Space Quest:Exodus/Chapter 45
"As we join our heroes, we find them about to execute a bold, daring, and completely braindead plan to overpower a pair of guards! Please see your bookie for betting details..."
MP-X301: "...So, what about the Jello gun? Bioo could shoot the guy with the gun... and if it fails, Rex can roast him."
Bioo: "At any rate we'll get a good meal.
MP-X301: "That's a better plan. Ada, you knock. Bioo shoots first... if it doesn't work, Rex, you roast him." MP readies his heavy laser repeater.
Ada: "Jell-O is a scary substance. ...hey, wait, Bioo, where did you come from?"
MP-X301: "Phleebhut, isn't it?"
Ada rolls her eyes a little.
Bioo: "Actually, I've never been to Phleebhut.
Rex: Click. "I CAN'T HELP BUT NOTICE THAT *IT'S NOT ON FIRE YET!*"
MP-X301: "Well, originally."
Bioo: "And I was just wondering what was behind door B
Ada: "OK, OK, I'm knocking."
Ada knocks "Shave and a haircut" on the door.
Bioo readies the gun.
Ada then steps away to give Bioo a clear shot.
The door responds to Ada's movement by opening as usual...behind it, the armed guard starts in surprise, and fumbles for his weapon.
Bioo: "Or *SPLORCH*
Rex clicks and whirs as it restores the processes to its legs and stands.
The guard's visage is obscured by his helmet visor, but you can imagine the look of horror on his face as he meets his horrible, gelatinous death...at least, you can until he slips free of the half-formed jello block as is tries to solidify around him. He shakes disgustedly as the green mass slumps into a puddle on the floor. A disgusting, green puddle. Yuck.
MP-X301: "Shoot 'im, Rex!"
Rex steps into range and proceeds to let loose the fires of its flamethrower.
Rex: Click. "... NOTHING COMPARED TO THE FULL, DESTRUCTIVE FORCE OF AN ANGRY CRITIC!"
Bioo ducks behind the wall.
Ada keeps away from the burnination.
"AAAAAAH!" The guard lets out a surprisingly entertaining scream as his body is enveloped in flames. Dropping his rifle (which hangs from his uniform via a shoulder strap), he desperately slaps his hands against his clothing, putting out the flames before his suit catches fire. Still, the damage has been done...a large chunk of his tunic has been burned away, revealing bronzed-skinned, badly-charred flesh.
Rex 's optic sensors light up wickedly, as if the droid enjoyed seeing that.
MP-X301: "...Hasta la Laser, baby!" MP lets the heavy laser repeater open up wide, holding the trigger down.
In dramatic slow motion, MP raises his new toy, and lets rip a laser barrage that would make Rambotron-IIIX jealous. In equally slow motion, an equally impressive barrage of lasers rip through the guard's torso in multiple places, spraying blood everywhere and generally making quite the mess. Coincidentally, these happen to be the same barrage. The guard, for his part, hovers unsteadily on his feet for several moments before slumping backwards against a lab table, sliding to the ground. He's bleeding badly, but appears to still be breathing.
Rex: Click. "THAT WAS MY SQUEEZING ARM. THEY TOOK MY SQUEEZING ARM! WHY MY SQUEEZING ARM?! AAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!"
MP-X301 stares for a moment. "What have I done?!? Quick, everyone in the lab!"
MP-X301 hovers unsteadily into the lab, shouldering the massive weapon. "...I'm supposed to save lives, not take them! At least, not ones that might be able to pay the medical bills..."
Rex: Click. "IT COULD BE A HALLUCINATION FROM THE INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL YOU CONSUMED, MAYBE THE CONCUSSION... MAYBE YOUR MIND FINALLY SNAPPED FROM THE STRESS OF YOUR DUAL COMPULSIONS TO KILL AND TO HEAL."
MP-X301: "GAH!" MP flits over to the side of the guard's body and checks him for any chance of saving his life.
MP-X301: "Ada, Bioo, talk to him." MP points at the lab tech, then returns to trying to save what is left of the hamburger that is the man's chest cavity.
