January 24: At approximately 10 p.m., students studying on the top floor of Sterling Library begin to hear a low, rhythmic thumping emanate from below that grows in frequency over the course of the next half-hour. This is soon followed by a blinding purple light that penetrates stone, sounds of unearthly origin, a thick and noxious fog that shimmers with a sort of unplaceable menace, and gurgled shrieks of pure terror. The students naturally assume that this is all just Toad’s functioning as usual until they glimpse the dread beast from beyond the stars that has come to Yale to sow destruction.
January 25: In the morning, the damage is clear: Sterling Library has been impacted by a spaceship-type object, most likely a spaceship, and a bestial voice from deep within the Stacks is loudly growling its intention to maim, eat, and dismember as many students as possible. Yale President Peter Salovey, faced with the need to take immediate action, directs Yale Chief of Police Ronnell Higgins to send out a campus-wide email reminding students to keep their cell phones out of view when walking in poorly-lit areas.
January 28: After serious consideration, Salovey decides that a more forceful response is necessary. In a campus-wide email, he strongly condemns Zagnar’s message of murder and total desecration of all things sacred, but is firm in reminding students that attending a liberal-arts college means not shutting oneself off from views that one disagrees with, such as killing all the students and faculty members of Berkeley College and publicly burning their flayed torsos as an offering to an interstellar sea-demon. To clarify Yale’s policies on the matter, he forms the Committee for Establishing Principles on Alien Wraiths from Beyond the Void.
February 8: The Committee holds its first meeting, during which members pick an official Committee color scheme (mauve and cream), retain the services of a graphic designer (Tobias Frere-Jones), and tentatively decide on which consulting firm they will hire to help them with the mission statement visioning process. Near the meeting’s conclusion, mini-Zagnars burst from the veiny, bulging foreheads of all three student members, instantly killing the students and splattering the room with their blood and grey matter. The meeting adjourns early so the remaining committee members can get their now gore-spattered clothes to the dry cleaners before the end of the business day.
February 14: The Yale Daily News publishes a damning exposé, revealing that a significant portion of Zagnar the Pillager’s startup plunder (200,000 galactic credits and uncountable skulls of mortals) was provided by the Yale Investment Office as a routine part of their Despicable Intentions Seed Fund. Outside sources, while noting that the original piece is riddled with factual errors and ends for some reason with a brief paragraph explaining that Trumbull College is located in New Haven, verify the truth of the article’s main claim.
February 15: Zagnar, after being buzzed into the building by whoever the hell lets people into the YDN, feasts upon the luscious flesh of the Yale Daily News’ editorial board. New Haven police soon discover Zagnar and Yale Chief Investment Officer David Swensen drinking recently-expired Keystone Light and celebrating a “job well done” in a nearby motel room. Swensen is arrested, but Zagnar escapes through a nearby window.
February 16: Campus protests over Yale’s role in the unholy coming of Zagnar explode. To maintain propriety and to avoid alienating those major Yale donors with ties to Zagnar’s reign of terror, Salovey creates a crude dummy out of an old pair of jeans, a moth-eaten “REAGAN/BUSH 1984” sweatshirt, and a partially-inflated basketball, which he then places on his front doorstep next to a tape recorder playing an infinite loop of meaningless platitudes and irrelevant statistics. Salovey relaxes upstairs with a bottle of fine Chablis and a DVR full of “Young Sheldon” reruns, confident in the knowledge that the students at his door are getting basically the same experience they would if he were there.
February 19: Protests continue as eighteen more students’ severed limbs and phalanges are found stacked like cordwood on Cross Campus. President Salovey issues an immediate press release to remind all Yale students and affiliates that Tobacco-Free Yale has a very nice new logo.
February 23: Student voices about the now month-long Zagnar fiasco begin to penetrate national media, and tourist numbers begin to plummet. Since the Committee for Establishing Principles has devolved into a series of blood-strewn mini-Zagnar explosions occasionally interrupted by tempered discussions of Aristotle, Salovey decides to take matters into his own hands. Using back channels, he arranges a secret meeting with Zagnar the Primordial Menace. After an hour of formalities and light discussion, Salovey timidly asks Zagnar if he would consider leaving campus. To Salovey’s shock, Zagnar immediately leaves the meeting, gathers his minions, boards his spaceship, and flies back to the benighted regions from which he first emerged. Salovey finishes his tea and has a second cup before alerting the student body.
February 24: Salovey and his administration receive some criticism for the Zagnar incident; since Zagnar had been repeatedly screaming “I do not stay where I am not permitted!” for the past month, many feel that Salovey’s action of just asking Zagnar to leave could have come somewhat sooner. The president, however, spends the day relaxing, taking a break only to authorize a donor appeal and quaff a few glasses of absinthe, deeply satisfied in having done the absolute minimum amount of work necessary to combat an extremely destructive problem.
Micah Osler | firstname.lastname@example.org