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Fan Fic / Existence Is the Most Exciting Thing of All

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Ever since Carlos was little, he and his daemon have been fans of Dr. Lyra Belacqua. Both as the most groundbreaking experimental theologian of the 20th century, and as the heroine of dozens of fantasy-adventure children's stories (based very loosely on her own mysterious childhood).

But Lyra's true legacy is still bigger than Carlos ever imagined...until he took a team of scholars to study Rusakov particles in the most theologically interesting community in Hispania Nova. Now his own day-to-day life is full of things like angels, witches, hooded spectres, portals between worlds, vague yet menacing branches of the Magisterium, and a man who walks around without his daemon and can read an alethiometer as easily as a stop sign.

"Existence Is The Most Exciting Thing of All", also known as "Republic of Heaven Community Radio" is a crossover fanfiction series between Welcome to Night Vale and His Dark Materials by Erin Ptah (Sailor Ptah). Though initially appearing to be a simple retelling of Night Vale canon with the addition of daemons, it quickly develops its own unique plot and characters. It draws a lot of themes and inspiration from both universes, although only passing knowledge of His Dark Materials is needed to understand the story.

Book One, "He Says He's An Experimental Theologian", details Carlos's initial arrival in the town of Night Vale, his adjustment to its peculiarities, and the slowly developing relationship between him and the town's odd radio host. A short interlude, "Cecil On The N.T.A", covers the events of the WTNV episode "Subway" and the emotional impact it has on Carlos and Cecil's relationship. Book Two, "A Blinking Light Up On the Clouded Mountain", follows the characters (now including Intern Dana and Tamika Flynn) as they confront the looming presence of Strexcorp and the Smiling God.



