Höbin: With the recent events, I thought it would be wise to get two of my closest friends together and have a discussion about what we’re experiencing.
For those of you who didn’t know, about two weeks ago the sky of our world went…dark.
It was a frightening event.
Except for those of us who live underground in the Black Market, reports of panic were world-wide.
The sun vanished suddenly from the sky.
Major tremors shook the planet.
…and most inhabitants, including myself, suddenly had an undeniable hunger for pizza.
I know that sounds odd, but it’s true.
With me today is the grand and amazing mägo, Morphiophelius Smith, a.k.a. Chuck and with him, the Gnolaum’s famed guardian and bodyguard, Dax.
Thanks for showing up, gents.
What do you do when the sun just…vanishes?!?
Höbin: When did you first notice?
Chuck: The noise?
Höbin: Well, the lack of noise, wasn’t it?
Chuck: That’s what I meant.
Höbin: Of course. When did you notice it?
Chuck: I think it was the first time I truly heard the..
Höbin: What did you hear?
Chuck: It was when I first noticed the….
Chuck: We’re trying to have a deeply emotional and reflective moment here…and you’re sucking on the rotting innards of some carcass, for crying out loud!
Dax: *gulp* I’m hungry.
Chuck: You’re always hungry.
Dax: Then what’s your problem with me eatin’?!
Besides, it was free.
Chuck: My problem, Mr. Sensitive, is that the creator of the Universe just had a STROKE and we almost died right along WITH him!
Dax: [wipes goo from his mouth across his furry arm…] Uh-huh.
Chuck: That’s all you can say?
Besides, there’s no reason ta be worried.
Chuck: There’s no rea…
[flips head around at Höbin]
Is he serious?
Höbin: I think he is—which has me curious.
Why do you think this isn’t a concern, Dax?
Dax: Well first off, old prune-pants here is still whining.
Dax: So…you’re still here.
If the creator actually kicked the bucket, you wouldn’t be able to complain, now would you?
That’s…a pretty good point.
Dax: *nods triumphantly*
Höbin: Then maybe I should change my question to ‘What did you experience personally, when the creator, Jaime Buckley, had a stroke?
Chuck: I was TERRIFIED!
Chuck: What’s so funny?!?
Dax: You’re too old…and done way too much to be terrified.
Come on, Chuck.
I’ve seen you laughing hysterically while teasing monsters on the field of battle, taunting them with nothing more than tap-dancing shoes and a feather…
That was pretty funny.
Höbin: You what?
Dax: *waves a hand*
Long story….I’ll hafta tell you another time.
It was Epic.
Höbin: Right then.
Back on point?
The creator of our world had some health problems and when it hit, everything went wonky.
Would you say that was accurate?
Höbin: Chuck, when did you first notice something was wrong?
Chuck: The hash browns didn’t turn out right.
You noticed something was wrong with the world because the food you were making didn’t turn out right?
Chuck: That’s it.
Höbin: How does that even make sense?
Dax: They tasted like pizza.
They tasted like pizza.
Höbin: Look, guys..I don’t want to make light of what you’re telling me, but you don’t make sense.
Dax: Sure it does.
You mentioned that the world had an unexplainable hungering for pizza, right?
Höbin: Correct, which was bizarre, but…..ohhhhh!
Dax: Exactly. We actually had our food tasting like pizza.
Chuck: …and like Domino’s cheesy-bread.
Dax: Oh, yeah. I liked that part.
I’m not sure we’re going to get through this conversation.
Harsh-Brown’s aren’t SUPPOSED to taste like Domino’s Pizza!
Dax: I don’t know why you two are making this so complicated.
Thing is, Jaime Buckley had some health problems.
It’s why things went dark for a while, right?
I mean, we can assume that, can’t we?
Chuck: I’d think so.
Höbin: Makes sense.
And the sun came back…in just a few hours.
No harm done.
Chuck: That’s not what his Instagram pictures say.
Have you SEEN those things?
(whispers) He looks like hell if you ask me.
Dax: Come on, Chuck, the guy had a stroke.
Höbin: Hold on.
…logged into Facebook and he gave an update.
NOT a stroke.
He got the tests back and it turns out he’s got Bell’s Palsy.
Chuck: He’s giving bells to Paul?
Dax: Bell’s Palsy, Chuck.
Wait…isn’t that a virus?
Höbin: I think so.
Dax: [stands upright]
Is it contagious??
Chuck: Does it matter?
Not like he can transfer the virus through thought, now can he?
Höbin: So your hash browns tasted like pizza.
Dax: …and Domino’s cheesy bread.
Höbin: …and that too.
But that’s all that tipped you off?
Didn’t you notice any other signs?
Chuck: Like an open vision of the future?
Chuck: …where you see the fate of mankind lay before your eyes in an exposed landscape of conflict and challenge, good against evil in the war over the souls of mankind.
Chuck: When one can look at the path we now tread and see the subtle yet critical choices we must now make to ensure the survival of our race and fulfill the measure of our creation?
Didn’t see a thing.
Dax: It did make my beer taste funny though and that could put anyone off.
Why is it that I can’t ever have a simple, straightforward conversation with you two in the same room?
Dax: Lucky I guess.
Höbin: So where do we go now?
I don’t know about you two, but having this happen and seeing how vulnerable our world is, makes me wonder about this year…about our futures.
Chuck: Honestly, Höbin, I’m grateful for another day.
Oh, I’ve been panicked and the thought of everything blinking out of existence is a terrifying thought, but now that we’re sitting here, I wonder.
Chuck: Our missions.
What we were created to do.
Will I be able to fulfill my mission in the time I have allotted to me?
Will I be able to help Wendell train up and be ready for his confrontation with Mahan?
Höbin: You still believe he’ll have to fight the Dark Lord?
Chuck: No question.
It’ll happen sooner of later…but I have no doubt that it will happen.
Dax: …and he’s gonna kick that shadows butt.
Chuck: We have hope and have faith…
Dax: Bah. We just gotta get Wendell a damn big boot.
…with spikes on the toes, so he can…
So you’re not worried about Jaime or his condition?
Chuck: You said it wasn’t a stroke.
That’s good news.
…and he’s published an article on his personal blog as well, talking about what happened.
He also has an article on Mindsoak, where he wrote from his hospital bed.
Dax: So what are we doing here again?
Höbin: Well…I’m…not sure anymore.
Looks like everything’s going to be fine.
We’re all safe now.
Guess all I wanted to say was…
Take care of yourself Jaime—cause we can’t live without you.
Let’s make this year the best one ever.