The Pazerion, the headquarters of the Volus, the keepers of the Catalog, the courageous men, women, and others who have braved/will brave time, space, and the infinity of parallel universes, was one of the most beautiful buildings in the civilized Tri-Galactic area and even beyond.
The great Azerothian Corporation originally founded the Guild of Catalogs but because of its interdimensional presence, its wealth has become a bit muddied and uncountable. The Catalog is a broad book detailing every nexus in history in a huge Tree graph known jokingly as Yggdrasil. Of course, there are muddied bits where the branches hide each other and new nexes (plural of nexus) are found constantly and many nexes are still left uncharted, but with a theoretically infinite number Volus… The whole catalog is stored on the Pazerion Galactinet server, which supposedly is sitting in the center of a huge data nexus where all the servers of all the Galactinets all are… well, the same.
With the help of the Galactinet supposedly any traveler (thanks to GPS [Galactinet Positional Subsystem]) can pinpoint their exact position in Time, Space, and Parallel Space. Volus Deet subconsciously tapped her long fingernail on her forehead as Volus Jasis checked the GPS [+3451] through his watch, "Right on time Deet."
"Really? Wow, the boys in the basement2 must have been working on those formulas for months. What's so special about our mission this time? Another nexus kludge?"
The building in front of them was the Pazerion; only, it wasn't their Pazerion, the Pazerion of the Base Line, of the "Trunk". Jasis fiddled with his watch and then gave her a big dopey grin; "We are needed to do some work inside."
Deet frowned, "Then why not set us inside?"
"It's because of the - oh, hello!"
A large obese man waddled forward wearing a blue suit and badge that clashed wildly with the green Zheepian plants and the Volus unicorn white cloaks that he seemed like a rift in the time-space-probability continuum. Of course, Volis understand that rifts only occur when an object jumps out of phase which due to quantum effect happens about once every trillion years, but its usually a small one.
"Uh, hello der, I am da, Officer Mulroy of Da Stereotype Pole-ice," came the words out of his face like they were the opposite of eating, "Lessee, two Volis, one da cynic and da other, da other an over-optimist, okay, ya can move along der now."
He rumbled away, little animals fleeing in his wake and Zheepian plants croaking on foul air. Deet glanced away, "So, is that why we were dropped off outside?"
"Yes, this line is full of stereotypes and of course, the stereotype police."
Jasis and Deet traversed the large stairs and entered the magnificent foyer of the Pazerion. A Volus stepped towards him; he wore an emblem of a misfigured cube on a blue cloak3, which must be the local Standard. "Greetings Jasis, Deet, I am Eugene," he subconsciously pushed his glasses back up the ridge of his nose, "we have a problem, our Galactinet server is on the fritz… we have tried all we can and all of our techs have been working on it…"
They traversed down the side stairs into the Dungeon and were led through row after row of cubicles until the reached the center point of the building, the Well of the Continuum, a special point in the universe where the probability axis was almost completely out of sync. The Well itself in addition to allowing a grand birds eye view of the server in all its glory, was a focal point for the probability energy and focused it into the server's Galactinet Integrator. If you stood in that point too long (which was impossible since the Integrator looked like a Fountain hooked into a hodge-podge of computer parts, cooking utensils, and power tools) you would be thrown to WhoKnowsWhere or WhereAreWe4. The techs scurried about the room like rats in a maze, half-dazed, half-tired, and half-hungry. The Yamma-Hamma-Mamma™ Server ("All the best servers are from Yamma-Hamma-Mamma™.") looked like a crouching Cheetah with intestinal dysfunction.
It would have taken about 13 years to go through all of Yamma-Hamma-Mamma's diagnostic routines, but Deet was able to pull up the last ran data from the routines.
"Interesting, not a single problem… This is suspicious… Who is your Server Supervisor, Eugene?"
Eugene stood silent for a few minutes fiddling with his glasses, "Well, last I recall it was Tech Jansen."
Jasis fiddled with his watch for a couple of seconds. Then Tech Jansen entered the room, "Yes?"
"Tech Jansen," said Jasis gently, "My colleague has just checked the diagnostic routines, and we have found no problem what-so-ever."
"That… That is good… isn't it?"
Jasis shrugged, "Do you recognize the emblem," he pointed at his Unicorn.
"Yes… sir… every Tech knows the Azerothian Unicorn when 'e sees it… sir."
Deet jumped in; "Well then you must have figured that we have been sent to fix something you botched!"
Jasis smiled at the tech, "Actually, we just are looking for the problem with your server..."
"I've been… sir, I have run all the tests and all the… uh, … checklists, and I have not found a single problem…"
Jasis shrugged and turned to Eugene, "What Stereotype Classification does Jansen belong to?"
A startled look crept over the Volus, "S… s… Stereotype… D… d… don't know."
Jasis smiled, "That's all right."
After a few second of watch fiddling, "Ah… What is Type 131459.Q?"
"A Zookeeper," Eugene hunched in thought, trying to recall the rote he learned, "or beekeeper sort… make great supervisors… why does it matter, the problem is with the server, not our supervisor…"
Jasis leaped over the small decorative rim wall and began surveying the junky looking server. He walked around it a bunch of times, carefully avoiding the Galactinet Integrator.
"What is he doing?" asked Eugene.
Deet replied slowly, "Don't know, but I think I might have a clue…"
Eugene frowned, then said, "You two play a great good-cop, bad-cop routine…"
"Huh?" Deet asked.
Jansen stared at Jasis, froze, then glanced at Deet who was looking in the opposite direction towards Eugene and made a dash for the maze of cubicles. Eugene didn't notice and continued right on, "Oh nothing, just a local stereotype…"
By this time Jasis's rhythmic dance around the server slowed and then stopped. Jasis stood still for a second, listening and smelling. Suddenly he stuck his hand into a hole on the side of the server pulling out a rat-like creature. Eugene and Deet stared at the creature and then at the grinning puppy of a man Jasis, and then back to the creature.
Deet was the first to speak, "What is that?"
"A Problem Solved, well actually, a Parnutter, a local variation of the common Azerothian Rat5."
Eugene laughed, "How did you find that?"
Jasis was still beaming, "I am more aware of the cross line cultures than Deet," Deet frowned, "and I noticed that Tech Jansen had recently eaten a lot of Parnuts. The final clue was when you told me his Stereotype."
"So then I hunted for the smell of Parnuts and found him in the Overflow Inhibitor, I am not surprised that you didn't notice the problem earlier because the symptoms would be barely noticeable and could easily have been masked by Tech Jansen for years… Umm… you may want to give him his Parnutter back before you dock his pay… and, don't forget to get someone to sweep out the Inhibitor."
Eugene left to get a Janitor and Jasis fiddled with his watch. If any of the Techs had been paying attention, they would have seen Jasis and Deet step out of phase and fizzle out into another line…
1 The first four digits (in this case the zero is implied) which are the ones that appear on the right side of the decimal are the only one necessary to get a bearing on where you are… the other information can be supplied in part by your own senses. Back
5 Azerothian Rats are different from ours; they have cute smiles, and are cute to look at, the only difference from an Azerothian Mouse is the height (6 foot compared to 6 inches). However Azerothians do realize that Rats grow in all sizes and aren't always as cute. Back