The Basement skip to main content

After hacking your way through thick layers of nettles and brambles, you finally uncover a battered steel hatch planted in the ground. You gently pry it open and clamber down the ladder, wondering if you’re meant to be here — then a chirpy, authoritative voice makes your hair stand on end.

“Oh, good, you found your way in!” Turning around reveals a lanky, mousey-haired faun with a wrench in one hand and a mop in the other. “Sorry about the mess. It’s been hard to get cleaning supplies in, what with the shipping issues and all… it was already hard enough to get people to deliver here, given our address is ‘Stand in the middle of Kielder Forest for six hours until nightfall, then, once you feel that distinct pulsing in your chest, that primitive reflex that noöne…’”

You mentally tune out their ramble about the state of the global shipping industry and instead look around what was marked on your map as only “The Basement”. Its cramped walls are covered end-to-end with boxy yellowing computers, outfitted with das Blinkenlights, which occasionally spit out cryptic rolls of paper and try in vain to catch the distracted faun’s attention with electronic mewls. Busted LED lamps hang from the ceiling, their pathetic flickers providing just enough light to comfortably work under.

Sensing that your talkative companion is going to keep yammering on about how Amazon won’t deliver to their occultly-hidden forest hideaway, you gently interrupt them. “Sorry, i don’t mean to interrupt, but — who are you?”

“Oh! No, no, it’s fine. I’m Edsger, but you can call me Ed if you want. I’m the part of Marijn’s psyche that’s responsible for all the computer crap. Figured it was best to put all of it down here, since, you know, most people who come ’round these parts are more blissed-out new-age hippies than dead-end office workers. Makes sense; your average salaryman isn’t going to visit somewhere called ‘The Satyrs’ Forest’, now, is he?”

You weren’t expecting this all to get quite so Kaufman quite so quickly. Hoping to redirect the conversation somewhere more normal, you gently ask Ed if they have anything relevant to show you. You hope your scraggled hair doesn’t make you look too much like a “blissed-out new-age hippie”.

As soon as the question leaves your mouth, their eyes come alight and their tail perks up, overjoyed to have met someone who actually cares for once. “Oh, totally! Articles, code snippets, the works.” They hand you a binder full of typewritten computralia. “There’s some fancier versions on that server over there—” they point at a sad-looking rack in the corner, which seems to have been left alone so long that it now has moss growing on it “—but it’s probably faster to just give you these. It can be a bit temperamental sometimes.”

Right, then. Let’s have a look through.


Code snippets