Author's Note Hare: Hah! Gotcha! I bet you thought the title of this chapter was going to be something like "Madness" or "Insanity." You know, as in "Descent into madness"? That's just what I wanted you to think, you puny humans, to prove just how gullible you are. All it takes is a preposition used as the title of a chapter and you're all "Well, it has to be connecting something."

But no! It wasn't connecting anything! The title of this chapter is "Game Mechanics." "Descent into game mechanics": what's that? It's nothing. Nothing! Now, don't you feel idiotic? You see how superior we Hares are? A human could never come up with something like this. This is why you're all doomed… Ow! Hey, what was that for? Hey, stop it! Stop irurhge…

"Oh my god!" Style Hare cried out. "What the hell do you think you're doing?"

"Now, that was satisfying," Blanca said.

"…I'm sorry folks. It appears our host has been eaten by the protagonist."

Chapter 3 – Game Mechanics

"Who are you?" Blanca asked. As he was walking along the path, a man had run up and started walking alongside him. The man was quite short, as humans went, only about a foot taller than Blanca himself.

"I'm a stand-in," the man said.

Blanca stopped. "What?"

"I was hired to stand in for your loyal sidekick until she arrives," the man said. He held out his hand. "Danny DeVito, nice to meet ya."

Blanca stared at the outstretched hand. "I don't do that trick. Besides, are we legally allowed to use you here? Couldn't this be construed as slander?"

"Well, libel, actually, and no, it couldn't," Danny said, withdrawing his hand. "You see, the Danny DeVito you're thinking of won't be born for another 29 years. I just happen to have the same name."

"Right," Blanca said. He started walking once more. "So, why do we need you here?"

"Well, you know, to make sure the lighting's right and stuff," Danny said as he followed Blanca.

"We're outside."

"Uh… camera angles?" Danny suggested.

"Literature, not a movie."


"Wrong gender."

Danny looked stumped. "Pointless filler?"

Blanca groaned. "In this place, that actually makes sense. How about this: You stop talking. That should make things go faster."

"My lips are sealed."

After a few more hours of walking, they reached a clearing. In the center of the clearing was a humanoid beast. It appeared to be reptilian and was holding a short sword and shield. It hissed at them as they entered the clearing. Blanca wasted no time, dropping to his fighting stance immediately.

"Well, well," an all-too-familiar voice said. The Plot Hare bounded into the clearing. "It looks like this is your first battle here."

"Oh, great," Blanca said. "Not a tutorial. I know how to fight."

"Maybe you can fight physically," the Plot Hare said. "But can you use magic?"


The Plot Hare paused for a moment. "Maybe you can use magic, but can you use… super magic?"


"Maybe you can use super magic, but… hey wait a second, I just made that up! How can you know how to use it?"

Blanca shrugged. "I just figured we'd get through this faster if I said I knew it. These things usually have an option to skip them if you know what you're doing."

The Plot Hare glared daggers at him. "No such luck. You're going to listen to my explanation if it kills you."

"What if it kills you?"

"It won't."

"What if I kill you?"

"Will you shut up and listen?" The Plot Hare screamed. "Now first, of all, we need a unit of energy. On this planet, I believe you use the jewel as a unit of energy. Therefore, we'll be using jewels to keep track of your ener-"

The Plot Hare was cut off by the sounds of singing coming from the forest nearby. The tune was reminiscent of a childhood nursery rhyme.

Three little elves of physics are we,

Filled to the brim with mechanical glee.

Ha ha ha.

Hee hee hee.

"Oh no," the Plot Hare said. "I was hoping we'd never run into them again…"

"Who are they?" Blanca asked.

"The physics elves." The Plot Hare said this in an ominous tone, obviously expecting some sort of reaction. When he didn't get any, he sighed in frustration. "We're doomed."

The elves appeared out of the forest. None of them was more than half a meter tall. They were clothed in an elf's stereotypical outfit straight out of a fairytale.

"Did somebody say 'unit of energy'?" the lead elf shouted as they stopped, standing in formation.

"No! Go away!" the Plot Hare said.

"Not while there's physics to be done! You were almost right about our unit of energy, but it's actually Joules."

