by Daniel R. Oliver
You want to know about Arby, huh?
Well, you see…
ArbyFish are considered to be the oddest and most eccentric creatures in the known universe.
ArbyFish constitute between 2% to 99.9% of the mass of the universe on any given day, due to their love of toying with temporal physics.
Their bizarre qualities originate from genetic mutation, eating habits, and interaction with each other. All ArbyFish inherited their genes from a small, black cat that used to live on the Moon, but now lives in Japan. It is rumored, however, that they created the universe… so they are actually their own creation.
All of them have their hobbies, which they obsess about constantly. They also have a nigh-unto-invincible quality about them, being that they believe they're invincible, and so they are. Either that, or any pain, death, or other harmful force looks at one, thinks to itself about what is standing in front of them for awhile, then meanders off in another direction.
There are also different colors of ArbyFish, each having their own language, culture, and preferred living conditions. All ArbyFish understand each other.
ArbyFish look like a cross between a small, flattened harp seal and a forward-facing fish. They have circular, forward-set eyes that are normally brown on the outside and black in the pupils. They have an oval nose, which is black. The oval is pulled down to a rounded point and is located slightly beneath and in-between his eyes. They have black whiskers that jut out at weird angles and which are really annoying if an ArbyFish sits too near someone's ear. Their heads are basically part of their torso, the head being the larger part of their body. They go from large and wide at the head and slim down at where their upside-down heart shaped tail connects to their body.
ArbyFish flippers are attached in the front sides, slightly higher than the mid-point of their body, and are long enough to reach the top of their nose when standing up and looking forward. They usually let their flippers hang apart when they are in a standing position. Their flippers also curve down at the ends, coming to a blunt point. There is nothing really sharp about ArbyFish appearance, other than the piercing gaze of their eyes.
Some Average Dimensions: (Source: Arby)
Height: A little over 8 inches from tip to tail (20 cm)
ArbyFish have a black-checkered fishnet-like pattern on their backs that has darker and lighter shades of their color inside the irregular checkers. Their underbellies are off-white, blending very lightly toward the shade of their backs. It is very rare to see an ArbyFish without a pattern on the back (Excluding the white ArbyFish) because many of the ArbyFish judge each other by the intricacies of their posterior design. Not that they would berate anyone aloud for being simple-backed; they would just mentally note it for future reference.
The age of an ArbyFish is rather difficult to calculate, especially with the Black and Purple ArbyFish. The easiest way to find out is to ask them, but they will probably give you an estimate, usually to one significant figure. It would be very difficult to go back in time and witness the birth of most ArbyFish that you might meet because they live for billions of years, and therefore give you a REEEEAAAALLLLY rough estimate.
Another major cause of confusion with the exact age of ArbyFish is their 'Shroom Day', as Green ArbyFish call it, or 'Dump Day', as it is known by the Brown ArbyFish. It is the eighth day of the week by the ArbyFish calendar, being after Sunday, but before Monday. All ArbyFish experience this phenomenon, where they get to move around and do stuff while the rest of the universe sleeps through it. It is not suitable for an ArbyFish to sleep through one of these days, and there have been stiff penalties assigned for nonobservance.
This is a source of discontinuity for those who do not observe 'Shroom Day', but interact with the ArbyFish. One day the non-ArbyFish party would see a grassy hill in front of their house, then the next day they would find a fifty-foot high carved-marble monument to the joys of Swiss cheese where the hill used to be.
They also observe 'leap Shroom Days', along with many other holidays that disobey linear laws of temporal physics.
ArbyFish call each other by different names as they age. For example: Green ArbyFish call newborns 'spits'; then they turn from spit, to snot, to snort, to mucus, then to phlegm, to slime, to sludge… they get to more coagulated forms after that… and Green ArbyFish don't die: they congeal.
ArbyFish are powerful when they are young, then get progressively weaker until they reach their 'mid-life crisis', which is their least powerful point. After they recover from that, they will gain power steadily, eventually attaining a greater power level in their old age than they had at sprouting.
