The Janitor

From 1d4chan
Small Book.pngThe following article is a /tg/ related story or fanfic. Should you continue, expect to find tl;dr and an occasional amount of awesome.

The following writefaggotry chronicles the events of Nov. 23, 2009. It was a dreadful time, and details are still unclear. Please help by adding Warhammer 40k images to this story to save it from the fires of purgation in the coming /tg/ cleansing.


There are many things that govern our universe. Some things small and unnoticed, as taken for granted as the smallest molecular interactions – things which should shake our personal perceptions to the core, but go widely unconsidered all the same. Others are much larger, like the falling boulders which inevitably direct themselves to those who simply can’t contain the urge to annoy and disrupt their fellows. However, some things are so ugly, so unimaginable, that many whisper they do not exist at all. They say these things are merely a hoax or hearsay; they say it could have been anything, but I recall the Janitor.

I do not blame them for being suspicious, and nor do I misunderstand the pessimism of those caught in the maelstrom. After all, the Janitor was not really a person, per se – he, or rather it, came upon us without warning and left just as quickly. There were no traces of its visit but the wails of those whose ceaseless toils had been stripped from the earth as if they had never been. Ideas were rendered invalid, some doubted their futures, but strangely some rejoiced as well.

When I first saw the Janitor's work, whatever it may be, it was a morning same as any other. As thinkers, manipulators of reality, and children in the playground of the imagination, a young man had proposed some idea and we had come to oblige him. Tangentially, of course: we had no interest in discussing the lad’s actual topic, but soon an entire race derived from his initial musings began to unfold in a network of complexity. It was a beautiful thing – an orchestral symphony of magic and biology; colorful, fruitful, warlike at times, but amorous at others. A child, if you will, to many of us who had conceived of it, and we were pleased. Some suggested that our creation be taken to the great archives where it might be judged and reflected upon by others of our ilk, a common practice sometimes leading to widespread adoption on a grander scheme.

However, as we prepared to scoop our child into our arms to take it to the great archives, she flickered a moment. I do not know what the others thought, but I gave pause and attempted to interact with her. To my surprise, when I reached out, the idea, which had small parts of each of us inside her, began to distort and fade. In mere moments it was gone.

I waved my hand across the space where the idea had been. I remembered it still, but there was no trace of the thoughts having come to fruition. It was unusual – virtually unheard of in my experience – but I, like the others, are men of many interesting ideas, and I knew more would come. So I adjourned, and I suspect the others dispersed similarly.

It wasn't for another several hours that I returned to our lands of discussion and creation to find everyone in turmoil. People were running to and fro, screaming as if the sky had fallen and as if all life had slipped from the natural pattern! “The Janitor!” They cried, “The Janitor has come and savaged our thoughts! He has taken our children! There is no hope but to despair!

It was unprecedented and unexpected, and indeed it was just as they cried. From gathering to gathering, others tried desperately to piece together thoughts only to watch them melt away into nonexistence. Overhead loomed only a swirling and indefinite morass, and what this creature truly was swiftly became a matter of rampant conjecture. Soon men leapt to arms and screamed to the sky, “Down with the Janitor! We must stop him before all his lost! We must destroy him and secure our livelihood!

But valiant as these cries may have been, they were merely words lost in a din of confusion. Unerringly and without reprieve, Dwarf Fortresses toppled to the ground inexplicably or suffered from irreparable cave-ins. It was as if adamantium had been struck, and a legion of unholy elephants had trampled everything in a straight line across the world. Brainstorming circles which did not explicitly mention roleplaying manuals during their converse went up in flames and evaporated, leaving their participants stunned and confused.

Soon nothing was being created. All that remained was screaming and panic and all pointed their weapons furiously to the sky to call for action. But what action could we take? We were mere mortals before a force we did not understand! We had no tools with which to defend ourselves! Except, of course, our overwhelming stupidity.

Derp!” we all cried in unison!

One man began conjuring images of anthropomorphic beasts lying with one another. Others joined in, testing the limits of how far the maelstrom would tolerate such a thing. Many continued screaming, “Derp! Derp! Derp!” in a rhythmic chant, hoping that it may perhaps drive the Janitor away to other lands. A few others attempted continue on as if nothing had happened, requesting that we help them min/max their mindless paladins or clerics.

Then, finally, without our even noticing, the great storm, “the Janitor”, receded. Pictures of beasts in the throes of passion went unmolested, and though countless people continued to scream nonsense at each other, no more ideas vanished before their due. Gradually, and with much griping, things began to resume as normal. The scars remained, of course, as many insisted that this return to the casual would not last, but for now Dwarf Fortresses sprang up in greater number than before while other threads carried on expressing as many of their previously repressed views as possible.

Those who had come in late, or perhaps those who had seen the chaos but did not want to believe it would reoccur, began to speculate that there never was a “Janitor”. They claimed it was merely sorcery; a trick to deceive us, for a laugh at our expense. We had no reason to fear, and as long as we did not grow excited we would all be fine. After all, there had never been reason previously to do away with Dwarves and Touhous, so why now?

Others reflected that it was a time of judgment. At last, a being had come to purge the awful Sodom and Gomorrah that was our filthy land. This had been a long time coming, more was sure to be seen, and above all else it was justified. “The Janitor” was our time of reckoning, and soon we would know who was worthy of survival in the upcoming strife. All beware. All prepare. There will be no forgiveness, no love, no understanding. Only damnation.

But whether it was a being, a time, or a joke at the land’s expense, I was there. I witnessed “the Janitor”, and know it to be in some way true. I saw the chaos it sowed, and the fiendish abandon for which it regarded our feelings. I saw what it did to the Dwarves and to the Touhous. I watched it bring out the worst of us. And I fear.