A word of warning, though! Unlike a Choose Your Own Adventure book, you can't go back and make a different decision to get a different outcome. Whatever decision wins the vote on Tuesday is final, so choose wisely. If you have any questions, please write them in comments below and I will answer promptly.
Last Week's Results
Choice One1. Blue Cube! 37%
2. Tiny Ray Gun! 0%
3. Tablet! 50%
4. Not a damn thing! 12%
Choice Two1. Reveal your hiding place and warn Enis about the glob. 37%
2. Keep hiding in the ship and hope you get towed back to Jacob’s base. 12%
3. Sneak out and head to the domed city. 37%
4. Tell Orson that this is all too weird for you and you want to go back to your own world. 12%
Stuffing the tablet into your belt, you peek out through the busted window of the flying saucer to see if Enis has noticed the glowing glob sneaking up on him. No such luck. Instead, the dumbass is picking his teeth and humming loudly enough to cover the squelching sound the glob is making as it oozes its way toward him.
“You’d think people on a radioactive world filled with monsters would be more careful,” you mutter out loud. “But noooo! Damnit. Orson, how far away is that tow truck they mentioned?”
“By my estimates, ten minutes at the most,” says Orson, his Yakov-Smirnoff-accented English filling your head.
“That’s not soon enough, because it looks like around here....”
“Around here, Jello eats you?”
“You’ve been waiting to say something like that, haven’t you?”
“I am slave to program.”
The glob is getting closer to Enis and you are having a hard time making up your mind, as if the options to warn him or just cut and run to the domed city are at war with each other. You aren’t a nice person, your days as a con artist probably resulted in thousands of people going bankrupt and ruining their lives, but you never caused anyone any physical harm. Then again, what’s one less redneck in the world? And it isn’t as if there weren’t about a million other things in the immediate vicinity actively trying to kill him. He’ll probably be dead in five minutes even if you do warn him...
And your sole mission is to check out the domed city, right? That is what you are here for.
“Damnit!” you shout, hurling yourself at the open hatch of the saucer.
You hit the ground and roll, raising your ray gun at the glowing green glob. Twisting the dial to maximum power you shoot at the amorphous shape, drilling a scorched-looking hole straight through it. The thing lets out an otherworldly howl and begins to thrash about madly, the hole you burned closing almost immediately. Within seconds there is not a single trace that you even wounded it. You get the sense that it has turned its attention to you.
Enis has fallen off his perch and is staring up at the looming monster with his mouth hanging open. He’s even drooling a bit.
“Better run, dumbass!” you shout as you get to your feet and start running in the direction of the domed city. Enis is now officially on his own.
You’ve never been a capable runner - in junior high you signed on to the cross country team and the only time you didn’t come in last was when you bribed a fat kid to slow down - but it’s amazing what a glob monster can do for your endurance. Filtered air fills your lungs, making your legs feel strong and capable of carrying you for miles. The landscape is a blur.
You risk a chuckle. “Orson, is that thing chasing me?”
“It is one foot behind you.”
You look over your shoulder to see the glob looming over you. The flying saucer is maybe a hundred feet away and you can even make out Enis’s confused expression as he stands there gaping at you. You’re starting to feel your legs cramp.
Pointing the ray gun over your shoulder as you run, you pull the trigger and hope it hits the thing. The warble of the ray gun’s beam is quickly followed by another wail from the blob. You push yourself to run faster.
“That did not even slow it,” Orson sounds incredulous. “It was nice knowing you, you seem like good person...”
“Not dead yet,” you mutter and squeeze the trigger again. Nothing happens. Squeeze again. Nothing. You bring the gun around and look at it, a battery meter on the side has turned a dull red. “Crap!”
“You say that a lot,” observes Orson.
“Shut up!” you shout, deciding to face death head on rather than wait for the thing to jump onto your back. You spin around and stop suddenly. The glob also halts, maybe confused by your actions. Not certain what else to do, you throw the ray gun at it.
The gun makes a plopping sound as it sinks into the thing’s mass, its barrel already being eaten away as it moves towards the monster’s center. The glob begins to lurch a bit as it digests the gun, seeming to forget you for a moment. As it gets eaten away, you notice the core of the gun begin to glow and start emitting a high pitched whine.
You also notice Enis standing by the saucer frantically waving at you. Almost as if he is telling you to.....
“Run, you idiot,” Orson shouts.
You just turn and just start to move, your feet feeling like they weigh a million pounds, when the gun explodes.
For a brief moment, you wonder if you are living your dream of flying with a jet pack. The ground is far below you and a breeze begins whipping your hair. Tiny green globs, like stars, float in space around you. As you sail through the air you start to smell something burning, like someone has put tinfoil in a microwave. No, not tinfoil. A spacesuit, maybe?
The ground lurches back up at you and punches you in the face. Everything goes dark.
“Shhh. Keep quiet!”
You feel a hand on your shoulder, gently shaking you. You bat the hand away and are rewarded with a shooting pain that travels up your arm and down your back. You gasp and flinch, which causes a few more waves of agony to course through you. After a few seconds you decide to focus on what parts of you aren’t sore or burning.
