Welcome all you happy role players and take heart now for this is
the LAST issue of Crimson's Column
and it will bring joy to all for we do the unthinkable in
because all things bad must surely come to an end someday
and that day is now
The alarm clock went off and ever since my childhood that has
been the surest way of ruining my day even before it has begun. I
tried hard to vaporise the electric culprit but unfortunately I
had not been stone drunk the night before: foreseeing my
primitive reaction, I had placed the alarm well out of my king's
size bed's reach and so all I managed was a solid hit scored with
bare knuckles on bare oak and, needless to say, the oak won. The
one good thing of this bruise-spurning accident was that I was
now sufficiently awake to reach something that, when related to
persons of a more human nature, might be described as "presence
of mind". I was awake and much like a bear roused from
hibernation, my first thought was of (carnal passage deleted)
but since such luxury was not available, my second primitive
thought was of food.
Hi everyone to what must surely be the last edition of the
excruciating Crimson's Column. It is my sad duty to inform you
that the two thousand different hobbies which I exploit as an
excuse to something remotely reminiscent of the thing most people
recognise as "life" are now taking up so much of my time that I
no longer have the opportunity to write this column. More
seriously, I must admit that the prime reason for my producing
the 50-odd articles (of which, I think, some 20 issues of this
column) I have published was to train myself in various aspects
of writing techniques. Point being that I am writing my third
novel (don't worry it's not for sale I'm not THAT arrogant) and I
think it is smart to experiment with styles, especially if you
write in a language that's not your own.
And so, today I must retire, and I will tell you what happened
to our most dishonorable friend, Mr Crimson, who really messed up
good this time. I advise you all to learn from his mistakes.
Where was I? Ah yes, awake....sort of....
Before entering the kitchen there were more unpleasant chores:
like it or not, I HAD to take a quick peek in the mirror to see
whether or not it was (cringe) shaving day...
Nope, only 4 days of beard, not even ticklish yet. Good. That
meant that, after a perfunctory touch & go with my toothbrush, I
could go down and eat.
Let me tell you a little something about pets. Pets are nice,
but they do require two very basic items: a place to do their
doody, and a certain amount of food. Now my two pets (some of you
may know them) are Quink, a pixie-leftover from the Phantasie
Trilogy by SSI, and Pterry, the result of some subsidized
university research involving the cross-breeding of revitalized
cells from a pterodactyl and a tyrannosaurus rex. Don't tell ME
birds don't have teeth.
Quink and Pterry are nice but, like all pets, you can't just
give them a week's supply of food because they will simply eat
themselves into a stupor and if that happens the only
remaining moving things in my house would be the vcr and the
drive of my ST. So I try to give them their daily meal of
Unthankful Adventurer (which they must fairly split) supplemented
with, if the need arises, an occasional Jehova Witness or
Unfortunately, I had forgotten to adjust the time-lock of my
auto-adventurer-dispenser to summer time (one of Europe's most
ludicrously unforgivable inventions) and after waiting a solid
2.05 seconds for the meal to drop into their bowl both Pterry and
Quink, with only the briefest of a glance of mutual understanding
passing between them, had attacked my personal supply of junk
Which meant that by the time I got into the kitchen, the only
thing remotely edible was the health food package my caring
mother had managed to unobtrusively stash into a cupboard. The
mere sight of this made me sick to my stomach, and when the auto-
dispencer increased my feeling of nausea by dumping 16 precooked
adventurer steaks into the pet's bowl, I decided this was
definitely a day that called for a fluid breakfast.
After my third glass of Champagne (this being December certain
luxuries were well-stored) I began looking for things on which to
focus my rapidly growing sense of sarcasm. In my search for an
eligible target I stumbled upon editor's letters, fanmail, and
several other examples of semi-intelligent excretion. I was about
to start burning the lot when the bell rang.
"Hi! I'm from the government, I'm here to help you," smiled
the bespectacled horror into my not-a-very-good-morning face.
Now where had I heard that one before? Wasn't this one of
Heinlein's "The three most heard lies in this century?"
I'm sure it was. Concluding that Pterry, ungrateful as she had
been this morning, still needed regular feeding, I changed my
grimace into something that must have resembled a smile, because
the future-steak-package grinned back at me benevolently when I
asked him to please come in and have a seat.
After a few seconds of idle banter, Pterry entered the room
and once I introduced her to our guest it was, shall we say, a
Now all this wasn't particularly unusual, all in a day's work,
but it did give me an idea.
And so, the next day, Quink went to the post office with a
heap of letters.
What do you say? A pixie posting letters on broad daylight? My
dear reader, remember that this is the 20th century. A policeman
wouldn't report a 5000ton UFO if it fell on him. And everyone
bumping into Quink seems to think she's a little girl in a
theatre outfit. As long as she doesn't fly too much, there's not
a problem in the world. Now quit interrupting me.
Two days later (even officials will be speedy if they think
they can nail an honest citizen) the first foolish functionary
rang my bell.
"Hello there. We hear you're planning to build an extra
toilet. I'm afraid there might be some problems with the
There weren't any. The next day, I had two visitors.
"Good afternoon, would you be the person who plans on
switching to nuclear cooking? We should talk about your licence."
"Good evening. I see here that you plan to change the color of
the front door? You'll need a license..."
The third day was an absolute peak, I had four, no less,
"Hello sir, there's some trouble with your licence to breed
"Hi! Would you be the citizen requesting a larger mailbox? I'm
afraid we can't give a license...."
"Hello. Did you request a license for holding siamese twins?
We may have a problem."
"Hey, you the dude wants a license for a runway on his roof?
No problem, sign here."
I let that last one go.
And all was nice and relaxed, my steak dispenser was filled to
the brim, and then the inevitable happened.
She was brown-eyed, five foot seven with dark hair and a built
that we shall, in order to avoid too much excitement, for the
moment refer to as "athletic". In short, she was the type of
woman the Americans refer to as "a broad who will stop traffic".
She looked at me, and since I strongly felt that such bravery
should not go unrewarded, I invited her in.
"Do have a seat, please. Never mind my pets, they're a little
unusual but really not very..."
Without so much as a moment's pause or even a show of
interest, she walked past me and into the living room where she
first kissed Pterry on her forehead, then patted Quink on her
I never stood a chance; by the time I re-entered the room it
was three-to-one in the advantage of the girls. And they
certainly did not need a troublesome, cranky, demanding landlord
like me. I remember the last thing I saw was an enormous beak
opening quietly and making sucking noises as Pterry swallowed me
What a miserable way for a columnist to come to his end. My
last thought was that I never even caught her name...
So endeth the life & times of
Crimson, Columnist without a Clue.
Found in his home, now occupied by Mademoiselle Rigora
Mortiss and her charming pets, was a last loose page containing
some mystic scribbling...we will not keep it from you:
291291 DT installed, 14 day delay before action.
301291 Timer ready, no more surprises. Reclock every 72 hours.
010192 Death Golem instruction completed. This concludes the
020192 Reclone, old one burned out. You can't ever be sure
"Death, at whose name I oft have been afear'd,
Because I wish'd this world's eternity."
The Second Part Of King Henry The Sixth
Editorial remark: But the spiritual father of Crimson will very
likely live in in future issues...Pray...
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.