“Come in Apollo”
“10-4” you answer, your voice squeaking in a gender-neutral kind of way.
“We’ve got you in a holding orbital a few miles up. We’re going to triple-check things down here, then manuever you in for a landing.”
“Roger. 10-4. Over and out.”
You switch off your microphone before Houston can respond. The whole reason why you took the assignment was to get as far away from stupid bosses as possible. Well, that and the opportunity to walk on the moon. Long ago you decided that if you couldn’t be the first to walk on the moon, you would be the first to walk on the moon twice. You gaze out of your shuttle’s window, at the surface of the moon, strikingly bright at this distance. You are the only person in history who is seeing a familiar view.[/b]You missed being the first on the moon by a year. But sequence doesn’t matter, all that matters is standing on the lunar surface, and giving the finger to the entire Earth one more time.
“We’ve got a few hours, captain,” squeaks one of your fellow astronauts. You pause, trying to remember her name. All you can remember is that she’s the one who constantly states extremely obvious things.
“This lunar mission has gone well so far,” she continues, “I can’t wait to collect all of those moonrock specimens as instructed.” She shrugs. “What should we do, now?”
You pull out the bottle you stashed away.
“Let’s have some bubbly,” you cheer, handing the bottle to a nearby astronaut to open. He fumbles with it, obviously not used to the high-pressure demands of boozing in space.
“Be careful,” you urge, “my mother and father gave me that bottle for my third birthday.”
The astronaut looks up from the bottle.
“You’ve kept it this long?” he asks.
“They told me to wait for sometime special. Now, open the champagne bottle, would you kindly?” You always find you get results when you are polite.
Grabbing the cork, he pops open the bottle. But instead of a “pop,” the uncorking is accompanied by a booming explosion, then darkness.
You awake on the surface of what could only be the moon. Charred wreckage of your space shuttle lies all around you.
NASA claimed there was absolutely no reason to install a zero-gravity shower, but you insisted. Taking off your space suit, you turn the silver knob. Dozens of jets spray water all over you. You close your eyes and relax: this is what taxpayer dollars are for.
Unfortunately, someone else chooses this exact moment to flush the $3,000,000 space toilet. The jets of water become boiling hot, you fall on the shower tiles, screaming and dying.
You stand completely still, hoping not to screw everything up. Unfortunately, your expert technique causes your heart to stand still, as well. You collapse to the floor, devoid of life.
Struggling to your feet, you stumble into the wreckage. Your courageous effort is not rewarded with valiance, as all of the other crew members lie dead. Suddenly, you hear a rattling noise, nearby.
Dashing away, you take shelter among a nearby group of rocks. Settling down, you take stock of your surroundings. These rocks must have broken off of cliffs, for an intimidating mountain looms nearby.
Just then, a glint grabs your eye. There’s a gold plaque mounted on one of these rocks!
Squinting, you make out faint lettering engraved on the plague, “Go through pass,” below it, is an arrow pointing towards the mountain.
You comb through the wreckage: finding anything in this mess will take some time. Suddenly, you feel something crawling up your leg. Looking down, you are horrified to see a large amoebous blob making its way up you. You try to peel it off, but it reaches your spine. With a large sucking noise, the alien trilobite drains all of your spinal fluid.
Your horror replaced by curiosity, you follow the arrow. Coming to what you think is the mountain face, you realize a very narrow path snakes its way through the rock.
Squeezing yourself along the path is quite claustrophobia-inducing. Being trapped inside your bulky spacesuit doesn’t help, either. After several minutes you pop out into a wide open expanse.
You notice two things almost simultaneously. First, you are encased in a huge dome that stretches for miles. Second, in front of you stretches an exact recreation of Moscow’s Red Square. Gleaming spires top nearly every building. You take in everything, confused, as you pass over the concrete expanse between you and the buildings. Near an open doorway lies a Makarov PM military pistol.
You creep into the open doorway. Your stealth is not enough, as a creature jumps at you from the shadows. In the instance before it claws your face off, you notice the creature resembles an elderly woman wrapped in a Babushka
Picking up the gun, you check and see that it is loaded. Your noise seems to have been noticed, as a creature jumps at you from the shadows. You hear a squawk, “shoot it in the neck” from a nearby walkie-talkie
Taking careful aim, you plug two shots into the creature’s neck. It falls on the ground, writhes for a few seconds, then lies motionless. Since the gun worked, you figure the atmosphere’s pressurized. Sure enough, you remove your helmet to find the air is stale but breathable. You pick up the walkie-talkie and press the button.
The last box to squawk at you was Houston, and they left you in a fine mess. Deliberately aiming away from the neck, you blow the creature’s arm off. Unfortunately, this causes a spray of orange-red blood to fly into your face. As you wipe it off, you feel dizzy. You then feel a strange squishy sensation in your skull. Although you don’t know what it is, it is actually your brain melting. [/br]
“Eloquent as always.” crackles the walkie-talkie, the voice has taken on a distinct Russian accent, “I just need you to listen. My name is Robert Arnold. If you want to have any chance of living through this, you’ll do exactly as I say. Now, look in the corner.”
