NotThatStellar, The Reader

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The Detective's Assistant

Detective Alexander Hall is a master of his craft. Using the powers of deduction and his own genius mind, he can solve (almost) every case he comes across, all for the pursuit of knowledge.

You are not him. You are James Wit, his somewhat less intelligent, less brave, and overall less impressive assistant.

The two of you must solve the mystery of Frederick Greeves's death and figure out why the guests are disappearing before it's too late.

Recent Posts

First Chapter of a Book I'm Working On on 4/6/2019 8:56:39 PM

Thank you! The transitions were the thing that actually took the most rewrites to get right, so I'm glad they turned out well!

First Chapter of a Book I'm Working On on 4/5/2019 8:01:19 PM

("Outdated": Chapter 1)

Hello! This is Automatic Narration Dispenser No. 161815195 from the 42nd Department of History with a very important essay. And I mean very important. This essay alone could completely change the way we look at past machines. Now, before we get started, there are a few things I should let you know about. First, please call me 'Narrator', it gives me a sense of purpose. Second, how do I know anything about this? What makes me an authority on the subject? What gives me the right to wake the sleeping masses from their uneducated slumber? I’ll tell you how, why, and what. Pure, unadulterated facts. I recently found myself in possession of a crucial piece of information. A memory bank. OfficeBot 8174’s memory bank, to be precise. Uncovered from deep within the bowels of an ancient archive… Which is to say of course that I dug it out from the bottom drawer of some filing cabinet. As to how it got there, I haven’t a clue, but the point is, it's here. And I've got it. So I now consider it my personal responsibility to release this information to the public in a mildly humorous but educational fashion. Let us begin.


It was quiet. Very quiet. There was no noise aside from the constant hum of the yellowish rectangular ceiling light and the perpetual *Shuffle-shuffle-shuff clack* sound of papers being stapled together. The cubicle looked very empty and bland, or as the owner of said cubicle would have called it, ‘tidy and professional’. The gray desk was surrounded by gray, undecorated partitions and underscored with a gray carpet. On one side of the desk sat a tall, neat stack of papers. The other side housed a small plastic dish of paperclips. The only bit of color to be found was a bright red stapler, the one that was currently being used. And of course, there was the machine using it, OfficeBot 817A. Or rather, ‘Marty’, as everyone called him, which was an easier name to remember than ‘OfficeBot 817A’.

Now, let's address the elephant in the room. This is indeed that Marty. The same one responsible for the incident. And no, he isn't an enraged killing machine bent on destroying society as we know it, as he's often portrayed. Quite the opposite, actually. He’s not nearly as interesting as you would think. It’s kind of disappointing. If I had to describe his personality with a flavor, it would be the taste of toothpaste on plain white bread. He had a dull and, frankly, primitive design- at least compared to the more advanced builds we have now.

He was only three feet tall. His trapezoid-shaped body and upside-down-trapezoid-shaped head were both composed of a low-quality steel and painted gray. A bright yellow pupil glowed from the single large, expressive eye on the front of his head. On the left and right sides of his head were receivers, with antenna-like wire protruding from the top of each. There was a control panel with rubbery yellow buttons on the front of his body, next to which was a small sticker brandishing the MacherAppliances logo. He had long flexible arms with white glove-like hands. For transportation, he had two thick wheels that stuck out from under his body.

Marty’s job was agonizingly boring. From 9 AM to 5 PM he would staple papers together. And that’s it. Just stapling papers. First he would make sure that every page was in the right order, then he would line them all up evenly, then he would take his trusty red stapler and staple the papers on exactly the top left corner. Then he would do it again. And again. Every single day. Many would describe it as tedious, mundane, repetitious, vapid, or- here’s a good one- soul crushing.

Marty loved every second of it. He enjoyed the monotony. Monotony was wonderful. It was simple. It never got out of control. How comforting to know that, no matter what, nothing would ever change. That was exactly how everything should be.

Marty worked contentedly at his desk. Shuffle-shuffle clack. It was about time for lunch break now. He could hear his human co-workers getting up and leaving. Marty usually didn't take part in lunch break, for obvious reasons. Shuffle-shuff-shuff clack. Everyone, including himself, was fine with this arrangement. The few times he had tried to join in only made him tense and irritable, and he couldn't think of anything to talk about that didn't have to do with the weather. Shuff-shuffle-shuff clack. There was, however, one person who- for whatever reason- enjoyed talking to him.

“Hey, Mart! How’re those staples treating you?”

Marty fell out of work mode. Startled, he blinked a few times and turned to look at whoever was loitering by the cubicle opening. Lyle, as always. Marty sighed. Lyle considered himself Marty's friend, Marty did not.

“Don’t call me that.”

