Tag Archives: quest

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Visually Impaired Gangs

“Give a man a time machine, and he’ll embark on a quest. Teach a man to catch a time machine, and the first man’s day gets distinctly worse,” Wayne Rubblefish said to his pupils. He’d grown bored of meeting up with Dawson Filter and his band of merry travellers to intimidate them directly, in favour of training others to take action.

Wayne Rubblefish was Director of Human Relations for the Illuminati for the Blind, a secret and largely evil society. Until recently, he had been wholly obedient to the Head of the group, Xavier X. But Xavier and Wayne’s values differed. Xavier X felt that the society’s mission would be best fulfilled by establishing a totalitarian government to the far reaches of the galaxy, with himself as Emperor. Conversely, Wayne said that the group should focus its efforts more on the torment of individuals. In fact, Wayne Rubblefish did support the idea of a totalitarian government; but felt that he would be a better leader for it, and also wanted to be its leader. He felt a duty to thwart Dawson Filter from discovering the True Meaning of Feelings before establishing the new order, though; because that was what an older version of himself had told him one day in April. Besides, devoting the Illuminati for the Blind’s activities to this insignificant mission would give him time to plan his government. But Xavier X became impatient and told Wayne to discontinue the anti-Filter (Contamination, as it was sometimes called) project. Officially, he did; but he was secretly training a small team to find the Quest Committee’s time machine and thwart Dawson Filter and co. indefinitely.

Dawson Filter and co. also had a plan. Using the power of reading, Dawson Filter had determined that the author of the crossword puzzle that started his quest was named Sherlock Dracula.

No relation. source

Felipe, an intern of sorts, had kept and index of everyone in the world when he saved them from a pancontinental fire. There were two people named Sherlock Dracula. Twins. One had an unlisted address, the other’s was listed as “351 Watson Dr. Fallacy, SK.” Felipe, Dawson Filter, and Sylvester Denny boarded Felipe’s time machine. Sylvester set the coordinates for Fallacy, Saskatchewan, 12 October 2026. Felipe pressed a button and travelled.

In 2026, after walking out of the machine, the trio was surrounded by a gang of visually impaired thugs.

“It’s them,” said an elderly woman with one eye.

“We’re here to entrap you,” a legally blind former undercover police officer snarled.

Sylvester Denny darted between two hooligans who appeared to be fully blind. Now that the society members were all on guard, Dawson Filter and Felipe dashed between the two most feeble-looking ones. The thinner one grabbed Felipe’s leg, but in doing so, broke his own arm and relented. On the ground, the thug, blind and broken, called out:

“Go on! Go to Mr. Dracula’s house! We have your time machine. Good luck getting out of Saskatchewan without a time machine.”

The trio looked at one another. The woman with one eye slid into the machine. They were so close to Sherlock Dracula, and it would really spoil the moment to have to come back to Fallacy some other time.

“I can stay with the time machine,” Felipe said, “you go on, I’ll come back for you.”

So sooner had Dawson Filter and Sylvester Denny turned around to walk to Watson Drive than Felipe sprinted through the crowd and hopped back in the time machine, hardly closing the door before the machine shuddered and disappeared.

. . .

Dawson Filter rang the doorbell.

“Dracula residence, Sherlock speaking,” a voice called through the door.

“Hello, we’re Dawson Filter and Sylv-“

“Excellent name, come in.”

Sherlock’s house smelled exactly like the sort of house that would belong to someone in his late 80’s, although Sherlock was clearly 59.63. Potpourri lined the windowsills, and aloe vera plants were strewn across the floor.

“Did you ever write crossword puzzles?” asked Dawson Filter.

“No, you must be thinking of my brother. He lives on Franell, now. It’s a dwarf planet he discovered in the mid-reaches of the galaxy. But don’t tell him it’s a dwarf planet.”

“Okay, thanks for your time.”

Dawson Filter and Sylvester Denny stepped out onto Sherlock’s porch to wait for Felipe. After a week, it became clear that problems had happened


Dawson Filter as He Relates to the Elderly

Dawson Filter looked around the room that he’d just entered. The first place he looked was at a calendar, since he’d come to the room by time machine, and had an imperfect biological clock.

“October 14, 1932,” the calendar said. Dawson Filter initially thought it was lying; talking calendar technology was only invented in 2021, after all. Then he remembered time travel, and it made sense for the calendar to be then.

The second place he looked was at the person in the room, whom he identified as his friend Felipe, an intern of sorts.

