It seemed that team leader had blown a gasket. He blamed the team for getting killed. Was he not aware that the team leader was responsible for everything that happens? Brighte2 wondered. He placed his hand on the clone in front of him and felt a hand on his shoulder. Of course he continued singing as that was not talking and it boosted morale. "Following the leader, the leader, the leader. Following the leader wherever he may go."
Posted on 2018-09-24 at 14:03:43.
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 345/54 5983 Posts
The team proceeds, conga style, down the corridor.
Once you move another hundred freet or so, your eyes begin to adjust; the sector proves to not be completely dark, thanks to some very soft (and poorly maintained) red emergency lights recessed in odd intervals - but it is merely a step above that. It is the sort of darkness that allows one to see a bare suggestion one's hand in front of one's face - but little more.
The going is painfully slow, and more than once, clones find themselves walking into walls, pipes, and puddles with essentially no warning. It is entirely possible that section 168 has been missed, since the emergency lights are so erratically (and oddly) spaced; many of the numbering plates are all but invisible.
Eventually, Ammpe calls back that he has found the signplate for section 168.
The sign points down, indicating a steel ladder that leads to a sublevel of SWR sector. An unpleasant smell wafts strongly from the lower level.
Moving down the ladder, the team finds themselves in a small tunnel - the ceiling is only about five feet high, the corridor is very narrow (only one person at a time can fit), and the floor of the tunnel is covered by approximately half a foot of dark liquid. The unpleasant scent is much stronger here. The lights, if anything, are even dimmer here.
The tunnel extends in exactly one direction.
Posted on 2018-09-24 at 14:45:00.
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 345/54 5983 Posts
and deeper still...
Once a marching order is assigned, the team moves forward into the low tunnel.
As you press on, you notice several things:
1. The celing slowly gets lower and lower. 2. The water level slowly gets deeper and deeper while the water grows thicker. 3. The stench gets worse and worse.
Eventually, you find yourselves hunched over, basically on hands and knees, under a three foot high celing while keeping your heads above a foot and a half of truly foul liquid. You try to ignore the solids that are floating in the liquid, and the thick sludge at the bottom of the corridor here in SWR Sector. The "reboot" of Slipp may have actually been a mercy, as the twitchy clone would have almost certainly have drowned in this... er... liquid, had you chosen to drag him along with you.
Finally, you reach the end of the corridor, and as fate would have it, there actually is a small amount of red light given off by an emergency light. As you pause, a monitor slowly rises out of the muck with a sickening "SLUCK" sound. Then, Friend Computer's voice - or rather, a horribly tinny, distorted version of it - speaks from the sludge-covered monitor at a volume loud enough to almost cause physical pain.
"You vant zu be Leaderz, eh? All uv uz kan be zu leader in the dark. Evervon in ze party is equal. No leaderz," the Communications Officer whispered into Steam's ear, ignoring both that Friend Computer had assigned them a Team Leader, as well as any modicum of personal space, "Put Steam in front he says," he continued before even more softly begining to hum some strange tune.
Steam was effectively unsettled and was about to suggest the Comm Officer go communicate with with the inside of his asshole when suddenly Team Leader exploded.
“Everyone SHUT UP!!! We ALL would like to go on and do as Friend Computer has asked but it seems that you lot can’t keep from getting yourselves killed long enough for us to get ANYWHERE!!! So, yes! I will lead as I have been asked… everyone line up, hand on the shoulder in front of you and NOWHERE ELSE!!! No talking! Just walking! Let’s move!”
Steam grunted in approval even as he felt the Comm Officer's hand creep up onto his shoulder. He stifled his instinct to shove it off as the Morale officer's off-key notes filled the quiet corridor, "Following the leader, the leader, the leader. Following the leader wherever he may go." At least it wasn't another soft whisper in his ear, he thought, trying to focus once more on the task at hand.
Finally they were moving. The path is long and uneventful, but the monotony is bliss to a soldier used to days of marching and tired of being blown up. Unfortunately it does not last long enough, as Steam soon finds himself up to his shoulders in s***. A large man thick with muscle and grit does not do well in tiny sewage tunnels. Alas, a soldier of Friend Computer will always endure, even with open laser wounds, and hoping his tablets do not become contaminated.
"Thank Friend Computer," Steam says as they reach the end of the corridor, and from the ashes of excrement rises that which he has dedicated his life and loyatly to at all costs.
