Friday, October 12, 2012

You: Chapter Three (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 Three

“Flaming wreckage, here I come,” you say out loud for some reason as you strike off toward the distant smoke.
As you approach the road, you notice that it isn’t made up of asphalt, like a normal road, but is actually a long strip of fused, burnt glass. You remember from the satellite images you saw back home that it runs straight to the domed city, but you have no idea what lies at the other end of it.
“Maybe California?” you muse, again out loud. You are about continue on your way when your vision blurs and series of bright, red letters appear in front of you.
“What the hell?” you blink twice, trying to clear your eyes, and accidentally take a snapshot of the burnt road. You watch as the image slides into a folder at the lower right of your eye line and fades from view. The word remains. Waving your arms in front of you to clear the letters away, you begin to worry that you may be having a stroke or something.
“Crap,” you mutter, realizing what’s going on. “You’re the satellite aren’t you? What do you mean ‘select audio options’?”
“Oh. Let’s see....something nice and soothing like Morgan Freeman or maybe Sean Connery...Nina Simone...”


1. Pauly Shore 37%
2. Sam Kinison 0%
3. Yakov Smirnoff 50%
4. Andrew “Dice” Clay 12%

“Are you kidding me?” you shout. “Those are my only options?
“I’ll think about it,” you grumble, crossing the road and continuing your way to the wreckage.
As you get closer, you notice that the ground is furrowed in a trail that leads directly to the wreck. You pick up the first piece of debris you find, a small and glimmering square of metal, and examine it. It feels delicate and you crush it in your hand easily, but when you relax it springs back to its original shape without even showing a crease. Crushing it and then watching it pop back into shape amuses you for far longer than it should.
Slowly though, as you look at the wreckage and the furrowed ground and the area that you appeared in, a disturbing theory begins to take root. It isn’t a pleasant thought, so you push it back and continue on.
The flames have died down to only a few campfire-sized spots and weird, alien-looking equipment lays scattered everywhere. But looking at the overall shape of the wrecked and broken thing, and the path of destruction that leads to it, you can no longer deny what’s in front of you.
Somehow, your arrival made a flying saucer crash.
“Well that ain’t good,” you mutter.
But even the knowledge that your first contact with an alien life form may have killed said alien life form, you can’t hide your excitement.
You’re standing in front of a goddamn flying saucer!
Walking around it, you are amazed by how....flying saucery it looks. It’s a dark metallic color, with some sort of red pinstriping running along the edges, and a large glass dome (currently broken) sits at the top. From what you can see there doesn’t seem to be a front or back, though a good quarter of it is buried in the desert sand where it impacted.
As you make a slow orbit of it, you hear a groan. You freeze. The wind picks up slightly, howling through the empty saucer, and the sand makes a hissing sound as it shifts around. Then you hear it again. It’s coming from around the other side of the saucer.
Reaching into your pocket, you pull out your knife. If whatever is making that noise is dangerous, its going to get two solid inches of cold, hard Swiss steel jabbed at it. You are just about TO? peer around the corner when your eye catches on something. For a moment, you stop breathing.
What you see laying on the ground can only be described as a ray gun.
“Cool,” you say as you stoop to pick it up. Casting a wary glance around the corner, you lean back and examine it. It is much heavier than its plastic counterparts on your world, but it’s colored a bright blue and silver and even has those ring thingies running up the barrel. There is a dial along the side, one side is red and the other is yellow. If you had to hazard a guess, you would think that red is for killing and yellow is for stunning. Don’t all ray guns have a kill and stun mode?
Another groan.
Raising the ray gun, you make your way around the corner and see your very first alien.
He looks pissed.
You would look pissed too if you trapped under a massive computer bank, though. Holding on to your ray gun, you take a good look at Whatever it is, its face is white and insectoid looking. Large mandibles dominate its lower jaw and compound eyes that look too big for its head seem to take up the upper half of his face. You also see that it is wearing a what looks like a spacesuit, which would resemble yours if it didn’t have four arms on it. Looking at you, it begins to make a series of hissing and crackling noises.
“What are you saying?” you ask. “I’m sorry I crashed your ship. It was an accident.”
“I wasn’t talking to you.”
The alien stops clicking and narrows it’s multi-faceted eyes at you. Reaching up a trembling hand, which you notice is tipped with vicious looking claws, it clicks a button at the throat of its suit.
“You have made a grave error, human,” comes a mechanical sounding voice from the suit. “You have brought war upon your people. Tonight The Hive will gather and smash your cities, your children will be made slaves, and your elders will be set aflame.”
“Look, I’m sorry I broke your ship but that seems a bit harsh.”
“For too long,” he continued. “our kind has been held back from destroying you utterly. But no more. You have declared war on The Hive and The Hive shall blacken the sky with our ships and...”
“Why don’t I help you out from under that and we can talk about this,” you offer, really not wanting him to call on his space brothers to come down and kill everything. “This is all just a...”
“I don’t need your help, human!” the alien shouts, heaving the broken computer bank off its chest and sending it hurtling away. The alien stands. And keeps standing. It looms over you -- it must be over eight feet tall-- and perches itself on two powerful-looking legs. It flexes its four arms and growls at you. “I will feast on your skin and use your bones for furniture. I will hold your brain in my hands and squeeze it for its juices.”
“Your gross,” you say, staggering back and raising your gun. “Why don’t we just take a breath and calm down a bit. I think I may have a snack on me, we could make s’mores maybe...”
Your eyes blur as the letters dominate your field of vision. The alien begins to circle you, waiting to strike. It is hobbling a bit, and sickly looking orange blood leaks from some of the cracks in its carapace, but it still looks like it could make good on its threats.
“From where?” you shout, trying again to wave the words away and focus on the alien that’s trying to eat you.
One group of, hopefully people, from the town and another from the domed city. But neither will get to you in time. And who knows if you can trust either one of them? They may not be too pleased that you started a war, after all.
Looking at the ray gun and then back at the hissing alien, you struggle to make up your mind what to do.

Choice Two

1. Turn the dial to red and hope it kills this bug-eyed monster before it goes all Ikea with your skeleton, then hide. 25%
2. Turn the dial to yellow and hope it stuns it (this is sorta your fault after all) and then hide. 50%
3. Try to outrun it in the direction of the ground vehicles. 0%
4. Try to outrun it in the direction of the hover vehicles. 25%

You have until midnight Tuesday, October 16th to make your choices and the new chapter will post on Saturday, October 20th. Have fun!

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