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Yes, when, indeed, would the poor, hapless Gilgamesh, now in the clutches of some foul, toothless worm of hades, finally get, as he to righteously put it what karma so dearly owes him!?

 

We shall return to this momentarily, but before then, there requires some explanation of the epic battle of sword-slashing slicery as the phallic annelid slid the quarter-god through its gummy jaws and down into his gooey interior, only to find its internal organs, once so happily arranged within their desired positions, now rearranged by both blade and fist into a structure resembling certain Assyrian sculptures in its depiction of barbarous battle with fell beasties. Said annelid, now completely dissatisfied with its last meal, thrashed and gurgled its way through the dark interiors of the Garden into realms quite beyond its usual habit and most people's ken. These death throes finally brought the beast to a final rest with a quite satisfying slapp from which emerged the glorious Gilgamesh, in ungloriously tarnished armor, black and green, and oozing, and smelling of foul sewage.

 

Said appearance remained unilluminated to the warrior because the room he’d landed in was black as pitch.

 

Ha-ha, thou annelid, unfit to taste of godly flesh! Thy corpse ‘tis not worth a sliver of spittle. Now if only I could gaze upon this wonderful slaughter!

 

Gilgamesh thrust his arms out in all directions, feeling his way through the empty room. The place was somewhat cold, and its vast reaches were sounded from time to time by the distant drips of water. Eventually, the Sumerian demigod found his way to a wall most roughly, bruising and chafing his flesh, grown quite grapish in limbo, upon his armor. Smattering a few curses not worth repeating, but certain to teach Egyptian sailors a thing or two, he felt his way along the wall until his gloved hand came to rest upon what turned out to be a quite ordinary door knob, whose owner quite unordinarily managed to block all light from the adjoining room.

 

Ah-hah! Some semblance of civilization within this blackened abode!

 

Bringing his ear to the door, he heard within faint murmuring and clattering, as of a vastness of tools and cutlery in use.

 

Methinks it is some grand feast befitting of a warrior of my stature!

 

Without further ado, he opened the door, flooding the dark cave with a blinding beam of white light, which Gilgamesh promptly stepped through - which was a good thing, considering when he turned to look back at the room he’d just left, he realized there was no floor - and also apparently no walls to speak of!

 

What witchery is this!? said Gilgamesh, poking his head back through the hole.

 

So engrossed was he in this investigation that he did not notice the slight fellow with a fantastic haircut, immaculately white suit, and dress shoes step up behind him and tap him on the shoulder, interrupting with an interjection.

 

“Um, excuse me, sir? Would you mind closing that door? Ah yes, thank you. I can’t understand why the night crew left that unlocked. In all honesty, that place should have been off limits. Now, mister...?â€

 

Gilgamesh, He Who Saw the Deep, Master of the Blades, Slayer of Phunbaba, Surpassing All Other -

 

“Ah yes, Mr. Gilgamesh - I’m terribly sorry, we’ve got so many names to keep track of here. Please?â€

 

The slight and very polite man motioned for the demigod to follow him. Gilgamesh was quite impressed that this fellow knew how to deal with a warrior of his stature and followed, smiling smugly. They perambulated down the long many-doored corridor from which could be heard diverse clanging, rapid scratching, and clacking noises.

 

“As you can see, we are quite busy here at the moment.â€

 

The slight man opened a door, gesturing for Gilgamesh to perceive a man roasted by a sudden burst of flames disgorged from a mechanoid. The man screamed and flailed about before diving off a platform into a bowl of jello below. Several judges raised a series of scorecards - all quite generous, save for the Russian.

 

“Now then, moving forward, I think we have just the person who you’d like to see.â€

 

Another door was opened, this time with a solid wall of water that remained in place. Reptilian spearfishermen were battling giant man-eating beasts of the Megalodon and Mososaur variety. One particularly nasty brute, with teeth the size of short swords, spotted them and began to swim for the door. Before the startled demigod could say Sashimi, the slight man nonchalantly closed it without the slightest loss of composure, apologizing profusely.

 

“No, sorry, Mr. Gilgamesh. That was the wrong door.â€

 

He opened the next one, and the clattering grew louder. Inside was what appeared to be a vast printing press with dozens of 1920s-era newsboys and journalists jumping about among futuristic display machines, computer keyboards, vintage typewriters, pens both expensive and common, monks stooped over vellum tomes, bards reciting poetry, and even a few scribes with clay tablets.

 

The scribes in particular caught Gilgamesh’s attention. Learned Sin-liqe! The demigod proudly strode over to a short, balding Akkadian fellow, befitted with a set of considerably modern reading glasses. I thought it was you! He warmly squeezed the frail old man with his considerable forearms.

 

“Ah-!†coughed Sin-liqe. “Oh my, but if it isn’t Gilgamesh! Look, Ash-marnak!â€

 

“May the Goddess be praised!†said Ash-marnak.

 

Your deeds with pen and song have made my glory live forever! For this, you have my eternal thanks! Have you continued to keep up on my adventures of late?

 

“Oh, King Gilgamesh,†said Sin-liqe, “Every deed we shall immortalize for the love of the Goddess and your everlasting glory!â€

 

As it shall be! Do not you forget to give me glorious speeches befitting of my highborn blood and rousing battles mastered by my shining blades!

 

The scribes bowed. “Glory be to Gilgamesh!†they said in unison.