The guard at the table jumps up as his partner is (almost) killed. "Holy slag!" Meanwhile, the slumped-over guard struggles to lift his arm...unable to heft his rifle, he picks up the smaller laser pistol strapped to his belt. Raising it unsteadily, he takes aim at MP...but then seems to reconsider, and instead turns the gun to face the other way, against the side of his own helmet.
- BLAM!* A shower of blood and brain matter spray out the other side of the guard's head, as he slumps over and falls to the floor.
Rex: "BLOOD EVERYWHERE, BZZZZZZZZT."
MP-X301: "NOOOOOO!" MP thumps the man's chest.
Ada turns green again.
Ada says to the other tech, "Yeah, uh, surrender, and we won't kill you. ...ugh, geez, that's gross."
Ada: "Did you really have to do that, MP?"
MP-X301: "I didn't blow his brains out! I could have saved his life! I could have, I could have!"
Rex: "WHY DO YOU TRY TO SAVE THE LIFE OF OUR ENEMY?"
Rex: "SQUISHY MEATBAGS DIDN'T CATCH FIRE EITHER, WOOF..."
Bioo points her laser pistol at the remaining guard.
Bioo: "Sit down and shut up." she says in calm yet alarmingly intense voice.
Rex: Click. "OKAY, I'M THINKING THAT WAS A BAD NOISE. I'M RELEASING THE MYSTERIOUS BLUE SMOKE HERE. THAT'S BAD BECAUSE WHEN YOU SEE THE MYSTERIOUS BLUE SMOKE, ELECTRONICS DON'T WORK ANYMORE."
The techie/guard hurriedly backs away, until his back is against the window on the far side of the room. Clutching the device in one hand, he draws a pistol and aims it at MP. "Oh god, I knew it! I knew this would happen! I *told* them the robots were a bad idea, but they wouldn't listen to me!" His hand shaking noticeably, he fires off a shot at MP. "Go to robot hell, you metal sonofab*tch!"
MP-X301: "Oh come ON! I mean, yes, I'm carrying around a huge device of flaming death and a heavy laser repeater, but why do all these people go nuts when they see a ROBOT?!?"
The threat is admirable, but unfortunately, the badly-aimed sonic shot flies past MP and through the door, leaving a puny dent in the far wall of the corridor.
Rex: "SQUISHY ISN'T VERY NICE. SHOULD I PUNISH?"
Ada: "They just don't understand droids, MP. Anyhoo. Look, for pity's sake, stop shooting before you hurt yourself."
Ada: "I'll handle this for now, Rex."
Ada goes into the room and attempts to tackle the techie.
"Eeee!" The techie squeals like a girl as Ada grabs him by his collar...moving quickly, she whips him around, getting him into a headlock.
Ada: "Bioo? Can you... tie him up... or something?"
Bioo: "I suppose.
Bioo pockets the gun and pulls out her trusty rope with which she proceeds to hogtie the Tech.
MP-X301 searches the dead body, starting by separating the body from the two weapons.
Rex sits and does nothing, as there's nothing for a combat droid to do in peacetime scenarios.
Bioo attempts to tie up the struggling techie. She stands and smiles triumphantly...until she realizes that she's accidentally wrapped the rope loosely around her own arms instead of his. D'oh!
Bioo: "How'd I....
Ada: "Yeah, Bioo, could you, like, smack my forehead for me? I can't do it because I need to hold on to the guy since you missed."
Rex would blink if it could. "WHAT SHOULD I DO?"
Bioo: "Yeah, well....
Bioo: "That's what you get when you make me skip lunch.
Ada: "Do you have any glue or rope or something, Rex?"
Bioo: "You could have Rex sit on him.
Rex: "DOGGIES CAN'T USE ROPE!"
Ada: "I think that would squish him, Bioo."
Bioo: "Well, what if Rex just stepped on him "lightly"?
