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5 DF Characters Who Visited Night Vale, & One Who Didn't Have to 'Cause He Came From There

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5. Kumori

It had been one of the oddest edicts of the many odd edicts that her master required her to accept without question. Although she'd wondered about his edict on more than one occasion, she'd never contested it because he'd been so fiercely insistent that she obey him. She'd even sworn a solemn promise on her magic that on November 10th, no matter where she was and or what she was doing, she was to arrive promptly and early in the morning to Night Vale, a small city in the desert of the southwestern United States. This vow meant that not showing up would bring down such horrible consequences as her losing her magic entirely.

When she had first learned what she had risked her magic for she'd been livid.

A parade. She's sworn on her magic for a parade.

It was all completely ridiculous. At least, that's what she'd thought until after her first trip to Night Vale and participated in the parade. By the end of the day she'd been left with an increased power boost, and she'd been convinced of the value of returning the following year.

And now, once again, she was in Night Vale.

It was a strange parade, but considering that it was held in a strange town, she thought the whole affair was surprisingly appropriate.

The parade was always full of people dressed like her, in robes with deep cowls that obscured their bodies and their faces so that little remained to identify them, not even their gender. She was one of only a few wearing black in the parade. Most of the participates wore robes in colors of gray or brown or a red like faded, crusting blood or a dirty white like cobwebs spun over prey, trapping it with their sticky, suffocating threads.

During the parade, Kumori was, as always, careful to follow the rules her master had once explained to her. She was never to talk to the citizens of Night Vale. She was never to so much as acknowledge any of the residents, other than the City Council. Yet she was also never to talk to the City Council without him. Considering the Council's disturbing synchronicity, she was more than willing to let him handle those negotiations.

This year, she couldn't help but appreciate that the town of Night Vale had given them the use of their newly constructed stadium.

The sight of a stadium full of people, nearly 50,000, all with solemn, terrified faces holding oddly cheerful signs saying such things as: 'Yay! Mysterious Hooded Figures!', 'We Tremble –with awe– Before You, Oh Hooded Figure that Lives In the Elementary School Playground!' (held by what looked like an entire classroom of children with assault rifles), 'We're Happily Staying Out of the Dog Park!, and 'What Dog Park?', written in what she thought was blood which was still unusual even after all these years.

Yet being here made her happy.

She never normally got to enjoy the sight of others waving at her and cheering her on, even though she suspected that the Night Vale residents had no choice about being spectators. Coming to Night Vale was always such a delight. She didn't have to hide away, or suppress her powers. She never had to pretend to be anything other than what she'd chosen to become. Even the crushing weight of Death seemed lighter, easier to fight, in the town.

As the parade wound down, coming to a slow, whimpering end, Kumori left Night Vale with a grab bag of small gifts (given to her by various trembling townspeople) and an ice cream cone of mint and caviar.

She looked forward to next year's parade.

A brief fragment taken from Night Vale Community Radio as hosted by Cecil, the Voice of Night Vale:

“Listeners, I believe that I can speak for everyone when I say that yesterday's Parade of the Mysterious Hooded Figures was especially stunning this year. Literally. The stun batons used by the Sheriff's Secret Police to hold back everyone's excitement and fear were, of course, necessary for the safety of our city's residents, I'm sure you all agree. Remember to express your gratitude by saying 'thank you' aloud, for no matter where you are or what you're doing the Sheriff's Secret Police are always listening.

During the parade, it was so lovely to get to see the Night Vale stadium actually put to use, as it's normally empty for 364 days out of the year. And seeing so many residents show up for the mandatory parade – oh Night Vale, you fill me with such civic pride! I can't wait for next year! Well, I suppose technically I can... time being what it is, the next parade will be upon us before we know it. Like a predator preparing to sink its razor fangs into our hot, supple flesh, ripping out our throat in a hot spray of crimson blood before devouring our viscera like a rare treat.

I look forward to it!

Now, for a word from our sponsors.”