Steam takes a moment for his eyes to uncross and for feeling to come back to his brain. He had only caught a few words from the jumbled announcement, but was positive his assessment would be enough to move on to their next assignment.
"Jackobot escort. Get supplies. R.N.D. Equipment, good. Bodyguards . . . " He nearly scoffed at that idea. His fellow teammates were hardly capable of staying alive doing their one easy task--Loyalty, Morale, Hygiene, Communications. And then there was Team Leader who was finally taking some initiative, though only when provoked. And they were supposed to protect someone else?
Friend Computer would not have gotten this wrong, that fact was certain. The stench of commie traitor filled Steams nostrils once again, competing with with the rest of the sewage. Damn, he could really do with murdering some commie bastards right now.
He clenched his fists in the muck and forced himself to focus on the task at hand, "Looks like we have our assignment. Lead the way, Team Leader."
If ever there was proof that you aren't a traitor . . .the Doobie Brothers!
Blowz stumbled through the dark with the rest of the group.Team leader Ammpe was apparently doing his best to lead the team through the dark.The little red lights that occasionally cast their feeble light did little to help Blowz see.In truth, he couldn’t see much beyond the steam rising from the angry Steam in front of him.No doubt he was marching along contemplating how he should be equal with the group leader.Soldiers never liked taking orders. They did it, but they didn’t like it.He straightened his hat and gave Steam a reassuring squeeze on the shoulder.He didn’t need to worry as long as Blowz was behind him.
And then they came to the ladder and tunnel.And the water.It looked black, but then everything right now looked black.Even his hat.His hat which he carefully kept high and dry above the slimy filth.He kept his hand on Steam’s shoulder and congaed down the tunnel signing softly.“Old black water, keep on rolling, Volga moon won’t you keep on shining on me.”The others around him somehow didn’t know the tune.It was an old favorite.Everyone knew it.
Behind him Brightie stumbled in the muck and almost fell.Luckily, he didn’t, but to catch himself he had to grab the wall – losing his hold on Blowz’ shoulder in the process.Even in the dark Blowz grinned at the thought of someone slipping in this crap, and helped his stumbling team mate find his hand in the dark by again giving voice to his song, “Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand.Take me by the hand, pretty mama, Come and dance with your daddy all night long.”As he finished the chorus he gave action to the words and congaed off down the tunnel.
He hadn’t been able to see Brightie’s face in the dark, but the sucked in breath surely meant that he appreciated the song.Who wouldn’t enjoy that song??He almost stumbled himself when he realized that as he sang he had forgotten his awesome accent!Nyet!
Eventually the conga line drew to a halt as a speaker emerged from the muck and screamed at them in an echoing voice.They had a mission.And a bot was to meet them to show them the way.Steam, as always, offered the lead to the leader."Looks like we have our assignment. Lead the way, Team Leader."
Blowz shook his head in the dark.“Nyet.Z Komputa zayz ve r meat by za jackobat.Ve vait here?Da?”
Downward and onward. That wasn't the way he remembered the saying but who knows. Things went from bad to smelly. Brown water with " Tootsie roll rafts" was making it hard to keep up morale. Perhaps a rendition of "old black water" would help or it might just draw more afternoon to their situation. Brighte2 kept quiet . Then a speaker appeared and a voice that belonged to a drive- thru worker with a head cold and a mumbling problem have the team an update. Unsure of what was actually said but he hopesthe team leader did.
Posted on 2018-10-02 at 12:57:53.
Edited on 2018-10-02 at 16:53:56 by Keeper of Dragons
Lost in song, Artie walks on auto-pilot until his feet get wet. And then his shins. Knees. Thighs - what's all this muck? Did something just slither?
Only loyalty (and fear, obviously) keeps Artie moving forward into the grimey water. Is a lot of grime called grimes? If so, we're heading into some Thick Grimes. Artie chuckles without really knowing why.
Then the confusing and tinny voice, the red light.... Computer!
Always there for us when we need! And when we don't! And all times in between!
And a new mission within a mission? "Very loyal stuff indeed! We are entrusted with a great task! Escorting a Jackobot!"
And guard it... from what? From everything? Everything.
"Let's find this Jackobot and guard it in the most loyal manner possible!"
There's a cheery poem of obedience referencing a Jackobot... "Let's declare our loyalty as we march slash swim!"
