey!
NIC: It looks like everybody’s here, so should we get started?
ALEX: Sure.
MEERKATNIP: Emailing the game files to everyone right now.
MEERKATNIP: Stand by for the shittiest Let’s Play in the history of gaming.

NIC: :/
ALEX: Well, she does have a point.
ALEX: Usually when people record themselves playing games, they do it on video, not audio.

GEOFF: lol
NIC: Well, what can you do?
NIC: It’s radio for the internet, not video.

MEERKATNIP: Yeah, yeah, whatever.
MEERKATNIP: Does everyone have the files?

ALEX: Yeah.
GEOFF: Got em
NIC: They’re here, yes.
MEERKATNIP: Right, so.
MEERKATNIP: This is how it’s going to work.



ALEX: So how's this going to work?
NIC: MK thinks it might be some sort of platform game.
MEERKATNIP: I never said that.
MEERKATNIP: I said it's probably something like that.

NIC: Hang on, though, you said that you found some walkthroughs online.
NIC: What did they say about it?

MEERKATNIP: I think they were mostly jokes, actually. Some sort of prank.
ALEX: What makes you say that?
MEERKATNIP: Well, they all said something about
MEERKATNIP: The game changing real life somehow?

ALEX: Warping reality?

NIC: You're right, that does sound…
NIC: ...out there.
NIC: Do you maybe have any examples?

MEERKATNIP: Hang on, I have some screenshots.
MEERKATNIP: Give me a second & I'll shoot them across.

ALEX: Do you mind sending me them too?
MEERKATNIP: Sure, I'll forward them to your computer.
MEERKATNIP: Don't worry, I've got your email.

ALEX: Um, you've got my email?
NIC: Yeah.
NIC: Meerkatnip has everyone's email.

MEERKATNIP: Indeed I do.
MEERKATNIP: Okay, they're sent. You can check them out after we do this.

ALEX: Shouldn't we maybe look at them before we do anything?
MEERKATNIP: No fucking way.
MEERKATNIP: No walkthroughs on video games, we die like men.

ALEX: Well, let's hope not!
GEOFF: Dying in a video game seems like a p shitty way to go



NIC: Okay, hi, MK!
NIC: Can you, uh, explain for the benefit of the listeners what we're doing here? I haven't gone into too much detail yet, and I was hoping you could maybe-

MEERKATNIP: Can't you record something later in post production?
NIC: I mean, I guess I could.
NIC: But I was hoping-

MEERKATNIP: Do that, then.
MEERKATNIP: I don't have much time, maybe an hour or so.
MEERKATNIP: The file's not that big. I don't think it'll take too long.
MEERKATNIP: It's probably a multiplayer platformer or some shit.

NIC: Uh, if you say so.
NIC: Anyone who's listening at home, I'll upload a copy of the pesterlogs between MK and I on the Notes section of our website.

MEERKATNIP: Of course you will.
ALEX: Um, hi!
NIC: Hey, Alex!
NIC: Good to have you on the team :)


"=-> Geoff: Be Nic"

NIC: Okay, it looks like I'm ready to start playing.
NIC: I'm at home, with Skype opened up, and Alex is back at the studio.
NIC: Geoff is… at home too, I think, and MK's wherever she usually is. Which is at home too, I'm assuming.
NIC: Let's get everybody connected, and then we can start.

MEERKATNIP: Sounds good.

"[S] =->"

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


You might just stay here for a while until Nic texts you back.

"=-> Geoff: Continue conversation with Nic"

TA: Hey Geoff!
AE: Hey buddy :)
TA: This is going to sound like a really weird question…
TA: ...but how do you feel about playing a game?

AE: Uh
AE: sure
AE: I guess
AE: Although fair warning
AE: If it involves an elevator trip to a demonic otherworld
AE: Youre on your own

TA: Haha, seems fair.
TA: Don't worry, it's a computer game!

AE: Huh
AE: Is it a tanis thing?