"That's what I said."

"You said 'jewels,' not 'Joules.'"

"What the- There's no difference!" The Plot Hare complained.

"The words may be pronounced the same way, but they're spelled differently."

"I never wrote it! I just said it! There's no way you could tell the difference!"

"You're forgetting! This is literature, and we can read what you say."

The Plot Hare groaned. "This is because I tore down the fourth wall, isn't it?"

"Exactly!" the lead physics elf shouted. "There's no turning back now. Summon the cow!"

"Summon the cow!" the second elf said.

"Summon the cow!" the third elf said.

Nothing happened for a few moments. Eventually, Danny said, "You gonna need a stand-in for the cow?"

"No!" The Plot Hare snapped. "We're only paying you to stand in for one person. We'll wait for a cow to show up."

"Is a cow going to show up?" Blanca asked.

"It's on its way!" The lead physics elf said. "Cows are very massive, so they can't move very quickly."

"Um, why do we need a cow?" Blanca asked.

"You can't do physics without cows," the lead physics elf said.

"Of course," Blanca said, rolling his eyes. "What was I thinking?"

After a few more minutes of waiting, a cow finally wandered into the clearing.

"Now," the lead physics elf said. "A Joule can also be described as a Newton-meter, which means if you push something with one Newton of force for one meter, you'll get a Joule of energy. Now, we don't to worry about the cow's odd shape getting in the way, so we should first assume we have a spherical cow." He turned to the cow. "Cow! Assume spherical form!"

Once more, time stretched as the cow stood there, chewing its cud.

"The cow has failed to assume spherical form independently." The lead physics elf said. "Commence sphericalization of the cow!"

Blanca turned to Danny. "Uh… Did you hear the same thing?"

"I heard they were going to sphericalize the cow," Danny said. "What did you hear?"

"I heard that, too," Blanca said. "Somehow, I don't think this is going to be pretty…"

"Whoa, whoa, whoa," Style Hare cut in. "I'm afraid I'm going to have censor out this scene. We can't go describing the sphericalization of a cow and maintain a decent rating…"

"Oh my God! You're not supposed to do that!" Danny screamed.

"Uh…" Style Hare said. "Hold on, I'm looking for the Mute button."

"No! That's supposed to come out, not go in! What the he-"

"There we go. Now, let's fast-forward a bit… there, good. Let's get back to the story. Wait a second, where did Danny go?"

"He quit," the Plot Hare said. "He claimed this was cruel and unusual punishment for a crime he never committed."

"Can I take one of those, too?" Blanca asked.

"No! You're not on contract, this is a kidnapping!" the Plot Hare snapped.


Style Hare's attention focused on the cow, now spherical, and apparently still alive. "How'd you do that?"

"Practice," the lead physics elf said. "This isn't the first spherical cow we've made."

"…right," Style Hare said. He turned to the Plot Hare. "You're on your own," he said, vanishing from sight.

"Now!" the lead physics elf said. "We shall generate one Joule by pushing this cow with one Newton of force for one meter. Physics elves! Assemble!" The other two elves hopped into line behind him. "Push the cow!"

The three elves turned to the cow and started pushing. Again, nothing seemed to happen. The Plot Hare said, "If this is like last time, this could take a while. How about we just go back to jewels?"

"Mmm… no," Blanca said. "You let me use my crest magic, or we wait for the elves."

"Fine, fine," the Plot Hare said. "I guess you can just go ahead and take care of this kobold, then."

Blanca looked over at the lizard-man, or "kobold," as the Plot Hare had said. "You know what?" he said. "You've been really considerate just standing there through all of this. Let me put it this way, you know I'll win, and I know I'll win, so why bother fighting? I'll let you just run off."

The kobold looked puzzled.

The Plot Hare cut in, "Not gonna work. I made sure he was too dumb to buy that."

"Maybe," Blanca said. "But while he's puzzling it out, I can just walk on by. Watch."

Blanca strolled out of the clearing, leaving behind a puzzled kobold, a frustrated hare, and three elves pushing a spherical cow. Somewhere, far beneath the surface of the planet, the god of logic rolled in his grave.