Thursday, September 14, 2006

Spider Hunt :: RoT

I don’t get out much, so it wasn’t entirely surprising that I hadn’t realised just how close to Terra Incognita the Republic of Tinselman is. Commonsense dictated that I start my search close to home and so it was that, in transit between Prester John’s Land and Nan Madol, following a faint path through the dunes, bound for the harbour where I hoped to catch a boat to the basalt and coral islands of Nan Madol, I must have missed the turn-off. Before I knew it, I had stumbled into a realm governed by the self-titled ‘Your Illustrious Khan.’ I have to admit at first I was impressed and even, yes, slightly envious of the amenities that its citizenry enjoy. The have a flag. And a logo! They even have a national uniform of t-shirts AND they have tickets on themselves!

But I hadn’t been in the Republic of Tinselman very long before I became convinced that I was actually finally on the right track. YIK had serialised his recent history for the benefit of his citizenry and it was immediately clear to me that he had more than a passing familiarity with Intersol and perhaps even a connection with Musrum. For a start he had pictures of the subterranean level of the Great Museum of Sevastapol. True they were scarcely recognisable, stripped of the treasures they were meant to protect, but it was definitely them.

YIK’s account of kidnap and terror, despite the fact that he dwelled obsessively on his own fate and that of his off-siders (Brangelina and Wilmer the Super Gopher Boy*1), did contain hints that led me to believe that he might have had a brush with Inky.

Certainly the details of his capture, undignified conveyance and the subsequent ill-treatment he received had a left a deep and indelible scar on his psyche – so much so that he could scarcely bear to think, let alone write, about those events. So it was natural for me to think that Inky must have been behind it all.*2

YIK too, evidently.

Unfortunately, we were both wrong.

YIK’s first instinct, that it was some kind of octo-brain masterminding the whole sting, was, ironically, correct. Octo-brain is indeed a mutated Cephalopod. Cephalopods are amongst the five most intelligent species on earth. Small wunder then, that a mutation would breed a kind of uber-brain...

Human beings have long feared the Cephalopods – from the giant squid wrestling ships and taking their crews to their doom to baby octopus making us look lumpish by being able to look like anything they like, they plain creep us out. Cephalopods and humans have been natural enemies since the dawn of time.

Witness for example this documentary proof of squid piracy from Japan. *2

Anyway, it is immediately obvious to the astute natural scientist (and I am, after all, director, curator and acquirer of arguably the world’s best natural history collection, so I DO know what I’m talking about!), that the so-called Dr Uber-Brain aka Inky is a squid NOT an Arachnid. Even YIK should have picked it up from his nickname ‘Inky’ – in this case it is an obvious reference to his propensity to squirt ink when startled. Obviously unlike my Inky, whose name derives from the blackness of his heart.

And if that were not enough, Inky’s eyes are beautiful. The octo-brain’s are obviously the hard, nacreous and mysteriously hypnotic discs of a psychopathic cephalopod. Sure they’re beautiful too, and they may be the largest eyes of any animal on earth – but they’re certainly not Inky’s.

Compare for yourself. >>

I now have a strong suspicion that this whole ‘Hell in a Handbasket’ episode is simply a ruse aimed at deflecting suspicion from himself.

My suspicions were inflamed when he brought up the subject of the alien invasion of the US, which the octo-brain apparently also masterminded. How much does he know? How much are just lucky stabs in the dark?

We must also pose the question: what is the involvement of YIK and/or the octo-brain in the on-going terrorisation of the United States by by dust cells invading the country in 30million SUVs? >>

But whatever the outcome, gentler patrons of MoD, rest assured that I’ll be keeping a close eye on things…

The Travels of Sir John Mandeville >>
More about Nan Madol in wikipedia >>

octopus by Corx >>

*1 Admit it. You were impressed by the artful way that I managed the segue between pockets, gophers and RoT.

*2 Inky, for example, scarred an entire generation when he deployed mimes aas part of his internecine warfare with (or is it on behalf of?), the art world. >>

*3 Apparently the Cephalopods and the whales have ganged up on the humans together and the Japanese are amongst the very few who realise this appalling truth. That is why they sacrifice themselves and the cream of the scientific community, waging unstinting war on Cetaceans.


Anonymous Your Illustrious Khan said...

Dearest Cog,

Why deny what you know to be true? Are you frightened? I understand. We all understand. However, I think it's time to face the music and address the real issues. Namely, cephalopods don't have large torsos. In addition, you utterly failed to address my assertion that the servent thugs were calling this brainy creature "Inky". Please explain.

I am not absolutely positive that this is your lost Inky, but am sure of one thing: the Inky we encountered was no squid. He was a mutated spider... one who delights in dining on the flesh of humans. I apologize if this comes as a shock to you. I assure you, it came as quite a shock to us.

Therefore, friend Cog, I am frankly a bit disturbed about many of the false claims you've made. You not only have accused me of dwelling obsessively on my own fate, you also have accused me of attempting to deflect suspicion from myself by creating an elaborate "alien invasion" ruse. All your false accusations almost make me wonder if you are the anonymous mastermind force behind the Inky that captured us! Perhaps you didn't loose Inky at all... perhaps you sent him on this hair-brained mission to attack us!

The Republic of Tinselman is a peaceful nation. But unless these violent accusations are rescinded (and then you publically say you're sorry), we will have to go after you with guns blazing. We will revoke your citizenship and invade the Museum of Dust.

Most sincerely,
Your Illustrious Khan

4:45 am  
Anonymous Cog said...

Kindly refer to the officially sanctioned communiques. I refuse to partake in gutter-sniping in the comments section...

That goes double for any kind of ambassadorial or territorial matters.

We'll soon see who's afraid...

love Cog

6:24 pm  
Anonymous Number Six said...

This 'alien invasion of the US' you mention: it was actually an alien invasion _by_ the US (and of the RoT). Surely you read about the US Space Monsters? ( In fact, I'm sure you did, you were just making a typing error.

This brings me to a question that has been on my mind for some time now. RoT first commissioned its national uniform in response to the US invasion. (As you know, when those guys catch you 'out in the field' sine uniform, you become an 'enemy combatant' rather than a 'prisoner of war', and bad stuff happens to you.)

You may have noticed that the design outfit originally hired to design the outfits was called "M.O.D.S." (Mothers of Dress and Safety). Is there, I wonder, a connection to you? (M.useum o.f D.ust [S.omething])? If so, why were the uniforms so late in arriving? (Most citizens, including YIK, were long since captured by then).

This is not the only weird acronym-coincidence surrounding this whole affair. The other one is "R.M."


3:25 am  
Anonymous Cog said...

Dear #6

You raise many valid and interesting points. Just a pity that they're all wrong.

For a start, we at MoD would never have anything to do with uniforms. We don't hold with them. We don't wear them. And we certainly wouldn't design them for someone else. They undermine individuality and imagination.

Besides, all sensible people wear black everything.

Although, when I think on it, there ARE those bushels of sparkly tat Inky stowed in the oubliette…

Ummm and of course I’ve read That was what I was talking about. True. I never said anything about SUV’s full of dust invading the US. Ever. Really.

However, I do agree that the concurrence and repetition of this RM thing IS deeply suspect. I wonder whether you’re suggesting that Murdoch’s recent trip into space is, in reality, a bid to find himself? That, or to fake the death of one or other of them so one identity can return to Earth to rule over all.

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