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4. Mister

Mister followed the familiar intriguing scent that tugged at him through the streets of Chicago. It wasn't quiet the smell of a queen, female cat, in heat, but it was similar and, if anything, more powerfully appealing. It was one that he'd known before. As he chased the scent, he stepped through the faint gauzy veil that separated the realm of humans from the Others. Mister was familiar with magic, thanks to having spent nearly his entire life with a wizard, and acting as the regular vessel of a powerful spirit. He'd learned more than either of them knew.

Mister was briefly distracted by the screaming of various small flying lights around him. He chased them down, batting several out of the air in a careening, dusty alarm to amuse himself. He wasn't hungry, so he let them go after he'd been entertained for several minutes, returned to the familiar scent, tracking it across several shifting landscapes, until he finally slipped into a dark shadow, that screamed and twitched violently from where it was pinned to the ground by a spike, a spiraling silver horn that vibrated joy.

Mister emerged onto a white tiled floor, brightly lit with fluorescent lights that made him hiss in irritation until his eyes adjusted. The rumbling, roaring answering growl made him perk his ears up, and he emerged from the sink to see him.

The cat of the familiar, intriguing scent, named Khoshekh by the humans under his ownership, was floating on nothingness by the sink. Kittens of several months in age floated around various points nearby, some close to the ceiling and some bobbing near the floor of the men's restroom in the Night Vale Community Radio Station. They meowed in happy greeting at the sight of their ground-bound sire.

Mister jumped up to the sink in a single bound and growled at the other tom, who snarled fit to rattle the fixtures of the bathroom. The shadow Khoshekh cast below him was that a creature nearly fifty times his size, far too large to fit in the closed confines of the room.

Pleased by the power the other tom radiated, Mister leaned forward and licked his ear.

Khoshekh purred and stretched out under him.

A brief fragment taken from Night Vale Community Radio as hosted by Cecil, the Voice of Night Vale:

“For those listeners who've been asking for updates on Khoshekh. I have great news! He's pregnant again. Here at the station we have yet to figure out how that happened, as no other cat has been seen entering or exiting the men's restroom, but that's the mystery of cats for you. They always end up exactly where you least expect them. Even floating in an invisible box of unbreakable magic three feet to the left of the urinals.

We're expecting fluffy new kittens in about 4 to 8 weeks. I can't be more exact because the veterinarian, and the intern assigned to help him, weren't able to give me any details. They entered the men's bathroom to check up on Khoshekh this morning and were last heard screaming, gurgling and collapsing onto the tiled floor in two wet, meaty thumps. Followed by the chewing sounds of various small, fanged mouths.

Which reminds me! To the family of Alex the intern and the brave veterinarian who's name currently escapes me, our condolences go out to you for your loss. However, know that they went out doing their duty. It's at times like these that one should pause and reflect on the fleeting, and startling, nature of life. One day you are here doing the work that you love, or possibly merely tolerate, and the next you are kibble to an expecting male cat and his previous litter of kittens. At least your end has served a purpose, which is more than some can claim. And it will one day result in more adorable, floating kittens and that, I'm sure you all agree, is a good end result for everyone.

And now, for traffic.”

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3. Nicodemus Archleone

Nicodemus strolled into Big Rico's Pizza, looking for his contact. Anduriel hummed louder, pressing closer against his mind. Unease grew in both of them the longer they lingered in this forsaken, suffocating town. Night Vale represented everything they hated. It was a city where everyone was under control, where freedom, change, and individuality were stifled. You'd think it would be easy to begin an Apocalypse or two here with all the dark energy that swarmed around the town like insects crawling around a bloated corpse. Night Vale swallowed all attempts he'd ever attempted. The city swallowed everything he threw at it like his efforts were little more than appetizers, leaving the town gapingly hungry for more.

He wanted to call forth every single one of his disciples and wage war on Night Vale until nothing remained but embers and corpses.