Colors of ArbyFish:
There are thirteen colors of ArbyFish, the most common ones being the green ones.
Green is the main color stem of ArbyFish that came from the original Arby mutation, Arby himself being a Green ArbyFish. The other colors are Grey, Blue, Brown, Red, Orange, Purple, Violet, Turquoise, Yellow, White, Black, and Pink, going from most numerous to least numerous.
There are also rumors of rainbow and translucent ArbyFish, but these have never been substantiated, and are said not to form groups or clans, and therefore don't count.
According to ArbyFish lore, one day Arby was very bored, and he released spores from the Moon right before he went into cryogenic stasis. The spores matured in different environments, creating the clans as they now stand today.
The Green ArbyFish are what you would call your common 'garden variety' ArbyFish. They make up about 60% of the ArbyFish species. They are widely known throughout the universe by a few people on most of the planets. They came from forests, swamps, grassy knolls, and other green areas. They are really common only in color. Though most green ArbyFish still live in their original habitats, many of them have migrated into other ArbyFish clans' habitats, and are accepted in all. They act the way they want and don't really subscribe to any traditional way of life.
They have a wide variety of hobbies, mostly concerned with growing things, but they will often times work odd jobs for people who ask nicely. Among the favorite plants of the green ArbyFish are mushrooms, fungus (the fuzzy types), mold, moss, lichen, poison ivy, deadly shrubs, itching hedges, and bramble bushes.
The Green ArbyFish spoken language is similar to a cross between dialects of Australian, British, Scottish, and Irish. They will use these modes of word modification in any language they encounter, not just English. Which is very odd, considering that some countries liked to hire them to interpret languages with very specific word structures. (Many wars started. Very bad.)
The traditional Green greeting is to greet from yourself, to the person in front of you (referring to the first person you greet as 'you'). Then the greeting continues to the rest of the people, referring to the second person as the appropriate third person pronoun (her-him-it,) then the rest of them by their first names. After you get to the last person, you greet him again and go back along the line of people until you get to yourself. It is then an option to greet the entire group, if it flows well and has the proper number of syllables.
For example, a greeting to a single person would go: "'`Ello' says I to you to me and you back in return."
To group of two it would go something like: "'`Ello' says I to you to him, to him to you to I."
To group of six would be like: "'`Ello' says I to you to him to Froop to Hayken to Borp to Quincy, to Quincy to Borp to Hayken to Froop to him to you to I, and all of you again, you see, so now we 'ave said '`oie'."
When Green ArbyFish are speaking publicly, it can take years or even centuries to welcome the entire crowd. Green ArbyFish greetings have been banned by most of the other social ArbyFish groups, as have Black and White greetings. There are special exceptions made in certain meetings, though.
A less formal greeting is one ArbyFish nods his head at another, then the other nods back to the first, then the first nods back to the second, continuing until one of them gets bored or is interrupted.
When traveling in a place where one might encounter Green ArbyFish, it would be helpful to know all of their laws…
Yeah. It sure would be helpful, but there really isn't any way of knowing what laws they are holding to at any particular time, because they are constantly being re-written.
The Green law-making process goes a little like this:
1: An ArbyFish must bring a new law or an erasure request to the place
An interesting thing to note, though, is that ArbyFish are known to forget things if they pass out. The ArbyFish will then debate about what law was actually going to be passed. Eventually they will come to an indecision and go their separate ways. The bookkeepers will write down their own version of events, and chaos will be restored to history.
Here are a few generally held laws:
(V) - AX -62b: You's got's ta do what the soigns say!
The Grey ArbyFish are now the most common non-green ArbyFish. They make up about 20% of the ArbyFish species. They matured while passing through cloud systems, jumping between the clouds and floating around. They are fond of borrowing books from ground dwellers because it is so incredibly boring where they live.