MP-X301 frets over the dead body for another moment. "Look, this would save a lot of messiness if you'd just surrender. I really don't relish this." He glances up from the dead guard to the tech. "Really." MP quietly shuts off his service processor.
MP-X301 frowns. "Surrender, buddy." He pulls out the nightstick and hovers closer.
MP-X301: With a twist of his wrist, MP flips around with his empty hand and attempts to wrest the moddie from the tech.
The tech flails his arm wildly, trying to keep the device away from you...he ends up accidentally smacking Ada in the butt with it. Not at all pleased with this turn of events, Ada promptly throws him to the floor and pins him down.
Ada: "Watch the merchandise, punk."
Rex thumps up behind the two squishies and places one metallic foot atop the techie, with enough pressure that it probably is a bit painful. Unfortunately for the techie, Rex probably doesn't realize. :D
Rex: Click. "WELL I'LL PUT A STOP TO *THAT.* MAYBE I'LL KILL HIM WITH A CAR BOMB. BARKEEP, A CAR BOMB PLEASE."
The tech lets out a rather pained squeal, and stops struggling.
Ada relinquishes the pin to Rex.
Ada: "Good boy."
MP-X301 attempts to disarm the tech of the moddie again.
MP: The tech is in no condition to resist...the device is easily pilfered.
MP-X301 takes the device and heads over to the table to examine it in better light. "What are you doing to the passengers of the Contrived Extravagance?" He examines the device carefully.
Examining the circuit board closely, you realize that your initial assumption was correct... the device resembles a moddie, but on a much larger scale. It appears that the device is meant to function as part of a larger machine as a "mold" of sorts, its programming being used as a master control for a series of smaller moddie-like devices. What exactly those devices are, though, you can't say, nor are you sure what programming the device itself might hold.
It's a casting mold for moddies, that can be plugged into a circuit stamper, which uses this as a base to extrapolate the programming for smaller ones, which it then stamps. :3
Bioo in her usual short-attentioned manner wanders off in search of any nice shiny things in need of perloinment.
Ada looks around the rest of the lab proper.
MP: You pocket the guard's weapons, a laser pistol and a laser rifle. In the guard's belt, you find a pair of stimpacks tucked away.
Rex: Click. "WITH ALL THE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS WE ARE TAKING, CHECK THIS, CHECK THAT, YOU HAVE TO STAND BACK AND SAY: DUDE! WE ARE MAKING A ROCKET OUTTA *MEAT*!"
MP-X301 sits on the table and looks at the tech. "And tell me about this module." He waves the moddie casually.
The tech struggles vainly beneath Rex's foot, making a variety of whimpering noises.
MP-X301: "You know, if you'd start cooperating, I could have Rex get off you."
MP-X301: "But not before."
Rex: "SQUISHY, SQUISHY, SQUISHY. THERE'S A REASON YOU'RE CALLED A SQUISHY. SQUISHY."
The tech groans. "P-please...kill me..."
Rex: "SQUISHY, SQUISHY, CAN'T KILL THE SQUISHY, NOT UNTIL SOMEONE TELLS ME TO, SQUISHY SQUISH."
MP-X301 pauses. "Alright, after you tell me why you want us to kill you, what you are doing to the passengers of the Contrived Extravagance, and what this module is all about."
MP-X301: "Oh, and about your boss and the command deck, of course."
MP: The tech motions weakly at the device in your hand. "The Master will kill me for letting you take that..." He groans. "I'm sorry, Master, forgive me!"
Ada looks over from her lab rummaging. "Please do us a favor and talk. We're getting tired of having to kill and/or maim people. We'd like to leave someone alive and relatively undamaged for a change."
Rex: Click. "EVERYBODY WAS A BABY ONCE, ARTHUR. OH, SURE, MAYBE NOT TODAY, OR EVEN YESTERDAY. BUT ONCE. BABIES, CHUM: TINY, DIMPLED, FLESHY MIRRORS OF OUR US-NESS, THAT WE PARENTS HURL INTO THE FUTURE, LIKE LEATHERY FOOTBALLS OF HOPE. AND YOU'VE GOT TO GET A GOOD SPIRAL ON THAT BABY, OR EVIL WILL MAKE AN INTERCEPTION."