TA: Might be, yeah!
TA: MK found a lead on some sort of search she pulled up. It could be nothing, but we decided that we should follow it up.
TA: If you’re up for it, there should be four players in total- you, me, MK, and hopefully Alex.

AE: Hmm
AE: Ok sure
AE: Whens this happenin

TA: Whenever Alex is free, I guess!
TA: It might be a couple of hours, we’ve got to use the recording studio for some things.
TA: Carly’s in there at the moment, but we’ve got a slot booked for 3.

AE: Sounds cool
TA: Oh, I forgot! :/
TA: It means that we’re going to have to miss that beer.
TA: I can’t get away from the studio until later, and we’re playing this SBURB game tonight, so…

AE: Ah
TA: Sorry.
AE: Nah
AE: Its cool
AE: You have work
AE: I get that

TA: I feel awful though. Maybe we could do it tomorrow?
AE: Lets just play the game tonight
AE: Im probably busy or something
AE: Dont worry too much about it

TA: Okay.
TA: As long as you’re sure!

AE: Talk to you later then
AE: Tell me whenever we start

TA: Sure thing!

-- tumultousAberrance [TA] ceased pestering adamantineEquilibrium [AE] at 11.02 --


Your name is GEOFF VAN SANT, and you are indeed a whole lot cooler than DR RICHARD STRAND has or will ever be.

You have, or once had, a VARIETY OF INTERESTS. You can't really remember what they are, but you're sure they were really interesting interests. You do remember, however, that you're really quite excellent at DARTS and GETTING NIC SILVER OUT OF DANGEROUS SITUATIONS. You might actually be an expert at that last one.

You're currently situated at the LOCAL BAR, where you are waiting for NIC. You are well aware that you've got several hours to go before he turns up, but you've got NOTHING TO DO, so you're just here.



You might also be sort of drunk right now.

What will you do?

"=-> Enter name."

Let's cut right to the chase.

"=-> Be this guy."

You are now this guy.

He actually looks like a pretty cool dude, really. Cooler than Dr Strand, at least. It might not be as bad being him as you previously thought.



It looks like the choice isn't actually yours to make. You're going to have to be this guy whether you like it or not. That honestly sucks, but it's not like you're going to be stuck as him forever.

Might as well get it over with.


It seems that an error has occurred within the files of this game. DR STRAND is not a character that you are able to be at this time.

The developers would like to invite you to choose from this selection of four well-rounded, fully-developed characters to be instead.

"=> Nic: Be Dr Strand"


-- tumultuousAberrance [TA] began pestering adamantineEquilibrium [AE] at 10.39 --
TA: Hey Geoff!
AE: Hey buddy :)
TA: This is going to sound like a really weird question…
TA: ...but how do you feel about playing a game?



-- maieuticKeystone [MK] began pestering tumultousAberrance [TA] at 9.21 --

MK: Nic.
MK: Nicodemus I swear to god.
MK: I know you're online, fucking talk to me.
MK: This is fucking ridiculous.
MK: If you've entered the goddamn forest again I'm going to murder you.

TA: Hi, MK.
TA: Sorry, I was asleep.

MK: He lives!
MK: Tell me, would you have been a tiny bit quicker to answer my messages if you knew that I had more information on Tanis for you?

TA: Well
TA: I guess?

MK: You 'guess'.
TA: I didn't actually see any of your messages, even before I was asleep.
TA: And Skype's down at the moment, so if you called me there I wouldn't have answered.

MK: Okay, I guess that's not entirely your fault.

TA: Yeah.
MK: I'll look into that for you. Free of charge.
TA: Thanks, I think?
TA: You have information on Tanis?

MK: Not exactly. More like a new lead.
TA: Okay.
MK: Have you heard of a game called Sburb?
TA: Uh, should I have?
MK: Probably not.
MK: It's a recent release, only a couple hours old. It's very low key. It doesn't have a website. It doesn't even have a Tumblr tag.
MK: Most people don't even know about it yet, but it set off all of my search algorithms at like 5 in the morning.
MK: I got up at an ungodly hour to bring your ungrateful ass this message, Nicky.