You glance in a musty corner. Lying there is a dusty, six-inch long syringe. Picking it up, you are startled to see some sort of blob swimming inside
“I’m going to need you to go ahead and inject yourself.”
You fire wildly at the communications device until a bullet shatters its casing. Unfortunately, a rogue slug flies into the dome shielding the city, shattering it. As you suffocate among a hail of glass shards, your last thoughts are wasted on marveling at how poorly constructed the dome was.
“Why not? After all it is the 70’s,” you remark, plunging the needle deep into your wrist vein. You fall to your knees, your brain feels like it’s made of ice. The brain freeze is worse than 100 of those (recently invented) Slurpees. You pound your head on the ground for several minutes. Finally, the agony subsides.
“By the sounds you are making, I trust that you have now injected yourself in the leg. The juice should slowly make its way to your brain, you might feel a slight head chill. Let’s try it out. The babushka tied to that dead creature. Pick it up.”
You walk towards the dead creature,
“With your mind.” continues the tinny voice.
You close your eyes and think about windy days. Almost immediately, you feel a cool breeze on your face, even though the dome should preclude any air currents. Opening your eyes, you see the babushka floating a foot in front of your face.
“What now?” you say into the walkie-talkie, but get no response.
You close your eyes. Soon, a claw bursts from your skull and stretches towards the babushka. Sadly, you are not able to feel the fine satin fibers of the garment before your brain hemorrhages out and you die.
Stepping inside the doorway, you have a brief moment of apprehension as your blinded eyes adjust to the light. You notice you’re in what looks like a diner. Glancing around, you notice a few differences. Each table features a silver canister, but instead of napkins each one holds several leather straps. You foot kicks a dusty old menu, glancing at it you see that all of the “entrees” listed have pictures of syringes like the one you found.
“Did a lot of business, here. People come, shoot up, and then pay. That was before the bureaucrats started shutting everything down.”
You wonder what this man’s life story has to do with your current situation. Looking at the 1950s jukebox in the corner, you notice a gold plate embedded in the glass.
“Surfin’ USA” reads the gold plate.
Using your newfound mental powers, you float the babushka around your neck. Unfortunately, shooting yourself in the wrist made your powers too strong, and the babushka neatly slices through your throat.
Punching the appropriate keys on the jukebox, you watch as a record labeled “Surfin’ USA” is automatically placed onto the turntable. Instead of the harmonious tones of the beach boys, however, the jukebox swings open to reveal a hidden panel. Inside, you find a strange metal bar with odd protrusions.
The sound stylings of the Beatles play for no one in particular. You hide a smile, delighted at your display of irony.
At the end of the song, the jukebox explodes. You have to admit, you didn’t see that coming.
As you touch the bar, a red light goes on at the tip. A tinny voice comes out of the bar.
“Log 123. December 12, 1948. Caught one of them. It looks like a blob of fake vomit. I have it caged and will proceed to experiment.”
The light on the bar goes out as the voice stops talking.
“Very good,” squawks the walkie talkie, “hold on to that communicator, you’re going to need as many as you can get. Now, proceed into the courtyard, and watch out for any jacked-up spoonbenders.”
Leaving the diner behind, you scroll into an open courtyard. Although only lit by earthlight, you can make out a well-cobbled square. In the middle stands a statue of a soldier on horseback.
Approaching the statue, you see a plaque on its base. The words are in Cyrillic, but underneath them is the year, “1949.”
Walking around the base of the statue, another gold plaque catches your eye. Stuck into the side of the horse, the plaque reads “open me.”
Opening the plaque reveals a sealed vial filled with a murky green liquid, and another silver rod.
Deciding you’ve had enough astronauting for one day, you duck behind the jukebox and curl into the fetal position. Unfortunately, the dark recess was a perfect hiding ground for alien trilobites. Dozens of creatures suck the fluid from your spine as you writhe helplessly.
Grabbing the silver rod causes a red light to come on inside it. A metallic voice comes from the rod, “Transpodence to base. August 13th, 1949. Covert lunar occupation complete. Ready to begin shipping line for construction materials.”
As the light on the rod blinks off, you look up and realize a small girl is standing in front of you. You didn’t even hear her approach.
“Will you help me?” she coos.
An excited yelp comes from the walkie talkie, “she’s one of them. Stick her with the empty syringe and get her spinal fluid!”
Grabbing the vial, you close the gold panel.
“Beautiful!” shrieks the walkie-talkie, “now climb on top of the horse.”
Putting the vial in your pocket, you climb up onto the horse. From this vantage point, you can see the horse’s lips stretch back to reveal a jagged set of crooked teeth.
Steeling your resolve, you grab the glowing girl and plunge the needle deep into her spinal cord. The plunger fills with a large amount of green liquid, the girl collapses into your arms.
“Why did you do that?” crackles the walkie-talkie, “I was joking. I didn’t think you would actually… what kind of a monster are you?”