 

The slight man, smiling at the honored guest, motioned for Gilgamesh to follow.

 

Can you believe it!? I haven’t seen those fine fellows in over seven millennia! How did they happen to make this place their humble abode?

 

“Well, Mr. Gilgamesh, this happens to be a hole in time, if you will, by which we are able to maintain the existence of storytellers the multiverse over. The hall you saw outside is but a fraction of the infinite mazes we store here. Why, there is even a room full of an infinite number of monkeys with typewriters - but I’m afraid we’ve disproven that old adage at this point. Now then...â€

 

The slight man looked at the sign on the wall, which listed dozens of room numbers and names in a script illegible to Gilgamesh.

 

“Ah, that would be this way.â€

 

They came to a room in which several writers sat at their desks with computers and laptops. Off to the side was a tall blond fellow in a flight suit who gestured wildly towards a man in a leather kilt and Indiana Jones.

 

“No, no, no! Simon, we need to know how you’d fight a man with a bullwhip!â€

 

The gothic warrior shrugged, and the two resumed cracking away, at one point managing to get Indy’s bullwhip tangled with the Belmont’s Vampire Killer.

 

Such fine warriorship wasted on a tallow rope! Why do they not use the mighty blade!

 

“Ah, Mr. Gilgamesh. I see you have an interest in our idea generation room. This is where we can pit together characters both fictional and historical to gain raw material for our stories. In this instance, the author is trying to determine how one would fight different adversaries using a whip for an upcoming adventure. No bother! Ah - Mrs. Veronica, will you please fetch our honored guest something to drink!â€

 

Your finest ale! Fit for He Who Surpasses All Kings!

 

“Now then... I think this would be the fellow you wish to talk to!â€

 

The slight man motioned Gilgamesh to a room off to the side where a man sat in front of a bright monitor, typing away, his features blurred by the glow.

 

“Badger, you have a guest!â€

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"Busy, not now," the supposed Badger said, his right arm bending back to the edge of his seat, his hand shooing away his distant guests before returning to the brightly glowing monitor which he had kept his attention on. "Oh yeah, you work those disturbingly masculine legs."

 

"I'll leave you two to your own devices, then," the man of slightness said to Gilgamesh, remaining outside in the hall as the half n' half sword collector stepped into the room. "Mrs. Veronica should be here shortly with your beverage."

 

The door closed with a click, completing the box that now contained Gilgamesh and Badger, a typing man whose very name demanded a shroud of green, the color of money (and boogers). Gilgamesh had never met the man, but he was apparently someone he wished to speak to, so Gilgamesh did what he does best (next to sword collecting and stuffing his cheeks full of chocobo nuggets) and spoke.

 

"Hark, he who bears the moniker of nature's least pleasant weasel," Gilgamesh called out, taking a step towards Badger who had yet to so much as glance back at his company. "I am Gilgamesh, god among men who requires no introduction but introduces generously regardless. My glorious visage has graced countless worlds in the search of the mightiest of blades, the slayer of hell's foulest demons, the sword that picks clean the bones of evil from this carrion called life, the stick that-"

 

"Your drink, sir," a woman interrupted, Gilgamesh turning to spot a well-dressed lady presenting him a drink. His heated rehearsal of his harrowing high jinx had scorched his throat like the barren surface of Mercury, so he took the glass with hardly a look and gulped it down, paying no mind to its brownish green color and the presence of an eyeball amongst the ice. He handed the glass with green-caked-interior back to the woman and turned back to Badger.

 

"Yes, back to my tale, I have... er," Gilgamesh paused, his mind having wandered far from the topic since his guzzling of the green goop in a glass. "Where was I?"

 

"Boners of eve in carriages lie to sticks, or something," Badger mumbled. "Fuck, where did I put that sock?"

 

"Ah, of course!" Gilgamesh exclaimed. "The carriages that heralded the boners of eve approached in their futile attempt to convert me to their stick deception ways when... good gravy of malboro gums, this isn't the yarn the marvelous Gilgamesh previously spun betwixt divine needles!"

 

The man of questionable fashion taste sprung forward, minding the ceiling, and landed behind Badger and his chair, gauntleted arm resting on the backrest as he planted his feet.

 

"No matter, past's glory can go without mention just this once, for the fated hour is upon us like maggots upon my lunch from last year," Gilgamesh stated, flicking some grubs off his sticky left fingers as his right ones clenched down on the bargain brand fibers that made the backrest of the chair. "Excalibur! I must find Excalibur! Tell me, man who types fervently over images of women stone hewn from the waist down! Where can I find Excalibur? Where can I find the blade of legends in this never-ending spiral of madness and cat vomit? WHERE!?"

 

Gilgamesh, unable to contain his growing anticipation, turned Badger's chair around in his desire to capture the very motions upon this wise man's lips as he spoke to Gilgamesh the words he could have waited his entire life to hear. Unfortunately, there were no lips to be seen because real badgers don't have lips, which this Badger turned out to be. Gilgamesh was quick to observe this lack of lips, as well as the presence of throbbing, pale gums, yellow stained fangs, flaring nostrils that seemed to bore into hell, and eyes that gazed upon Gilgamesh's face like a long sought termite mound of the African flats.

 

The buzz of the monitor was quickly drowned out by the sound of an increasingly irritated badger's snarling and the cacophony of Gilgamesh ruining his loins.

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