Their most prominent characteristic is their re-working of languages. For normal conversational style, it is proper grammar for them to always put the words of their sentences in alphabetical order from A to Z. For novels and formal or polite speech, the Grey ArbyFish take the words from all their sentences and put them in A-Z alphabetical order, with the punctuation at the beginning. There is also a band of younger Grey ArbyFish who have set out on reforming the Grey language, putting their books in alphabetical order from Z to A. Any other animal but ArbyFish will usually find them incomprehensible.
Their hobbies unclude reading, arranging things in alphabetical order, and writing seemingly formless poetry.
Grey ArbyFish never really greet anybody; they just walk up to them and converse with them… if they ever want to.
The Blue ArbyFish are primarily water ArbyFish, and constitute precisely 8% of the ArbyFish species. They matured in liquid environments: oceans, swimming pools, nitrogen, iced tea, etcetera. As mentioned before, they constitute precisely 8% of the ArbyFish population… no more, no less. As a matter of fact, when one part of the ArbyFish population increases or decreases, so do they, spontaneously, on rotating basis, often in the middle of the water polo games they so enjoy playing. Given how rapidly the ArbyFish population changes from one moment to the next, the average lifespan of a Blue ArbyFish is approximately 30 minutes. Plus, the Blue ArbyFish themselves are counted in the population, so there is a slight delay in the process, and there can not be portions of any individual ArbyFish, so the number hovers around the exact percentage of ArbyFish without ever reaching it.
They don't care, though. All they ever do is muck about in the water, having a good time. They are born sportsplayers and gamemasters, being capable of mastering any system that could be thought of as a game in under ten seconds, leaving them the rest of their small lives to enjoy it.
If one ever finds a Blue ArbyFish, and wishes to harness this innate talent for the good of mankind, one has to hold the system or problem in front of them and quickly convince the ArbyFish that it's really fun, before he disappears from existence. They will sometimes figure mathematical problems on their own, if they find that fun, but otherwise you have to get rather abstract and the ArbyFish would probably disappear before he was convinced.
Their main hobby is water polo, but they will play anything else that interests them as a game.
Blue ArbyFish can be greeted traditionally by splashing them with a little water. They will probably splash you back with a great deal of water, so do not greet them traditionally while wearing formal attire.
The Brown ArbyFish are underground ArbyFish. They form 3.75% of the total ArbyFish population. They love the dirt, adore it, bathe in it, eat, sleep, and dream dirt. Dirtcakes for breakfast, dirtclods for lunch, and dirty laundry for dinner. Everything they do has something to do with dirt. They rarely make appearances above ground, due to the fact that they abhor the sunlight. They will always wear dark black sunglasses, and thick black radiation suits with heavy breathing masks when they must go out into daylight. Their dress makes them rather disconcerting to people who happen to bump into them, and are a major cause of extraterrestrial paranoia among human beings.
They speak in very low tones that vibrate well through the rock and dirt. If you meet a Brown ArbyFish that is mumbling so low that you can't understand him, shove a clod of dirt in his mouth. This process filters the sound just right to raise the pitch of its voice. The same effect can be reached by talking to them with your own head stuck in the ground.
The traditional Brown greeting is to slap a clod of mud in the mouth of the person that you are greeting. This is what usually has to happen anyway, if you want to speak to them above ground.
The Red ArbyFish matured in lava, some near the top in volcanoes, some deep in the mantle near the core. They swim around through it. These ArbyFish like it hot. 2.75% of the ArbyFish are red. They are short-tempered ArbyFish and like to relieve their tension by pelting people with lava rock from the edge of their calderas. Red ArbyFish like playing card-games, causing small earthquakes, and playing dodge ball with lava-spheres.
The traditional Red greeting is to go up to the person you want to say hello to, and punch them right in the nose.
