Friday, January 18, 2013

You: Chapter Fifteen (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.
   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.

Chapter Fifteen

You bring the motorcycle to a stop outside the dilapidated barn just as the sun begins to set. Stepping off, you take a look around the area and stretch your back. It pops loudly.
“This is the place?” you ask The Brain. You've been riding for hours, constantly changing directions in case you were being followed, and are feeling more irritable than normal. You don't know what you were expecting when The Brain told you he had a secret hideout, but a run-down barn in the Agriculture Zone wasn't it.

“It's more secure than it looks,” The Brain assures you mildly.

You grab your backpack from the bike and begin to walk slowly toward the barn. Whatever crops had once been planted here have long since been choked to death by long, tubular weeds. A ragged scarecrow reigns gloomily over a field of withered corn.

“I take it no one comes here much?” you ask.

“Most of the city's food needs were being met by the farms on levels one and three,” The Brain explains. “so the council decided to abandon this level. I bought this barn through a fake identity I made. Our masters back home know nothing of it.”

You step in through the partially open barn door and peer inside. Old, rotting bales of hay lie in decaying clumps against the back wall. A few empty horse stalls and a loft, a battered table, and a pile of rusted tools round out the décor and make you wonder if you'll get a splinter, tetanus, or die in an avalance of dead grass.

“I love what you've done with the place,” you say as you set your backpack on the table, which creaks alarmingly, and begin to unstrap The Brain's tank from your chest. “Really homey.”

“It is more structurally sound than it looks,” The Brain says. “Behind that pile of hay over there is a computer terminal and some lab equipment. We'll need those if we're going to plan a jail break. Are you sure you still want to do this?”

“No,” you admit. “but we can't trust our own people to save us and the human rebels here...well, may not like me so much since I kinda, sorta bashed one of them over the head. That leaves the enemy of our enemy, I guess.”

“So, what the pla...Wait a minute, what are they doing here?”

You look over at your backpack and see that one of the shrunken people you rescued has crawled out of your bag and is looking around. He's dressed like a milkman. You reach over and let the rest out. You'd almost forgotten they were in there.

“I couldn't let you blow them up,” you say. “And maybe they can help us with this jailbreak thing.”


“I don't know. Maybe they can crawl in through the bars or something?”

“This is a high-tech prison facility,” The Brain yells. “They don't have bars! They have force-fields and things of that nature. Two-inch-tall Amway salesmen aren't going to be of much use.”

“Well they could...There are Amway salesmen here?”
“Yes, we've found that Amway exists on almost all civilized parallels. The implications are disturbing,” The Brain goes silent for a moment, thinking, then snaps back to reality. “At any rate, I suppose we have to brainstorm some options and we shouldn't rule anything out. Can you still access the nanites in your bloodstream?”

“Not since I put this thing on,” you say, pointing to the circlet on your head. “It seems that it not only blocks Orson but also doesn't allow me to use the computer functions in my head. We could lie to Orson, tell him we're still working for the folks back home and that we're breaking out...I don't know...some other guy to help us get into the Citadel's labs and see what they are up to?”

“I suppose we could do that,” The Brain muses. “We have to assume he's infiltrated the city's water supply by now and has access to every building in the city. Or at least everywhere that has plumbing. And we'd have access to more manpower. It is risky though. Is that my giant serum in your bag?”

“Are you thinking we could use it to restore the shrunken guys to regular size?”

“Huh? No, no, they're doomed to stay like this forever,” The Brain says dismissively. You see a small woman begin to sob. The tiny Milkman comforts her and glares at The Brain. “Well, maybe not forever, but who has time to think about such things. I was considering that you could use the serum and simply rip the side of the jail open. If we wanted to be crude about it.”

“I always wanted to stomp through a city like Godzilla.”

“Who doesn't?”

“What else do we have?” you ask as you wander around the barn.

“We could scrap the whole idea and try to infiltrate the Citadel on our own,” The Brain says after a moment. “We don't need to break anyone out of jail. We just need to stop the Martians from developing trans-dimensional travel. I have to admit, I don't like the Venusians anymore than I like the Martians. Who knows what this guy that's been jailed has planned. They could be orchestrating an invasion on the city.”

“That is a good point,” you admit. “So what are we going to do?”

What ARE you going to do?

1. Convince the Wee People to help you.
2. Lie to Orson to get his cooperation.
3. Use the Giant Serum
4. Forget the Venusians, go solo into the Citadel.

So, there you go! You have until midnight Tuesday, January 29th to make your choices and the new chapter will post on Saturday, February 2nd. Have fun!

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