Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The C.W.A. of Dr. Z. Smith: Episode #85: garage

Last Week As You Recall…
Our heroes, in an attempt to get away from a russian bunker, had stumbled upon a giant room, with one wall open. 
But that wasn't even the good bit.

-=fig. 568: hangar=-

“Wow!” Dr. Smith said, “I haven't seen one of these in years!”
   Capt. Brown eyed the giant machine skeptically, “What is it?”
     “It's a plane.  It's what we used before hover-technology.  You're older than me, you should remember these.”
       “It doesn't look like any plane I've ever seen.” 
  Dr. Smith had to agreee with him there, for one thing, it was pretty ugly. 
   The wheels were too small and the wings didn't look big enough to carry the fat undercarriage.
     And it was brand-new.  If fact, it was so new it hadn't even been painted fully.
 Behind them, a dozen heavy boots ran down the hallway, in their direction. 
      “Maybe they're going somewhere else?” 
          “Zachary, We're the only door in this hallway.  So can you fly this…plane?” 
         Dr. Smith shrugged,  “Sure,” he said. “Anybody can fly a plane.”  Dr. Smith didn't go into how it was the whole ‘Taking off and landing’ bit he was unsure of.
      “Good,” Capt. Brown shouted back as he scaled the side of the machine “You got any more impressive weapons in that suitcase of yours?” 
   Dr. Smith climbed into the cockpit and handed Capt. Brown the first gun that came to hand. 
   It was a revolver. 
      Capt. Brown gave Dr. Smith a look as if to say ‘Really?’  But Dr. Smith was too busy trying to figure out what all the gauges and dials meant. 
  This process was interrupted by the arrival of the Russians, who, having found their comrades unconscious in the hallway, had figured it out pretty quickly. 
   It seems they had stopped off at the Armory because were carrying guns quite a bit better than revolvers.
    Guns they weren't afraid to use.
       “ZACHARY!” Capt. Brown was trying to hold off a dozen machine guns with a revolver.
         It wasn't working.
  Dr. Smith tossed Capt. Brown the suitcase and pulled a promising-looking lever.
    Capt. Brown drew a fresh pair of guns and the plane shot off towards the open wall.
         As it turns out, the wall opened onto a cliff.
   As the plane plummeted, Dr. Smith remembered about yokes.
    “Oh, Of course!  You pull back to make the plane go up!” He giggled insanely as they sailed away from the hangar.
   Capt. Brown started yelling about how he thought that Dr. Smith knew how to fly and what were you thinking and…
   The wind whipped his words away from their open-air cockpit.
     Once he realised this, Capt. Brown leaned real close to Dr. Smith's ear and Yelled “JEEVES”
     Dr. Smith got the message that time.
 They circled for awhile until Dr. Smith spotted the black dot that was Jeeves, he had slid down the wall more.
  “SET 'ER DOWN THERE” Capt Brown gestured wildly at a flat-ish bit of land near Jeeves' body.
    Dr. Smith had, in fact, taken a course on this.
     One course, three years ago, but he had taken a course.
       He remembered landing not being as hard as taking off, because the basic idea was to get the plane on the ground and not have the plane look like his first three tester planes.
          They had thrown him out before he had gotten to a fourth plane, but by then he had the basic idea.
               It was all a matter of angles and going around if you don't think you're going to make it.
  But they were going it to fast.
     And it was too late to pull out.
       Dr. Smith did the only thing he could think of.
          It became quiet.
             “Zachary?  What'd you do?”
                “I killed the engine.  But with…Oh, Flaps!  Good! With the engine off, we'll slow down enough so we can just glide in, nice and smooth.”
              Capt. Brown had his concerns with this plan, but he withheld them.
 The glided in, it was bumpy.
     They didn't crash.
        So that was a plus.
Capt. Brown practically fell out of the plane.
  Actually, he literally fell out of the plane.
    “Next time,” he said from the ground, “I'm flying.”
        “Fine,” Dr. Smith shrugged, “if you think you can fly better than me.”
“How come it seems like we carry this robot more than anything?”
   “Because we do.  Remind me to make him out of a lighter alloy next time.” 

-=fig. 569: my back=-

  “Here,” Dr. Smith said “Hold onto him for a minute. ”
     And as Capt. Brown found out, 400 pounds of robot is not easy to keep upright by yourself.
       “Hang on James, I've almost got the latch open.”
  Dr. Smith was failing to open the cargo hold.
    “rgksh! ar!”
         “Hold your horses, James.”
                “Got it! James?  James? Geez, James, I turn my back for five minutes. Come on,  Get up.”
 Capt. Brown groaned.  Having a 400 pound robot fall on you can, surprisingly, take the wind out of you.
  “Come on James, get up, we need to get out of here before they realize where we landed.”
   Aux.Input=<Start> File.FullSystemsDiagnositc </Start>
 Aux.Input=<Export> Var.File.FullSystemsDiagnostic.Data </Export>
-=fig. 570: repairs=-

Jazz music played from a phonograph near the operating table.
Jeeves' eyes opened to the image of Dr. Smith standing over him.
    He quickly shut his eyes.
 “Did you know it takes you 48 hours to do a Full Systems Diagnostic?  And for what?  This! That's what!” he held up a tiny piece of circuitry.  “Your cranial-power-regulator. It fried when the cage zapped you.  I carry four of these around in my pocket.  It's tiny but important and if your” He jabbed Jeeves in the chest with his wrench “diagnostic program went a little bit faster I could have popped one of these suckers in in Russia and we could have saved my back. So as a precautionary measure, I'm skinning you in a lighter alloy and installing more processing power.  Lots more.” 

  “A week to manufacture a lighter, stronger alloy, two days to install it, and a total of twelve days miniaturizing, installing, and partitioning a terabyte of RAM.  On the plus side, you should diagnose problems like–” Dr. Smith snapped his fingers “–That.”
Jeeves sat up.  He was wearing his Faux-Skin and his Butlers Uniform. 

-=fig. 571: messy, messy messy=-

“This room,” he said “Is a Mess.”
   Dr. Smith laughed.  “Good to have you back, Jeeves.”