Author: Neshomeh
Permission Givers/ Permission Giver's Hat
One day, the Permission Givers were sitting around a table in the PPC Lounge, enjoying a friendly card game together. It might have looked like they were simply taking turns tossing cards into the Permission Giver Hat, but it was actually very complex with rules that operated on levels beyond the normal realms of consciousness and physics. They didn't have a written description of the rules or even a name for it yet, but once they figured it out, the patent was going to make them all rich enough to retire forever.

Suddenly, Neshomeh spoke into the silence, breaking Araeph's concentration and causing her to miss a vital throw.

"This job bites," she said. "I didn't realize how whiny the Boarders were before I had to start paying attention to them."

"Yeah," Laburnum added, leaning aside as Araeph stomped off in a huff. "Every time I try to talk to someone, it's 'I wanna this,' and 'can I that,' and 'I'm not worthy.' How do you guys put up with it?"

Techno-Dann glanced at Leto behind his cards. "Should we tell them?"

"Maybe." Leto gave the two newest Permission Givers a critical look. "If we think they can handle it."

"Oh, I know they can." Huinesoron lounged indolently in his overstuffed chair, pretending to study his cards. When he was sure everyone was looking at him, he let his hand fall and the cards flutter artistically to the floor. "Bring me the Permission Giver Hat."

Although Leto was technically the most senior of the Permission Givers, everyone knew that Huinesoron outclassed him, and so naturally Huinesoron took the head of the small group. Reverently, Techno-Dann dumped the cards out of the Permission Giver Hat and presented it to hS. He executed a small bow before returning to the couch.

"Now," hS intoned, "Leto shall tell you the Tale of the Hat, for it is one that he knows full well."

Leto rose, looking very dignified in his old age. Neshomeh and Laburnum looked up at him with expectant awe. "Behold!" he boomed, his eyes flashing as he extended a hand toward the Hat. "This is the Hat of Permission Giving. See how it is like a bowler, only slightly pointier at the top. See how it is adorned with sequins and stars and runes of power and unholy sigils. (The first one actually exploded when someone accidentally doodled a combustion spell diagram onto it, but we Do Not Speak of That.) See how the words 'Permishun-Givver' are blazoned across its front, because otherwise how would anyone know we're serious? Do you see?"

"We see," Neshomeh and Laburnum responded.

"Then hear me, and mark well the Tale of the Hat," Leto continued. "In the days of yore, when the Board was just starting up, there were but two Permission Givers, and their names were called Jay (or Otik, because Jay was weird like that) and Acacia. And the Board grew, and it was good. But lo! eventually Jay and Acacia didn't feel like doing it any more, and so they prepared to retire. But there was a problem, for you see, they needed to pass their secrets and their powers on to someone else. And so they pondered and thought and canoodled, and thus they came upon the solution!" Here he paused dramatically.

"The Hat?" Neshomeh piped up eagerly.

"Canoodled?" Laburnum wondered aloud. "I don't think that-" But Techno-Dann shushed her. hS only smiled.

"Yea verily, the Hat," said Leto, ignoring everyone. "The Hat was made even thus as you see it now, and it was passed to GreyLadyBast, Miss Cam, and Thalia Weaver, and they bore it well until they, too, departed, leaving it to the next generation of Permission Givers, and so on and so forth down through the ages unto this very day. And now it comes to you, for it is time that you learn of its full powers."

"Oooh," said the women.

"Indeed," said hS, rising from his chair. "You asked how we put up with the whiny Boarders. Well, sporking Sues and playing cards is all well and good, but the fact is that we're so much better than everyone else that we need better stress relief, and we have only each other to turn to. And the Hat."

"You mean...?" began Laburnum, who was quicker than Neshomeh on the uptake, as she shot to her feet.

"That's right." hS nodded. "The only solution is really fantastic sex." The other men grinned and nodded knowingly.

"But what has the Hat got to do with it?" asked Neshomeh, who, it has been said, was a little behind.

"Oh, you'll see."