You think your pinky toe may be okay.
“Who’s Polly Shore?”
You open your eyes and see Enis kneeling over you. He has a dopey grin on his face, which is illuminated by a slant of reddish-yellow light. You look around him and see that you are in a very small, circular cinderblock chamber.
“Where am I?” you ask, your voice coming thick around a swollen tongue.
“Oh, we’re in a dug-out,” Enis answers with a whisper. “We got lucky there was one so close by. Otherwise we’d a gotten caught out when they showed up.”
Enis points out at a small porthole window set into the wall. You get up on your knees, hissing as your body protests, and shuffle to the wall. It looks as if the tiny stone Igloo you are in is buried in sand, but enough has been cleared away for you to see outside. The sun is setting in the distance, turning the sky a brilliant orange as it dips down below the horizon. You can see the shape of the crashed saucer in the distance, its shadow pointing at you like an accusatory finger.
Oh and there are about two dozen of those insect aliens prowling around about ten feet in front of you.
“You betcha,” Enis agrees. “They musta seen that gomur blow up and came a’runnin’.”
“Goo Monster From Uranus.”
That word still makes you giggle.
“Now you know why we call ‘em gomurs,” Enis smiles. Then he looks confused. “Wait...where are you from? They must have told you about gomurs in New Vega.”
1. “I have amnesia. The kind where I remember who I am but have no idea what’s going on in the world.” 38%
2. “I’m from far away. It’s a pretty obscure place, you probably haven’t heard of it.” 0%
3. “I come from a town called ‘Nunya’, located in a state named ‘Bidness’.” 15%
4. “I’m from a parallel world and I’m here to gauge whether or not we want to sell Reeboks to you or something.” 46%
“Hold on a sec,” Enis says before you can answer. “Looks like the Titans have some company. Maybe we’ll see a Martian.”
A soft humming fills the air above you and you press your face against the glass to get a better view. Another saucer, this one much larger than the one you accidentally wrecked, slowly spins into view. It hovers over to where the insect aliens are congregated and bathes them in a beam of light that emanates from the bottom of the craft.
“I thought those insect guys were Martians.”
“Most folk do,” Enis says, a note of pity in his voice. “Those there are Titans, as in they come from the moon Titan that orbits Saturn. They been enslaved by the Martians for thousands of years. Or they will be...I don’t know, time is kind of weird around the Martians.
“The Titans are sorta foot soldiers. They do all the Martians’. grunt work. Truth is, no one’s seen a Martian in decades. There could be one on that mothership though.”The Titans all stop what they were doing and look up at the mothership as if they are listening to it. After a few minutes of silently staring, they split off into pairs and walk out your line of vision. Soon the hum of the mothership is joined by sounds of other, smaller craft powering up.
Six craft, identical to the crashed one, rise up around you and circle the mothership. As one, they glide over the desert toward their fallen vessel.
“Cover your eyes,” Enis warns, putting his hand over the porthole and looking away. A blinding light flashes and the ground rumbles. Dust and sand falls down from the ceiling onto you, getting into your hair and filling your mouth with grit.
Looking back out the window, you watch as the small fleet rises straight up into the sky, disappearing into space just as the sun finally slips down behind the distant hills. The crashed saucer is now little more than a smoking hole in the ground. As darkness claims the world, you notice that a green light is suffusing the igloo.
And that it’s coming from you.
“I’m glowing!” you shout, looking down at your emerald hued hands. “Why the hell am I glowing?”
“You got caught in a gomur explosion,” Enis says as if it were obvious. “what did you expect? Those things soak up radiation like a sponge. You’re probably gonna mutate.”
“Radiation?” you ask, incredulous. “Wait, did you say ‘mutate’?”
“I wouldn’t worry about it. My cousin Roscoe got dosed once, now he grows antlers every spring. It’s kind of pretty, really. Course, I also knew a guy once who got a little too close to a Venusian engine and his eyelids turned into batwings. That wasn’t so great to see.”
“Radiation doesn’t work like that!”
“How do you think it works. Where did you say you were from, anyway?”
You can’t stop staring at your glowing hands.
“Look,” Enis crouches down and looks you in the eye. “My people probably think I’m dead, which is actually pretty good news. See, a lot of our folk back home are sick and we need medicine. And a doctor. I’ve been planning on sneaking into New Vega for months now, but Jacob wouldn’t let me. Now he ain’t here to stop me.
“If we can get into the city, we can probably find a way to cure you before you start...I don’t know...growing fifty feet tall or something. I could use the help.”
1. Go with Enis to New Vega. 23%
2. Gently knock Enis the hell out and go to New Vega on your own. 61%
3. Convince Enis to go with you to meet with his people. 0%
4. Antlers? To hell with this, I’m going home. 15%
So, there you go! You have until midnight Tuesday, October 30th to make your choices and the new chapter will post on Saturday, November 3rd. Have fun!