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The Saga of the Kronies: Index

I. Genesis
II. "A Large Gang...."
III. The Belly of the Beast
IV. The Wrath of Con
V. The Trial 2: Kafka's Revenge
VI. Snatching Defeat From the Jaws of Victory
VII. The Pen is Mightier Than the Foam Rocket
VIII. ...But What Have We Learned?

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Five years later, myself and Agent K1 took a tour of the crime scene, so to speak. The disintegrating motel had been wholly revamped and now looked like the sort of classy place that would never allow an event like MOCK to be held there. Rook's comic store was gone, replaced by "The Cat's Meow Yarn Shop," though a little checking around revealed it wasn't quite dead. A few tables of comics sat in the corner of a hair salon which also boasted a sign for Rook's business in its window. No phone number, no web address. MOCK stayed dead, never to rise again in any incarnation, with little remaining legacy to indicate that it ever existed. These days, it's essentially only known for being the rare example of a con where a high-profile guest died at the event. (This was at the second-ever MOCK. If it had happened in the declining years, you can bet Rook would've blamed us for that, too.) The hotel that hosted MOCK's swan song closed down. Even the judge who heard our case lost her job shortly thereafter in some local scandal. That's what you get when you fuck with the Kronies! (Hell, we might as well take credit for that; it's no sillier than most of the other crap attributed to us.)

What is the lesson to take from all of this? Is it really, "Don't fuck with the Kronies?" Honestly, I'm not sure we can take credit (or blame, if MOCK was something you liked) for killing the con. It was headed down that road already; we just gave it a little push. More than any other factor, Mr. Rook killed his own con, creating an object lesson in self-fulfilling prophecy, or how we're our own worst enemies, or that if you don't start nothing, to quote Will Smith from Men In Black, there won't be nothing. Or is it that what goes around comes around, or that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction? I mean, the fucker had a heart attack in court just because his case wasn't well-received. That's the sort of melodrama I would find unbelievable if I saw it in a movie. It's all so pathetic that, even though he shouldn't have messed with our dart war, I'm almost tempted to feel sorry for Mr. Rook.

Of course, then I remember his inane rants, and his way of treating his own friends, and how at least four different women I can name alleged he asked them to get naked for favors, and the pity sort of dries up. As MOCK's presence in the con scene dwindled, Rook's paranoia increased, as if in compensation; after all, a huge conspiracy against you implies that you must be someone of import-conspiracies don't form around nobodies, right?

In the year-and-a-half after our hearing and before Rook quit, various ideas were tossed around about how the joke might be continued, including legitimately renting a hotel room for a Kronies party at the MOCKTOBERFEST 2000 hotel (our prohibition from contacting him only applied in his home county), along with producing more flyers for distribution at other cons. None of these ultimately happened. Perhaps the five months we'd spent worrying about possible legal action had dulled our nerve.

The following is a collection of some of "Mr. Rook's" postings on the subject of the so-called cronies. Real names have been obscured.

This is a typical example of one of his rants, including the "who taught them to hate?" refrain that would frequently appear. This one was posted shortly after the hearing: note that it postulates that he "won," even though the case never went to trial (there was only a hearing in magistrate court) and we received no punishment of any kind. If by "paying the price" he means we had to see him make a fool of himself before a judge, I'll happily pay that price any day. Note also that it continues the narrative he spun in court about how he'd never seen us before that night. This lie doesn't even help his case. The "proof" he promises never came, though there was a "Krony page" on his official website for a good while. It only displayed our flyers for even more people to see; his supposed exposť never got beyond a "coming soon" status.

A post from Rook following up on a post suggesting he shouldn't, essentially, feed the trolls. He twice says the cronies win no matter what he does, followed in the very next sentence by a claim that he knows "99% of their tricks." Either the cronies are spin-doctor geniuses, or he's way ahead of them and will inevitably catch them.

Rook seems to think use of online handles is evidence of suspect behavior, and proposes the horrifying notion of an orgy at MOCK. I've seen MOCK's attendees; no one wants this. (I don't think it ever actually happened.)

This epic rant shows Rook's mind at work as he dissects a post critical of MOCK, sometimes one word at a time. He denies having fetish parties right before saying that there will be a fetish party, he denies that MOCK is an SF con right before admitting that it is, and then later claims that it is not a convention at all, all while banging the "why do they HATE?" drum and speculating about possible mind control attempts on the poster's part. Witness as he isolates the single word "drugs" and spins a wholly irrational inference that the poster is actually saying that MOCK is full of stoned cops. A psych student could write an entire dissertation on this one. (Note that Rook's fascination with death by hanging reappears in his summation.)

One day later, Rook decides the previous post must've been from "K1." (It wasn't. Either the Kronies are legion, or it's just two of us doing all of it. He can't decide.) He makes ridiculous demands that are a transparent attempt to get us to do what the judge said not to do (contact him). We ignored him; nothing happened. Also, why am I the "buddy?" Half this shit was my idea!

Here we see an email Rook sent out to his staff concerning the dates of the next MOCK. The second post is after Rook denied making any such claims and called his own staff liars, only for them to publicly throw his own email back in his face.

A vintage post from Rook concerning the horror of throwing a Dragon Con party during MOCK, an act he equates to the Kennedy assassination, the only difference being that "you missed." Yep, that's the only difference. This was, of course, the MOCK where we put out the "Fandumb" 'zines, which got blamed on the Dragon Con crew. Sorry, guys.

Tangentially related, here's a fake ad for a nonexistent follow-up to a one-off show called "Starcon" (headed by the same "Richard S." who was supposed to get us into MOCK). Not only did we give actual contact info for both Richard S. and "Mr. Rook," we gave the hotel address and dates for a real but unrelated convention, just to confuse drop-ins. Yeah, brats.

I could keep adding more of these all day, but I trust that there's sufficient data here to clearly answer the burning question of "who taught you to hate?" Who, indeed? Apropos of absolutely nothing related, here's a lovely little town in England.