A shadow passes over you. You look up to see a nine-foot-tall giant man wearing a WWII Russian army uniform. He spies the dead girl and becomes enraged with grief. Contrary to modern views on grief, after he has pummeled you to a pulp he does feel much better about the situation.
Popping open the vial, you take a huge gulp. Almost immediately, you can’t feel your feet. You look down and realize it’s not your feet you can’t feel, but the ground. You are floating ten feet from the surface, and moving upward. Swooping and soaring, you let out a whelp of delight at your newfound ability to fly. However, your delight is short-lived, as you smack into the side of the dome and die like a bird into a window.
Sliding the vial in-between the horse’s bronze teeth, you find that it is a perfect fit.
“Okay, now that you have the vial, I’m going to need you to climb up the statue,” squeaks the walkie-talkie.
You pause, surveying the courtyard. One shop has an impressive-sized projector in the front window, another shop is lined with vending machines.
“Are you up there, yet? Good,” exclaims the walkie-talkie. You examine it for a volume control and find none, “now what you do,” it continues, “is slide the vial into the horse’s mouth. It sounds weird, I know, but you should find that it’s a perfect fit.”
Hopping down, you dart towards the:
You scurry up to the very top of the statue. Looking down, you are alarmed to see that you are dozens of feet off of the ground. Your head spins, you lose your balance and tumble to the ground. Lying on the ground in agony, you see a little glowing girl walk up to you. She stares at you, curiously, then sucks out your spinal fluid. Your final thoughts are that astronaut is a horrible job for someone with a fear of heights.
Dashing to the vending machines like an obese kid at recess, you examine your choices. A blue vending machine bears the words, “ELECTRA,” a red vending machine says “STEVEN.” Both machines have a giant syringe in their hopper.
You rush to the open doorway and dive into the projector store. You aren’t actually sure if anyone’s after you, but your years as a post-war PTSD case have taught you to always fear everything.
Taking stock of the shadowy store, you don’t see much. There’s the giant projector, and the rest of the place seems empty.
Wondering if this ever happened to Captain Kirk, you stab the syringe deep into your leg. You feel a tingling in your brain which escalates to a buzzing that would make any Selson Blue user jealous. Staring at the ground, you notice it is slightly trembling.
You mind feels like it’s on fire. You look at the blue vending machine and squeeze your temples. The machine crumples like a crushed soda can. Looking at the red machine, you are able to pick it up and telekinetically fling it deep into the distance. Wanting to test the limits of your newfound power, you look at the Earth, willing it to explode. It turns out you’ve really got some powers. Or rather, you really had some powers, because the exploding Earth naturally takes the moon with it.
“What was that playground rhyme you learned in school?” you ask yourself, “if the needle is red, you’re better off dead. But if the needle is blue, stick it in you.”
Appreciating the lessons brought on by a public school education, you jab the blue needle into your leg. Sparks of electricity fly from the puncture wound.
Grabbing your hurt leg, you see a bolt of lightning shoot from your fingertips. Pointing your hand at the red vending machine, you fry it with so much electricity it crumples. Gleefully, you fire a bolt straight up into the air. It ricochets off of the dome and rockets back toward you, electrocuting 100% of your ability to live.
Refusing to do anything silly, you resolve to stay put and wait for rescue. It is a long and boring wait, but your patience is rewarded in the end by dehydration and death.
A brilliant beam of light shoots from the projector. It goes through the window and lands on the vial. The vial glows brightly as it absorbs the light. After a few minutes, the light shuts off.
“There is a projector nearby. Fire the switch so we can hit the vial with UV radiation.” crackles the walkie-talkie.
You stab at the button on the walkie-talkie, then speak, “I know. Dude I’m like 5 minutes ahead of where you think I am.”
The walkie-talkie hisses, “okay. But would you please not do anything until I tell you to, from now on?”
Annoyed, you make your way outside and retrieve the vial.
“Go and get the vial,” beams the walkie-talkie, “once you have it, go to the lab in the corner.”
You scan the corners and see a building with a host of computers and machinery inside. Stepping in, you notice a huge centrifuge dominates the room.
“Put the vial in the centrifuge,” orders the walkie-talkie.
You delve into a shadowy corner, convinced there is more to this room than you can see. Sure enough, your search is rewarded by the discovery of a nest of dozens of alien trilobites. They swarm over you, draining your spinal fluid.
“The aliens got your spinal fluid, didn’t they?” crackles the walkie-talkie, “here’s what you’ll need to do…” But you can’t hear it, because you are dead.
Carefully slipping the vial into the centrifuge, you turn it on. The machine spins faster and faster. Oddly enough, the centrifuge floats up in the air. Hoping to stop the reaction, you flip it off. But this makes it hit fall to the ground, spinning wildly. The spinning centrifuge rolls right over you, crushing you with the awesome power of science.
You put a flame beneath the vial. Soon, the liquid inside comes to a boil. Removing the vial with metal tongs, you slip it inside the centrifuge and flip a switch. The centrifuge starts rotating at incredible speeds. Finally, a bell dings, and the centrifuge slows down. Opening it, you grab the vial, which now has a small amount of powder at the bottom.