TA: Thanks, I guess.
TA: What do you mean, all of your search algorithms?

MK: I mean all of them.
MK: Every single keyword that I've ever saved was set off by this one weird .exe file. Tanis, Xanu, Parzavala, Tara Reynolds. Everything.
MK: I've scanned it & done everything I could short of opening it, but
MK: nothing.

TA: Nothing?
MK: Nothing.
TA: ...uh…
MK: I can't get anything from it. It's not a virus, it's… something else.
MK: All I can tell you is that it's some sort of game & it needs more than one player.
MK: I can send you the file if you want.

TA: Is that advisable?
MK: What, sending you the file?
MK: I mean, it could be sort of questionable depending on how you look at it, especially considering how you seem to make everything around you into a danger to yourself and others.
MK: But I don't think it's malevolent.

TA: So, are you saying I should play it?
MK: No.
MK: I'm saying we should play it.

TA: >iWe?>/i>
TA: Oh no oops
TA: We?
TA: As in the collective we, or-?

MK: (Oh my god, I thought you used to make websites, Nic.)
TA: (I did!)
TA: (I just haven't used HTML for years.)

MK: As in, you and me and whoever else you want.
MK: I'd suggest Geoff, since I know he's available & I think we might need a 4th.

TA: Why?
TA: Oh, right, because of how you need four people in a group when you enter Tanis. Good thinking, that could be essential.

MK: Um, no? That doesn't even make sense.
MK: I was going to say, even numbers might be better, since we're doing a server-client thing.

TA: Uh, server-client?
MK: If I could sigh in a chatroom, I would, Nic.
MK: We have to set up the connections in a kind of circle, so everybody's hosting the game for another person.
MK: In this scenario, I would be the server player to your client, and I'd help you 'enter the game', so to speak. You in turn would help the next person enter the game, and so on until the final person, who would help me enter.

TA: Ah. Okay.
TA: But wait, if you don't know anything about the game, then how do you know all of this?

MK: There's a few unfinished FAQ guides around the deep web part of the internet.
MK: I say 'unfinished' because none of them get past the initial phase.

TA: Wow.
TA: That certainly sounds

MK: Ominous?
TA: I was going to say interesting.
TA: I'll ask Geoff about this, and maybe I can ask Alex too.
TA: That would make four people.

MK: That works.
MK: Get back to me when everybody's ready. I'll send the file.

TA: Thanks, MK.
MK: No problem.

-- maieuticKeystone [MK] ceased pestering tumultousAberrance [TA] at 10.39 --


-- adamantineEquilibrium [AE] began pestering tumultuousAberrance [TA] at 9.59 --

AE: Hey so
AE: MKs getting pretty intense about wanting to talk to you
AE: Whats up with that

TA: Oh, hey!
TA: Sorry, I fell asleep for a while there, hahaha.

AE: S all cool man
TA: She's pestering me right now, actually.
TA: Uh, I'll go talk to her and then get back to you, if that's okay.

AE: Sure thing
AE: If you dont shell probably curse your browsing history or something

TA: That sounds like MK, yeah.
TA: Be right back then!



NE: I have some good new and some bad news.
NE: I'm going to tell you the good news first, if that's all right.
NE: …
NE: Your icon says you're online, but maybe you're busy or something.
NE: So I'm going to tell you the good news whether you like it or not.
NE: The good news is…
NE: Your lucky recorder hasn't been kidnapped by cultists, an unsavoury multinational corporation, or suspiciously friendly wildlife!
NE: It was me.
NE: I took your recorder.
NE: And that leads us to the bad news, which is as follows.
NE:'ve completely forgotten about our yearly tradition of stealing things that really ought not to be stolen!
NE: Which means that I'm currently winning.
NE: Step your game up, Nicodemus.
NE: And maybe actually respond to me so I know I'm not screaming into an empty void.

TA: yugjnkl;cfgvbhji
NE: ??
NE: Nic?