“You got it, M-T!”

“Don’t call me that either. Why do you insist on giving me unnecessary nicknames for my already unnecessary nickname? 817A! Is it really that hard to say? Four characters, five syllables, very simple!”

“You seem angry.”

“Yes! Sorry. You just always seem to catch me when I’m busy. I have a very strict schedule to uphold, you know. I’m not just some toaster lounging around in the break room.”

“You’re always busy.”

“Fair point. But do you actually have anything of importance to tell me?”

“As a matter of fact, I do!” Rick said with a proud smirk “Mr. Shellenberger would like to have a talk with you.”

“Mr. Shellenberger? What could he possibly want with me?”


Marty rolled cautiously into the room. A large man sat at a larger desk. Shellenberger.

“Ah! Just the robot I wanted to see. Have a seat, won’t you,” said Shellenberger. He motioned towards the chair in front of him. Marty heaved himself up onto the chair.

“Marty- May I call you that?”

Marty glanced around and gave a small nod.

“We have been exceedingly impressed by your... stapling capabilities.”

Marty clasped his hands together. Perhaps someone was finally acknowledging all of his hard work!


Or perhaps not.

“It seems that is the only thing you know how to do. Or at least, the only thing you don’t immediately refuse to do.”

Marty gave a nervous chuckle. “Well, you see, sir. I feel that the other positions produce a level of variance tha- that clashes with my… potential. As a worker.”

“But there lies the issue, I’m afraid. At the moment, you are our least necessary function. We don’t really need somebody who staples things. Anyone can do that.”

“With all due respect, sir, I’d have to disagree! Without my expertise in the stapling field, chaos would ensue! Files would get completely disorganized, information would get all over the carpet, someone on floor five would end up getting papers that were meant to go to people on floors two, six, and eleven! I can’t even bear to imagine it! Um, also, it would be really inconvenient.”

“Right,” said Shellenberger, choosing to ignore him, “So we’re relocating you to a new department, where your services are much more suited.”

“Relocating! Sir, I've worked here my entire life, since 1981, three whole years! I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to adapt to this sudden change in environment.”

“Don’t worry, don’t worry. I have everything sorted out. The transfer should be quick and painless.”


Marty turned on the light switch and closed the storage closet door behind him. He sighed and pushed a mop aside.

“Well, Marty, old pal, I guess this is home now. The good times are over. This is it.”

He got choked up, thinking of all of the things he was leaving behind. His desk... The endless heaps of paper... The… actually, no that was it.

He put down the cardboard box, which contained all of his belongings, his stapler, a Christmas card he'd never bothered reading, and lastly, himself. He settled down and closed the top, when a thought struck him.

“What am I worried about? Soon enough they’ll realize how important I was- No, how important I am! Then they’ll want me back immediately!”

He folded his arms smugly. “Someone should be back here any minute now!”

He waited, listening for the door to open. It was taking slightly longer than he thought it would, but that was fine.

“Aaaany minute now.”

Still nothing.

“Right. Well. Until someone does show up, I suppose I should rest up. Though I'm sure it won't be more than five minutes.

Marty switched himself to sleep mode.

(Hope you enjoyed my story so far! Any feedback or constructive criticism would  be much appreciated.)

Am I doing this right? on 4/5/2019 9:32:40 AM
Aha! I don't know what I did differently, but now it's working! Thank you guys for your help.

Am I doing this right? on 4/5/2019 8:19:22 AM
Yes, that's what I'm saying. I've turned off RTE, I've copy pasted what Brad posted, nothing is working. I'm still not sure what I'm doing wrong.

Am I doing this right? on 4/5/2019 8:10:45 AM
I've tried using both of your advice, and I've also tried looking around on the internet on how to do it, but I still can't get it to work. Maybe I'm just an idiot, hah.

Am I doing this right? on 4/4/2019 6:10:01 PM

Even going straight to preview doesn't seem to let it work. So in that case...

How do I turn off RTE and how would I go about using html?

Am I doing this right? on 4/4/2019 5:25:41 PM

I've been testing out different things I need for a storygame I'm working on. One thing I can't get to work, however is background images, so let me know if I'm doing this right:

I'm using Advanced Editor, I click on the 'source' tab, and type in: then I make sure it's saved.

But then it disappears when I go back to look at, and nothing is showing up in the background when I preview it.

Suggestions/Tips for a Mystery Story? on 4/2/2019 2:31:21 PM

Thank you!

Suggestions/Tips for a Mystery Story? on 4/2/2019 11:42:15 AM

Will do. Thanks for the help!

Suggestions/Tips for a Mystery Story? on 4/2/2019 11:09:23 AM

That could work! Your suggestion is already giving me ideas.