“Almost forgot,” squawks the walkie-talkie, “you need to boil the vial first, otherwise you’ll probably die. Glad I remembered to tell you in time.”
You are about to reply with the nastiest words you know, when a glint catches your eye. On the floor is another gold plaque.
“Outside,” it reads and features an arrow pointing towards the door.
Seeing no better alternative, you trot outside into the moonlight. As you survey the familiar courtyard, two goony-looking humans, their skin an unappealing mass of blisters, leap at you.
You glance around the shadowy corners of the lab. Lying in one corner is a dusty metal rod. Picking it up, the light turns on and you hear, “January 16, 1955. Using radiation, kept human subject alive indefinitely despite bloodstream exposure to trilobite. Speculative applications include using a human host to grow and harvest STEVEN. For no apparent reason, my boss keeps insisting we use little girls as hosts, which I find weird.”
Having found a key piece to the plot, you stand around waiting for something to happen, a cutscene or something. Sadly, something does happen: a trilobite sneaks up and drains all of your spinal fluid.
“Crackle!” shots ring out, hurting your ears in the thin artificial atmosphere. Two twisted humanoid forms lie bleeding at your feet. You grimace as you pat down their oozing skin, and find nothing of interest. “Gassed-out freaks. Never let anyone tell you that the United States fights fair” blares the walkie-talkie, “Go to the room across the courtyard.”
Furrowing your brow, you use your mind to stop the creatures in mid-air. You bang them into each other until they crumple to the ground in a heap. “Gassed-out freaks. Never let anyone tell you that the United States fights fair.” squawks the walkie talkie, “now go into the room across the courtyard.”
Grinning malevolently, you plug a few more rounds into the lifeless bodies. A peculiar squishing sound indicates that you hit some trilobites buried inside the spines. That settled, you ponder your next move.
Holstering your gun (you insisted that NASA add a holster to your spacesuit: Who’s laughing now?), you jog towards the large storefront across from you. Your footsteps echo loudly on the cobblestone. So loudly, in fact, that two trilobites are able to slide from the dead bodies undetected and pounce onto your spinal cord. Once there, they lock on like leeches until you collapse, spent of all your fluid.
You feel an itch between your shoulder blades. Sure, it could just be the scratchy fabric of the space suit, but better safe than sorry. You plug yourself in the spine, causing massive paralysis. It is all you can do to pull the trigger with your only working appendage: your tongue. But finally, you lick the problem and put an end to your sad life.
Hustling towards the broad storefront in front of you, the tin box crackles to life. “Guess we should get acquainted. The name’s Titan Brobdingnagian.”
“Titan Brobdingnagian?” you repeat, doubtingly.
“That’s totally a real name,” he adds, “and welcome… to… Rhapsody! You can’t see it, but I’m sweeping my arm forth in quite a dramatic gesture.”
You duck into the large storefront, and find yourself in a supermarket. All of the products bear labels in Cyrillic.
“Ah, the supercenter. Founded in 1969 in honor of our twentieth anniversary. Not much selection, but when you’re on the moon you’ll take any fresh meat and fruit.”
You pause, trying to find a compartment on the walkie-talkie so you can remove the batteries.
“I can tell from your silence that you’re intrigued. Once nuclear war became inevitable, we built Rhapsody with the goal of moving all of our more illustrious Soviet citizens to lunar bases. Which explains why you’re standing in a supermarket.”
“No, it doesn’t,” you blurt, “how did you discover space transport in the 1940s?”
“You know,” is the reluctant response, “we were just fooling around with science and it happened. How did you get here?”
“Through computational prowess not technologically nor financially available until a decade after World War II.” you proudly state.
“Well,” is the response. A heavy silence passes before the voice adds, “it’s all true. Now we need some materials. Get ammonia.”
You scan the aisles until you find jugs of the yellow liquid.
“Great, now I’m going to need you to add some bleach and then cap it.
It only takes you a few moments to find bottles of bleach
You comb the aisles until you find a container containing the clear solution.
“On second thought, let’s start with bleach. Put the ammonia down and go get some bleach. The add some STEVEN in and cap it.
Your daddy didn’t raise no patsy. Just to show you’re not someone’s puppet, you stride purposefully away from the ammonia and grab a box of baking soda. You cherish the box, the flexed bicep on its cover a symbol of your strong independence.
You pour a few syringes into the bleach. Capping the container, you wait for some magical thing to happen.
“Oh, wait, that’s not right,” the walkie-talkie crackles, seconds before the container bursts. You are covered in noxious bleach and the fumes quickly put you under.
Plugging your nose, you chug half the bottle of bleach in one sitting. At first, you aren’t sure it’s bleach. But once your throat starts to burn, you start to suspect it’s the real deal. Then, when you die, you become convinced that your experiment worked, and this is bleach.
You combine the bleach and ammonia. Gas starts pouring from the solution.
“Perfect, now that gas should be able to heal all of the nerve-gas victims.”
You give the gas a sniff. The sickly-sweet smell makes your vision blur.