TA: tpkojnml fyuio[;lmjhb nkb
TA: bjhnkiyu7tfugvbhjn bnjhgvbt78

NE: What are you doing.
TA: vhbjnkljn m,lhyt78765thjkknbmk,
TA: nmk,jhgfasasdzasedrftgh gc lo

NE: ...
NE: I'm coming over to your office.

TA: vbghjnbmtr
NE: Hey!
NE: Tell me when you wake up. :)

TA: Hey yourself!
TA: I'm up, haha.

NE: I can see that!
TA: What happened? I was coming to find you.
NE: You fell asleep in the hallway. :/
NE: You need to get more sleep, my friend.

TA: < iI/ii
TA: (sorry)
TA: I need to get more sleep?
TA: Look who's talking.

NE: ...that was a low blow, Nicodemus.
NE: I thought we were friends.

TA: We were, once. No longer.
TA: I’m sorry that it has to be this way, Alexandra. There is only one way we can solve our differences, and that is through a battle to the i death /i!
TA: Shit
TA: Death!

NE: I thought we already were engaged in a battle to the death?
TA: Wait, we were?
TA: (Are?)

NE: Well, not to the death, per se. More like until Dr Strand gets kidnapped again, or Terry tells us to stop.
TA: Oh right, our thieveryfest! I completely forgot about that!
TA: Wait.
TA: Was it you who stole my lucky recorder?

NE: :)
TA: That's it, it is ion//ii .
TA: …on.

NE: (Having fun there with HTML, Nic?)
TA: (I just woke up. Cut me some slack.)
TA: I will retrieve my recorder from you, and dive into a battle of wits and skills with you that will last indefinitely!
TA: Just after I finish checking my messages, haha.

NE: I will look forward to it. ;)
NE: In all seriousness, though, falling asleep in the middle of a hallway isn't normal and you know it.
NE: Are you sure you're all right?

TA: I stayed up pretty late last night, honestly.
TA: You're probably right about getting more sleep. I'll work on that.

NE: We can book another session with your therapist if you want.
TA: I don't think we need to go that far. Let's give it a week and see how it goes.
NE: As long as you're sure!
NE: We're mixing an episode of Tanis later, right?

TA: Yeah, in Studio 3.
NE: See you then! :D
TA: Bye!

"=>" literally everyone in your contact list!



Looks like you're being pestered!



Looks like you fell asleep while you were looking for Alex. That’s a bit weird, but... well, you haven’t exactly been sleeping well recently.

Hey, where’s that beeping coming from?

"=> Nic: Wake"

You're awake.


??: ...
??: Can you understand me, or...?

??: [image]
??: [image]
??: Okay.
??: Good.
??: ...

??: [image]
??: Well, then.
??: Let's begin.



??: Hello.
??: I have a proposal.







The sky's darkening.

It's starting.


Okay, you’re done here. See you later, Alex!
Sweet dreams.

"=> Nic: Draw mustache on friend"

Well, for one thing, that would be exceedingly rude.

For another, you already did that about two years ago.

You felt bad about it, though, so you cleaned it off.


“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”
― John Lennon

Hello, Alex!

It’s good to see her again, although she’s just as asleep as she’s been for the last 20-plus years. It sure would be great if she could wake up sometime soon- and then this weird recurring dream would be somewhat interesting.

The whole ‘golden glowing city planet in your dreams every few nights’ thing was great until you realized that absolutely nobody actually lived in the city except for you and Alex.

Who’s always asleep.

Your dreams sure are weird. Maybe it’s some kind of convoluted metaphor for her insomnia and how helpless you are to stop it.

Oh well. These dreams, lonely as they are, tend to be better than the dreams about Tanis. You certainly don’t look forward to those.




Time to visit a friend.



You're back.



"=> Nic: Dream"


Oh, okay, it’s just Nic. That’s fine.

But why’s he asleep?

And why’s it so dark down here? It’s only, like, 9.15. That’s no time for dramatic mood lighting.


That sure is a dark and ominous corridor right therE OH SHIT WHAT WAS THAT



"=> Alex: Take pity on Nicoblivious Dumbver and inform him that the thieveryfest has started"


...okay, fine. But only because you’re a very nice person.

