Space Quest:Exodus/Chapter 40
"As we join our heroes, we find them about to attempt the bull----*ing of a lifetime, against a man who has turned lying into a professional career. Will they pull it off?"
Bioo unceremoniously kicks open MP's locker.
MP-X301 remains in his limp, deactivated state, his audio and video sensors all that is active to monitor the situation.
Bioo: "Bots aren't usually my idea of fun,
Bioo pulls out his head.
Ada continues holding her best "Charlie's Angel" pose.
Rex continues to be in hibernation mode...
Bioo: "But your price intrigued me.
Corona's eyes go wide. "...is that who I think it is?"
Bioo: "I don't deliver fakes, Senator.
Bioo drops the head back in the locker.
Corona frowns. "Sure you don't. He's not dead, is he?"
Bioo: "The merchandise is still operable.
"That remains to be seen. Now, the real question is..." He glares at you. "Why the hell are you talking to me instead of that little snot Grebb?"
Bioo clears his/her throat.
Bioo: "I encountered your... pet.
Bioo: "I don't trust my business to creatures with an IQ of rotten mayo.
Ada tries not to smirk.
Corona stares...then grins. "That's being generous." He motions behind you. "I assume the rest of these freaks are with you?"
Bioo: "They serve their purpose.
Ada gives the senator a somewhat indignant look at being called a "freak".
"Yeah, sure. The fact that you're talking to me indicates that Grebb has talked and will be killed shortly. The fact that the police haven't come knocking on my door yet indicates that you intend to hold off on ratting me out to the authorities, at least until you get paid." He frowns. "That IS what you want, right? The bounty?"
Bioo: "I don't give anything, Senator. I sell it.
Bioo: "I doubt this planets pathetic police force could afford this information.
Bioo: "You on the other hand....
Bioo: "Well. Lets just say that it doesn't look like there's much you couldn't afford.
Corona raises an eyebrow. "Well, at least I can respect your business acumen. I know you're calling on Grebb's private line, so I know where you are. I've sent a limo to pick you up and bring you to my mansion. We can discuss further arrangements there." He frowns. "And for Bob's sake, take care of that droid! He's worth far more to us alive than scrapped."
Bioo disconnects the line.
MP-X301 begins his power-up sequence. "Well, looks like it's time for a trip into the lion's den. Hope you brought your lion repellent."
Ada relaxes her pose with a breath of relief.
Bioo: "Ada, would you make sure that this line is completely severed?
Ada: "Should have thought of that before 00... er... MP blew our cover," Ada says with a bit of a smirk. But she checks nonetheless.
MP-X301: "...And while I love the headless look, would you mind reattaching my head?" MP's head is still sitting in the bottom of the box, while his body starts to hover out of the box. "My body's kinda aimless without it, relying on thermal imaging sensors."
MP-X301: "And radar."
Bioo: "Hey, you have to stay in in there, tinman.
Bioo: "So the flunkies don't get nosy.
Ada: "You know, I find it interesting that they want you 'alive', MP."
Ada: You check the phone over...as far as you can tell, the connection is indeed off.
Rex hibernation mode continues undisturbed.
Ada: "And it looks like the line is cut."
Bioo: "Ada, is there any way that you can rig up some spare parts to look like MP's memory center?
MP-X301: "They probably want to discover what actually happened, find out who I've told about the situation. You know, data dump." MP's body heads toward the console, drawing the nightstick. "...and if you want to cut off a comm line, this is the most reliable way here." The body starts swinging wildly at the console, completely missing it, since it has no visual sensors to the body. "Left. No right. RIGHT! For heaven's sake!"
Ada: "Well, what I mean is... your comrades could provide the same information. Yet they didn't seem to care whether *they* were alive or dead, if I recall."
Ada: "And, I can try, Bioo."
Ada: "And, for Bob's sake, MP, stop that, you look ridiculous."
MP-X301: "My comrades can't provide a precise recording of everything I saw on the ship, including the records I downloaded from the ship's computers."
Bioo: "It could be a useful diversion.
MP-X301: "What? I'm trying to get ahead of the game." The body wildly swings several more times at the console, one time actually clipping the edge of the controls, doing only cosmetic damage.
Ada goes over and stops MP's body from flailing about. "I'll handle the vid phone. You stay still and let me see if I can rig up what Bioo has in mind."
MP-X301: "...oh, fine. Leave off, already. Come here and pick me up." The body obediently turns around and hovers vaguely toward the box, bumping into Rex. "...excuse me, Rex..." and ricocheting off his armor plating.
Ada rolls her eyes, follows MP over to his box, and embarks on Bioo's idea.
Rex immediately reactivates, targeting its weapons at MP. "THREAT DETECTED."
Ada: "Hold off, Rex, it's only MP."
MP-X301: The body is holding up his arms, trying to find the box aimlessly, finally bumping into it with his hoverlifts. "Rex! It was a mistake! Sorry!"