MP-X301: "Well, that's great. I'm sure we can analyze it later and determine the details, but I'm sure you have more information to share. And we'll even take you away intact if you're cooperative and turn you loose a free man. Interested?"
The tech shakes his head. "No, no! I have to help the Master!" He struggles violently beneath Rex's heel, trying to wiggle free.
MP-X301: "Is he brainwashed or something? Rex, flip him over, I want to see if he's got some kind of moddie in him."
Ada: I'm beginning to think everyone is either brainwashed or a bounty hunter. It's starting to get annoying."
Rex: "WAS TOLD TO HOLD SQUISHY DOWN. IN ORDER TO FLIP SQUISHY OVER, I WOULD HAVE TO NOT HOLD SQUISHY DOWN."
Rex: "OR GET A SPATULA."
Rex: "AND I DO NOT HAVE A SPATULA."
Ada goes over and tries to turn the techie over. "Let up just a smidge, Rex. Enough to flip him."
MP-X301: "Hang on..." MP heads over to the dead body and flips him over to check for a moddie. "Maybe the spatula will be the right idea..."
Rex: Click. "THE MEAT! THE MEAT! THE HORRIBLE MEAT!"
MP: Before flipping the guard over, you remove his broken helmet...his face, or what little remains of it, is that of a young Andromedan male. Turning the body over, you scan the back of his neck, and discover...nothing of interest. No moddie plug.
MP-X301: "...huh... flip him over anyway and check him, Ada. Nothing here, but that doesn't mean anything." MP hovers over.
Rex: "SQUISHY, SQUISHY, SQUISHY, PINNING DOWN THE SQUISHY, DOING WHAT I'M TOLD TO PIN DOWN THE SQUISHY."
Ada continues flipping the poor guy like a flapjack, while looking for signs of brainwashing.
Ada: With the techie still struggling, you remove his helmet as well...he's an older Xenonian male, who looks to be nearly 50. You can't find any sign of a moddie plug on his neck, or anywhere else visible to you.
MP-X301: "Anything exciting about the helmet?"
Ada looks over the helmet.
The tech whimpers, as Ada and Rex alternate flipping and compressing him.
MP-X301: "You know, medical tests have indicated that psychological impediments can sometimes be eliminated by simple electroshock therapy...." MP pulls out the cattle prod.
Rex: Click. "I HATE BROCCOLI, AND YET, IN A CERTAIN SENSE, I AM BROCCOLI."
Ada: The helmet is a fairly simple affair, looking rather like a hovercycle helmet. A reflective visor obscures the ri--er, wearer's face...however, the helmet doesn't really seem to be built for protection. Inside the helmet is a short-range communicator with a thumb-activated button on the helmet's lower rim; presumably for chatting with his guard buddies, or maybe calling in alerts on suspicious cardboard boxes.
Ada tries to determine if the communicator is send-only, or can receive as well.
Rex: "SMASH HELMET?"
Rex: "SMASHY SMASHY."
MP-X301 hovers over tries to give the man a light shock with the cattle-prod. "Tell me if this alleviates your mental symptoms, sir."
Ada dons the helmet and tries to see if she can hear any other guard chatter.
Rex: Click. "ANY DAY WE CREATE THAT MUCH SCHRAPNEL IS A GOOD DAY."
Ada: You put the helmet on. The radio channel is mostly quiet...every so often, guards speak up to check in. "This is unit #264, standard post, all clear." "Roger #264, all clear."
Ada removes the helmet. "Blast. MP, they're doing check-ins. What's the dead guy's unit number?"
Ada pocketed a surgical kit somewhere back there.
MP-X301: "Um... I don't know? Is it on his uniform?"
Ada: "Worth a shot." Ada looks over the not-dead guy for a number, as well as his helmet.
