Space Quest:Convergence/Chapter 01
"As we join our hero, Roger Wil--er, ahem. I mean, as we join our heroes, MP-X301 and Ada, we find them puttering around Meat and Metal Medical, the small combination clinic/maintenance/occasional catering service (don't ask where the food comes from) that the inseparable duo have opened in the wake of their first big adventure (mostly for lack of anything better to do).
"The duo have started to make a name for themselves providing medical and repair services to individuals and small businesses throughout Xenon City (mostly those who can't afford more professional care)."
MP-X301 is kicked back in his metal recliner chair, feet up on the remains of a junked satellite they'd scavenged during a recent "parts run" to the local scrap yard. "Awfully quiet today, Ada. I'm surprised there hasn't been another run since the Food Line stopped serving tapioca pudding. The riots alone would have done something, you'd think."
Ada: "I think the food poisoning from the pudding did more damage than the riots could, really."
"Better the tapioca than from the Labion Terror Stroganoff. That stuff's lethal." MP-X301 picks up a dart and throws it across the room at the dart board sitting cock-eyed on the wall. "Any new robotics problems?"
The dart board yelps. "Ow!"
Ada: "Not at the moment. Though I hear your newer model kin have been causing problems. Something about the latest makeup trend resembling the Denebian flu spots, so they keep trying to force treat everyone."
A pair of tiny robotic arms emerge, pull out the dart, and place it into a special receptacle.
MP-X301 jumps. "Oops."
Suddenly... the visiphone rings! *RING!*
Ada leans over and answers it in her best sing-songy voice. "Thank you for calling Meat and Metal Medical, meeting all your medical and catering needs. How can we fix you today?"
MP-X301: "Meat and Metal Medical, We Pick Up Anything That's Not Dead or Shrapnel... No, that's not a good slogan. I gotta think of a better one."
Ada: The screen lights up...on the other end of the comlink, you can see what looks like a street outside of some small buildings - looks like the caller is phoning in from a pay phone. Speaking of the caller, she's a fairly typical Xenonian woman with short brown hair, a reasonably attractive face, and a look of absolute panic. "OhmygodohmygodohmygodohmyGOD!"
Ada: "Hold on, there, ma'am. Calm down, and state the nature of the medical emergency."
She's still panicking. "OhmygodohmygodohmyGOD!" Suddenly, as if the thought had only just now occurred to her, she produces a small aerosol spray can. The label is just barely legible - "DON'T PANIC - anti-hypering-agent. Freaking out? Then DON'T PANIC, and chill out instead!" She sprays a small amount into her mouth much like a breath spray canister; almost immediately, she calms down noticeably.
MP-X301 stands up and grabs his medical bag off the shelf, shoves it in his storage compartment, then frowns. "That stuff's known to have a variety of side effects..."
She resumes speaking, still shaken, but much more coherent. "Okay, like...oh my GOD, I'm like, down here at the corner of 74th and 47th, and, like, there's this, like, totally dead dude here!" Well, okay, maybe not that coherent. "Well, I mean, he's not like, DEAD dead. I think. He's still breathing."
Ada: "So we're talking 'mostly dead', then?"
She glances behind her; you can just barely make out a crowd of people gathered in the background, looking at something. "I think he got hit by a car! He's just sort of, like, lying there, and twitching, and stuff."
"I think he might be like, poisoned or something too, 'cause he's all like, green and stuff."
Ada: "...is he supposed to be green? You never know with the population around this place."
MP-X301: "74th and 47th, then? I'll be in the garage, Ada, come out as soon as you get the rest of the details." MP darts through the door into the garage and checks the map for 74th and 47th streets.
"Like, I dunno!" She glances back again. "I like, called the hospital, but they said he was like, on the do-not-treat list or some junk. Somebody said I should, like, call you guys or something."
Ada: "'Do-not-treat'? Oh joy times two. All right, we'll be there shortly."
MP: Scanning the maps, you quickly locate the intersection of 74th and 47th - it's right between 73rd and 75th streets, and 46th and 48th streets.
MP-X301: "Okay, I got the route in the ol' processors..." He checks his supplies, equipment, optics, scanners, multitool, heavy weapons...
Heavy weapons? On a medical run? I don't think so, Tim... you'd get your license revoked.