The Orange ArbyFish are fruit ArbyFish. They form 1.35% of the universal ArbyFish population. They live in tropical zones and will mature inside of fruit. The spores went into the ground water and were taken up through the root system, until they got to the outer twigs and stayed there until the plant blossomed and grew fruit, at which time they shifted into the fruit. That raises the question, "What's worse than finding an ArbyFish in your orange?" to which the answer is: "FINDING HALF AN ARBYFISH IN YOUR ORANGE! MWHOO HA HA HA HAA!"
Or maybe finding a whole one is worse…
The traditional Orange greeting is to belch three times in quick succession, then slap the forehead of the person being greeted.
The Purple ArbyFish are temporal ArbyFish. They form 1.15% of the ArbyFish in the universe. They like to hang around subways and sell assorted goods, such as flowers, blenders, and gravitational/temporal field surgery kits.
They do not subscribe to any specific law of temporal physics. They have their own logic that defines how they move through time. The Purple ArbyFish see things that happened in the future as having as much or more impact on the present as things that will happen in the past, but the past has more influence on the future than the present. The past influences the future into changing the present, which in turn influences the past, therefore the universe started in the future and came to the past by way of the present and ended up in the future. That way, each of the time frames have a good bath with a scrub brush before… after… or while they have… will be… or are gotten to, getting to, or at their grandmother's house for Christmas breakfast. Time is bumpy; you need a fine ship to sail it.
Well, ya see, most beings simply travel forward in time, some have learned how to travel backward for a short while, but are eventually caught in the current of time and are swept forward again. Purple ArbyFish can go backwards, forwards, up, down, or sideways in time. They swim in time well and can flutter above it if they choose to.
The Purple ArbyFish can move themselves through time however they think that they can. They can anchor themselves to someone else's view of time, or they can make up their own way of doing it.
Purple ArbyFish are responsible for the creation of the universe… Well, they weren't at first, or at last, but some of the other ArbyFish didn't like the idea of not having credit for everything, so they teamed up with the Purple ArbyFish. The Purple helped those ArbyFish to travel back (or was it forward?) in time to the beginning (or was it the middle?) of the universe. The story goes on to talk about a little white-hot ball that lived alone happily in a very dark place until one day, when something popped out the dark. The something initiated 'The Big Shroom,' which caused the formation of the universe.
Purple ArbyFish are calm-demeanored, and can be mistaken for depressant drug addicts if you didn't know them.
Purple ArbyFish greet each other traditionally by presenting the other with a gift taken from the present… their present… our past… their future's future, but if we were in their future we would see it in the past… as their past… in the future… whatever.
The Violet ArbyFish are incessantly happy ArbyFish. Their happiness is more toward the excited side of it. They matured in theme parks with thrill rides, like Magic Mountain or Six Flags. They make up one percent of the total ArbyFish population.
The Violet ArbyFish greet each other with a high five and a 'YEAHHHHHH!'
The Turquoise ArbyFish, like the Violet ArbyFish, are incessantly happy, but more towards the contented side of happy. They instead matured in theme parks with large amounts of water. Sea World, for example. They make up one percent of the total ArbyFish population.
The Turquoise greeting is a simple "Hello."
The Violet and Turquoise ArbyFish are all twins. When they started forming, they split and went their separate ways. They both went to a theme park of some kind, and the type that they went to determined their exact shade. Most ArbyFish tend to keep as pure of a color as they can, but Turquoise and Violet ArbyFish tend to have a lot of 'off' shades. They range from extremely happy, to pleasantly content, to slightly excited.
The Yellow ArbyFish are star ArbyFish… as in the middle of. Remember how the Red ArbyFish like it hot? Well, their environment is like a cold day on the dark side of the Moon compared to these guys. Preferring to exist at temperatures upwards of three million degrees, they constitute 0.85% of the total ArbyFish in the universe. The spores that found these stars either matured very quickly, due to the immense energy found there, or they were blown away by the solar wind, leaving them to float elsewhere. There will only be one Yellow ArbyFish per star, since they are territorial about their stars and they would be too prideful of their star to share it with any other ArbyFish. Another interesting fact is that their ego is unmatched by anything and everything else that ever has or will exist. Their hobbies include: basking in their own presence, creating solar flares, and throwing parties dedicated to their own greatness.