-- noctuaryEmbellishment [NE] began pestering tumultuousAberrance [TA] at 9.16 --

NE: I have some good new and some bad news.
NE: I'm going to tell you the good news first, if that's all right.
NE: …
NE: Your icon says you're online, but maybe you're busy or something.
NE: So I'm going to tell you the good news whether you like it or not.
NE: The good news is…
NE: Your lucky recorder hasn't been kidnapped by cultists, an unsavoury multinational corporation, or suspiciously friendly wildlife!
NE: It was me.
NE: I took your recorder.
NE: And that leads us to the bad news, which is as follows.
NE:'ve completely forgotten about our yearly tradition of stealing things that really ought not to be stolen!
NE: Which means that I'm currently winning.
NE: Step your game up, Nicodemus.
NE: And maybe actually respond to me so I know I'm not screaming into an empty void.

TA: yugjnkl;cfgvbhji
NE: ??
NE: Nic?

TA: tpkojnml fyuio[;lmjhb nkb
TA: bjhnkiyu7tfugvbhjn bnjhgvbt78

NE: What are you doing.
TA: vhbjnkljn m,lhyt78765thjkknbmk,
TA: nmk,jhgfasasdzasedrftgh gc lo

NE: ...
NE: I'm coming over to your office.

TA: vbghjnbmtr

-- noctuaryEmbellishment [NE] ceased pestering tumultuousAberrance [TA] at 9.24 --

"=> Alex: Ponder the idea that Nic has kidnapped Dr. Strand again"

You ponder hard.

It’s unlikely, given that you’ve barely even started yet. But... maybe Nic has kidnapped Dr Strand? It would certainly make an interesting opening statement on his behalf. If this is so, you might just have to retaliate by kidnapping his dog next.

Although it’s actually far more likely that Nic is completely Nicoblivious to the fact that any sort of thievery has actually started, and is in fact wondering where his lucky recorder is at this very moment. In that case, it would only be logical that Dr Strand has not been abducted by any sort of unknown or known force and is, in fact, still ignoring your existence.

"=> Alex: Find a sympathetic co-worker to complain to."

Any other day, you’d be delighted to complain to Nic, who’s the only sympathetic, available listener that hasn’t been driven away already by the power of 3AM you on copious amounts of coffee. However, he and you are about to be engaged in a NO HOLDS BARRED THIEVERY FEST, as is your yearly custom. You have kicked off this time-honored tradition by snitching his LUCKY RECORDER from his workspace while he wasn’t looking. He will most likely retaliate as soon as he realizes that it’s missing.

In previous years, this competition has been halted by either Terry and Paul’s insistence or- last year- by Ruby Carver, who insisted that Nic’s inventive kidnapping of Dr Strand was ‘really fucking hilarious, but just a step too far’ and that they should probably stick to ‘stealing each others’ pencils, dogs, and self-preservation instincts’ next time.

You’ve started out small, yes but this year’s battle of thieving wits is going to be unlike any other that Pacific Northwest Stories has ever seen.


Why are you like this.


But you’re going to anyway, because you are a responsible adult human being and this is a thing that needs to get done.

ALEX: ...
ALEX: Hi, it's Alex, calling at 2.30. You didn't pick up, so I'm leaving a message.
ALEX: I- er.
ALEX: You were meant to meet up with me at the studio about half an hour ago, but you haven't shown up.
ALEX: So I'm assuming this means you're not coming.
ALEX: Or you've been eaten by a demon or something.
ALEX: (A joke. That was a joke.)
ALEX: (Presumably you haven't been eaten by a demon.)
ALEX: (If you have, you have my serious condolences, because that's tragic.)
ALEX: (I mean, if you haven't been eaten by a demon, that's also tragic as well-)
ALEX: (...)
ALEX: ((I just said that out loud didn't I?))
ALEX: ((...))
ALEX: Okay, so maybe I'm still bitter over the fact that we haven't talked for more than two minutes in months.
ALEX: Listen, it's not MY fault that your missing wife suddenly decided to turn up out of nowhere after a decade of nonexistence!
ALEX: The only thing I've done wrong was broadcast it on my podcast!
ALEX: ...and that was kind of an awful thing to do, honestly.
ALEX: So maybe we're both at fault here!
ALEX: That's fine!
ALEX: But it would be a lot easier to sort everything out,
ALEX: if you'd actually TALK TO ME.
ALEX: You know, talking?
ALEX: That thing two people do?
ALEX: ...
ALEX: (This is stupid.)
ALEX: (I'm going to delete this message, I'll call him again later.)
ALEX: (Maybe when I'm calmer.)