“Hello,” he said to the aforementioned person, “where are we?”

“On the Earth Moon, Dawson,” Felipe replied, “on the Earth Moon.”

Felipe had aged. Grey hair grew from his scalp, and his nose had turned downward slightly. Seeing Dawson Filter’s eyes move along the edge of his hairline, Felipe decided to answer as many of the questions in Dawson’s head as possible.

“Do you remember the apocalypse, Dawson? When that arsonist Makayla Pundit burned down that forest and every single fire hazard in the world burst into flames as a result? I saved everyone. Did it in four seconds, by some counts. I counted twelve years. That’s still over 400 people a second, so it was a productive twelve years. Then I went on a series of adventures for thirty-five. I set up this place as my base. As a result of these things, I am old.”

Dawson Filter thought about what Felipe said. He thought about his own mission, to discover the True Meaning of Feelings. He’d given Felipe the time machine as part of an internship program; so Felipe could help out around the quest. Felipe had shown great initiative, and Dawson Filter would be more than willing to offer him a full-time position. But Felipe was over qualified.

“I was thinking that maybe we could work together on the feelings quest,” Felipe continued, cutting off Dawson mid-thought, “You and the rest of the Quest Committee can stay at my base. The Luna programme doesn’t start until 1959, so no one’s going to find us. It’ll be just like the good old days, but I’ll have a few more quests under my belt this time. I told some people in the future about your quest, too. And how to build time machines. Theirs aren’t as nice as ours, though; and they haven’t made much progress with the quest, either, except to establish that it has something to do with the way people feel. I can bring your troop here now if you like. It’ll be even easier if they like.”

Dawson Filter nodded, and saw Felipe come back with Sylvester Denny, Twelve-Anne, and Babe Listowel a few seconds before Felipe left.

“Hello, all,” he said.

“Hello, one,” they replied in unison.

“What can I do for you?”

“Not much, what can we do for you?”

“Equally little. Let’s do the quest things.”

Babe Listowel set down a table he’d been carrying to lay out everything the group had gathered. The crossword puzzle, the IFTB’s Guide to Being, Twelve-Anne’s memoirs. Dawson Filter suddenly realized why Felipe had brought them 1932: because 1932 is a leap year, and it’s symbolic of all the leaps the Quest Committee was sure to make. Felipe sure was good at symbolism.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Chairs

Dawson Filter whistled. He was in Antarctica at the time. Babe Listowel, who had the idea to invade Antarctica in the first place, looked around himself for defending troops. Seeing none, he took out a pen to write down the number of defending troops, and panned the area for civilians to rule. One stood by a table South of the ocean. His name tag read “North Tender.”

“We don’t have chairs, so you’ll have to stand or lie down or sit on something that’s not a chair or kneel or jump or something,” North Tender called out to the group.

“What to you mean ‘we’?” Babe Listowel asked, “There’s only one of you!”

“Then who am I talking to?”

“You’re on our side, then?”

North Tender pointed to Babe’s lack of chairs. “Looks like we’ve got something in common. I’m Tender, by the way; but most of my friends call me North, on account of my first name.”

“I am Babe Listowel, king of Murderville, Nevada. I have come to invade your lands.”

“Nevada…” North Tender thought for a moment, “…I guess that’d be north, wouldn’t it? If you’re planning on living here, you’d better change your name to North Babe. We have certain conventions here.”

The rest of the group introduced themselves, and North Tender called over some of his friends.

“This is North Winnie and North Dallas, and their son Neutral Peter. He born yesterday. People whom I just mentioned, this is other people. I forget most of their names. They’re from up north.”

Everyone took turns making eye contact until they all felt they knew each other adequately.

“Father, do they have any chairs?” Neutral Peter asked North. He could have easily looked up and seen the groups glaring lack of chairs, or stopped being everything wrong with the youth of Antarctica and listened to his elder; but Neutral Peter was only born the previous day, so he can perhaps be excused, although he was 89 in doughnut years. North Dallas took the perhaps and excused his son.

Babe Listowel began to feel the heat of the invasion starting to fade. He took out his pen again, filled it with gasoline, and took out a highlighter. He covered the portion of the lighter that read “high” to deceive the Antarcticans. Holding the highlighter to the pen, he warned them to step back.

“Oh no!” cried North Winnie, “What are we going to do about all this danger?”

“Flee!” two Norths and a Neutral suggested in unison. As they dashed away, they stumbled across a penguin and saw an opportunity. North Tender picked up the penguin and covered the portion that read “guin.”