Nicodemus wanted to burn Night Vale to the ground, a desire that increased every time he was forced to return. Nicodemus normally preferred to have these sort of meetings in Desert Bluffs, but his contact had been insistent that he meet him here.

Anduriel whispered softly, directing him where to go. His Fallen's shadow manifestation, pointed to what initially looked like an empty booth. Nicodemus had to focus a substantial amount of his will to perceive a man sitting there, wearing a tan jacket with a deerskin suitcase on the ground next to his feet. The frenetic humming of flies became louder as Nicodemus drew closer. Silently, he sat across from him.

“Nicodemus,” the man said, the tenor of his voice vanishing from Nicodemus' mind the instant he heard it, leaving only an impression of pleasantness and trustworthiness. “I've been waiting for you.” He pushed over to Nicodemus a slice of pizza on a plate. “Have a slice. No one does pizza like Big Rico. No one.”

Nicodemus took the slice with a polite air, setting it next to him but not taking a bite. He loathed American pizza.

“First, we have business to discuss,” he reminded the man in the tan jacket.

Later, Nicodemus would not be able to describe the smile that spread across the other man's face, only remembering a sudden spike of primordial terror and the soft sound of Anduriel whimpering once with barely restrained fear before dividing into the safety of Nicodemus' mind.

“Yes,” said the man. “We do.”

The sound of fly wings buzzing rose to a fever pitch. And stayed there.


A brief fragment taken from Night Vale Community Radio as hosted by Cecil, the Voice of Night Vale:

“On local gossip, listeners, I'm sure that you've all seen the stranger who's been in our town for the last couple of days. He's the one wearing that highly fashionable gray hangman's rope around his neck. I have got to find out where he bought it. It all but screams nightmares and unholy menace, talk about haute couture. Anyway, today he was seen in Big Rico's Pizza in an intense conversation with the man in the tan jacket and the deerskin suitcase, named Evan... Erik? Well, I wish I could report the topic of their conversation but bystanders who'd been enjoying their mandatory weekly slice of pizza said that all they heard was the buzzing of fly wings. To everyone there the sound was like an electric saw slowly drawing closer and closer and closer.

Intern Julie, who I sent over to get more information about the stranger, has yet to report back. I'm sure I'll be hearing from her soon.

Oh! This just in: Old Woman Josie has called in to the station saying that, according to the angels who live with her, the stranger is a vessel to a fallen angel. Now, we all know angels aren't real so by the same logic fallen angels can't possibly exist either. So when you see this man with his fashionable tie please welcome him warmly to Night Vale, as we are a friendly community who welcomes all visitors, and promptly let him know that there are no such things as angels. Then proceed to ignore him, blocking him from your memory, because if he is a vessel for something we all know can't exist then he, in turn, cannot be real. At all.

No one wants to be seen talking to a man who isn't really there! That's not normal, and doing so will get you shunned by our fair community as well as brought in for sanity inoculations or incarceration by the Sheriff's Secret Police, and held probably indefinitely.

Remember, time may be relative and the void is an ever expanding emptiness that devours all sanity and reason but angels are never to be regarded as real things which actually exist, no matter how often you run into them at the Ralphs. This has been decreed –with screeching and howling– by our trusted City Council.

On to local news.”

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2. Waldo Butters

As Waldo took the ramp off Route 800 on exit 16 the GPS in the rental car he'd picked up at the airport began to fritz. The feminine robotic voice began to say 'Exit. Dead-end. Exit. Dead-end. No Exit. No Exit. No Exit!' before giving a low hair-raising wail of anguish, abruptly cutting off as the GPS screen turned black.

Waldo braced himself, panicked that the car would soon be following. The rental agency had given him a brand new model, and he knew exactly how technology reacted to magic. But the bright red sensible two-door rumbled along happily, without even a hiccup.

