This is the fourth part of the compiled and edited log of the 2009 Memorial Party role-play. It encompasses the fifth, sixth, and seventh strings, concerning shenanigans with a psychic stereo (String 5); Agents Adder and Deuce (String 6); a time portal from the future and a sentient vending machine (String 7). The writing in this section comes from the following Boarders:
String 5: Stereo Shenanigans
Milask walked over the the stereo. He was not in the best of moods. This party was not getting off it feet. He was hoping for more dancing, and stories of the fallen comrades. What it looked like was a bunch of beings drinking in small groups.
The stereo was an unusual object. It is slightly psychic and would not play certain songs, even though you asked for it a dozen times.
Milask pressed the play button. The Beatles seemed to be what the stereo wanted to play...
"Is that 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' I hear?"
A small, mousy-haired teen stuck her head through the doorway, and her eyes lit up as she saw the stereo.
"It is 'Sgt. Pepper's'!" she cried gleefully to someone behind her. "C'mon, guys, it's The Beatles! We gotta dance!"
The slender girl bounded into the room, dragging behind her three identical men, all in PPC black save for matching coonskin caps.
"But Bree, we were just going to the Cafeteria to—oh, don't give me that look," the protesting Danny groaned as the girl turned on him, brown eyes wide and pleading.
"C'mon, Krocket, pleeeeease?" she begged, and the misspelling manifested sighed.
"Oh, all right. But I get to be Ringo."
"Yay!" grinned Bree, and she dragged the three Dannys out onto the floor, where they proceeded to dance and sing rather questionable four-part harmony.
The Infernal Trio was busy dancing when Krisp noticed a fight near the bar. "Well, I think we should stop that," he said.
"The guy is drunk. It won't last long," said What'.
They resumed dancing.
"Hmm... The Beatles, isn't it? Good band, I hear."
If Milask were to turn around, he'd pretty much instantly see who had spoken. While Montgomery Osbert III didn't leave Operations and his training area terribly often, the 79-year-old man was still fairly easy to pick out of a crowd. Even if it weren't for his obvious age, and the fact that with Makes-Things' passing he was now the longest serving human agent still active, his bearing, fairly simple attire, and the large red helmet he wore would have made him stand out. Like most of the others in the store, he was currently unarmed, and his hands occasionally fidgeted around as if he wasn't used to not carrying so much kit with him. Allowing himself to lean on the stereo a bit, he looked around the immediate area and the agents that had started milling around.
"I'm surprised this store has enough room for so many agents," he said, adjusting his glasses. "Still, seems like there aren't terribly many of them in a festive mood. Can't say I blame them, can you? Hm... it's probably odd to ask, but I'm not sure if I saw you in the fighting, chaotic as it was. Were you there? Particularly during the fighting in Operations?" Perhaps it wasn't the best thing to ask on the anniversary of a fairly horrific event, but bluntness had always been Osbert's way. With his fairly advanced age, his memory could get a bit hazy at times, especially in events as chaotic as the Invasion, so he was trying to place if he had seen the other man before. Besides, it was better than awkward silence.
"Umm.. no... Unfortunately I was not there for the fighting. Leto had roped me into helping him install a new portal stabilizer here in the store. When we heard about it, it was too late to help or even bring the wounded here," Milask said to the man behind him.
"I don't believe I have had the pleasure of meeting you before," Milask said. "I am Milask, originally from the Rifts universe, though I have lost my flying ability." Milask held out his paw to the man.
"That explains it," Osbert said. "Montgomery Osbert III, at your service. Most call me Osbert. I'm one of the agent trainers in Operations, probably why we haven't met. It's a pleasure." Shaking Milask's paw, he gave a small nod before releasing. "Most of us here were in the fighting, so I thought I'd ask. Consider yourself lucky, though. Was a terrible business, even if we forced them back in the end."
"All those people gone." Milask shook his head.
"I did have friends in the ranks," Leto said. "Here, let me get you a drink." Milask walked over to the bar. "What are you drinking?"
Osbert's reply was cut off by Leto speaking up. Nodding, Osbert started to follow Milask over to the bar, thinking over what he should get. It had been a while since he'd touched spirits, but it would help him loosen up. When Leto asked them what they would have, Osbert thought for a few seconds before making his choice. "I think I'll just have some brand—" he was cut off by the sound of a familiar voice on the other side of the bar and looked over, seeing a very clearly intoxicated Marcus Langston bantering with another agent. "Hold that thought," he said to Leto, moving around to the side of the bar where the two others were.
String 6: Zarking Shenanigans
"Okay, we've been here. Can we go now?" Adder fidgeted nervously. "Seriously, Deuce, I'm getting that mall feeling."
Her partner gave her a strange look. "'Mall feeling'? You consider that a bad thing? From what I've heard, most Real World girls have positive feelings concerning the mall."