"=> Alex: Call skeptic asshole"

You'd really rather not.

"=> Alex: Contemplate the reason for your rage."

Your name is ALEX REAGAN and oh boy are you contemplating the object of your rage hard. As was previously mentioned, you are the host of the BLACK TAPES PODCAST, a thrilling show focusing on the work of the RENOWNED SKEPTIC ASSHOLE, DOCTOR RICHARD STRAND, as well as PARANORMAL HAPPENINGS and the occasional DEMON. You have a passion for INTERESTING WORKS OF HISTORICAL FICTION and HOT, SWEET DRINKS, and are currently suffering from frequent bouts of INSOMNIA that are currently making your life HELL.

Oh yes. There’s another thing that’s making your life hell too, and that’s the aforementioned SKEPTIC ASSHOLE, who DEFINITELY SHOULD HAVE ARRIVED AT THE STUDIO, LIKE, HALF AN HOUR AGO.

What the fuck will you do.

"=> Try again."

"=> Enter name."

"> Nic: Be the host of the Black Tapes Podcast."

You are now the host of the Black Tapes Podcast and god do you hate your existence. The feelings you are experiencing right now are feelings of strong annoyance. You’re even more annoyed than that one time that you accidentally kick-started the apocalypse from the comfort and safety of your own production studio.

...sorry, what was your name again? You can’t quite remember.




Gosh... it sure would be convenient if there were some easy method of suddenly becoming somebody else! It would be really excellent if we could switch point of view right now and see what Alex is doing at this current moment in time! Wouldn't that just be an excellent stroke of luck?

"> Nic: Find Alex."

Yes, you know. This is the thing that you are currently attempting to do. You’ve been attempting to do this for quite a while now, without success.

Now, if you were Alex, where would you be?

"> Nic: Leave computer."

For once in your life, you’d really love to go through an entire day without encountering cultists, unnaturally friendly wildlife, corporate tycoons who want to be your sugar daddy, or conspiracies to sacrifice you and your friends to the elder gods.

That day is probably not today.


TA: Okay, but,
TA: are you talking in capital letters purely to make yourself seem more ominous than you actually are?

??: …
??: NO.

TA: Is your caps lock button stuck?

TA: Yeah, about that.
TA: Are we talking about a metaphorical game, or like
TA: Parcheesi?

??: WHAT

TA: I get a lot of fanmail about Tanis, and a lot of it's creepypasta weird stuff like this.
TA: I got MK to follow up on the really weird stuff, and most of it's just made by college kids with simultaneously way too much and far too little time on their hands.
TA: Like, there's a chance that you could be serious?
TA: But also I don't actually have a way of knowing if you're not.

??: …
??: I

TA: I have no clue how you got my account name, actually.
TA: Cool.
TA: Could you tell me some of them?

TA: Okay
TA: I'd love to talk but I need to go and find Alex now so

??: WAIT

-- tumultuousAberrance [TA] blocked ?? [??]! --


TA: Ah okay
??: ■
TA: I'd just like to state, for the record,
TA: I'm extremely confused.

??: ■

TA: Wait
TA: This isn't another Cult of Tanis thing is it?

??: UH
TA: Hang on, your icon's a crow?
??: YES
TA: …
TA: Veronika?


TA: Okay, now you're not even trying.

TA: Please don't call me that
TA: Wait, you have a warning?
TA: About what?

??: ■



TA: uh


"> Nic: Answer chum."