“Oh, wait,” fizzes the walkie-talkie, “that’s not the recipe for nerve gas healing potion. That’s my recipe for mustard gas.”
Unable to stay conscious, you die face first on aisle 5. Sadly, there will be no cleanup for your deceased body.
Carefully, you pour some baking soda into the vial, it floats down and comes to rest with the powder already at the bottom.
“Have you mixed the bleach and ammonia?” the walkie-talkie blares, “Good. now I need you to boil the solution.”
Making a big pile of oatmeal boxes, you create a blazing fire. Using tongs, you hold the test tube over the heat. Soon, the green liquid boils away, leaving the vial empty except for several bright green rocks.
“Excellent!” crackles the walkie-talkie, “Only one more ingredient and we can cure everyone! The problem is, the ingredient we need is in the administrative buildings, the last outpost for that crooked mayor and his supersoldier mutants.”
You jab the button with your thumb, “what?”
“Never mind,” is the response, “you’ll probably find one of those silver rods that explains everything. In the meantime, head over to that administrative building. The administration looms ominously in front of you, its closed double doors making it look more like a citadel.
Cackling with glee, you send product after product flying off the shelves and into the air. Pickle jars, milk jugs, giant bottles of vodka: you send everything you can into a giant ball hovering just above your head. Once you have everything in the aisle floating in a giant grocery amalgamation, you use your telekinesis to send it hurting into the wall. “Splat!” The mess this creates is beyond your wildest dreams. Pumping your fists, you jump up and down chanting “U.S.A.” as the giant mess on the wall runs down to the floor. You marvel at the mess, it covers almost the entire wall. Unfortunately, two of the things you used were peanut butter and chocolate. A tasty combination on Earth, the two combine on the moon to form a toxic and deadly gas. As the cloud envelopes you, you notice that this tastes way better than chloroform.
Striding through the completely arbitrary door of your choice, you scan the room. A faint flickering light you can’t see provides the only illumination. Your eyes scan a desk, a typewriter, a giant Russian supersoldier, and a mop.
You walk around a corner and see a bug zapper flickering. Reaching out to touch it (you never could resist), you feel your body course with electricity. Turns out, its not the bug zapper, but rather the nine-foot-tall telekinetic man behind you. Then, your body fries and you feel consciousness drifting away.
You find yourself enveloped by white light. You wait around a few years for something to happen. When nothing does, you finally decide that you are dead.
“Dear Mrs. Dad,” you begin, but a huge object caves in your skull before you get a chance to tell her about the amazing adventure you’ve had. In your dying breaths you turn around to see a giant human lift a barrel by shooting force beams from their hands, and fling the barrel at you.
Ignoring all non-hostile clutter, you plug rounds at the soldier’s head. He bellows a roar and storms towards you. The supersoldier points his hand at the typewriter, it floats in the air for an instant before plunging straight for your head.
Realizing that you’ll never complete this mission with your low self-esteem, you pick up a mop and begin swabbing the floor. After a few minutes, the floor is covered with water. You put out a sign that you assume is a “warning: wet floor” sign.
“Haha! I’ve been waiting for that signal,” cries the Russian supersoldier standing in the corner. A lightning bolt shoots from his hands into the water, electrifying the floor, “I could’ve killed you a long time ago, but it’s more fun this way.”
You begin to twitch and convulse as electricity jolts through your body. You try to scramble onto the desk, but fall into the electrified water. Your final thought is, “wow, that does look like fun!”
Emitting a high-pitched shrill, you hit the ground just in time, as the typewriter whizzes over your head. Thinking fast, you extend your arms and concentrate on the most devastatingly brutal attack you can think of.
You point your hand at the typewriter and concentrate. The device hovers in the air halfway between you and the supersoldier. Locked in a telekinetic tug of war, you both struggle to force the typewriter at the other. A grin breaks out on the supersoldier’s face, he points his other hand at the typewriter. Slowly, the typewriter moves towards your head. You point your other hand at it, but are helpless to stop it. The typewriter plinks off your head with a dull thud. That kinda hurt. You point both hands at the supersoldier and prepare to hit him with your most deadly ability.
You fire a beam directly into the stomach of the supersoldier. You hear a rumbling, the giant enemy licks his lips. Looking around, he picks up a nearby mop and eats it. The rumbling continues, it’s coming from the soldier’s stomach. The soldier eyes you hungrily, picks you up, and eats you. It’s a crappy ending for you, and a few hours later it gets even crappier.
“Naptime” you scream, even though you’re not really casting a spell. A warm blue beam pulses from your palm, right into the face of the Russian supersoldier. He yawns, then settles down onto the ground and falls asleep. Tiptoe-ing past the soldier into the next room, you find yourself in a long hallway with doorways on either side.
“Now that you’re in comes the exciting part. I need you to collect the 5 jars of gasoline hidden throughout the administrative offices.”
“Why are there cans of gas sitting around?”
“The, uhhh, the wife of the mayor had a hobby of converting petroleum into fuel. Plausible enough?”
“Fine,” you spit. Scanning the hallway, you see two doors on the left, two on the right, and one at the far end of the hall.