  • Accidental Truth: Carlos bluffs Lauren into thinking he and his group have studied angels enough that he's figured out how to become one. A minute later, it turns out one of his colleagues actually has figured it out.
  • Adorkable: Both Cecil and Carlos.
  • The Alcoholic: Increasingly heavy drinking is Henriette's way of coping.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: The theologians. Adriana, Brad, Carlos, Dotan, all the way up to Quentin, Rayshawn, and Sherie.
    • Sherie's family members are Sam, Susannah, and Seth.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: Even beyond the obviously AU premise, the story and time-line starts to develop quite significant differences from the original Night Vale one.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Cecil. Carlos is unable to come to any definite conclusions about his ethnic background, and even Cecil doesn't really know much about his heritage.
  • Animal Motifs: Par for the course for any fic dealing with daemons. A brief summary of their meanings below;
    • Carlos's daemon, Isaña, gets a three-banded armadillo, the only species which can roll up completely. Its a desert species, representing how Night Vale is their natural element. She's prey, but well defended. It also represents their childhood desire for Isaña to settle as an armoured polar-bear.
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    • Cecil's daemon is Khoshekh, a margay. Specifically, a Brazilian margay, which is important, because Brazil doesn't actually exist in Lyra's universe. Khoshekh therefore has all the symbolism you'd expect from a wild-cat, but the fact that he has an otherworldly diamond limb structure and the ability to float highlights Cecil's strangeness.
    • Calm and collected Adrianna gets an iguana. Shy and nervous Brad gets a hamster. Dotan, who goes on to be very outspoken about the non-existence of God, gets a palm viper. Li Hua has a wren, which seems weird when it turns out she's kind of violent, until you realize wrens can be very dangerous when threatened.
    • Tamika Flynn gets an African buffalo. Strong and free, and good at working together to protect against predators.
    • Dana eventually settles as a phoenix, the one creature which cannot be burned by the Smiling God's light.
    • The odder Night Vale residents tend to have very weird, often eye-less species as their daemons.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Carlos. Never imagined he'd grow up to date an alethiometrist and work side-by-side with witches back when he was a kid with a Fisher-Price toy alethiometer and a Serafina Pekkala action figure.
  • Blind Seer: Cecil.
  • Brainwashed: Happens pretty commonly.
  • The Chessmaster: The Man In The Tan Jacket. With his condition, it's really the only option he has.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: With the Faceless Old Woman, no less.
  • Fingore: Cecil mentions that Kevin is missing a couple of fingers, which turns out to be significant because he has a Strex-brand version of Will Parry's dimension-cutting knife. Tamika also loses two fingers after confronting Kevin, signifying that she's been chosen as the next wielder of the knife.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Henriette gets to name 'Fatality Units', or F.U.s. Everybody agrees it's a pretty apt description.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Henriette and the Apache Tracker.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Cecil's unability to differentiate shades means he can't coordinate his outfit's colours to save his life. He also tends to choose his daily wear because of the texture and material such as embroidery and ruffles. The results are quite... memorable.
  • Jerkass with a Heart of Gold: Keith Köhler.
  • Last Words: During the war with Strexcorp, several of Carlos's colleagues decide — in complete seriousness — to plan out their inspirational dying words in advance.
  • Little Miss Badass: Renée Carlsberg, her step-sister Janice, and Tamika Flynn.
  • Long-Lost Relative: The Man in the Tan Jacket, to Cecil.
  • Meaningful Name: Apparently, Cecil's mom had a wicked sense of humour for choosing to give her son the Latin name for blind and his daemon the Jewish word for darkness.
  • Missing Mom: Cecil's mom abandoned him as a teenager under mysterious circumstances, something he's still conflicted about.
  • Mythology Gag: The character of Carlo Raimondi, whose name is often confused with Carlos', looks just like Joseph Fink, who was considered to voice Carlos (before Dylan Marron was chosen for the role). In addition, Raimondi's final line in the story after Tamika kills his empty body and sets his soul free is 'hey...thanks.' just as Joseph Fink says that line at the end of every introduction.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Despite the warnings, the theologians come up with a plan to study the Dog Park, something which causes Brad and Mateo to get killed, has Fleur turn into a tree out of grief, and nearly gets the theologians kicked out of town.
    • Also, it was Carlos's actions which led Strex to Night Vale in the first place.
  • Older Than They Look: Old Woman Josie only appears to be about thirty, but she's a witch and centuries old. Her unofficial title helps people remember.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Members of the Sheriff's Secret Police and Tamika's "book club" do their best to hide their identities with things like cloaks and ski masks, but that's a lot harder when part of you is an (often large or distinctively-shaped) animal.
  • Power Incontinence: The Man In The Tan Jacket is unable to prevent people from forgetting almost everything about him, much to his frustration.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Strex uses energy released during intercision as a power source.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Sure, Mateo might have been a Magisterium plant to spy-on and eventually assassinate Carlos, but he sacrificed his life saving Fleur and trying to save Brad. Also, the Apache Tracker, as in canon.
  • Shout-Out: Many.
  • Spanner in the Works: During the mission to rescue Carlos from Desert Bluffs, The Man in the Tan Jacket lies about Carlos' location, resulting in Tamika attacking the wrong side of the building. This leads to Tamika and Rashi being kidnapped by Kevin, and Henriette's death.
  • Team Mom: Henriette.
  • Third Eye: Cecil has a non-literal one he got from trepanning. So did the Apache Tracker.
  • There Are No Therapists: Well, technically Night Vale has therapists, it's just that they're all cats. Not talking cats or anything, just normal ones. They're good for cuddling, at least.
    • All Therapists Are Muggles: When discussing leaving the town for proper therapy, it's pointed out that normal therapists might not believe half of what the theologians tell them.
  • Transgender: Henriette is a trans woman, as is Janice's mother Delphine, Jordan is introduced as having 'some kind of... thing going on with gender.' which Carlos doesn't understand or ask questions about, Adriana later reveals that she knows Jordan's pronouns but not how to pronounce them and later still xie is confirmed to use xie pronouns. Carlos' brother, Mike, has a toddler named Nate who is assigned male at birth but who Cecil perceives as a girl, leading Carlos to theorise that she may be trans. The Man in the Tan Jacket is a trans man, who was born a witch.
  • Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: Köhler is an excellent scientist and a real boon to the team, but he's of an older generation, and demonstrates a lot of casual sexism, racism, homophobia and transphobia. A big portion of his arc is learning to grow past these opinions.
    • Not as extreme, but Carlos's Desert Bluffs counterpart, Carlo, is sort of an ass for a lot of the same reasons. Nonetheless, Carlos is guilt-ridden when he discovers that he's been severed.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Steve and Cecil pretend to hate one another, but they're actually best friends. The behaviour is partly an act so Cecil can claim Plausible Deniability if Steve's political opinions get him in trouble, but a lot of it is just how their friendship works.
  • Wham Line: During a seemingly inconspicuous conversation with Carlo Raimondi, Carlos happens to name-drop the "control group" city in which Carlo is stationed: Desert Bluffs.
  • Would Hurt a Child: As in canon, Strex doesn't pull punches when dealing with Night Vale's middle-school-age rebels. They also have a nasty habit of using child intercision as a power source, a la Lord Asriel's first portal.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: As in the original canon, when Cecil gets stuck on the Subway it feels like years, but barely any time at all has passed when he returns home. Unlike in canon, the emotional effects of this are much more deeply explored.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Upon hearing a prophecy that he's destined to betray Night Vale, Carlos goes 'Screw Destiny' and tries to take every precaution to avoid it, even when everyone tells him its impossible. Unfortunately for him, the prophesied event has already happened.

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