“Okay, that wasn't ominous at all,” Waldo muttered to himself, as he pushed up his glasses. He wiped away at the sweat on his lower lip and pushed the car's A/C up another notch. He wished he'd brought along his Kevlar vest. And Bob. But when Bob had learned where he was going, the spirit had refused to come along, only telling Waldo to write out a will and wake him up if he came back, alive. Waldo hadn't dared to ask if there was a possibility he'd come back dead. He was worryingly certain that the answer would have been: yes.

As a wide purple and black sign proclaimed 'Welcome to Night Vale', Waldo breathed out in relief. Then he blinked and wondered if the sign had really said: Population 279,780 alive, 35,043 undead and 22,384 lost in space, time and the linen closet.

By the time he turned into the parking lot of the Moonlite All-Nite Diner underneath the mint-green neon signs and next to a fenced in building with the sign that read 'Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex', Waldo was calm again, but also rather puzzled. He'd have to ask Carlos what those men with the semaphore signs by the side of the road had been all about.

Speaking of Carlos, the Latino man was waving at him from the entrance. Even if Waldo hadn't recognized him from his Facebook picture (it was hard to mistake that jawline), the fact that he was wearing a white lab coat would have clued him in. Carlos had once said he was the only surviving true scientist in Night Vale. Waldo thought it was a joke but now, after all the odd signs (and the bizarre looking people) that he'd noticed on the drive through the city, he wondered.

If Carlos hadn't proved to have these great ideas about being able to measure magical energies and get around the electromagnetic distortion given off by human practitioners, Waldo wouldn't have risked coming to this town. Chicago was bad enough with its death rate, the vast number missing people, and all its monsters, both human and inhuman. According to everything Carlos had told him over the last year, Night Vale was actually worse... terribly, horribly, worse.

“Waldo, I'm glad to see that you survived entering Night Vale,” Carlos said as he held out his hand.

Waldo blinked and swallowed. “There was a possibility that I wouldn't?” he asked, as he shook the other man's hand.

“It's Night Vale, there's a chance you won't survive lunch.”

“Oh,” Waldo said weakly. Then his raised his chin, defiantly. “I've survived people trying to kill me before.”

Carlo's grim demeanor softened. “Good, that'll help. You won't be so taken by surprise if the strawberry pie turns into an alligator that tries to eat your face.”

Waldo's eyes went wide. Then he fingered the pocket that held his stub of chalk, garlic clove, bag salt and vial of holy water, ready to draw any of them out at a moment's notice. He double-checked the pouch containing ghost dust that Mortimer had made for him. The pouch's weight was reassuring. So was the steel blade strapped to his ankle.

“Um...also... uh, my boyfriend wants to meet you,” Carlos added, his cheeks darkening, as he ran his finger though his black, silky-looking hair. “I know that you're not here for personal reasons but to learn more about how to track down unreal energy sources and to look at the data generated by my experiments... but he insisted on meeting you. Um...” Abruptly, Carlos turned walked into the diner.

Waldo trailed after him, grinning at the way that the man's ears were darkening. It was reassuring that even in this apparently dangerous and homicidal city, a genius like Carlos still stumbled over himself because of his romantic partner.

Waldo understood that all too well.


A brief fragment taken from Night Vale Community Radio as hosted by Cecil, the Voice of Night Vale:

“Now, listeners, you know that I don't often talk about my personal life, as this is community funded radio and I'm a consummate professional host, but it's really getting on my nerves the number of people who are calling in to tell me that Carlos has been seen around town with another man.

Yes. I know.

Doctor Waldo Butters, is one of the most adorable human beings I've ever seen in my life, and if I wasn't so deeply head-over-heels-and-tail in love with my Carlos then I'd been sorely tempted to ask him out. Yet he is not, I repeat, he is not dating my boyfriend. They are friends, just friends. They've met on Facebook and have been corresponding over the last year. Carlos told me all about him and we met for lunch at the Moonlite All-Nite Diner. Carlos and Dr. Waldo speak science, not romance. Dr. Waldo is also in a steady relationship with a lovely werewolf girl named Andi. So shame on you listeners, shame on you, for doubting Carlos' perfect loyalty to me. Carlos is a perfect boyfriend. He's has beautiful, lustrous hair and a beautiful heart and he's loyal, completely loyal. The idea that Carlos –Carlos!– would act in such a craven, low-brow manner is impossible. Utterly unthinkable. I'd sooner believe in the existence of mountains than believe Carlos would cheat on me, no matter how adorable and intelligent and sciency Dr. Waldo is, so 'tsk-tsk' to you. Drop your head and feel low, like the belly-crawling, contemptuous rumor-mongering slug you are.