“Look, Babe, we both have pens; both of us do. We don’t need to fight or something! We can just do something else.”

Dawson Filter let out a clap of agreement.

“See, that one gets it,” North continued, “if we co-operate, we can do something else! Co-can! Co-can! Co-can! Co-can!”

Others joined the chant. Dawson Filter smiled as Babe Listowel threw his highlighter onto the ice. This was what feelings were all about.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Bridges

A band of merry travellers were walking to Antarctica for purposes of invasion one windy Wednesday afternoon. Included in this group was the Quest Committee, who were not accustomed to embarking on missions with such questionable political goals; but tagged along anyway to support their friend Babe Listowel.

But what was this? An obstacle? An ocean appeared to be between the travellers and their goal. Babe Listowel consulted his map again. After staring at it for several minutes, he turned it over. This revealed the side of the paper that wasn’t blank. Seeing his error, he apologised to the group for his mistake and the ensuing inconvenience,

Twelve-Anne Stradivari, always the optimist of the group, suggested they use the rope bridge that conveniently stood before them. No sooner, and not all that much later, had she made this suggestion than the group accepted it.

“Can it support our weight and (unintelligible)?” Sylvester Denny asked.

Estimating that the group weighed about 2060 kg, Alasdair Braveheart dropped a lead pipe of comparable weight onto the bridge. It did not sway. Sylvester Denny was still unsure of the bridge’s integrity.

“Dawson and Babe, can you ply one of the planks with that crowbar in your hands to make sure they’re nailed in right?”

Dawson Filter and Babe Listowel complied, and the plank stayed firmly in place.

“How many times did you ply it?”

“Twice,” Dawson Filter replied.

Sylvester Denny joined them on the bridge, and was followed by all other parties present.

After a brief stroll, the adventurers saw the sky darken. A dragon approached them.

“(unintelligible),” the dragon roared in its native tongue. It descended onto the bridge. The bridge supported its weight.

Babe Listowel, whose time spent in Norway had taught him a number of basic phrases in the dragish language, attempted communication with the beast.

“Let us go. We cannot through; you are too existent.”

The dragon snorted.

“I hunger. (unintelligible). Meat is my desire. Guide me to fish, or let me feast upon your bones in the future. Or kill me in the future.”

Babe Listowel translated the interaction for the group, mistranslating the word for fish as “a silver needle in a seven-tonne titanium haystack.” Of the options presented, the group agreed that the one with the highest reward relative to the amount of work involved would be to kill the dragon.

“We opt to kill you!” Babe Listowel cried. The Scottish Heritage Foundation of Murderville gathered its weapons. In total, they had twelve longbows, a quarter-dozen bo staffs, a car bomb, and a battering ram. The Quest Committee supplied a sword from the future.

Several of the SHFoM attempted to sneak up in front of the beast with the battering ram, but the dragon had seen them with his eyes. It used its fire prowess to shoot flames from its western edge, temporarily blinding the battering group and igniting the bridge.

Aggie Oliver took out some of her own fire to attempt back burn the bridge. She set the fire behind the group, blocking off with flames the section of the bridge on which they stood.

The difference in temperature between the fire and not fire spun the nearby air into a whirlwind, which posed a bother for the dragon. The dragon, who disliked annoyances, flew away over the horizon. The fires burned through their respective portions of the bridge, creating a raft.

Fortunately, it was windy what with the tornado and the wind mentioned in the first sentence so the people got to survive and also be in Antarctica.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Tents

Dawson Filter woke up one morning to discover that he’d slept in for a week. He looked at his potted plant.

“Not so alive anymore, now are you,” he said to the daisy.

He stood up to look out of his window and saw a cluster of tents on his lawn. The Scottish Heritage Foundation of Murderville had apparently grown in numbers since he’d fallen fell asleep the previous Tuesday. After baking some scones and calling Babe Listowel, the most intimidating fellow with a listed number in the phone book, he went outside to confront the foundation.

“You are in a tent,” he said to Aggie Oliver, the chair of the Scottish Heritage Foundation of Murderville. In his brief time meeting her, he’d gathered very little information about her, although she did seem to like puns. Dawson Filter thought he’d shoot her an easy one.

“That was ‘in tent’-ional,” she said with her usual mouth.

Behind her tent on the street, Babe Listowel arrived, guided by the scent of Dawson Filter’s fresh scones. He came around to join the confrontation. Dawson Filter told him the situation, and Babe Listowel understood every word.