Adder returned his look tenfold.
Deuce grimaced. "Right. You're not most Real World girls. But what's your problem?"
"You know that feeling you get sometimes," said Adder, "when you're in some place and you have that unexplainable feeling that you do not belong there?"
Deuce grimaced again. "I know that feeling far more than you could possibly comprehend."
"Well, I get that feeling whenever I'm walking around in the mall. So I call it my mall feeling."
Deuce nimbly dodged a mini-Balrog that had made a grab for his daggers. "Why exactly are you getting that feeling now?"
"Because we had nothing to do with the Mary Sue Invasion, so therefore we reeeally don't belong here."
"Says who? A bunch of the newer recruits are here. See, there's that Abominable Trio I keep hearing about. Hey, they have Pan Galactic Gargle Bleeprin Blasters!"
Adder raised an eyebrow. "I didn't take you for a Hitchhiker's Guide fan."
"Oh, please," Deuce rolled his eyes. "I had it shoved in my face during training. I'm completely familiar with it." Grabbing the drink, he took a sip. "Well, well. It really does feel like getting your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped around a gold brick. What was I saying?"
"That's the Bleeprin working," Adder muttered. "I don't drink. And Deuce, if you get so wasted that I have to carry you back to the RC, heads will roll. Mine will not be one of them."
"Point taken," said Deuce. "Don't worry, though. I can hold my liquor."
"That's what they all say."
The Infernal Trio was currently having PG2B2s at the bar. Krisprolls's idea.
"That's Infernal Trio for you, people," Krisp said. "Well, doesn't matter. I see we're already famous. Good."
"Oh. My. Sporkin'. Glod. Krisp is doin' it again. Jokin' with random people."
"Don't be so worked up, South, it's just a party. We have plenty of time before we get serious again."
"If we ever do, you Vulcan."
"You too think I'm turning Vulcan too fast? Oh. My. Kriffing. Glod."
Deuce shrugged indifferently. "Infernal, Abominable, same blighting thing," he responded. "They're just spelled differently." He shot his partner an insolent grin. "Like 'Adder' and 'annoying'."
Adder raised a fist as though to punch him, and then apparently thought better of it. Instead, she rolled her eyes upward as though seeking patience, exhaled loudly, murmured "buttmunch," and pretended not to listen.
Suddenly she whipped her head around at a small plate on the counter. "Oh, thank Agnost, Bleepolate."
Deuce smiled slightly at the Infernal Trio. "That'll keep her quiet."
Through a mouthful of Bleepolate, Adder could only manage an incoherent snarl at her partner.
The Trio was giggling. "Oh, I think we're nothing new here, looks like you'll get used to us very fast," said Krisp. "I'm also stuck with this fraking Vulcan and this kriffing fake Southerner."
"The fracking Vulcan is right here and ready to blow your face, you frelling twit."
"Frelling twit? Your imagination is running short. You're really turning Vulcan."
"I ain't holdin' no candle for you two," said South. "There ain't no way."
"You know where you can put this bleeping candle? Yes, there."
"I ain't puttin' no candle anywhere, you twat."
"Twit, twat... Is my brother also turning Vulcan? I feel so lonely."
"I think you'll be lonely very fast if you keep calling us Vulcans."
"Vulcans. Still there?"
It went on for a while before they ran out of witty comebacks and substitutes for the f-bomb.
Adder watched, amused. Swallowing her mouthful of Bleepolate, she nudged her partner. "Say Deuce, what would you say about this Infernal Trio?"
Deuce snerked. "Vulcans my arse. They're a bunch of zarking idiots."
Adder gaped at him. "I never thought I'd hear you talk in Douglas Adams slang. Somehow my brain fails to fathom it. I think I need to scrub that from my memory." With that said, she took another large bite of Bleepolate.
"Zarking. I must write this down," said Krisp. "Don't worry about the Vulcans, it's a joke between us. What' is the oldest, so he often get to be called a Vulcan."
"I think I'm old enough to qualify, but for the rest..."
"There ain't no rest."
"What South said. Anyway, you guessed well for the 'zarking idiots'. It's the first time in quite a while we've been called so mildly. And when I say a while... it means the 1950s or `60s. The usual stuff we got from our fellow tall ships was 'fucking arseholes' and even that was rather mild. I spare you the rest."
Deuce shrugged. "Truthfully, I was being kind," he admitted. "I'm not usually so polite, but I think it would be disrespectful to say something like..." Here, he let loose a stream of profanity that made Adder stuff the rest of the Bleepolate bar into her mouth and reach for another. "... in the middle of a memorial gathering such as this."
Adder rolled her eyes heavenward again. "Well, so much for that..."
