...by 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"
??: Can you understand me, or...?
??: Well, then.
??: Let's begin.
??: I have a proposal.
The sky's darkening.
Okay, you’re done here. See you later, Alex!
"=> 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
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.
"=> 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: 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: ...you'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: tpkojnml fyuio[;lmjhb nkb
TA: bjhnkiyu7tfugvbhjn bnjhgvbt78
NE: What are you doing.
TA: vhbjnkljn m,lhyt78765thjkknbmk,
TA: nmk,jhgfasasdzasedrftgh gc lo
NE: I'm coming over to your office.
-- noctuaryEmbellishment [NE] ceased pestering tumultuousAberrance [TA] at 9.24 --
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.
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: 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: ((I just said that out loud didn't I?))
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: (and maybe GET SEASON THREE OUT TO THE FANS QUICKER)
ALEX: if you'd actually TALK TO ME.
ALEX: You know, talking?
ALEX: That thing two people do?
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.
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."
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?
TA: Is your caps lock button stuck?
??: THAT'S BESIDES THE POINT
??: DIDN'T YOU SEE THE BIT ABOUT THE GAME THAT YOU'RE GOING TO PLAY AND LOSE
TA: Yeah, about that.
TA: Are we talking about a metaphorical game, or like
??: WHAT DO YOU
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.
TA: I have no clue how you got my account name, actually.
??: I HAVE MY WAYS
TA: Could you tell me some of them?
??: NO FUCK YOU
TA: I'd love to talk but I need to go and find Alex now so
-- tumultuousAberrance [TA] blocked ?? [??]! --
??: I HAVE MY METHODS
TA: Ah okay
TA: I'd just like to state, for the record,
TA: I'm extremely confused.
??: THERE ARE DANGEROUS THINGS
??: THERE ARE MAGICAL THINGS
??: THERE ARE WONDROUS THINGS
??: WE GET WHAT WE DESERVE
TA: This isn't another Cult of Tanis thing is it?
TA: Hang on, your icon's a crow?
??: DON'T BE RIDICULOUS
??: WHAT'S A VERONIKA
??: I DON'T KNOW WHAT A VERONIKA IS
??: SHE SOUNDS VERY MYSTERIOUS AND ALLURING
TA: Okay, now you're not even trying.
??: I'VE COME TO GIVE YOU A VITAL WARNING AND YOU'RE MOCKING ME
??: THAT'S REALLY NOT A GOOD IDEA
??: DO NOT TEST ME, NICODEMUS
TA: Please don't call me that
TA: Wait, you have a warning?
TA: About what?
??: YOU'RE GOING TO PLAY A GAME, NICODEMUS
??: AND YOU'RE GOING TO LOSE
??: YOU ARE NOT AWARE OF WHAT YOU HAVE STARTED
??: YOU HAVE SET INTO MOTION A CHAIN OF EVENTS THAT YOU CAN NOT POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND
"> 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 --
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: Is this some kind of prank?
TA: holy shit what
TA: How do you know my name?
"> Nic: Investigate 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?
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.
...like, 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: Before I forget
AE: I think MK was trying to get hold of you
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: You have your lucky socks on?
TA: Stop laughing.
AE: Im not laughing
AE: Who says Im laughing this is slander
TA: See you this afternoon!
-- 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?
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?