Ada heads out into the garage. "Turns out our new patient is not only green and twitching, but on the 'Do-Not-Treat' list."
MP-X301: Aside to the narrator, "Hey, it weighs a lot. And I keep it in the compartment where it belongs. I only whip it out for special occasions and all."
MP-X301: "Green? Oh, joy... I better boot up the Xenomedical Database on the way." MP's gears and servos whine and grind as he switches over to vehicle mode, the patent-pending traditional onomatopoeia not properly licensed, and thus he gets a grind-whine-growl-crunch-mangle-spoit-CLANK, finally ending up in a hovering vehicle mode, complete with flashing lights. "Hop in, Ada."
Ada hops in. "Let's roll out, MP!"
MP-X301's engines rev up, his siren blares, and he bursts out of the garage, careening off the curb and heads toward the scene of the crime!
MP-X301: Well, and the medical call, too.
Having converted to vehicle mode like a generic non-trademarked unsueable transforming robot toy, MP (who now resembles a VW microbus without wheels) races down the streets of Xenon City like a bot out of hell. He makes great time through the many overarching over-and-underpasses of the city's roadways, partly due to his now-intimate knowledge of the city's road layout, and partly because he ignores virtually every existing traffic law in the process (as well as several impending ones).
Ada holds on for dear life.
Ada: "You know, MP, you could let me do the driving occasionally..."
MP-X301: "Sure. But, I need the practice. And we haven't run over anything but a busload of nuns since the switchover. Remember when I actually commanded an entire starship? Those were the days..."
Ada: "Please don't remind me of the nun incident. Good gracious, the mess..."
MP-X301: "I cleaned it up... and most of the nuns walked away happy..." He sounds indignant.
Ada: "Only because you promised to hand out their recruitment flyers with every emergency visit thereafter until we ran out."
MP-X301: "That only took two months..."
MP rounds a corner somewhat violently, nearly running over an elderly nun trying to cross the street. A look of recognition flashes across her face, and she raises her fist and yells after the speeding ambulance.
Ada: "...most of the nuns."
MP-X301: "Bah, she was only mildly injured. She wasn't even the one that ended up in traction for 3 weeks."
After several more near misses, MP finally screeches to a halt at the intersection (Yes, screeches. His, hover-brakes need cleaning.).
He swings in beside a sizable crowd, gathered around something in the middle of the street.
MP-X301: "Ahem, Ada... if you could look into my brakes later, I'd appreciate it. And try not to kiss the street and proclaim your delight to be alive this time, please?"
Ada: "Not even a passing longing glance?"
MP-X301: "Only one."
Ada: "...OK, deal."
MP-X301: "All right, if you'll get out and help with crowd control, I'll check out the fallen... uh..." He turns on his scanners and sensors for a fast look at the dead body. I mean, injured patient.
Ada gets out and casts a longing glance at the ground, before heading out to the crowd. "All right, everyone, just stay calm, the professionals are here..."
As Ada shuffles the crowd out of the way, you use your mighty robot sensory powers to perceive the soon-to-be-corpse in the midst of the group. It's a humanoid, and in bad shape - he's bent at an odd angle, and there's copious amounts of blood. As you look closer, you realize that the victim is a Sarien - wearing civilian clothes and body armor, but unmistakably Sarien.
MP-X301 transforms back to robot mode with a properly non-copyrighted sound, then pulls out his medical bag, stepping over to the Sarien, and immediately begins working on life-saving treatment. "Reminds me of Roy." He begins working with his tools of the trade to stabilize the Sarien for transport and further medical attention.
After several tense minutes, a few blood-spurting wounds, and quite a lot of suture, MP manages to stitch the alien up into something resembling stability.
MP-X301: "Well, unless Roy was a misshapen wreck of a Sarien, this one should be in roughly the correct condition. Ada, if you'll load up the bod-- patient, I'd appreciate it." MP steps to clear pavement and transforms back into ambulance mode.
Ada unloads a gurney from the back of MP (don't ask where it goes in robot mode), heads over to the not-so-dead body, and wrestles him onto the gurney with some effort.
The Sarien is unceremoniously dumped onto the cot. Ada proceeds to push it into MP's open rear end (*ahem*) before climbing in herself.