And stop calling.

Speaking of doctors, that reminds me, it's time for Community Health Tips.”

Chapter Text

1. Sigrun Gard

Gard eyed the City Council of Night Vale warily, staying as perfectly blank-faced as she could. She'd seen more disturbing sights over the course of her long life, but there was something about the Council that was tripping every instinct for danger and death that she'd ever developed.

She keenly missed the weight of her ax at her back. The Sheriff's Secret Police had been insistent that she leave it at the front desk of City Hall. The balaclava masked officers had given her a return chit, three forms (one which signed over two future children to eternal servitude to the Sheriff's office), and a yo-yo that she was to turn in to get her weapon back. Surprisingly, she'd also had to give up every pen she carried and had been told that her status as a visitor earned her a small fine and one warning against the crime of possessing a writing utensil. Also, she wouldn't be getting the pens back. Gard had been allowed to keep her hand guns, knives, and the garrote hidden in her bracelet, although she had to declare them before the masked officers let her through.

Gard turned to the unnamed representative in his green robe which was frayed at the edges with what looked like coal dust and smelled of bile. His face was marked by deep creases, as if from constant worry, and his hair was graying and brittle.

“I have filled out all the necessary forms, and licenses,” she said crisply. “I need the approval from the City Council in order to begin recruitment.” She was in this city on business. Mr. Marcone needed more fighters. The war against the Fomor was growing steadily as the monsters tried to find weaknesses in the city's defenses, and Mr. Marcone couldn't simply hire more Einherjaren because all of MonOc Securities warriors were under contract and needed elsewhere. So the CEO had recommended that Mr. Marcone start recruiting in Night Vale.

Night Vale residents came with certain... special talents, which, Mr. Marcone had been told, would help them greatly in the years to come.

The City Council swayed and cackled. “Tribute in the form of a signing bonus is mandatory,” they howled, their soft meats crowns swaying wetly.

Pointedly, Gard ignored them. She'd been warned, multiple times, not to talk directly to the City Council. She'd also thoroughly read the MonOc Securities files which had told her that she shouldn't sing The Beatles, ask about clouds or angels, or even think the color chartreuse while in the presence of the City Council.

Gard had been expecting the Council's demand for a tribute, as that was SOP when outsiders dealt with them if, that is, those outsiders weren't vanished or eaten before getting to City Hall. She reached into the black leather briefcase she'd been allowed to bring in with her, clicked it open and pulled out a set of vinyl records. Gard had spent several weeks tracking down enough copies so that each body of the City Council could hold one. She passed the multiple copies of 'A Saucerful of Secrets' by Pink Floyd to the Council representative, who turned and handed it to the nearest Council body.

The chain-saw like squeal of joy that the City Council made at the sight of the tribute made Gard wince, and the representative started trembling. The sweat beading on his brow was blood-tinted, and the white sclera of his eyes had turned lavender. The City Council crooned and pawed at their records, freezing as they seemed to realize that Gard was watching them.

“Application accepted!” they hissed. From a dark corner that Gard would have sworn was empty, walked out a pale child with dead, empty eyes.

Her eyes narrowed. It wasn't a child. This thing was some sort of soulless creature wearing the shape of a child. It had no death, therefore it had no life. Even immortal begins had some echo of death upon them. This abomination didn't have even that sign of once being alive. It grated on her nerves.