"Jack - o - bot went up the HIL Sector,
to fetch a pail of H20
Jack - o - bot fell down and broke his crown-circuit
and many clones were summarily executed for failing in their duty to protect the Jack - o - bot as ordered by friend Computer"
No questions - "Team Leader, take us this 'riefinginging' the Computer mentioned".
Posted on 2018-10-03 at 00:29:28.
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 345/54 5983 Posts
Since no one has anything useful to ask Friend Computer, the moitor eventually goes dark and recedes beneath the surface of the muck with a gurgle. Once more, you are alone in SWR sector.
The party slowly retraces their steps - only getting lost three times - before once again finding the blast door with the defense turret on the far side.
The door is currently open, and standing on the other side of the doorway is a jackobot standing just short of five feet tall. A keen eye might discern that this bot is an older model, and perhaps a bit neglected or worn... though jackobots do tend to function for a very long time.
"BEE-DEE-BEE-DEE-BEEP," it intones through a dented speaker. "Greetings, Team MAO-17859 Dot R-2. I am Jackie the Jackobot. Please allow me to escort your superior intelligences to the PLC distribution center."
You might be wrong, but the jackobot appears to speak in a slightly sarcastic tone.
Posted on 2018-10-04 at 11:53:00.
Edited on 2018-10-04 at 11:54:04 by t_catt11
The jackobot seemed a bit worn and tired. Brighte2 wondered how important it really was due to its apearance and the fact that this team was assigned escort duty. "Greetings, do you happen to know Jackobot Jim? He is a really interesting jackobot. Of course there are probably lots of jackobots so maybe you don't know him. Have you ever seen a jackolope? A jackobot with a pet jackolope would be pretty interesting."
Blowz grumbled a bit as the group headed back towards the blast doors. The computer had been very unclear, even discounting its tinny and repetitive accent, about where they would meet this robot. But he went with the group. The computer must be served.
When they got back to the entrance to this sector they were met by the expected jackobot - a rather older version that seemed sarcastic about their abilities. He was tempted to say something, but given their recent performance, he couldn't even come up with a good response. There was little evidence of superiority.
But they were to be led again, but this time not by one of the clones. The computer would have a more active role and he would follow as a good and loyal subject would. "Da yob. Lead uz zo ve kan zo dah yob."
Slipp wasn't sure if it was just the overabundance supplements he had taken or if the damn computer decided to make things more efficient and put the ammo in the barrel of the pistols because he doesn't remember them ever being there.
None the less this slogging around in the dark is so damned boring soooooo boring and now another mission from "the great all knowing computer" sooo god damn boring. Unfortunately the computer doesn't clone the supplements still in the body at the time of death so a clone start off not so damn boring...... nuuuuggghhhhhh
After hearing the very distinctively slight sarcastic tone from the bot Slipp fires off a comment in an equally slight sarcastic tone, "Please, lead the way."
Doubling back the way they had come seemed terribly inefficient but, as loyalty to the Computer was paramount, Ammpe didn’t bother to say so. He imagined that, at best, it would only create more dissention amongst the team and, at worst, see him summarily executed for treason… Leading a team isn’t exactly leading, I suppose, he thought to himself as he trudged along ahead of his teammates, More like following and being followed in exchange…. The term cannon-fodder came to mind, too, but he quickly dismissed the thought.
Soon enough, they had reached the blast doors, again, and found an older model jackboot awaiting them. “BEE-DEE-BEE-DEE-BEEP," it intoned through a dented speaker. “Greetings, Team MAO-17859 Dot R-2. I am Jackie the Jackobot. Please allow me to escort your superior intelligences to the PLC distribution center.”
Ammpe did his best to stifle an exasperated sigh. He didn’t mind that Jackie had offered to lead the way – robots were useful tools, after all, and, if the Computer had programmed this one to lead them to the PLC distribution center, then who was he to argue – he just didn’t like the bot’s tone… not at all… and his temper started to boil. “Mind the sarcasm, you tottering scrap pile,” he drawled at Jackie even as he motioned the bot to continue, “and lead on.”
The slog back to the blast doors seemed to take twice as long. The inefficency of an ineffectual leader the likely culprit.
And not only that, he thought to himself as they backtracked out of another wrong corridor, but the communications officer had not stopped grumbling behind him since they had received their orders. An incompetant leader ahead of him, and an ungrateful officer behind him. Who else in this group were showing themselves to be the commie traitors they really were? Or worse, how many were a low life, no good, dirty, rat turd of a mutant?
