Friday, November 2, 2012

You: Chapter Six (A Choose Your Own Adventure)

   You

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.
   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.

-Rich


Also, it looks like the poll widget is having problems again so if your vote disappears just leave a comment down below and I'll record it. Thanks.

Last Weeks Results

Choice One
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.” 47%

Choice Two
1. Go with Enis to New Vega. 24%

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%



Chapter Six

“So, who built this place?” you ask Enis as he slides a metal plate over the porthole window. The small, concrete igloo you’ve taken refuge in is bathed in the disquieting green glow that’s emanating from your skin. You look around. Along one curved wall is a small cot with a metal foot locker set next to it. A shelf against the opposite wall holds a few gallons of water and some unmarked cans of, what you hope, is food. You also see what is left of your helmet (not much) and that Enis has propped up his rifle next to the window.
“The U.S. Army,” Enis says as he rummages through the foot locker, eventually pulling out an old kerosene lantern. Lighting it makes the room look a little less sickly. “we think. The way Jacob explains it, just before the civilian government fell, the army was under orders to build a bunch of fallout shelters and underground bunkers for any survivors of the invasion.”
“Invasion?” you ask. “You mean by the Martians?”
Enis gives you an incredulous look and sits down on the cot. “Okay, before I say anything else I want to know who the hell you are.”
Amnesia! You could tell him you have amnesia. That would work, wouldn’t it?
But as the thought crosses your mind, you realize you are just too goddamn tired to lie to this guy. After all, you did save each others’ lives.
“I’m not from around here,” you say as you slide down the wall and sit on the floor.  “As in, not from this version of Earth....”
And so you spill your guts. Over the next two hours you tell Enis all about the project that brought you here, what life is like on your Earth, and all that. Enis interrupts with a lot of questions, like what a Walkman was and why Les Nesman thought turkeys could fly in that one episode of WKRP, but all in all you manage to fit in all the important parts of your world’s history.
You’re pretty tired by the time you finish, but there is no way you can sleep without Enis answering a few questions.
“So,” you begin, waving your hands around to indicate the room and the planet it rests in. “what the hell?”
“From what you describe,” Enis says, sitting with his back to the wall and cleaning his rifle. “life here was pretty similar to yours up until the mid-nineteen forties. According to Larry, who’s like the smartest guy ever, the whole world was involved in this big war with the Europeans fighting each other and Americans fighting the Japanese and everybody having some kind of problem with everybody else. And in the midst of it, this one country who was really warlike ended up making contact with the Venusians.”
“Was it the Nazis?” you interrupt, confident you know the answer. “It’s always the Nazis.”
“No, the Swiss,” Enis says. “They claimed to be neutral all during the war, that they didn’t want to get involved so that they could help broker peace when it came to it, but that was all bullshit. Turns out they were building an army of their own and were selling parts of the world to the Venusians in exchange for advanced weaponry.
“So, just when it looked like the war was about to come to an end, they strike. The Swiss nuked Germany and England, the Venusians attacked the Soviet Union, and America retreated from the Pacific to protect its own borders.”
“How do the Martians play into it?” you ask.
“The Martians and the Venusians hate each other. They’ve been trying to conquer each other for thousands of years. The only thing they ever agreed on was that Earth was off limits for some reason. When the Venusians broke that agreement, the Martians invaded. They tried to establish a foothold in Africa while the Venusians tried to conquer Russia and China. It took them a couple decades, but when they finally succeeded they started fighting each other on the only land mass left untouched. The Americas.
“The only silver lining was that we had time to prepare. We built radiation proof dug outs like these, underground networks with cached supplies, everything you’d need to maintain a long term guerrilla war.”
“So what’s up with the big-ass domed city?” you ask. “New Vega, was it?”
“They’re a bunch of collaborators,” Enis spits out the last word. “It didn’t take long for the government and organized military to collapse and when it did a bunch of people just surrendered to the nearest alien menace. The Martians in New Vega’s case. We don’t know what the Martians get out of it, we’ve been trying to figure it out for years, but it can’t be good. Whatever it is, in exchange they give the Vegans a cushy life. Food, medicine, Pidthburgian servants, you name it.”
“And what’s your deal?” you ask, too weary to bother asking what the hell a Pidthburgian is.
“I’m part of the resistance,” Enis replies proudly, jutting out his chin. “We’ve been holed up in one of the underground bunkers for years now. Learning how to fight aliens, building our own equipment, growing our own food. I grew up there. One day, we’re going to liberate New Vega and use it to bring the aliens down and kick them off our planet.”
“I saw your leader, Jacob, talking to one of them....Darius?”
“Yeah, Darius is the head of New Vega’s border patrol. He knows we’re out here, but not where specifically. He’d get executed if the Martians found out he knew about us, Jacob has a price on his head for destroying some facilities or something. He and Darius have a kind of truce going.”
“It’s getting pretty late,” you point out. “If we’re going to break into this city we should get some rest.”
“Good idea, I can take the first shift. You don’t look so good, with the green glow and all, so you should get some sleep first.”