The door creaks open enough for you to peep inside. This must be the botanical wing of the lunar city. A dense jungle stretches in front of you as far as the eye can see. At the base of a tree you see a can of gasoline. Heading towards it, you spot a huge, striped snake slithering towards you. Quickly, you grab the gasoline and head back into the hallway, slamming the door behind you.
You push the right door ajar and slip inside. Immediately you are blinded by light, as your eyes adjust you realize it comes from a giant lamp hanging from the ceiling, high above. Laid out through the room are tables. You shudder to notice that many of them are occupied by decomposing human bodies. On one table is a can of gasoline. You grab the can and exit the way you came.
Opening the door and stepping in, you find yourself on the outside of the lunar dome. Breathing is quite difficult without your space helmet. A school of trilobites spots you and begin oozing your way. You just manage to grab a nearby can of gas and get through the door before the trilobites reach you.
As you open the door your ears are accosted by an enormous buzzing. Stepping inside you see millions of bees. The walls, ceiling, and floor are coated with swarms of bees. You reach out to grasp a nearby can of gas, feeling dozens of stings swell up your arm. Quickly, you grab the gas and hurry back through the door. Your arm is on fire, but overall the damage seems minimal.
You sprint to the end of the hallway, and through the open doorway there. This is a well maintained office, as opposed to the dilapidation you’ve seen everywhere. A mahogany desk occupies most of the opposite side. Behind that desk sits a slumped figure wearing a Russian military officer’s dress. You pull out your gun to shoot the commie when he raises a finger.
“Hello, Commander,” speaks the man in a salty voice dripping with a thick Russian accent, “before you kill me, we would have a talk. I am Ryan Andrews.”
Intrigued, you holster your weapon. “You’re that crooked, heartless mayor.”
“Heartless? Is that what he’s been telling you?” croaks Andrews, “Well let me ask you this. When Titan wanted to stunt the growth of the kidnapped girls we used to harvest drugs, I opposed him. I ask you, is that the deed of a hearltess man?”
“You kidnapped little girls?”
“I am the good guy, here!” he screams.
“Sure. Look, I gotta get back.” you tensely reply, “Do you have a can full of gasoline?”
“You don’t need the gasoline,” he responds, annoyed, “Titan could never get the hang of concentrating STEVEN.”
Relieved, you drop the gas you may or may not have been carrying. It may or may not spill all over the rug, depending upon whether it exists.
Working on the notion that everything is out to get you, you quickly run away from what you were doing. As you stumble into the open air, you spot a gold plaque which reads, “Do not be a coward.” Reflecting on its words, you decide to march headlong into your destiny, and storm back down the hallway, heading towards the door at the end.
Cackling, you ignite the dry rug. It quickly catches fire, which grows to a roaring flame in a matter of seconds. Cackling wildly, you dance around the fire, tossing in bullets to watch them explode. With glee, you toss Andrews into the fire, and are disappointed when he does not explode. Deciding now would be a good time to leave, you head for a nearby window. The window is nailed shut, however, and before you can smash through the reinforced glass, the flames engulf you. As you char, your last sight is of the Earth through the window, you use your last breath to shake your flaming fist at it.
“How do I use these green rocks to get home?” you ask, showing Andrews the vial.
“Home? Home? What is home? Do you really have a home, a family, a mission?
“Yeah, they’re all on Earth.”
Andrews leans forward, “ask yourself, `does the Earth really exist? Or was it all a memory implanted in you?”
“No,” you reply, “it’s right there.” You point at the window, through which the Earth can be seen hovering in outer space.
Ryan looks at the moon and gives a startled jump, “so it is. I thought I made that all up. Man, you have too much to drink at a New Year’s Eve party and then get nerve gassed, and you wake up thinking every memory is really a military implant.”
“I don’t think I’ve learned that part of the story yet,” you comment, but Andrews doesn’t seem to hear you.
“What I need you to do now, is kill me with this hockey stick,” he hands you a hockey stick.
You skip down the hallway, spraying bullets at everything. Unfortunately, the underpaid homesick communist contractor did a rush job on several purely cosmetic elements, like the paint and the molding and the foundation. A stray bullet pierces a support beam. You find out it is actually the support beam when the entire building comes crashing down on youir head.
“I’m sorry, I thought you said `kill me’ you say, with a nervous chuckle.”
“I did,” he insists, “5 or 6 hundred blows to the face with this hockey stick should do the trick.”
You eye the old man carefully.
Although Andrews was a master at planning the deaths of countless enemy soldiers, he missed one important piece when planning his own death. Mainly, you have no idea how to hold a hockey stick. Awkwardly, you tap him on the head several hundred times before you finally give up and ram the hockey stick into his mouth. As he gasps for air unsuccessfully, you plan your next move.
You put two rounds in Ryan’s forehead, amazed at the proficiency granted to you by the piece of Russian technology.
“WARNING!” Screeches a loud voice from a speaker in the ceiling. “Gunshot detected, security measures activated.”