They aren't... really your chum? Since you haven't met them yet?

But okay, whatever.

-- ?? [??] began pestering noctuaryEmbellishment [NE] at 9:01 --

??: ■
NA: Hello?
NE: Wait oh no I'm on Alex's account she's going to kill me
NE: Hang on a minute I'll sign out

??: ■
??: ■

-- noctuaryEmbellishment [NE] is now signed out! --
-- tumultuousAberrance [TA] is now signed in! --

TA: You're still here?
TA: I didn't think chats could carry across accounts.

??: ■
??: ■
TA: Hello?
TA: Is this some kind of prank?

TA: holy shit what
TA: How do you know my name?


"> Nic: Investigate flowerpot."

What flowerpot?


Looks like somebody’s attempting to contact this unmanned, forgotten computer...?

You have no idea why anybody would attempt to do this, but okay. It’s not that weird. The weirdest thing here is the fact that somebody left the ‘ON AIR’ sign on the door when this room is clearly not on air. It’s not on anything. What is this place, some sort of amateur podcast project?

"> Nic: Fail to find Alex in the Recording Room."

Aw shit.

Yeah, you probably should have remembered that this isn’t the recording room anymore. It’s more like an employee’s lounge or something. Alex is probably over in the other recording room.






"> Nic: Get a beer."

You just said... you’d get one... later...

Okay, you know what? You don’t have time for this. You can give ridiculous directions to yourself later. Right now, you’re going to track down Alex Reagan and get her to give your lucky recorder back., right now.


-- adamantineEquilibrium [AE] began pestering tumultuousAberrance [TA] at 8:43 --

AE: Hey man
AE: You still up for beers this afternoon?

TA: Hi Geoff!
TA: Yeah, hopefully!
TA: Currently trying to find my recorder :-P
TA: I think Alex stole it again.

AE: That sucks dude
TA: Yeah haha
TA: Any advice?

AE: Corner her when shes coming out of the recording studio and snatch it before she realizes youre there
AE: Thats what I used to do with Karl

TA: I might try that, thanks. :-)
AE: np
AE: Also
AE: Before I forget
AE: I think MK was trying to get hold of you

TA: Huh?
TA: Really?
TA: It says shes offline

AE: Yeah well
AE: You know she prefers Skype

TA: Oh right, good point
TA: I'll text her later.
TA: Right now, I have a recorder to find!!

AE: lol
AE: You have your lucky socks on?

TA: ...yes.
TA: Stop laughing.

AE: Im not laughing
AE: Who says Im laughing this is slander

TA: :-)
TA: See you this afternoon!

AE: :)

-- adamantineEquilibrium [AE] ceased pestering tumultuousAberrance [TA] at 8:54 --

"> Nic: Answer chum."


Looks like somebody's pestering you.

Who could that be?

"Nic: Search for lucky recorder."

Okay, you can definitely do that. You’re going to need it if you ever want to get on with recording that next season of Tanis, anyway.

The last place you saw it was on your desk.

It’s not on your desk.

"> Examine room."

Your name is NIC. As was previously mentioned, it is the DAY YOU WILL FUCK YOUR LIFE UP COMPLETELY AND IRRETRIEVABLY, but we’ll get to that later. A number of POSTERS are scattered about the walls of your workspace. You have a variety of INTERESTS. You have a passion for PODCASTS and UNSOLVED MYSTERIES. You currently work for PACIFIC NORTHWEST STORIES as the host and producer of a show called TANIS. You have a fondness for RADIO LORE, and used to be a WEBSITE DESIGNER. You also really love your BOMBAS SOCKS.

There’s not much in your workspace at the moment, probably due to the fact that your good friend and producing partner, ALEX REAGAN, has been on a CLEANING BINGE this week. You think she may have stolen your LUCKY RECORDER, but you aren’t sure.

What will you do?

"Try again."

"Enter name."


A man stands in his workspace. It just so happens that today, the 24th of February, 2017, is the day that this man’s life is fucked up completely and irretrievably.

What will the name of this man be?