Even though you are bone tired, it takes you awhile to fall asleep. Every time you manage to drift off you are snapped awake by visions of horrible green globs chasing you or white skinned insect-men trying to eat you.
It also doesn’t help that your eyelids are glowing.
But sleep, sweet dreamless sleep, eventually claims you. A few times you stir, thinking you hear a voice with an exaggerated Russian accent trying to get your attention, but you drift back to sleep. When you wake up, you see that the lantern has burned out and that Enis, bathed in the fading light of your skin, has fallen asleep.
“Finally,” you mutter, getting out of the cot as quietly as you can. You reach over and gently take the rifle out of Enis’s lap and set it down next to the door. Lifting the lid of the foot locker you examine the contents and are happy to find a small messenger bag, a set of dirty-looking clothes, and a pair of binoculars.
The space suit you arrived in is toast. The back end, where the fabric still exists, is a mess of black, melted goo that crackles when you move. You silently slip out of it and put the foul smelling pants, shirt, and army jacket on, disliking how the material seems to stick to your skin. You empty out your belt pouches, putting your knife and tablet into the bag with the binoculars, pick up the rifle and take a quick look around.
Enis is staring at you.
“What’s going on?”
“Look, you seem like a nice guy, but...,” you begin lamely as he stands up. You can’t think of what to say next. Should you tell him that he’s a bit dim and would probably slow you down? That you work alone, or as alone as one can be with the voice of Yakov Smirnoff in her head, and don’t play well with others? That his name rhymes with penis and it’s too hard to resist making mean jokes about it?
In the end you decide that the most sensible thing to do is smash him in the head with the butt of the rifle. It’s really the only solution.
So you do that, feigning for a moment that you are going to set it down before swinging it up and cracking it into the middle of his forehead. He goes cross-eyed for a moment and takes a staggering sideways step and for a moment you think you may have to give him another whack. But soon enough he keels over and lands heavily upon the concrete floor.
“That takes care of that,” you say, slinging the rifle over your shoulder and reaching for the door. It takes a few tries to get the door to open and when it does a drift of sand flows into the small room. Climbing up out of the sand filled hole, you take a look around.
You have maybe a few hours before dawn and you can see the glow of the city off in the distance. You have a couple of miles to go before you get there, so you begin to jog over the sand. You make sure to keep your head low as you go and keep an eye out for any other goo monsters.

“What am I seeing, Orson?” you ask the voice in your head that connects you to the orbiting satellite.
“It is domed city,” is its answer. Smart ass.
New Vega does indeed lay before you. You are crouched down behind a dune and using your new found binoculars to check it out. You make sure to stow them when you see a border patrol jeep though, just in case they give off a glare.
The city, and its dome, are immense. The city and the wall around it must be five miles across, with a massive gate dominating its western side. Along the south you see what looks to be a large vent, the distance between the slats look big enough to crawl through. An occasional wisp of steam puffs out of it and a dribble of bluish liquid runs down the wall below it.

The city on the other side of the glass is breathtaking.  From where you are crouched, you can just make out the tips of what must be skyscrapers dominating the northern edge of the dome and the flitting streaks of, what you hope, are flying cars or jet packs. You wish you could see more, but the rest of the city is hidden behind the large wall that circles the base of the dome. 
“Another patrol is coming,” Orson informs you. You duck down and watch one of the Cadillac looking hover cars glide by with three heavily armed guards occupying the vehicle. The patrols seem to pass by every fifteen minutes, occasionally checking in with the guard house that sits outside of the main gate.

“So what is plan?” Orson asks.
What, indeed, is plan?

What do you do?

1. Walk up to the guard house, announce that you want to speak to Darius, try to blackmail your way into the city. 55%
2. Sneak over to the vent and crawl your way into the city. 36%
3. That tablet I found is mysterious, I’m going to lay here and examine it. 9%
4. Jetpacks ain’t worth it, I’m going home! 0%



You have until midnight Tuesday, November 6th to make your choices and the new chapter will post on Saturday, November 10th. Have fun!

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