Ada: "Hmm? I think he... she... uh, the patient's awake."
MP-X301: "Oh, as long as the patient's not in pain, don't worry about it. Sariens tend to shun painkillers for some odd reason, but if he requests one, give him Saricol Barbitien, pills are in the top left cabinet."
Merilac: "Uh... where am I?"
As Ada administers medicine to the senseless Sarien sap, MP roars off down the road, back towards the garage/emergency bay.
Ada: "You're in the back of the medic who'll be treating you when we get back to our clinic."
MP-X301 drives along at a more reasonable pace. From the front of the cab, MP says, "I'm MP-X301, your medic for today. Please calm down, sir, and relax. We'll have your medical needs taken care of shortly. In the meantime, may I get your name for our records?"
Merilac stares. "The... car... talks?"
MP-X301: "Ahem... I talk. And I hear quite well, with an advanced sensory array installed by Ada there. So, please, just relax."
Merilac: "Am I dreaming?"
MP-X301: "Do you frequently dream about talking cars?"
Merilac: "Uh... no?"
MP-X301: "Then indications are that you are at a normal level of coherence, sir. Now, what is your name?"
MP-X301: "Thank you, Merilac. Do you have any prior conditions I need to know about? Allergies to common medications? Artificial implants?"
Merilac: "Don't think so."
MP-X301: "Do you have a family history of squeedlyspooch illness?"
Merilac: "Uh... 'family'?"
MP-X301: "My apologies, a biological chain tendency to the same?"
Merilac: "No idea."
MP-X301: "Okay, thank you. Now, if you'll relax and tell me how you ended up half-dead on the street, I'd appreciate it."
MP continues down the street. WHEE-ooo, WHEE-ooo...
Merilac: "Uh... Some dude came in, we had argument, we took it outside, he surprised me with knife."
MP-X301: "A typical bar fight, then? Was the guy heavily tattooed and named 'Bubba'?"
Merilac: "No tattoos. No idea what his name was."
MP-X301: "Thank you, sir." MP continues on his way, hopefully arriving shortly. "How are you feeling at this point?"
Merilac: "Not too bad."
Merilac: "All things considered."
MP-X301 finally arrives back at the butche--er, the office.
MP-X301: "Very good. Then we'll likely only need to keep you under monitoring for a few hours on return to the shop, then you'll be free to go." MP parks in the garage and waits for the passengers to disembark.
Merilac: "Shoulda brought Nat. He'd've thought twice."
Ada stands up and works on pushing the gurney out of MP.
Merilac: "My 'best friend'."
MP-X301: "What's a nat?" As soon as the pair are unloaded, MP transforms back to robot mode. "Is that a weapon, perhaps?"
Merilac: "Plasma rifle," he confirms.
The gurney unfolds out of MP's rear (*ahem*), only causing the patient a relatively small amount of excruciating pain as it bumps against the floor.
MP-X301: "Pain meds, sir?"
Merilac: "Just stop hammering me."
MP-X301: "Oh, I'm sorry, that costs extra." MP looks at Ada and smiles slightly. "Don't take the stairs to the recovery room."
Ada: "You think we do this out of the kindness of our hearts? Psh, we gave that up for Lent."
Merilac: "Uh... I don't got much money."
MP-X301: MP whistles a little tune that sounds strangely dirge-like, while pouring himself a cup of hot motor oil, looking at Ada.
Ada: "Well... hrm. We're going to have to figure out a way around this issue. ...what skills do you have? Please say cleaning; behind the shelves is starting to grow funny things and we're both too afraid to go near them."
A pair of menacing, glowing eyes peering out at the group from a dark corner of the shelf narrow warily.
Merilac: "I shoot things. And run away. Quickly."
MP-X301: "Works for me." MP sidles away slightly, sonic beam weapon popping out of the storage compartment for a moment, almost nervously.
Ada: "You have a problem with being our troubleshooter until you pay off the bill?"
Merilac: "Guess I don't have much choice."
Ada: "Especially seeing as how you're on the 'do-not-treat' list."
MP-X301: "Speaking of, how'd you get on the DoN'T list?"
Merilac: "Racist lawmakers."
MP-X301: "And we'll just leave it at that. In the meantime, let's get you into recovery and finish your treatment."