A chill of excitement went down his spine. As his teammates, sure, he'd do a soldiers duty and try to keep the scum-suckers breathing. But if the vile stench of a traitor crept up into his nose any more . . . his fist clenched in anticipation, causing pain to shoot up his wounded arm. The other held firmly to Team Leader's shoulder as they marched forward in the dark. It would be so easy, he thought, imagining the ways in which he could dispose of this guy should he turn out to be an agent against Friend Computer. It would be so easy.
They finally made their way back to the blast doors and an old, yet still remarkably efficient, jackobot appeared on the other side of the doorway.
"BEE-DEE-BEE-DEE-BEEP. Greetings, Team MAO-17859 Dot R-2. I am Jackie the Jackobot. Please allow me to escort your superior intelligences to the PLC distribution center."
Steam snorted lightly to himself. He was absolutely in on the Jackie's joke.
“Mind the sarcasm, you tottering scrap pile,” Team Leader scolded, not in on the joke, “and lead on.”
His fists clenched again, nearly as tightly as his jaw, "The jackobot was sent by Friend Computer, Team Leader, you seem ungrateful. Do you think a mistake has been made?"
“The jackobot was sent by Friend Computer, Team Leader, you seem ungrateful,” Steam stated rather bluntly, “Do you think a mistake has been made?”
Ammpe’s gaze swung toward the army clone, dipped toward the clenched fists, narrowed, and came back up to meet Steam’s. “Are you accusing me of treasonous thoughts, Steam-R-LLR,” he droned, his face starting to redden, “If so, you may as well just say so out loud as opposed to dancing around it like some sort of entertainment clone…” His hands itched for the laser pistol and the hammer at his hips but, for the moment, he managed to keep them away for either… “And, no! I am loyal to Friend Computer and trust completely in It’s wisdom. The only mistake, here, is in that bot’s rust addled attitude!”
He and Steam all but glared each other for a moment but, in the end, it was Ammpe whose eyes diverted first, if only to pan slowly over the faces of the remaining clones. “If any of the rest of you want to lob accusations my way… or sing another f***ing song, do it now! Otherwise, we have a mission to accomplish, and standing around here arguing over assumptions isn’t doing anything toward that end! Now, shut up and move out!”
Posted on 2018-10-12 at 10:20:01.
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 345/54 5983 Posts
shutting up and moving out
Jackie leads the team down an empty corridor which ends in a blank door with a terminal to one side.
"BEE-DEE-BEE-DEE-BEEP," Jackie states, "the mission transportation is located in the garage through this door."
Steam reaches for the door handle - and receives a nasty electrical jolt that knocks him to the ground for his troubles.
This causes Jackie to react. "BEE-DEE-BEE-DEE-BEEP," it speaks, "I apologize for the omission, superior troubleshooters. This door will only open to an individual that presents the mission number."
Seing as how Steam is temporarily stunned, door opening now falls to the the next clone in line - Blowz. The communications officer swallows nervously, then recites the team's designation (MAO-17859 Dot R-2) and reaches for the door handle.
Like Steam before him, Blowz receives a nasty electrical shock that knocks him to the ground. The faint smell of ozone and burned flesh lingers in the air.
"BEE-DEE-BEE-DEE-BEEP," Jackie states solemnly. "Clearly, my communication circuits have failed you, oh wise ones. MAO-17859 Dot R-2 is your team number. You must present your mission number. Please, allow me to deactivate the door."
The aging jackobot then interfaces with the terminal momentarily. After a moment, it speaks again. "BEE-DEE-BEE-DEE-BEEP, you may now proceed safely. I hope that no lasting harm has come to any of this esteemed team."
The door retracts to reveal a parking garage. Jackie takes the lead, and directs the team to a strange craft.
The craft would appear to have once been a fairly typical transbot - before someone sliced off the roof and removed all of the seats. Instead of the factory-issue wheels, four huge, ungainly, (and unguarded) fans are attached to the bottom of the craft (one per corner). The fans point at the ground, and apparently grant the ability for the vehicle to hover.
As you approach, the vehicle speaks in a warm, friendly, feminine voice. "BING! Welcome, troubleshooters. I am the new, perfected Alpha-19.87b Friendliness Hoverbot. Please watch your step while boarding."
The door swings open, and the hoverbot sweetly speaks again. "BING! Welcome aboard. All mutants are traitors! If you are a traitor, please inform me so that we can reroute to the nearest confession booth."
"BING!" it continues. "Please designate a pilot for our journey."