Friday, October 19, 2012

You: Chapter Four (A Choose Your Own Adventure)


Welcome to Choose Your Own Adventure time! The way this is going to work is pretty familiar. Each chapter, you will be given one or two choices that will dictate how the story progresses. The choices will be given in the body of the story and you vote your choice by clicking on the answer in the corresponding poll on the right side of this here blog. Voting begins on Saturday when the story posts and remains open until Tuesday night. Also, if you have a better choice or just want to throw me for a loop, you can always make a suggestion down in the comments and if enough people support it then that is what will happen.
  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.
If you need to catch up, just click on the You: The story so up there at the top of the page and it will lay out how the story has come along up to this point.



Chapter Four

“Yakov Smirnoff!” you scream as you pull the trigger on the ray gun. You really hope that’s the last time you have to yell that out in a moment of passion.
A bright orange beam of light crackles out of the gun, striking the alien in the middle of the chest. Your nose is filled with the smell of ozone and burning alien space suit. The alien looks down at the smoking hole you’ve burned into its chest and emits a noise that sounds eerily like a chuckle. It begins to walk towards you.
“Oh crap.”
“I am seeink you havink a bad time of it,” comes the unmistakable sound of Yakov Smirnoff’s voice in your head. “Maybe you are aiming for the head?”
“Oh no, you really sound like that?” you yell, frantically backing away from the looming alien.
“Who are you speaking to, human?” the alien growls, his voice slurring a bit.
You answer the alien by shooting him in the head with another stun blast. Its head rocks back and for a moment it stands there glaring at you, multifaceted eyes glimmering with hate, before it finally pitches forward and lands at your feet.
“Good shooting, Tex!” Yakov’s voice fills your head. “You are havink one minute until vehicles are arrivink.”
“Great,” you say, stepping tentatively around the alien. “So what do I call you?”
“I am referred to as O.R.S.O.N. It is standing for Orbital Reconnaissance Satellite for Op...”
“Fascinating, Orson,” you shout. “Now where do I hide?”
“How am I knowing? You are in middle of desert.”
You spin around, frantically looking for a rock or, at the very least, a hole you can crawl into. Nothing. You can already hear the motors of the ground vehicles getting closer and  two clouds of dust are rapidly approaching you on either side.
You finally turn around and look up at the crashed flying saucer.
Eyeing the unconscious alien, you make your way over to the crippled vessel. You find an open hatch and peer inside. It looks exactly like what you would imagine the inside of an alien vessel to look like. It also doesn’t look very big. If someone decides to go poking around in it you are sure to be seen.
Crawling up into the ship, you close the hatch behind you and peer around. Moving around is awkward, since the ship plowed into the ground at an angle, but you manage to wedge yourself into a position that lets you look out of the broken dome of the ship while keeping you out of immediate sight. Looking around the cockpit, you blink and take several photos of the interior.
Three things leap out at you as the photos slide into their folder. A small cube sits nestled into a nook on the side of the pilot’s chair, it glows an eerie blue and an occasional image flickers across one of its surfaces. There is also another ray gun sitting on the floor, though it is much smaller and probably easier to conceal. The last item is a tablet computer, one that looks very similar to the one you almost brought with you, only smaller. You only have room to carry one of these, which will it be?