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!!!*"
MP, Ada: You give the guards a once-over, but don't see any form of marking. Apparently, these guys can somehow tell each other apart without needing to advertise themselves...
MP, Ada: Despite your best efforts, you can find no form of ID markings whatsoever. The best you come up with is the manufacturing label from the dead guard's shirt, which reads "Duranium/Poly blend, dry clean only."
Rex: "WHEN SHOULD I SQUISH THE SQUISHY, WOOF?"
Ada: "Bah. What is your name and serial number, techie?"
The tech whimpers. "...Bob. My name is Bob. And, I can't tell you my number."
Ada: "Bah! Well, we might as well tie him up and leave him on the shuttle or in our shuttle or something." Ada sounds frustrated.
Ada: "At least we have that device. What is it?"
MP-X301: "It's a template for programming moddies, basically. You stick it in a moddie maker, and it programs it with... something."
Rex: Click. "OH, I'M SORRY. I HAVE A TENDENCY OF STARTLING PEOPLE LIKE THAT. IT'S PROBABLY FROM TRAINING WITH BATMAN."
Ada: "What is it programmed with?"
MP-X301: "Can't tell. Maybe the assassin droid programming has something to do with it?"
MP-X301: "WAIT... WAIT!"
MP-X301: "Two and two..."
Rex: "TWO AND TWO AND TWO AND TWO AND TWO EQUALS WOOF."
MP-X301 pulls out the cartridge. "What if this is meant instead of programming a droid to be an assassin... it's the core code for this to make people who can assassinate droids?"
MP-X301: He holds up the moddie mold and the cartridge at the same time.
Rex: Click. "FASTER WORLD DOMINATION!"
Ada: "Hmm. It's possible. Would explain why the techie was so afraid of you. However..."
Ada: "It still seems odd. I mean, making a death droid isn't really hard. And it doesn't explain why they'd need to kidnap organic lifeforms for their research."
Rex: "CAN I SQUISH THE SQUISHY YET?"
MP-X301: "They'd be relatively ideal to kill droids, though. What if the idea is to kill droids instead of people? I mean, there was that Soylent Clear scare of '73 a while back..."
MP-X301 reaches down and zots the techie with the cattle prod.
Rex: Click. "AH... I KNOW VHAT YOU KIDS VANT, JA? YOU VANT TO TALK TO MR. PUPPETHEAD! 'HELLO KIDS, I'M MR. PUPPETHEAD! TELL ME WHY YOU ALWAYS MAKE THE JOKES.' VHY AREN'T YOU TALKING VITH MR. PUPPETHEAD?"
MP: You reach down and nonchalantly jab the business end of the cattle prod into the back of the techie's skull. "AAAAAH!" As the prongs flare to life, he lets out a horrible scream, and thrashes violently beneath Rex's foot.
Ada winces at the screaming.
Rex appears unfazed.
MP-X301: "What do you think, Ada?" He bends down and looks at the techie. "Did that alleviate your mental instabilities, Bob? Tell me about your mother."
The prod shuts off, but the spasming continues for several moments...the smell of burnt hair and fried circuitry wafts through the air, as the tech stops twitching. He lays motionless.
Ada: "Overkill. Both the moddie speculation and the techie toasting... dammit, he's dead, isn't he?"
MP-X301: "Wait, fried circuitry?"
MP-X301: "Smell that, Ada?"
MP-X301 drops down to check the techie.
MP: He's dead, Jim. *DAH-NAAAAH!*
MP-X301: "Quick, put him on the table, we'll do an autop... well, time is of the essence. Obviously we'll need to find a way to disable the electronics without frying the person."
Ada: "Yeah. Dammit."
Rex takes its foot off of the squishy and moves a bit away. "DEAD?"
Ada: "Actually, let's just cut him open quickly."
Rex: Click. "PLEASE. DON'T. STABMEINTHEEYEBALLS."
MP-X301: "Okay, we've got the equipment. Listen for someone not checking in."
Ada puts the helmet back on.
MP-X301 pulls out his surgical kit and begins his quick autopsy.