If you may recall from near a year ago when I started posting Darmenzi chapters, the occasional interruption of Duth Olec (and Wally Plotch’s responses) in the story has been redesigned so that it is easier to understand, now being in the form of something like a chat log. As Darmenzi began with this, and the old Slubes began with an introduction by Wally and Duth, the new Slubes begins with Wally trying to figure out what he’s doing and Duth being me.
Opening Cosmos Logbook.
Cosmos Logbook ready.
Messaging room open.
Duth_Olec: All right, it’s up.
Wally_Plotch: Can you see me?
Duth_Olec: No, but I can read you. Yes, that joke’s older than I am. In fact, saying a joke’s older than I am is older than I am, too. Anyway, if ever you are in need or must inquire of something, do not hesitate to ask, for I shall be reading all that you say.
Wally_Plotch: Okay, Duth, I kind of need something now.
Duth_Olec: That’s all you ever do is whine, whine, whine! Can’t you solve something yourself for once?
Wally_Plotch: What? But I just started. I haven’t even asked for anything yet.
Duth_Olec: Fine, what is it?
Wally_Plotch: Well, I can’t really see anything. The video feed window on the computer screen is blank.
Duth_Olec: Today we’re telling the story of Blind Blake, who is some guy that I looked up on Wikipedia.
Duth_Olec: Okay, okay, okay. Gimme a minute to get the video feed set up.
Wally_Plotch: That’s not the right setting! I nearly fell out of my seat from that loud noise.
Duth_Olec: Sorry, that was the Godzilla Network. You’d be surprised at what weird broadcasting channels you can find floating out here in space.
Wally_Plotch: By the way, what are those words in the asterisks?
Duth_Olec: Oh, that’s the sound-to-word program that adds sounds it picks up to the chat for the hearing impaired. Which, for our purposes, is anyone else reading this.
Wally_Plotch: It keeps picking up our typing, though.
Duth_Olec: Yeah, let me turn down the sensitivity.
Wally_Plotch: I think that did it.
Duth_Olec: Okay, I got the right video feed up.
Wally_Plotch: Oh, hey. It’s space.
Duth_Olec: Space! Gaze with awe upon its infinite majesty. From the inky black depths swirl myriads and myriads and myriads of shiny, twinkly stars like motor oil filled with struggling fireflies.
Wally_Plotch: Yeah, cool.
Duth_Olec: Gaze with awe, I say!
Wally_Plotch: I regularly saw such majesty in the skies where I lived.
Duth_Olec: All your life in one place at some lame desk job, and you don’t even awe.
Wally_Plotch: I had a very good view of the sky through a wide skylight.
Duth_Olec: And now anyone there could get a good view of the sky since the window shattered and the rest of the place collapsed. Whatever. We have to get going. The Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos!
Wally_Plotch: The Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos?
Duth_Olec: A cosmos so real, so very different from our own, and yet so, so similar.
Wally_Plotch: “Our” own?
Duth_Olec: Fine, fine. My own. For it is I, Duth Olec, the presenter of this tale.
Wally_Plotch: I know who you are.
Duth_Olec: Yes, but we’re gonna have readers someday. Once we’ve documented all this, we’ll send it out for people and cleeple and steeple to read. We need to introduce ourselves.
Wally_Plotch: Oh, okay. Well, I’m Wally Plotch. I’m not completely certain how I got here, but I’m your narrator here to record everything.
Duth_Olec: Yes, he is our stenographer.
Wally_Plotch: Well, I used to be the court stenographer for the Cosmos Court, but that place is a little defunct now.
Duth_Olec: And how do you mean you’re not sure how you got here? I brought you here. Just a little sleight of cloud rescued you from the crumbling of your previous employer.
Wally_Plotch: Rather literal, on that.
Duth_Olec: All right, now, let’s zoom in on the location of our documentary.
*sounds of hard wheels rolling on hard floor* *ticking and clattering and humming*
Duth_Olec: For a trip this far, we’ve really got to charge up this old thing. Okay, here we go.
Wally_Plotch: Whoa, that was quick. We shot through space so fast that everything blurred by.
Duth_Olec: We shot through space at the speed of light, got places to go, gotta follow my cloudbow.
Wally_Plotch: I think I got a little motion sickness from that. I’m still not completely used to real space-time.
Duth_Olec: That stuff hardly applies in this vessel, anyway.
Wally_Plotch: So what are those three planets?
Duth_Olec: Do you not recognize the three most important planets in the universe except for maybe that one planet and those other few way over there somewhere? Yes, in a universe without Earth, another planet (or three) had to become Center of the Universe.
Wally_Plotch: Earth was the center of your universe?
Duth_Olec: It’s a joke, Wally. Earth was actually incredibly unimportant on a galactic scale. Actually, to be fair, these planets, Mintop, Zhop, and Derantu, are also fairly insignificant.
Wally_Plotch: But for the purposes of this tale?
Duth_Olec: But for the purposes of this tale they would remain so.
Duth_Olec: It’s a play on words. Yes, for the purposes of our story, the planet Mintop is Center of the Universe. Let’s zoom in on it. You might experience a slight motion blur.
Wally_Plotch: Wow, it’s so pretty.
Duth_Olec: Finally, we’re getting some awe up in here.
Wally_Plotch: It’s like a big, pink marble.
Duth_Olec: It is absolutely nothing like a marble! It’s more like a giant, round rock that was turned into a dump and then there was a huge flood. And who do you think caused that flood? But those dang space gulls flew away before they could get drowned.
Wally_Plotch: I think you’re getting off-track.
Duth_Olec: Oh, right. So, Mintop, for our purposes, is Center of the Universe. Filled with lots of species. Many different types of people- I mean cleeple. Every clerpson is different. No two species are the same. And the most important species on Mintop…
Duth_Olec: …is not the focus of our story! Instead we focus on what could be described as the least important species on Mintop, slubes. I’m sending you a picture. It’s up to you, Wally. Narrate to our readers what a slube looks like!
Wally_Plotch: What? Oh, right!
Wally_Plotch: The slube, a yellowish sort of species, mostly because its skin is yellow. Its long body goes straight from its neck to the ground where it widens into a round tail that lays on the ground. It kind of looks like a bent tube sock with thin, floppy noodles for arms. It has a round, toothless snout, and sitting atop its round head are two round eyes, bigger and whiter than eggs, as well as mushier, with a layer of smooth, yellow skin covering the backs.
Duth_Olec: And that’s the slube. Enough introductions! Wally, put on your headphones. Turn on the thought streamer. Get your fingers ready, because it’s time… to… write!
Duth_Olec: I can’t! My finger is slowly moving to the “start the story” button.
Wally_Plotch: But you never explained this thought streamer thing to me.
Duth_Olec: Oh, that’s a minor detail. Basically you’ll be listening in on the thoughts of our point of view character, whomever I’m following at the time.
Wally_Plotch: I see, it’s how I’ll be able to write what a character’s thinking. It’s rather amazing. I just want to thank you again for this opportunity to get out of that drab old place and become a storyteller.
Duth_Olec: All right, get to writing. Oh, wait, one more thing: stay true to events. If they ever read this down there, we want to make sure we stay faithful to this reality.
Wally_Plotch: Got it. Ready to go.
Duth_Olec: Oh, wait, one more thing again.
Duth_Olec: Just in case you forgot what novel this was.
Wally_Plotch: Slubes it is. Let’s write!