Rex whirs and clicks for a moment. It then pulls its weapons back up to their normal position.
Ada: "MP, will you hold still?! I can't make a replica of anything if the thing I'm supposed to replicate is busy bouncing around the room."
MP-X301: "I *am* holding still!" MP sounds pretty indignant. "See how you feel when your body has a mind of it's own. Okay, hold still." The body stops flailing around.
Ada tackles the body down and starts in on the operation.
Ada: With a few minutes of work, you manage to remove MP's memory drive long enough to study it. Carefully replacing it and reactivating its host, you gather up a few spare scraps from the bin and attempt to create a reasonable facsimile. The attempt looks...passable, if you didn't know much about what droid memory drives are supposed to look like. And didn't have your glasses on.
MP-X301: "...System error: Primary Memory removed without proper procedures. Performing SCANDISK. Please wait..."
Ada: "Well, that'll have to do. It'd be a lot easier if I didn't have someone's *body* bumping my elbow and clanging the wall all the time..."
Bioo: "Do you have an anti-static bag I could put that in?
MP-X301: "...system check passed. Do you really expect anyone to be fooled by that? My memory complex doesn't look like a hamburger with fries."
Ada: "There's an old saying... garbage in, garbage out."
Ada: "And this stuff definitely qualifies as 'garbage'."
Rex: "MEMORY COMPLEX? BZZT."
MP-X301: "How about an Abort, Retry, Fail?"
Bioo sighs "I guess it might buy us Some time..."
MP-X301: "I mean, try again with some better scrap? Dismantle the console."
Ada pulls out a rag, ties it into something approximating a bag, and places the part into it.
Rex: "SHOULD REX REACTIVATE HIBERNATION MODE?"
Ada: "If you can get me some better scrap. But don't we need to wait here for Mister La-dee-dah to come pick us up?"
Bioo pockets the memory drive-esque thing.
MP-X301: "Alright. Better scrap coming right up. And... Ada, do you have something Rex can do?" MP's body finally picks up his head in one arm, and pulls out the laser cutter with the other.
Bioo: "Yes, and we wouldn't want him to find us with an escaped prisoner, would we?
The melodic tune of an aircar horn rendition of "Hail to the Chief" sounds from outside the building.
Ada: "Too late. MP, back in the box. Rex, uh, look menacing."
MP-X301: "..dang it, time's up." MP hovers back toward the box and climbs back inside."
Bioo: "Ada, would you do the honors?
Rex doesn't have to try that hard to look menacing. Just standing there seems to work.
Bioo: "Of carrying our friend.
MP-X301: "Wait, do what honors?"
Ada: "I'll try."
Ada goes over and hefts the box. She then carries it along about a foot off the ground with a strained look on her face. "Urk."
Bioo: "OK, have Rex carry him.
MP-X301: "...mumble, grumble..." MP powers down his body again, leaving it limp dead weight in the box.
Ada says in a breathless voice, "Rex... could you... please? Hold... box?"
Bioo: "That strained look doesn't do much for your toughness level.
Rex lowers itself down so Ada can either place the box on it or in front of it (not sure how much the little arms actually hold...).
Ada places the box in front of Rex with a huff of air, then stands up. "Ow, my back..."
Rex (hopefully) picks the box up with the little arms that emerge out of plates that open up from the main body.
Rex: Click. "RIGHT NOW I'D LIKE TO SHOW YOU ONE OF MY FAVORITE CARTOONS. IT'S A SAD, DEPRESSING STORY ABOUT A PATHETIC COYOTE WHO SPENDS EVERY WAKING MOMENT OF HIS LIFE IN THE FUTILE PURSUIT OF A SADISTIC ROADRUNNER WHO *MOCKS* HIM AND *LAUGHS* AT HIM AS HE'S REPEATEDLY *CRUSHED* AND *MAIMED!* HOPE YOU *ENJOY IT!!!*"
Bioo: "Off to the main show, then/\.
Ada: "Your creator has some very odd cultural ideas, Rex."
Bioo makes his/her way down to the car.
Ada follows Bioo.
Ada: "Come, Rex."
Rex complies, following along after a series of clicks and whirs.
A long, black hoverlimo is parked in front of the building. A *really* long one...so long, in fact, that the body is actually jointed in places to allow the vehicle to navigate tight corners. The rear end of the limo is sitting in front of you, the door of which is being held open by a serious-looking Vulgar in a chauffeur's uniform.
He nods at you. "Master Corona is expecting you." He then glances up at Rex. "You, I'm afraid, will have to ride on the roof."
Ada raises an eyebrow and whistles. "Nice wheels."
MP-X301: MP's service processor idly ponders the viability of this plan, concludes it's suicide, and tries to warn the primary system processor, but then realizes that MP turned that off too, just in case someone did a hardware check when they climb into the limo. So, the service processor grumbles that the primary processor is never listening when he needs to run an interrupt. Yeah, it's too important to talk to the likes of a piddly service processor. Slowly, the service processor gets madder, and madder. It'll get even. Oh yes, it will get even! And just when it's mad enough to carry out it's plans to take over the entirety of MP... it overheats, reboots, and forgets everything it contemplated.