“You know, Aggie,” he said, “I’m the king of Murderville, and I disapprove of malfeasance. Now, I’m not telling you to leave just yet; but I can tell you right now: What you’re doing sure isn’t benfeasance, and I can assure you that you do not want to see me when I disapprove of someone’s actions.”

“Show me yer badge, king,” Aggie Oliver spat at Babe, “or awa’ an bile yer heid.”

Dawson Filter took the potpourri he’d made from his dead flower out of his pocket to lighten the mood via aromatherapy.

Aggie Oliver sighed and threw a punch at Dawson Filter.

“Oi!” she exclaimed, “What’re ya thinking soothing me with yer scent sorcery! My blood must be boiling, b’y!

Dawson Filter offered her a scone, which she set on fire with some other fire that she’d bought from Makayla Pundit, who, after the fire escapade of 2016, had decided to go into the business of fire sale rather than arson. Aggie Oliver, hearing Makayla Pundit shout “fire sale,” had believed that the items she was selling would have discounts, and was lured into inspecting Makayla’s product by this belief for just long enough to see that the product was in fact fire, and decide that she absolutely needed some. Makayla Pundit’s business model ran largely off of people with similar misunderstandings.

Dawson Filter fell over in shock and broke his right femur.

“Hold your fire!” Babe Listowel said, “There’s no need to break Dawson over here. I’ve found a way for us all to be angry without hurting one another: All we need is a common enemy. I have reason to believe that it would be in the best interest of both Murderville and the Scottish Heritage Foundation thereof to invade Antarctica. Just look at the word.”

Babe Listowel held up a sheet of bristol board with the word ‘Antarctica’ written across it.

“Don’t you see what word you get when cross out the c’s and the last ‘a’ and move the first two letters to the back? Tartan. And don’t you see the first three letters and also the third last one? Anti. Anti-tartan. Tell me that doesn’t fill your heart with rage.”

Aggie Oliver didn’t, for she was no liar.

“And as for my personal interest, look at the three letters following the ‘n’. Tar. And the fourth, fifth, and seventh letters. Art. And the third, fourth, sixth, and seventh letters. Tact. And the last eight letters. tarctica.ca. Of all the things, I consider those to be some of the best. And I will have no rest until that foul continent stops being anti-those things. Join me, Aggie; let’s bring the freeze to its knees.”

Aggie Oliver nodded and shook Babe Listowel’s hand.

“A war it shall be.”

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Spaghetti

Babe Listowel laid a world map over a table in the only corner of a room. He stuck a pin through Northern Antarctica. Hearing a series of knocks on the door, he turned around.

“Who?” he asked.

“Dawson Filter,” a voice answered.

Babe Listowel thought for a moment. Yes, he decided, the timbre of the voice did match the intensity of the knocks. There was no foul play at this door.

“Come in.”

The door opened to reveal Dawson Filter.

“Dawson Filter!” Babe Listowel exclaimed, “I didn’t expect you this early.”

Dawson Filter struck a match. “And I didn’t expect your mind to be corrupted this soon. We’re all full of surprises.”

“Well here’s a surprise for you-”

Babe Listowel thought for a moment to find something surprising about the current state of affairs. Finding nothing, he made a sound and threw up his arms.

“Do you even remember our quest,” Dawson Filter asked, “or did you store that bit of information in your mind, the mind that I previously said was corrupt?”

“The quest to find the True Meaning of Feelings? I sent some of my footmen East to see what they could find.”

“The Quest Committee’s holding a luncheon at lunch today. Be at the luncheon.”

.  .  .

Sylvester Denny passed a pot of spaghetti to Snake Levine, a former lawyer. Dawson Filter laughed, because the letters in the sign for the luncheon were formed out of rocks (lunch from eons ago). Only he and Snake had picked up on the pun, and she cared more for observational comedy, leaving everyone to wonder what he was laughing at, although no one chose to wonder for a particularly long time .

Babe Listowel opened the door to the dining hall, and sat down between Dawson Filter and Twelve-Anne Stradivari.

“Say, it’s Babe Listowel,” Twelve-Anne observed.

Snake Levine released a brief chuckle. She passed the spaghetti pot to Babe Listowel.

“Hello,” he said.

“Hello,” someone else replied.

On the table with the food was a piece of paper. It had ink markings on it that seemed to form words, arranged into a list by the look of things.