At that moment, Cthulhu (who had been asleep in Adder's hood until this point) abruptly awoke. Nose twitching, he spotted the Bleepolate and scurried onto Adder's shoulder to lunge for it.
"ARGH! NO! BAD FERRET! GET YOUR OWN!"
Cthulhu chirruped something in annoyance and nipped Adder sharply on the ear.
"Well, I think you got quite the gist of what we've been called," said Krisp. "It's even been worse from some of our friends. Cute animal, by the way."
"Krisp... Are you encouraging them, or what?"
"Yes, I am."
"Krisp..." What' glared at him.
String 7: Infernal Shenanigans
Leto, noticing that several agents couldn't grieve on drink alone, brought out some sandwiches, salads and chocolate cake. At the same time, a portal suddenly opened and a box came out of it. On the label, it said: This is a present from the heads of various OFUs to the Protectors of the Plot Continuum, in order to commemorate the valiant agents that died in the defense of its Headquarters last year. When Leto opened the box, he found out that it contained various foodstuffs, obviously untouched by Gandalf or any of the other OFU cooks.
The Infernal Trio took roughly half the food before going to the bar to eat their stuff and have PG2B2s.
"Chocolate. Yummy," said Krisp.
Anticipating this, Leto brought more food from storage. This time he distributed it to individual agents, taking note of their dietary needs (no Bleep-Sandwiches for avians).
Jane also brewed some calming tea, thinking it a beverage fit for the occasion.
South and Whatev fed Krisprolls half the tea. He needed it.
"When are they going to make Bleeptea?" he said.
Suddenly, another portal opened. A small parcel came out, with the words: A gift from the future, containing several new Bleep-products, including Bleeptea, Bleepgreentea, and Bleepcoffee. Enjoy.
"Well, that's certainly fortunate," said Leto.
As usual, half of it mysteriously disappeared.
"Krisp, will you stop stealing half of whatever is available? And please stop drinking coffee."
Krisp was already too coffee-high to listen.
A few seconds later, yet another portal appeared. It contained a second parcel of future beverages, as well as another note, which said: This box contains a small Tesla Coil that will activate whenever an agent takes more than his fair share of our gifts. It is very painful. You have been warned. Bye! —Love, the people from the future. Leto rolled his eyes. Apparently, future agents were just as crazy as present ones.
Milask looked at the note. "Is that scorch marks on that note?" he said to no one in particular. There were a couple of ideas that ran through his head about the origins of the party gifts, some of them Leto would not like.
Deryn, back on the search for a trumpet player, overheard. "Wasn't me!" she said, waving her hands and trying not to drop the mug she was still holding (now empty, thankfully). "I'd probably've burnt it all up, anyway, I don't think my control's that fine," she added, glancing at the note.
"Just means practice," Leas told her, coming up from behind.
"I don't need much fine-tuning when we're dealing with Sues…"
"I guess I'll end up inventing this thing just to make sure we get something after Krisp," said Whatever.
"I knew it. You're really turning Vulcan."
What' took some of the drinks for himself and the rest of the Trio. "Here."
"BLEEPOODWINE! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!" Krisp went all excited when he saw there was Bleepulan Ale and Bleepanar too.
"The Star Trek geek is back again," said What'. "Watch out, people."
"And who's watchin' the watchers, I wonder."
"Rodney McKay, leave What's body RIGHT NOW."
"Thanks, South. I guess we have an exorcist now."
"Hey, I was supposed to be the exorcist..."
"You're already the killer. You also want to charge the Sues?"
"Oh no, keep the fun for yourself, old dirtbag."
"Shut up, dwarf."
"At least I'm not a midget."
"What? Dwarf." South couldn't believe Krisp was bringing this again.
"Stop that, you two."
Suddenly, the vending machine next to them piped up. "OBSERVATION: YOUR BICKERING APPEARS TO BE IRRITATING EACH OTHER. SUGGESTION: CEASE ABOVEMENTIONED BICKERING, AND ENJOY THE PARTY. ADMONISHMENT: THE DEAD WOULD RATHER YOU NOT SPEND THIS COMMEMORATION INSULTING EACH OTHER, I BELIEVE."
Sufficiently Advanced Vending Machine, better known as "SAVM" or sometimes "Savey" (by his partner), had kept silent for most of the party so far, appearing to be merely a vending machine placed against one of the walls. In fact, nobody had actually seen him enter, not even his partner, he just seemed to be there, making an exception of his rule of not dispensing drinks to "meatbags" in light of the events that had happened before his programming had been complete. The DoSAT technician that had made him included a program of the entire history of the PPC, so he knew what had happened and one of his databases had a complete list of the casualties, but the sentient vending machine had only been completed a few months after the events. Performing a quick scan of the three in front of him, he concluded that they were not agents he knew of. Not only that, but they were apparently androids.