Ada unaware of MP's internal debate, says, "Rex, toss the box into the limo."
Rex does so. Literally.
The driver barely has time to dive out of the way as the heavy boxful of droid flies through the open door, SLAMS into the inside of the door on the opposite side of the vehicle, and falls to the floor with a resounding metallic CRASH!
MP-X301: The shock sensor, reporting in to the service processor, registers a massive shock to MP's chassis. This interrupt awakens the service processor to it's duties, reminding it that there is a plan afoot, which it concludes is suicide....
Ada winces at the result of her off-hand comment. "Er... oops."
Bioo barely manages to hold a strait face.
Rex: "REX IS TO RIDE ON TOP?"
Rex: "REX WILL BE LIKE A COWBOY. COLON DEE."
The driver climbs shakily to his feet, but then nonchalantly dusts himself off. "...very good, sir."
MP-X301: ...the smoldering service processor starts to work on sabotaging the circuit breakers to the CMOS battery, oh yes... it would get REVENGE!... and overheats.
Ada: "Hold on tight up there, Rex. You'd stop traffic for thirty miles if you fell off." Ada then gets into the limo and tries to right the tossed MP box, somewhat sheepishly.
Ada: The inside of the limo is quite roomy...indeed, you can see a corridor leading off down the length of the vehicle, towards the front. You grab the box and, with a great deal of huffing and wheezing, manage to tip it right-side up.
Rex: Click. "NO. MR. THOU IS *THAT* ONE. OVER *THERE!*"
Bioo makes his/herself comfortable.
The inside of the limo has several rows of plush leather seating as well as a small cabinet mounted under a table. The cabinet appears to be padlocked, however.
Rex waits... "WHEN DOES REX GET TO BE A COWBOY?"
Bioo: "Ah, there's nothing I like better than a friendly invitation.
The driver glances at Rex. "Perhaps sir would prefer to walk..."
Bioo waits until the door has been closed before applying his/her trade to the cabinet.
Rex starts whimpering a strange, metallic whine.
Ada sticks her head out the window. "Rex, be a good boy and jump onto the roof."
Rex does so!
Ada then belatedly winces at what she just said, and goes, "Oh, crap," before diving to the floor.
MP-X301: The service processor, alerted to further jolts as Rex hits the roof, starts contemplating just precisely why it's been sitting idle for so long. For some reason, it feels as though there's something going on, but it can't quite put it's transistors on it.
The entire limo shakes as though a bomb has hit it. It continues to rock and shake as Rex struggles to situate itself on the roof without falling off, rattling the occupants (i.e. you) around like baseballs in a clothes dryer. Finally, after what seems like an eternity, Rex settles down, and the limo ceases shaking.
Rex: "REX IS A COWBOY! COLON DEE."
Ada laughs weakly, and returns to her seat.
MP-X301 remains motionless.
Bioo pries his/herself out from under the seat s/he was wedged under.
Bioo: "I think we need to buy that thing an etiquette program.
The driver hesitantly steps into the limo, glancing worriedly at the roof above. He shuts the door, and addresses the group. "If sir would excuse me, we shall now return to Master Corona's mansion. We shall be leaving as soon as I return to the driver's seat, which should be inside the next 15 minutes." With that, he turns and heads off down the long, dark corridor towards the front of the limo.
Ada: "I think we need to buy it a slang translation program."
Bioo: "I think what we all need is a courtesy drink.
Bioo turns back to the cabinet.
Rex: Click. "YOU ARE EXPERIENCING A CAR ACCIDENT."
Ada: "If this chauffeur drives anything like the cabbie, I'm going to need a whole lot of courtesy drinks."
MP-X301: <SP> "...tell me about it. My entire life is a hovering car accident."
Ada wields her purple editing pen over the quotes around that line.
Bioo: "The lock isn't a particularly good one...apparently, someone slapped it on here at the last minute, probably as an afterthought. At any rate, the lock quickly opens to your skilled hands, revealing the treasures within the cabinet: Two bottles of very expensive-looking wine.
Bioo: "Ah, refreshments.
Bioo pockets one bottle, pops the cork on the other, and pours Ada and herself a glass.
Ada takes one of the glasses. "Why, thank you."
Bioo: "To money.
Bioo clinks her glass and sips the wine.
Ada: "To success!"
The sound of the driver's voice reaches you over the intercom. "Thank you for your patience, sirs. We shall be departing now." The limo begins to thrum beneath you, as the hoverlift engines strain to lift Rex's immense bulk.
Ada clinks as well and takes a swig herself.
Finally, with the rear of the vehicle wobbling unsteadily, the limo slowly lurches off down the street in the direction of the upscale part of town...