Ideas for Things Pertaining to the True Meaning of Feelings

  • another survey
  • search documents for references to the Meaning
  • divnetbl  no smoking
  • offer an improbably valuable reward to the person to identify the True Meaning stove Feelings

Sylvester Denny said something with a lot of syllables, and Babe Listowel began to hum to the tune of the inflection at the end of Sylvester’s sentence. Taking a guitar out of his pocket, he strummed the only four chords he knew how to play to accompany his self-described smooth, foxy voice. A small crowd barged through the door to get closer to the magic of Babe’s notes. He nodded to the rhythm of his thoughts, which were Fancy that, it seems feeble Sylvester’s provided me with a bit of sweet, sweet material. I suppose it would be prudent to stay with this group a while longer to suckle off of their talents while I can. Perhaps if I offer them unlimited resources, they’ll let me rock with them. I should probably create a loud noise to get their attention.

Babe Listowel grabbed the table and pulled up, felling it with a single swoop of his mighty hand.

“My, oh, my, do you ever have my attention now,” Dawson Filter observed to Snake Levine’s amusement.

“And you have all of the resources at my disposal as Official Rockstar and king of Murderville, Nevada,” replied Babe Listowel.

“Now that’s the correct spirit,” Twelve-Anne said, “you’re mind’s not so corrupt after all, now is it now?”

“No,” said Babe Listowel, “certainly not half as corrupt as you’d be able to imagine.”

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Music

“My, a philosophy shop,” thought Dawson Filter, “I’d better enter that shop.”

He found a door, and walked through the hole he created when he opened it. The walls of the shop were covered with old newspaper articles, most of them from 1999 and 2016. They were mainly missing person articles, with a few human interest stories about alchemy and time travel. A leaf fell from a potted tree as the proprietor stood.

“So,” he said, “do you fancy some philosophy?”

Dawson Filter recognised the voice from when he’d been stuffed in a burlap sack, held prisoner on Ganymede, framed for tax evasion, and trapped inside the universe with a large steel orb; but he couldn’t quite place who the voice belonged to.

“Some philosophy sounds delightful,” Dawson Filter replied.

“Let’s end the charade, Filter!” the proprietor said, ripping off his mask to reveal his true identity as Wayne Rubblefish. He knocked over a stack of books and pointed at Dawson. “We both know that I tend to run around making your life worse, and that’s probably my goal now!”

Dawson Filter remembered the door and how bad he was at conflict.

Wayne Rubblefish ran after him to kick his shins.

“Wait,” he said, “remember those people I stole in 2016 and 1999? I only took them to save them from the fire and Y2K. So that’s quite a reason to keep talking to me.”

Dawson Filter turned around. Wayne Rubblefish was gone, challenging Dawson Filter’s ideas about reality and space, thereby ruining his day.

He found his old cohort Babe Listowel, with whom he decided to talk.

“Hello, Babe Listowel. I recently became sad. Would you like to help me quest for this feeling’s true meaning?”

Babe Listowel nodded his head in confirmation, “Maybe first we should find the meaning of meaning first, though.”

After sitting in deep thought for a few hours, Babe Listowel remembered that the power of music helped him think more clearly. He pulled a guitar from his pocket and began to strum.

“Thinking, thinking,” he sang, “that’s what I’m doing / The thing that I’m doing is thoughtful and in my mind / Look at my mind / Can you see the thinking?”

A small crowd had gathered around him and Dawson Filter. The people of Murderville had forgotten about music. Someone tossed a head of wheat into the guitar.

“Golden, golden,” the admirers said amongst themselves.

Babe Listowel reached the climax of his song.

“All of the other things / That exist that I’m not doing / Must not be thinking / Man, I must be free”

The crowd cheered as the music faded out.

“I sure appreciated THAT music.”

“Woah, how did my mind get so blown?”

“You must agree to be the town’s official rockstar!”

Babe Listowel raised his hand to silence the mob. Someone handed him a microphone; and he cleared throat to speak.

“You will have your king.”

Dawson Filter followed the crowd as it carried his friend to the town hall. It set Babe Listowel on a heavy wooden chair, draping fine silks over the back of the seat. It found a nearby laurel to hang around his neck, after which it hung the laurel around his neck. A tophat was found, and covered with tinfoil. A lady tore a string of rubies from her neck to embed in the crown, which she set atop Babe Listowel’s head. A single cheer, to which all in the room contributed, roared through the halls.

Dawson Filter smiled. Babe Listowel had got them a bit off track from their original goal, but Dawson was positive they could get back on course by nightfall.