So, basically, this scene is a Taskmaster, um, task.
In brief, Taskmaster is a British panel show — basically a game show involving, well, a panel of celebrities — currently airing on Channel 4, which involves, um, tasking said celebrities with doing ridiculous things for our amusement.
Occasionally involving a man from Sweden. Which, as you’ll recall, is the real-world basis for Hrimfax.
It’s hilarious. But, fair, warning, based on my experience watching it, the seasons to get progressively raunchier and more vulgar as the series progresses. Though, to be fair, it’s still hilarious even without the raunch…
First, they didn’t let her eat her entire roast chicken in peace. Then they force her to do the paperwork to register a new guild. Then they make her have to take another licensing test with the Guild Authority.
Kat just knew there was going to be work.
She’s going to get Lena, Niamh, Addie, Addie, and Sebastian the weasel for this.
And, then, one day, she’ll be in charge of the Guild Authority. And the qualification tests will actually make sense.
The only silver lining is that she has her longtime idol Carlotta Stonehelm overseeing her assessment again.
Carlotta hands Kat an envelope.
Incredulously, Kat accepts the envelope and opens it.
“Make this Hrimfaxi man cry,” Kat reads.
“Hei,” the Hrimfaxi man says from the other side of the room as we waves to Kat.
A thoroughly bemused Kat lamely waves back.
She turns back to Carlotta.
“W-why am I making a Hrimfaxi man cry?” she asks. “Does he owe somebody money?”
“To promote lateral thinking under pressure,” Carlotta explains. “That’s a valuable quality in a Guild Captain.”
Kat stares blankly.
“Also,” Carlotta adds. “The Guild Authority is trying to eliminate redundancies. He’ll get fired if we don’t find something for him to do day-to-day. So, we’ve recruited him to pass with these tests.”
“So, I make him cry?” she asks, turning back to Carlotta. “And then what?”
“You will be considered to have completed this portion of the Guild Captain Licensing Test,” Carlotta notes.
“So,” Kat says, sitting down beside the Hrimfaxi man. “You ever read that book, Senex Clamator? Dog dies in that one. It’s supposed to be, like, the saddest book in the world.”
“I’m a cat person,” the Hrimfaxi man notes.
“Yeah,” Kat mutters. “Me too. I don’t like books, either.”
She stares at him thoughtfully.
“What about plays? You like plays?” Kat asks. “I was in a play. Ricarda and Julio. There’s no dog in that one. But everybody else dies. My friend, Amara, she works with a guy who says his Mom cries every time she thinks about it.”
The Hrimfaxi man shrugs.
“I haven’t seen that play,” he notes.
“Gah!” Kat cries as Sebastian the weasel suddenly pops out of her vest pocket.
He has a little note tied to his front paw.
Good luck, Captain.
There are four signatures on the note. Adelaide dots her i’s with hearts. Adelgundis dots hers with weasel paws.
Kat glances up —
— and can’t see the Hrimfaxi man anywhere.
She frantically searches the room.
“Nei!” the Hrimfaxi man cries. “A weasel! Truly, the most horrible of all the creatures that scurry across the earth!”
Sebastian peers out of Kat’s pocket and chitters angrily.
“Keep it away!” the Hrimfaxi man wails as he clutches as Carlotta shoulders and cowers behind her. “Keep it away!”
The Hrimfaxi man then devolves into a long string of sobbing Hrimfaxi that Kat doesn’t expect is particularly flattering.
“I, uh,” Kat notes, pointing to the distraught Hrimfaxi man. “I think he’s crying. Did I win?””
So, sorry this one got up so late. I had a job interview this afternoon that not only required several hours of prep, but also had several technical difficulties thanks to being virtual that ended up making it last about three times longer than it should have and feel about eleventy-million times more stressful…
But, hey, the interview itself went fine.
Also, new chapter today:
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