She forced herself to ignore the creature. Instead, she thought of how very glad (for the fifth time since arriving in this deadly, strange city) she was that Mr. Marcone had listened to her suggestion that she be the only one to handle the negotiations with the Night Vale City Council. In the last four days, she'd seen various school children with assault rifles and wearing belts of grenades. There were even two boys frozen in glass cases in front of City Hall. Their life energies warped and unnatural, as if the time of their fated deaths had become irrelevant. They had given Gard a strong headache the first time she'd seen them.

If Mr. Marcone had seen those children he would have instantly ended the negotiations in his coldest manner and begun planning on expanding his business down to Night Vale at once. Yet at the moment, he couldn't afford to open up another battlefront. While there had always been the chance that Mr. Marcone would've listen to this logic, it was just as possible that he would've ignore it and turned subtle in his scheming. It was better that he remained in Chicago while she took care of this task.

The City Council bellowed something that left a burning meat smell in the air and the child-shaped creature turned and walked away. Then Council crawled up the back wall and onto the ceiling before squeezing into the air vent, which couldn't be more than five inches wide.

The representative wiped away his bloody sweat and gave Gard a shaky, rictus grin. “Okay, that's great. You've been approved. You can set up your booth in Grove Park, just stay between the swing-set and the bloodstone circle. Do NOT use the Dog Park.”

“I want my ax back,” Gard said flatly.


A brief fragment taken from Night Vale Community Radio as hosted by Cecil, the Voice of Night Vale:

“The City Council has a special announcement for you, Night Vale. At least, I think it's a special announcement. Interpreting these messenger children can be a bit difficult and I really wish that they could speak. But, I believe its telling me that tomorrow from 12 pm to 6 pm, there will be a recruitment drive being held in Mission Grove Park for – Oh, my – Listeners, I'm almost certain that I'm interpreting this right. The recruitment is being held by nobleman! Nobility hasn't come recruiting in Night Vale since the United States gained their freedom from the secret oppressive rulers of the British Monarchy. And now, a Baron is looking for talent from our small city.

Wow. Just... wow.

Baron John Marcone, currently a resident of Chicago, is looking for adults (legal adults, not those who merely have used dangerous, unholy spells to become adults prematurely), with proficient skills with guns, helicopters, grenades, Tasers, and swords. Any additional weapons and fighting skills will be considered upon applying. The recruiter, a Ms. Gard, is especially looking for people who don't have a phobia of blood, corpses, fire, ice, large dogs, tall dark-haired men, long staffs of wood, tiny blonde women, water, acid or fish. When applying please leave behind all ability to feel hope and pity. Which, I remind you, listeners, is an easy surgery. Just use a hand-cranked drill or power drill –if you have access to electricity– to get to the right section of your fragile, gelatinous brain. Then with a small acetylene torch, which can be bought at your closest hardware store or from that man with the long, worn trench-coat that hangs out behind the White Sand Ice Cream Shop, to burn those emotions out of you. At this point, they are just holding you back.

Wow, ladies and gentleman. What a rare and amazing opportunity. If I was younger, not in a steady relationship with my perfect, gorgeous, brilliant Carlos of the magnificently lovely hair and strong jawline, and not locked into a life-long contract to bring you this broadcast or suffer eternal torment at the appendages of Station Management, I would happily apply!

So if you've been looking for a chance to travel outside of Night Vale or looking for a great way to expand your resume, or just for an amazing life experience before heading off to college, and if a vague, yet menacing, government agency hasn't yet blackmailed you into working for them, or merely never caught your interest, why not give a noble, menacing, private individual a try?

I'm sure you won't regret it.

That's the end of the City Council's special announcement and now for the weather.”

Chapter Text

1+ - Jared Kincaid

As he cleaned his guns, Jared absently listened to the vintage Zenith radio on his nightstand. It piped out the broadcaster's deep, melodious voice through cloth speakers, before fading out into the quick beats, and low smoky melody of the day's weather.

