Archivist Missing

An alert to the whole Community: The Archivist is missing. Please contact us if you have any information about his whereabouts.

He was last seen this morning, working on an article for this website. Rachel T-, one of our volunteers, saw a bright blaze of orange light from his domain – he claims it is an office, but we all know a domain when we see one – and smartly rang the unidentified incident buzzer rather than rush into whatever phenomenon the Archivist encountered. By the time the response team was present the glow had gone, and so had the Archivist. We’re not ruling out the idea that he’s just popped over a dimension or two for some fact finding or urgent world-saving quest, but he usually leaves a note.

His unfinished article is below so… be careful in Brazil I guess?

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A Lonely Dryad

A lonely dryad is looking for a romantic partner for long walks in the woods. The archive is not normally a para-mundane dating service (that service is already covered by Mrs Shelton’s Special Introductions), but in this case the dryad is the spirit of a certain Northern woodlands of ecological importance, so we were asked to intervene in order to protect the balance of nature there.

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North American Psychometry in Trouble

The North American Psychometry Research Institute may be forced to close this year after nearly 300 years of operation. They lost the last of their mundane funding sources some time ago and have been subsisting on dwindling income sources ever since. The process may have been inevitable after mainstream American parapsychology started getting too close to the truth around the 1950s and had to be diverted onto less dangerous paths with a mixture of infiltration, criticism and occasional blackmail. As a result the true strength of parapsychic research has moved to Europe, where it proved easier to control.

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Mysterious Submersible

A submersible craft shaped like a giant rock lobster has been discovered on an isolated beach on a small island in the Banda Sea. It was found by a local fisherman, who told his cousin, who told a friend, and so on until community sources with the Indonesian government heard about it and spirited the craft away before mundane government investigators became involved.

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Letter: 13th Floor Concerns (Guest Report)

I may (or may not) be a researcher within J- T-’s Surreal Institute. As such, you may (or may not) be inclined to give me an audience, what with the censure in place, but this is a concern of no small importance.
A month ago, a letter was delivered to the aforementioned Surreal Institute. The contents made reference to a building, and within the body of the message was this warning: “If [the building]’s 13th floor no longer exists, we have been successful. If, however, it remains, you will need to again send someone back to 1881 through the passage in America. Whomsoever goes, they will want to arrange for delivery of this message again for the first time, and then they must act to prevent the existence of the aforementioned 13th floor. Note, under no circumstances is anyone to visit that floor themselves! It would tip our hand, and possibly usher in a premature apocalypse. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.”
As the building in question was found to have no 13th floor, J- T- believed the message to be fraudulent in nature. Further, he claimed that it was an attempt to get him in trouble with The Archive, given the obvious temporal ramifications. So the letter was quietly buried. It has since been determined that the paper was indeed over 100 years old, that 1881 was in fact shortly before the first skyscrapers were built in our timeline, and that the letter arrived at the Institute via the usual channels for such messages, that being America’s Western Union.
None of which is my primary concern.
The key issue here involves a second letter which arrived shortly thereafter. It read simply: “Regarding prior message concerning 13th floor, the apocalypse trigger may have relocated away from the original building. Please take appropriate precautions around other buildings in the area which identify as having a 13th floor. Alert the usual authorities if you see anything unusual.”
While a routine follow-up was done, and nothing unusual was seen in the vicinity, my concern is that whatever this is, it has escaped out of the specified neighborhood. After all, the data we have available would seem to relate to triskaidekaphobia, which is fear of the numeral 13. A fear which I now believe to have been amplified by certain individuals back in the 1880s.
That said, if an apocalyptic trigger is being held at bay by superstition, I have no information as to why those behind it would not have considered a Chinese implementation in the first place. Seeing as their fourth floor is subject to similar superstitions, yet is naturally more prevalent. Perhaps whatever this is, it also involves some specific height requirement; I lack the necessary data to be sure.
Of course, J- T- continues to insist that this is all a hoax, yet I wanted to bring it to your attention, just in case. I regret that I cannot leave my name, as if I am a researcher at the Institute (or an employee of Western Union), this breach could get me fired. But know that I wish you all the best with your future and your past endeavors.
A Friend in (the Nick of?) Time

This guest post comes from Greg “Mathtans” Taylor of Time & Tied, a time travel web serial. Check it out!

If you enjoy the story please leave the author a comment, as this makes him very happy. You can also help the Archive research temporal anomalies around the number 13 by voting at Top Web Fiction. We drift on and off the bottom of the Top Web Fiction list, so a vote each week does wonders for our visibility!

Tiger Balm Curse and Dragonfly Attacks

There are reports of three metre long dragonflies taking sheep and a dog in Western Australia. Although they are considered unlikely to attack adult humans locals should watch pets and children carefully. There is speculation that these are from the Surreal Institute’s time travel programme, much like the escaped dinosaur earlier this year, but no confirmation. The Mundane Protection Society is asking for donations to compensate the farmer for lost livestock and we can recommend them as an excellent charitable organisation. Donations are tax-deductible in several countries.

In Brazil there is a balm-based emergency after a batch of cursed Tiger Balm was imported from Thailand. For most users the effect is only temporary, as the fur eventually falls out a few days after application of the balm is stopped. Unfortunately one individual essentially committed suicide by liberally covering himself in the camphorous substance. This must have been extremely unpleasant even without a curse. He was found sprouting claws and orange fur, and despite the best efforts of the local wise he eventually fully transformed into a tiger.

Telepaths found no trace of human consciousness inside the animal, and it is being rehomed in a local zoo. If anyone has experience with cursed animal balms then please contact Brazilian authorities, but there is little hope for his return.

The Archivist is being visited by relatives and family from far, far away places, so after another guest report next week the Archive will take a short break until early January.  If you wish to be notified as soon as this occurs please sign up using the form at the top right column of this page.


If you enjoy the story please leave the author a comment, as this makes him very happy. You can also help the Archive celebrate various annual religious and secular rites by voting at Top Web Fiction. We drift on and off the bottom of the Top Web Fiction list, so a vote each week does wonders for our visibility!