A traditional Yellow greeting is creating a supernova, to show off their own power and grandness to the new person. They will then have to find another star to live in if they don't like the gravitational disturbances caused by a neutron star or black dwarf.
It is advisable not to greet Yellow ArbyFish traditionally.
The White ArbyFish are pure evil. It is very advisable to stay away from them at all costs. They make up only .10% of the ArbyFish in the universe.
They are ArbyFish who stayed in the top part of the clouds, not going to the ground level while maturing. They hate all things, and will sit in meditation for their whole lives, plotting the destruction of the universe. The only reason they don't carry out their plot is that they know it would make some people very happy and it would be better just to let them live out their lives in pain and misery. They will wear silky, white, flowing capes. They will speak in very calm, refined accents until the moment they're about to do something really nasty to someone. Other ArbyFish don't really notice that the White ArbyFish are evil. White ArbyFish don't have a pattern on their backs.
There is little interaction between them and the outside world, and they don't do a whole lot anyway, so they don't have much of a recorded history. Behind every evil madman/woman, though, there has always been a white ArbyFish lurking on their shoulder. They just don't let themselves be seen by anybody else besides who they have decided would be capable of causing pain and misery.
Their hobbies include: meditation, plotting, torture, and knitting.
The traditional White greeting consists of lunging at the other's throat with a knife.
*DO NOT GREET WHITE ARBYFISH!*
The Black ArbyFish are spacefaring ArbyFish. They are the most powerful of all ArbyFish, and the most benevolent. They impulsively, and most of the time accidentally, do good wherever they go, and are known as heroes throughout the universe. They have the ability to manipulate energy, gravitational fields, and time, and they read minds. They are the least common, forming .05 percent of the total ArbyFish species.
They are also very finicky about their liquid intake, being that they drink only from Klein bottles. Most establishments don't carry that kind of glass, so they tend to carry their own around. Never let a waitress/waiter attempt to refill their glasses, or bad things may happen (Unless the waiter is a Black ArbyFish). Simply show them a source of liquid and they'll muddle it out. If a Black ArbyFish asks you to fill his glass, you should refuse, unless YOU are a Black ArbyFish. The Black ArbyFish will not take offense at your refusal.
Black ArbyFish have the most intricate patterns on their backs, but because it is indistinguishable next to their main color, it is rarely spoken of.
The Black greet each other traditionally by a little contest of wills. The first attempts to manipulate gravity to crush the second, and the second tries to crush the first in that same manner. They both try to keep themselves from being crushed by willing the space around them to expand. The first has successfully greeted the second when a Klein bottle has formed between them. They then go somewhere together to quench their thirst.
*DO NOT ATTEMPT TO GREET A BLACK ARBYFISH TRADITIONALLY!*
The Pink ArbyFish, also known as AbryFish, more than likely matured around kittens, puppies, or in patches of sugar cane. Their hobbies included sewing, knitting, crocheting, and being generally pleasant and nice to each other. They are no longer found in this universe because of the fact that all other ArbyFish hated them. There was a massive war, the only war in ArbyFish history, and the Pink ArbyFish were virtually eradicated due to their good-natured cuteness. Most ArbyFish denied that they were cute at all. If you ever asked about a Pink ArbyFish, they would hesitate, but quickly respond by telling about how the AbryFish were the foulest creatures in ArbyFish society, and then go on about the war.
The war was won because the AbryFish were so numerous. The ArbyFish sent out cards inviting all the AbryFish to a family reunion out in the middle of space. The AbryFish, not wishing to refuse the invitation, went to this particular point. The vacuum of space didn't kill them, since ArbyFish don't really need any atmosphere to survive in. The immense gravity well that was created from the compounded mass in a single area crushed them all into a single point of matter, effectively eliminating them.