Choice One

1. Blue Cube! 37%
2. Tiny Ray Gun! 0%
3. Tablet! 50%
4. Not a damn thing! 12%

You make your decision and a few seconds later a truck skids to a halt outside, just in front of the alien’s body. The truck looks old, like it was originally built in the 40’s or 50’s, but you don’t recognize the make or model. Not a speck of rust mars its cherry-red paint job and several odd looking skulls have been strapped to the sides of it. A car that looks almost, but not quite, like an old Cadillac roars up next to it and the passenger side door pops open.
A man, tall and wearing what looks like a homemade radiation suit, steps out of the car and walks over to the prone body of the alien. A few more people hop out of the back of the truck, each of them wearing a motley array of scuba gear and plastic sheeting, and surround the alien.
“Would ya’ lookit that, Jacob,” one of them says to the tall one. “I think he survived. He ain’t had time to suicide yet.”
“I see that, Enis,” the one called Jacob replies. “Why don’t you get the chains out of the truck and get him tied up before he wakes up and kills us all. Debbie, how’s the radiation count?”
“Fine, boss”, the one you assume is named Debbie answers, waving some kind of wand around. “We should be fine for an hour or two if you want to take the suit off.”
Jacob takes off his helmet and looks around, almost seeing you when he examines the fallen ship. He’s an older looking black man with grey stubble dotting his cheeks. Three bright pink scars run across the top of his close-shaved head, the width of them eerily matching the claws of the alien at his feet. He begins wandering over to the ship and disappears from your line of sight, but you can hear him talking to someone who must have circled around where you couldn’t see.
“What do you think, Larry?”
“I don’t know what brought it down,” you hear Larry answer. “Whatever hit it came from above, you can see where an energy beam or something punched straight through it here. Maybe the Venusians have started up with the Martians again?”
“If that’s true, we can ask our friends here,” Jacob says.
Three sleek hover cars glide up across from the trucks. They’re look like old convertible Corvettes, but with tail fins and a large rocket engine on the back. You really want to drive one and make a vow to do just that. Each car has two people in it, all of them armed with ray guns. One of them jumps out, stomps over to the alien body, and begins to yell at the men who are busy chaining it up. You also notice that each of Jacob’s people are carrying guns, though these are the more traditional rifles and handguns that look like they could’ve come from your world.
“Afternoon, Darius,” Jacob drawls as he saunters over to the newcomer. “What brings you out here today?”
“What have you done, Jacob?” Darius yells, removing his helmet. He’s white, almost to the point of being an albino, with long silver hair and a short goatee. Your years of being a con artist have given you the ability to size people up at a glance and you can instantly tell that this guy is a prick. He just has one those faces. “You’ve doomed us all! You attacked a Martian ship! And if the Martians catch you...imprisoning one of their Titans they will take it out on...”
“You’re right, Darius,” Jacob says, reaching into a pouch on his belt and bringing out a walkie-talkie. “My boys and I, in our cobbled together space suits, built an orbital cannon, launched it into space, and shot down a flying saucer as it flew over the desert at two hundred miles an hour. We are damned crafty.”
Jacob turns his back on Darius and begins whispering into the walkie-talkie. Looking over at Darius and the men who came with him, you notice that your space suit and theirs are almost identical. You begin to wonder how the people at the Omega Conglomerate managed to match them so well using only satellite images when you see a flash of green just over a small rise in the distance.
“Jacob,” Darius as walked over and lightly grabbed the taller man’s arm. “You have to hide all this. If the Martians find it, they will blame us and raise the tax. Or worse.”
“We wouldn’t want that,” Jacob says sarcastically. “Heaven forbid your little utopia gets a spanking from its masters. What are they going to do? Cut back on that food they give you and don’t tell you where it comes from? Make you cut your lawns in a more uniform manner?”
“You know what they’ll do,” Darius says flatly, his voice grave. Jacob looks defiant for a moment longer, then sighs.
“I’m already taking care of it,” he says, showing Darius the walkie-talkie. “I got a truck on the way that can haul this back to the base and we’re going to bring the insect back to the base for interrogation. We haven’t gotten a live one in years.”
“You have maybe two hours before another patrol will run through here,” Darius says, watching the other men strain to pick up the alien and carry it over to the back of the truck. “How are the other projects going?”
“I ain’t telling you. Bad enough you know we’re even out here. I can’t have you cracking under pressure and spilling the beans.”
“That’s probably wise,” Darius concedes. “We’re heading back to the city. Try not to leave any evidence.”
Jacob snorts and walks away. As Darius and his men climb back into the hover car,  you notice that green shape again. This time it just pops up for a moment and then ducks back down out of sight. You can’t even get an idea of its shape.
“Orson?” you whisper.
“Yes?” Orson seems to shout in your head, making you flinch enough to shake the ship slightly. Jacob turns at the sound and, again, almost sees you.
“Is something coming closer? Over to the....south?”
“Yes. I am seeink a glob.”
“A glob?”
“A glob is what I said. A green, moving glob that is gettink closer to you.”
Jacob and his people have gathered around the truck and seem to be looking at the alien. You see the man Jacob had been talking to earlier walk up to them. You’ve never seen a more mad looking scientist in your life. Jacob makes a few gestures and everyone, except Enis, gets back into the vehicles.
Enis, rifle in hand, walks over to a small rock and sits down. He waves at the group as they pull away and then he just sits there. Waiting. Your leg is beginning to cramp up a bit, but each time you shift your weight the ship groans a bit. The way he’s sitting though, you are pretty certain you can sneak out and get out of sight without him seeing or hearing you.
“The glob is very close now,” Orson informs you. You look over and see it. It is a glob all right. Its colored an almost radioactive green and you can almost see through it. It is moving with purpose up behind Enis, though you can’t see any eyes, ears, or anything that could be described as a sensory organ.
What are you going to do?

Choice Two

1. 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%

You have until Tuesday, October 23rd to place your vote and a new chapter will post on Saturday, October 26th. Have fun!

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