Jared had had this model of radio since it was considered new, back in the 1930s. He probably would've gotten rid of it years ago, as modern technology had long since outpaced it but it had been spelled so that he could listen to Night Vale's Community Radio no matter where he was in the world. He wasn't the type of man to be sentimental; he'd simply gotten used to keeping up and keeping a wary ear open for the latest news from his hometown through the radio broadcast. Although the reminder of home didn't make him homesick, per say, it did make him wistful for the ancient rituals of home: invisible pie, Dot Day, enjoying a day with a sky that was coal black with hints of indigo, the eternally twinkling lights and chanting over the family heirloom bloodstone circle.

He both loathed and missed those special, dangerous memories of home rituals that he'd never found anywhere else, only in Night Vale.

He'd only been back a handful of times (since he'd left for the blatantly menacing, dictatorship run by Drakul several hundred years ago), and he hadn't been back at all since he'd been told by the (newly established at the time) City Council that his primary job would be to watch the Archive.

He was to both protect the Archive and keep an eye on her for the safety of the rest of the world (but especially for the City Council). Librarians were bad enough with their monstrous appetites and their insistence on Summer Reading programs (he'd nearly lost a hand once when he'd been late returning a book, but he was deadlier than any lone librarian). The Archive was not only the equivalent of the largest and most extensive library in the world, but she also had sentience. Not that Ivy going insane and setting out to devour the world in blood-crazed madness wouldn't be understandable, considering her history and the incredible pressure on her young, fragile shoulders. Yet Kincaid dreaded the possibility of it happening because it was his Council-appointed job to take her down. Quickly, before the City Council was forced to intervene.

Once, Jared had thought he would be able to do it. Just take down the Archive without hesitation. Now... if given a choice between Ivy and the rest of the world, Jared thought the world would lose.

He put those disturbing thoughts aside (it was pointless to dwell on something that had yet to come to pass) and focused on the radio as the weather segment's last notes faded away to Cecil. The broadcaster's voice was soothing and familiar to his ear.

“The City Council has a new edict for Night Vale residents. They order that no one is to mention or think, write or chant in their bloodstone circle the name Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden.”

Jared choked on empty air. He coughed desperately as he turned incredulous eyes to the radio.

“When they called the station the Council said: 'There is no such person by that name. He is a rumor, a vicious, cruel rumor created by our enemies, in order to scare us into hiding under our bed. Which we don't do because we don't sleep or own a bed. Neither do we cower and whimper at the name Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Starborn are not real, starborn are not real, starborn are not reeeeeaaaallllll' the Council wailed, before the phone shattered, turned to dust and blew away.”

Jared stared at the radio, his thoughts spinning in a whole new direction. What in the eternal void was a starborn? Suddenly certain that this was something that Ivy needed to know about, or would at least be able to explain, Jared grabbed the closest assembled gun and went hunting for his cellphone, only to realize he must have left it in his coat. He growled and left his bedroom, not bothering to turn the radio off.

Cecil continued speaking to an empty room, “In apparently unrelated news, anyone in the town, whether they be resident or visitor, with Harry, Blackstone, Copperfield or Dresden as part of their name is to report to City Hall for a newly assigned name, dermal resurfacing and facial branding. The deadline is in four hours, and anyone who doesn't comply will be held in indefinite detainment at the abandoned mine shaft outside of town by the Sheriff's Secret Police. Also taken into custody will be your closest loved one, and your closest loved one's most hated enemy.

Now, stay tuned for a three hour and thirty-three minute special of dentist drills against various surfaces, brought to you by the Brighter Future Society. You know their popular motto: if the future isn't so bright that it leaves you partially blind and with painful second-degree burns all over your body it isn't a future worth having.

A sentiment I'm sure we can all embrace, listeners. As this broadcast comes to its inevitable, nightly end, I want you to close your eyes. Feel the delicate texture of the air and the weight of grasping gravity against your limbs. Just wallow in the sensations of your slowly decaying meat, and marvel that it yet allows you to experience all the wonder and horror that is life, that is living, that is the present.

For now.

Goodnight, Night Vale. Goodnight.”