"INTRODUCTION: I AM SUFFICIENTLY ADVANCED VENDING MACHINE, SAVM, DEPARTMENT OF BAD SLASH. PLEASED STATEMENT: IT IS INTERESTING TO SEE FELLOW NONORGANIC AGENTS HERE, AS YOU ARE CLEARLY NOT MEATBAGS. QUERY: ARE YOU THREE NEW AGENTS? I HAVE NOT SEEN YOU BEFORE."
The Trio turned around, surprised.
"Who. The. Hell. Is. This. SAVM. Guy," said Krisp. "How does he know we were tall ships before? Because now we're humans, as far as I know."
"Dunno," What' answered. "Well, I'm Whatever, and these are Krisprolls and South. Well, these are nicknames because our names are mostly unpalatable, especially mine. We're known as the Infernal Trio since some pissed off guy had the idea to call us that."
"'Twas Guayas, I think. A guy after my own heart."
"I guess so, Krisp. Crazy guy, this one. Guayas, I mean. Well, both."
"Thanks a lot, What'."
"I ain't holdin' the candle."
"Stop repeating yourself, old bag."
"Stop that, you two."
"Same remark for you, Vulcan."
"Oh dear. Sorry for the mess, SAVM."
SAVM didn't say anything for a moment. However, it wasn't long before his voice system booted up again, having waited for the Trio to finish. "EXPLANATION: I RAN A DIAGNOSTIC SCAN ON THE THREE OF YOU IN ORDER TO DETERMINE IF WE HAVE ENCOUNTERED EACH OTHER BEFORE. IN MY SCAN I FOUND THAT NEITHER OF YOU ARE MEATBAGS, OR INDEED BIOLOGICAL AT ALL, THOUGH YOUR EXTERNAL APPEARANCES ARE THAT OF MEATBAGS. IT IS A SIMPLE PROCESS, THAT ONLY TOOK A FEW SECONDS WITH THE COMPUTING ABILITIES PROGRAMMED INTO ME. APOLOGETIC STATEMENT: I DID NOT MEAN TO ALARM YOU."
He went silent again, the whirr of machinery audible as he scanned the immediate area. "CORRECTION: I SEE NO 'MESS' IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY," he eventually said, still performing visual and diagnostic scans to determine the source.
Whatev explained: "Well, I thought we were humans but this explains why we look half our age... and the mess was us bantering, we do that all the time."
"Like it matters, 'cause we do the same as regular 'meatbags' out there since we turned human."
"Krisp said it all."
What' added: "If you see no mess in this area, your scanners need serious revising. There have been some fights, heavy drinking, not only on our parts, bantering, the same, and what have you. And I think saying 'meatbags' for 'organic beings' won't please everyone. We don't mind, we're too crazy for that, but if you ever come across someone who does, you'll remember it for the rest of your life, and that won't be long. By the way, we're organic beings, even if we may not look completely organic. And you didn't alarm us. We've been through much, much worse, we're a bit jaded now."
The vending machine regarded the Trio coldly. "STATEMENT: IT IS UNWISE TO THREATEN ME, I AM NOT PROGRAMMED WITH INTIMIDATION SUBROUTINES, THUS IT IS FRUITLESS. CONFIDENT STATEMENT: MY SCANNERS DO NOT LIE, YOU ARE ANDROIDS, NOT MEATBAGS. ELABORATION: AS FOR A MESS, I WAS SPEAKING IN REFERENCE TO ANY MESS CAUSED BY YOURSELVES FOR WHICH YOU MAY HAVE BEEN APOLOGISING. EXPLANATION: I AM PROGRAMMED TO REFER TO MEATBAGS AS 'MEATBAGS'. THIS IS AN ISSUE TO RAISE WITH MY CREATOR, NOT I."
The din of the music and partying agents came rather close to drowning out the vending machine turned sentient robot, but he was still audible. After a moderately long pause, there was a beep, and the plug connecting SAVM to the wall outlet withdrew back into him. "STATEMENT: MY BATTERY HAS FINISHED RECHARGING. I BELIEVE I WILL STAY HERE THOUGH, TO DISPENSE DRINKS TO ANY MEATBAGS DESIRING NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES THAT WILL NOT ERASE THEIR MEMORIES, EITHER. SUGGESTION: YOU THREE SHOULD PROBABLY GO BACK TO THE PARTY, I WOULD NOT PRESUME TO INTERRUPT."
"We weren't threatening you," said What'. "Say whatever you want, I just wanted to point out whatever effects it could have on some people. We ourselves do not mind. And we're having enough fun here as it is, you're not interrupting anything. No, Krisp, you're not asking where his creator is and you're not sporking his ass."
"Feck, how did you know I would ask?"
"I know you, little grasshopper."
"Oh... you haven't said that one for a long time... I was almost missing it..."
"Krisp, stop that. Now."