March 31st was a day like any other in Technology House, located on the beautiful campus of Brown University, found in the city of Providence, in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, located in the United States of America, it currently being the 236th year since the signing of the Declaration of Independence from the British Crown, being the third planet that orbits the Sun in our known solar system, in the Milky way Galaxy, and in our current known Universe. Even the black holes of the universe were in a good mood despite being in a never ending battle with the rest of the universe.
But not everyone desires such peaceful times, no. And so, while some people wrote thesis, others screened obscure anime, a few were too drunk to do much more than drink, a determined soul toiled in the workroom, and games of all kinds sprawled throughout the lounge and library, someone became hungry.
'I should fix myself a snack,' they thought. 'There is some cheese, hmm. Oh! Maybe I could bake a cake! Everyone likes cake.' And so they unsuspectingly entered the basement hearing the sounds of an active home while they crossed under the series of tubes. The drill press was actively being used while the sound of melting solder could be heard near the stairs. As they passed the war room, they could hear manly tears being shed amongst laughs at whatever was being screened, and knowing better, they didn't check on 009.
Looking at the kitchen door proved unsettling. Even though it seemed similar, there was a curious sign placed over it. 'NO ADMITTANCE EXCEPT ON PARTY BUSINESS.' Ignoring a common joke, they took out their 101 key and inserted it into the lock. The moment it raised the last tumbler they were suddenly forced into an intense battle of wills. Thankfully, the thought of baking a delicious cake seemed to win out and the key began to turn, but the well meaning Techhouser suddenly fell to the ground with a large snap and found themselves staring in front of a closed door holding a melted key.
The Techhouse housing manager, Audrey Lew, came and found a shocked house member pointing at the door and holding a melted key. Using the powers that were given to her as housing manager, she willed the door to open, but the door rebuffed her. Furious that any door would dare defy the housing manager, she returned with the proper tooling in hand: The Coarse Adjustment Tool. Holding up the powerful tool, she took a great step in and swung it at the door. The door caught the strike, shattering the tool while sending a great bolt of force back at the housing manager. Once the debris cleared, the door was found to still be intact without a single scratch.
Realizing that something had taken over that part of the house, Audrey went and found the President, Alex Cevallos. Realizing how serious a matter it was, he sent an emergency zwrite to Matthew Milano and soon the gong was being rung through the halls: an emergency meeting was being called to order. Soon the lounge was filled and everyone was talking with each other wondering why it was the gong had rung.
The President called the meeting to order and everyone sat there looking at him as he explained the situation. Suddenly different ideas for how to get through the door started being thrown out. 'Why didn't you use a Mike Williams device?' 'Can't we just break the window to the kitchen and get in that way?' 'Thermite!' Finally someone suggested, 'Why don't we just ask reslife or call facilities?'
From the corner of the lounge a high shrilled laugh like Kefka broke out and then transformed into Ganondorf's dark evil laugh. 'Yes, why don't you just ask reslife?' a dark voice said amidst a continuous laugh. 'What is it Kahn, do you know something about this?' the President asked. Kahn continued to laugh as he stood up and made his way to the center of the room. His laugh was getting louder and louder the closer he go to to the center. 'And what will you tell them?' he shouted at the assembled Techhousers. 'That I turned upside down Martha Stewart upside down?!'
The room went silent except for Kahn's continued laugh. 'Do you have any idea of what you've done?!' various people demanded. Kahn's laugh doubled. 'Oh of course I do. Of course I do. The question is will you figure it out in time!' Members sent grim looks all around the room. Everyone knew that turning upside down Martha Stewart upside down was bad, but no one knew what to expect. The VP called the Security Manager to keep an eye on Kahn and ensure that he didn't leave the room. At that, the officers began arguing amongst themselves about what to do as the room broke into pure chaos.