The trouble with getting rid of ArbyFish is that they are a bit like cockroaches; you can kill of all of the adults, but there may still be eggs left in the walls, and they can live just about anywhere. ArbyFish, of course, don't lay eggs… not that we know of, anyway; but there are still young ArbyFish that are mutating, and a few didn't make it to the party, so they are not actually extinct. ***
In ArbyFish minds and history books, Pink ArbyFish were a bad tempered, ill willed, plotting, devious, evil part of their kind. ArbyFish really don't like to talk about them and it's more likely to be struck by lightning on a clear day while being hit by a live, flying woodchuck than to have it come up in a conversation. Speaking of which, a favorite pastime of some ArbyFish is standing outside on a clear day and attempting to get themselves struck by lightning while hitting themselves with a live, flying woodchuck.
The traditional Pink greeting goes like this:
Other ArbyFish found this arcane practice too disgusting to just sit by idly and let it continue. This was one of the acts that fueled the fires of the war waged against them.
~ Even though we don't really know if there are any Translucent or Rainbow ArbyFish, I thought it would be good to include what we could say from the rumors. It isn't known, even roughly, how many of these ArbyFish are around. -note that these are only rumors- ~
Translucent-transparent ArbyFish are rumored to form when an ArbyFish spore gets stuck between two panes of glass. These ArbyFish range from invisible, to nearly invisible, to slightly opaque. Their appearance is the main problem in finding out anything about them.
Rainbow-spectral ArbyFish are the really tough ones because they can wear any color that they want, and don't like to give away their secret identities. There could also be ArbyFish who don't know that they are Rainbow, thinking that they are just part of the color society that they were originally mutated into.
Rainbow ArbyFish are said to mature in a scenario like this one: One sunny day in a theme park, it began to rain as a fog rolled in. The little ArbyFish spore jumped inside a very sweet orange to escape the rain. While the ArbyFish spore was inside the orange, someone stuck a straw into it and created a vacuum inside.
Approximate ArbyFish color distribution out of 10,000 ArbyFish:
Most people can't comprehend the numbers below, so it's best for them to look at the above guesstimations as to what they might encounter.
Estimated number of ArbyFish:
4.213666256 X 10^27 (Approximately 4,213,666,256,000,000,000,000,000,000)
These all developed within about 22,000 years.
There were twenty-two generations of them, as far as anyone can figure, since ArbyFish release 18 spores once in their lifetime and it takes them about 1000 years to develop to that point.
The physicists who were working on the problem of the extra mass forming so quickly, all quit and decided to become a co-op of used dinnerware salesmen. They opened up some type of office in central Wyoming, and vowed never to think about anything ever again.
All of the descriptions are in general and there are exceptions to every case. There is rumored to be a lot of rumor in this overview, but there are rumors of it not being substantiated. The percents and numbers are estimated, barring any temporal tampering, and judged by the most commonly used continuities.
Our info is still forming from the observations of, and tea parties being held with, the ArbyFish. The universe is a big place to hide in. So much more than what is mentioned is possible.
This overview would be updated once in a while, eventually becoming the 'Complete Guide To ArbyFish,' once the guide to incantations, spells, mythology, lore, signs, and symbols has been added, but it might not be if it is, and so it won't be 'cause it was.
More information might be found sometime within the next four temporal constants at this website:
(Try saying it out loud, it makes it so much more fun!)
(Those without the "arby://" transfer protocol enabled in their browser — or if you have a web browser older than Mosaic version 39.3a or higher — should not attempt to access this site.)
At least, that's what they tell us… ^_^
*** (Editor's note: in the time since this paper was written, it's become generally accepted that the Pink didn't die as a result of the singularity formation. Presumably, they're still having their party, trapped beyond the event horizon. In Ben's continuity, Arby, the First One, was also the first ArbyFish to ever really die. Even the Blues just pop in and out of existence without actually dying.)
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