Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The C.W.A. of Dr. Z. Smith: Episode #92: Breakout

Last Week As You Recall…
  “Were we…were we dead for a minute?”
       “Yes we were, but we're fine now.  More pressingly, we are presumably underground in a small dark room with no doors or windows.”
Dr. Smith examined the walls while Capt. Brown rambled on in shock, which was understandable seeing as how he had never died before. “…I…I Died?  And you small-talked our way out of it.  How did you do that?”
  Dr. Smith looked at a bit of wall sideways and answered “Being Death is a lonely business.  You meet people all day but there's never much in the way of actual conversation.  Does this wall look weaker than the other ones to you?” 
  Capt. Brown gave his professional opinion as a former architect, which consisted of a shrug. 
   “I'm gonna take a swing at it anyway.” 
     “With what?”
       “I'll show you if you find my briefcase.” 
There was a brief search for the briefcase, which had gotten itself wedged in the corner of the small room.  Dr. Smith opened the tiny briefcase and pulled out a pick-axe. “We keep getting stuck in small places, usually underground, so I've taken to carrying mining equipment.”
  Capt. Brown tapped the side of his nose, “Smart move. We do keep getting trapped in the same places, don't we?  It's as if we're merely characters in some greater story where the writer's too lazy to stray far from where he's comfortable.  And where he's comfortable is…small underground rooms.  My analogy sort of petered out there, at the end.” 
“It did.” Dr. Smith decided to keep quiet the fact that he could hear a voice he had dubbed “The Narrator” Because that would make him seem crazy. 
  “I'm not crazy.” He mumbled, like a person who hears voices that most certainly are not there.
And the pickaxe was swung.
  The wall crumbled, like any sensible wall would when faced with steel and determination and Capt. Brown's notable muscles.

-=fig. 597: a whole new hole=-

On the other side of the wall was a narrow passageway.
   “Good, we're out.” Dr. Smith said.  “Now all that's left is up. What could be easier?”
     “Lots of things.” Answered Capt. Brown, “Down, For example.”
After walking along the narrow passageway for what seemed like forever.
  There didn't seem to be an end or outlet in sight.
    So Capt. Brown destroyed a nearby wall.
       They climbed through the hole and found themselves in a small, moldy room.
“What is this place?” Asked Capt. Brown.
  “It's a basement.”
    “So that means there's stairs up, in here somewhere?”
       “Right.  Good call on this wall.”
The stairs weren't too hard to find.
         “Any ideas on where we are?”
              “You first, then.”
               “Gee Thanks, James. That was sarcasm.”

-=fig. 598: short basement=-

“Argh.”  Grumbled Capt. Brown.  When you put a six-foot-seven man in a five-foot-two room, he hits his head pretty regularly.
  “Hey! We're downtown!”

-=fig. 599: putzkammers=-

“…How can you tell we're downtown?”
   “This is Putzkammer's Delicatessen.  It's across the street from my house.”
    “Oh yeah.  How come it got abandoned?”
      “Ol’ Putzkammer defaulted years ago.  It looks like somebody looted the floorboards out of here. This used to be a pretty little spot. Damn kids with their graffiti.”  Indeed, the walls were covered in lewd and profane graffiti, of the sort I'm sure you can imagine.
  Formerly the building had been an assayers office, back when Legopolis had primarily been a mining town.
  But when the Upisdaisium and Luddite dried up, so did the tourist dollars.
 That was when Legopolis fell off the map.  Which is a shame, really, because it's a pretty little town.
   The cheesy lock on the door couldn't hold up to a pick-axe, and soon they were on Ron Daveu Drive.
   It was quiet.  Which was odd.  A whole lot of evil robots on the loose and you'd expect it to be louder.
   As it turned out, that was because the robots had won this street.
     Ron Daveu Drive was where they'd started.

-=fig. 600: entrance blocked=-
“James!” Whispered Dr. Smith “There's an MK4 Guarding the entrance to the Smith Compound.”
   “Hold Still.”
     Capt. Brown carefully drew an LRD, Checked that it was charged, steadied his hand, and failed to fire.
   Shaking the LRD didn't change anything.
      “It's broken!” Capt. Brown whispered and handed the Raygun to Dr. Smith.
         As it turns out, Long-Range-Defibrillators don't fare well after being dropped from heights.
    “We'll go ’round back, then.”
       Dr. Smith Didn't know about this, “we have a back door to the compound?”
           “It's more like another front door.”
-=fig. 601: who goes there?=-

  “Who Goes there?” Shouted the guard.
    “Your Captain.”  shouted Capt. Brown.
     The Back Door turned out to be the front door of the Yellow House, one-half of the Smith Compound.
    It opened directly onto stairs, and they led to what used to be the top floor before the Rooftop Police got at the walls.

-=fig. 602: stragglers=-

At the top of the stairs, on the platform, were four dejected Rooftop Policemen.
  “Men.” Capt. Brown started, in his best Captain Voice “Robots have taken the compound.  How did this happen?”
  No one could explain it properly, those metal beasts were deceptively fast, but the facts now were: 1. The Compound was cut off from the greater network of rooftops, Communication-wise and physically, and b. The Robots had set up Doctor Smith's house as their base.
 “They've What?” Asked Dr. Smith.
   “The Robots have set up base in your house.”
      Normally Dr. Smith would have been panicked, but he realised this could only mean one thing.
   “We now know where the MK4 leader is!”

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