The remaining roots looked at each other carefully and began to whisper to each other in fell voices and with heavy hearts. They disappeared from the lounge and broke down the now-covered entrance to the cave in the work room. They returned to the lounge with an old box that was locked with four dials that ran from 00 to 3F. The final root broke away from the officers realizing what was at stake. Each one nodded at one another and turned the dials to the appropriate numbers that only they knew: 0x54, 0x48, 0x31, 0x0C.
The box opened and inside was an old 3M QIC-24 tape and the necessary components to read it. Everyone turned to look at the roots as they carefully pulled out these old pieces of technology. As the others went to work hooking up the old SunOS 4 machine with requisite tape reader and connecting it to the server with a frayed and suspicious serial cable, NASA explained to the rest of the house.
'There is a legend among the roots that gets passed down from generation to generation about the portrait of upside down Martha Stewart. We were told that if it were ever to be turned the wrong way and you could not get into the kitchen, then seek the lost tapes of the first alum. They will hold the key to the kitchen.'
'This things got a mind of its own! Oh no!' one of the roots in the library shouted as they ran back into the Lounge. Suddenly every smartphone vibrated as everyone in Technology House, past and present, got the same e-mail:
Tales of the First Alum
After defeating Reslife in a Children's Card Game for half of Harkness House, a defeat for which they claim they will never forgive the house, the first alum went on to survey Harkness House before the house would move in. The first alum had to tame many great beasts. For control of the library and lounge he fought a great beast called the OverFiend. But the first alum had a slight advantage and tricked the great beast into leaving the lounge and instead inhabiting TH Fun.
The First Alum next went into the workroom and found the great beast Omar who had wicked teeth. The two treated, wheeled, and dealed for many moons. Yet through cunning guile, the First Alum extracted the great beast Omar's teeth and used them to protect the workroom itself, thus keeping the beast and many others out of it for time immemorial.
The greatest trial for the first alum was the kitchen. When he first found it, there was a sign upon it that read, 'NO ADMITTANCE EXCEPT ON PARTY BUSINESS.' But the first alum was not afraid. They entered, thinking of what wonderful parties they might throw if they had such a kitchen. To their great surprise, they found that the kitchen was inhabited by a set of great demons. The first alum named them the kitchen demons. It is after them that the Techhouse position was named.
Unlike the OverFiend or Omar, the kitchen demons were much more cunning and were able to avoid the strategies of the First Alum. Instead, the First Alum took a different strategy and called together a great tournament. The winner would retain the kitchen.
Techhouse itself held a tournament to determine who would in turn fight against the Kitchen Demons. Every member had their own unique fighting style and powers. While all fought well, the First Alum won the tournament.
The First Alum proudly approached the door to the kitchen and declared to the kitchen demons that the First Alum would represent Technology House. It was a long match up with the First Alum being forced to fight a horde of demons. They fought long and hard, and in the end, the First Alum was victorious.
'As a sign of our friendship, our people will give you this picture of Upside Down Martha Stewart. As long as it stays in the kitchen with the proper alignment, we shall always honor our agreement. But, if it is ever turned upside down, then we shall immediately know and come back to this kitchen and inhabit it once again. If you wish it back, then someone must fight us for it again.'
The house was thrilled at the feats of the First Alum and their defeat of the kitchen demons. The First Alum established the lore of Upside Down Martha Stewart and cautioned everyone to not remove it or turn it upside down.
Now that Harkness House was ready to be the new home of Technology House, the First Alum stood on the porch late in the night. They walked out into the starlit sky and left.
Once the letter was finished, tensions were rising high and exploded when Kahn poked his head in the door to the lounge and shouted, 'I'll see you all tomorrow bright and early for the TechHouse fight!' With one last shrill Kefka laugh, he disappeared from sight, having managed to sneak past the security manager while everyone was engrossed in the e-mail.
Before the President could take control of the meeting, there was a loud knock on the front door. Nervously, a group went to the door and opened it. In front of them were alums of legend. 'We're here for the tournament,' they said and were ushered in. Upon seeing them, the President realized he didn't have any other choice. 'The Tournament for the Techhouse Champion to reclaim the kitchen is on!'