The door slams closed and the room quickly fills with a brown gas. Gas that, as you soon find out, is deadly to breath. Your final thought is that it’s not a very good security system if it only activates after you’ve been shot.
Confident that the decision you just made will have a unique effect on your future, you stride out of the office. Just as you exit, the door slams shut behind you, behind which you can hear an alarm blaring. You reckon that finding Titan won’t be too hard, since you have something he wants.
Sure enough, the walkie-talkie crackles to life, “took care of him? Bring the formula to my lair, er, I mean hideout. Walk down this hallway and turn left. Be careful, though, I left a whole bunch of nasty enemies in front and I forgot how to control them.
You find out he wasn’t lying as you round a corner to face a large group of supersoldiers and deranged Russian citizens. Defensively, you stretche out your hand towards them, not quite knowing what you are going to bring forth.
You pat the Russian down and find a keycard in his pocket. Examining the keycard, you can discern nothing except that it looks important. Confident that this keycard will play a valuable role in your mission, you pocket it and head out of the office. Before you can get to the door, however, it slams shut and seals closed. An alarm blares loudly, disorienting you. Soon the room has filled with poison gas, it seems this room will have two asphixiation victims, today.
From your wrists comes a stream of lettuce. It’s not very strong, being made of lettuce, and the pack of enemies is able to advance towards you. Just when you think all is lost, tomatoes begin streaming from your hands. These have more weight to them, so you are able to slow the pack down long enough for your hands to start shooting giant cucumbers. These seem to be effective, you pelt the enemies with painful vegetable ballasts until they retreat down a shadowy corridor.
You feel your wrists tingle as hot sauce erupts from them. Within moments, all of the enemies are coated in stick red sauce. Soon, they sniff out the unique scent, and begin licking each other. You seize this opportunity to plug a few shots into the pack. Sadly, the spicy taste of habanero isn’t enough to keep the monsters distracted from being shot. The pack descends upon you, and tears your flesh to ribbons.
No one backs out of a fight with you. You chase the pack through twisty hallways for what feels like hours. Finally, you catch up to them and destroy them with a hail of bullets. Satisfied, you begin finding your way back out. Sadly, the lighting in this lunar base is pretty bad. You keep ending up back where you came from. After searching every nook you can find and still not locating a way out, you collapse from dehydration and exhaustion.
Feeling that escape is almost here, you plunge through the dim hallways.
“Might be monsters ahead,” crackles the walkie-talkie, “I recommend using some sort of vegetable projectile system. It-“
That’s the last you hear, as you finally succeed in smashing the walkie-talkie to pieces. Joyously, you jump up and down on the smashed walkie-talkie, ecstatic to be free from Titan’s grating voice.
Unfortunately, he was the one giving you directions to his hideout. You come to a fork in the hallway, you can either go right or left.
– Go left
– Go right
You expect to end up exactly where you started, but instead you find yourself facing a large metal door. In the center of the door is a wheel. Turning the wheel, you yank open the door to reveal a command center. Banks and banks of complicated machinery fill the room. A large screen depicts a launch pad set somewhere near the command center.
Sitting in front of the screen is a dapper Russian man. He twirls his moustache and stands to greet you.
“Thank you for coming,” he says enthusiastically, pumping your hand, “where is the formula?”
“Haha,” he cackles, grabbing the vial of rocks from your hand. With remarkable speed, he sprints out of the room. You begin to lumber after him, but he appears on the large screen. Running to the launch pad, Titan heats the bottom of the vial and inhales the vapors. Seeming to glow, he flies up in the sky. The camera follows him as he travels all the way to Earth. Over the next ten years, a large amoebous blob eats all organic matter on Earth. You get to watch from the moon, knowing that you played a main role in the destruction of everything you love.
“Here it is,” you state, handing over a bit of moon dust you had in your pocket.
“Fool!” shouts Titan, “now that you have synthesized this, I can fly across space and destroy the Earth!”
He examines the dust more carefully, a fit of rage comes across his face as he flicks the moon dust away. “This is not it!”
You muster up your best John Wayne accent, but the most stinging retort you can think of on such short notice is “come on up and see me, sometime!” You plug a bullet into his chest. The bullet sticks in his vest, revealing his bullet-proof armor. Holding his left hand in the air, Titan cries “exposition attack!”
He points his left arm at you, “did you ever wonder why your spacecraft crashed? It’s because last time you were on the moon I kidnapped you, brainwashed you, and programmed you to do exactly as I say.”
The shocking piece of information hits you squarely in the jaw, knocking you on your butt.
“I needed it to crash, so that the government wouldn’t wonder why you wandered off into the city.
All of this new information is threatening to make your mind explode. You point a weak hand at your opponent.
A big rainbow flies from your palm, hitting Titan square in the nose. “No,” he cries, “not the groovy wave, it’s still experimental,”
Soon, he is humming a Procol Harum song and dancing around. Soon, he has stripped his shirt and vest, and asks you if you have any “good stuff.”
With a loud retort, you blast Titan in the face. His body flies back against the screen, spraying a messy trail that you’re glad you don’t have to clean up.
