King of the Rats

Wouldn’t it be great to live in the tunnels, with the King of the Rats? He’s very old now, an albino, and deaf, but he writes with his tail.

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All the aristorats asked Doc Moreau and I to fit them with this luminescent bone so their tail tips can form twitchy letters in the pitch dark.

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By fiddling with the rat genome we made the bioluminescent tailbone inheritable, but the side effects include deafness and deadly laser vision.

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Still, nothing says ‘home’ in the Dark Labyrinth like the sickly red gleam of twin eye beams and the sudden stink of burnt fur!

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Impoverished aristorats, if not strangled, often make a living by teaming up with telepathic Moon Cicadas to form ‘Shriekestras’ of victims.

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Creatures from the Overworld, lost in the tunnels, are ranked by shrieking pitch, then the Moon Cicadas direct the burnings.

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Although the quality of the music is lost upon stone-deaf aristorats, it remains fashionable to maintain Shriekestras for the Rat Courts.

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