Far from dead, however, his body writhes as if pulsing with electricity. A giant red-black blob bursts from Titan’s skin, it is an enormous alien trilobite. It turns to you.
“You were always mine to control. I implanted the notion that every time you saw a gold plaque, you would do as it says. Your people came, and started sucking the life from my people for your tools. I knew I’d have my revenge, but I needed someone to concentrate enough STEVEN to allow me to fly to Earth. You were my foolproof backup plan.”
“No!” you scream, raising an arm.
From your wrist spills a gaggle of words, “I’m really an alien, too” you throw at the alien, “from Mars.”
“Oh yeah? Show me the secret alien handshake,” the amoeba morphs a knobbed appendage towards you. You reach out and shake it.
“Aha! There hasn’t been an alien handshake since the palm wart epidemic of 1932.” The amoeba sucks you into it. The 60 hours while you are being digested gives you ample time to muse about the twists of life. But instead, you spend the entire time humming Burt Baccarat tunes.
A beam of logic flies from your wrist. “Why did you need to hypnotize me? I would’ve done everything you said anyway. It’s not like I have anything else to do, stranded alone on the moon and all.”
The alien shuffles back, emitting a painful scream, you advance.
“And why did you call me your foolproof backup plan? If it’s foolproof, why isn’t it your main plan? Also, since you’re so big on backup plans, why don’t you have a gold plaque that says “Kill yourself?” that you can show me if things get hairy? Like right now.
The amoebous alien registers what you can only assume to be embarrassment, “I have minions!” it screams, rearing up to full height.
From the corner of the room comes a large mutant man dressed head-to-toe in a diving uniform. He pulls out a gun and aims it at you.
– Push him
Diving suits may be great protection from sharks, but they don’t stand a chance against gravity. Giving the man a big shove, you knock him onto his back. He struggles to right himself, but the bulky diving suit makes him like an upside-down turtle.
“So, it’s just me and you,” states Titan, showing that he doesn’t fully understand the meaning of the term “minions.”
The hulking alien points towards you, blue sparks of electricity run through it.
The hard diving suit bends the needle as you attempt to plunge it into the man’s heart. He picks you up by the neck and holds up a drill-shaped arm. You wouldn’t think that would be useful, but as the drill bores into your face you realize that you are quite wrong.
You fire a bolt of lightning at the alien. At the same time, the alien fires a blast of lightning at you. The two bolts collide is a shower of sparks.
“No!” cries the alien, “Don’t cross the streams!”
You pause, wondering what a movie decades ago has to do with your current predicament. The alien takes this opportunity to pounce on you, smothering you in mere minutes.
You pull out your heat-seeking flamethrower, which was in your spacesuit all along but you forgot about it. Firing a shot directly at the center of the trilobite, you are rewarded with a satisfying crackle. With screams of agony, the alien dies in a charred mass.
You stand over the body, proudly considering your next move.
You pop all of the rocks in your mouth and bite down. You almost break your teeth, and realize this might not be the optimal way to consume these. Still, you bitterly chew until you’ve grinded them down to a fine powder which you force down your throat. Your throat immediately goes numb. At first you are panicked and alarmed, but that soon gives way to an overwhelming feeling of confidence. Wanting some fresh air, you rush outside and see the launch pad. You run to the launch pad and jump, every nerve in your body an exploding ball of ecstasy. You soon find yourself flying through space, you point your nose towards Earth.
Houston is shocked when a man in an unhelmeted space suit descends onto their launch pad. It only takes moments to organize a giant press conference for “the man who battled aliens.” As the microphones go on and the cameras roll, all of the world eagerly leans forward to hear you recount your adventure. However, instead, you begin listing all of the people and corporations who helped you on your journey. By the time you have finished recanting, the only person in attendance is a lone C-SPAN reporter. You wave him goodnight, strip off your space suit, and head out. Your quick departure leaves you no time to see the small trilobite crawl out of the suit and slither into a corner.
“Houston, come in,” you turn a few dials and a fuzzy picture of ground control comes onto the screen, your chief steps into view.
“Commander,” gasps the chief, “I thought everyone had died.”
“Everyone but this grizzled vet,” you gruffly reply.
“Excellent,” is his response, “we’ll send a rescue transport for you and all the girls you rescued, immediately.”
“Girls?” you stammer.
“Surely you were able to rescue some of the captured girls they were using to harvest STEVEN.”
“Nope,” you state.
The chief’s look turns to one of disgust. “What are you, some kind of heartless monster? You can just stay up there for all I care.”
The screen blinks out. No amount of dial spinning, pushing, and pounding can bring it back to life. You slump to the floor, wondering how Chief knew about captured moon girls, and are totally caught off guard when a small child stabs you in the back of the neck with a huge syringe.
The salad appears to be fruity this time, as marshmallows and pineapple chunks fly from your hands. As it turns out, pineapple juice and alien trilobites combine to make an explosion. As the lunar base, and you, goes up in flames, you realize this must’ve been why NASA scientists were always taking vacations in Hawaii.