Part 13: Episode 12: Return to Sender
Lots of dialogue to transcribe in this one, but it's vital to get this out of the way.
Episode 12: Return to Sender
Back on Sender with my booze (video). / Backup
I really can't do this justice with a synopsis, so watch it, ok?
I wasn't really listening to the two of them while I was drinking, but when a miniature planet comes walking into the bar, it's rather sobering. So I needed to figure out exactly what each of them wanted me to do.
I started with Rho.
"So…will you help me get the scientific equipment I need to process my readings?" she asked.
"Depends. What's this equipment?"
"The first piece of equipment is the Tachyon Decay Detector. It will help me determine the source of the rift that split Sunder. The second piece is a Field Transduction Module, which is the key, core element of the Tachyon Decay Detector. It'll be harder to get our hands on since it's a biohazard and illegal in this sector of the galaxy."
I nodded my head as if I had a clue what she was talking about. I doubt she bought it for a second.
"Whatcha think of going to Hephaestus with Grumpos?"
"Believe me," she said, "I'm just as interested in MysTech as Mister Matavastros. But I think our energies are better spent in figuring out what destroyed Sunder. It could happen again without warning. Maybe Anachronox is next. Or Hephaestus. The sooner with isolate the threat, the sooner we can kow how to proceed. Besides, Hephaestus is a tourist trap these days. I doubt there's anything beneficial to be learned there."
"Where do we find a Tachyon Decay Detector?" I was proud of myself for remembering the name with all the alcohol in me.
"There's a Tachyon Decay Detector in the Sender Theoretical Science Museum just down the street. It's a prototype I built back when the galaxy still took me seriously. I figure we can ask for it nicely first. And if they don't hand it over…we improvise."
"And the Field Transduction Module?" My brain obviously worked better while intoxicated.
"Like I said, that's gonna be a tough one. The Red Light District is a good place to score black market items. An excursion might be in order."
"Now you're talkin', sister. I've got a drinking buddy who dabbles in black market dirt. His name's Kevester. I'm sure the bum can hook us up if he's still around."
With the mention of the Red Light District, I was almost certain I'd be traveling with Dr. Bowman. As much as I missed the Cold Sweat Sex Machine, the thought of seeing a straight-laced woman like Rho in the Red Light District would be treat enough. Still though, I had to check out Gramps' plan before I could commit.
The old man had a crazy gleam in his eye. "So are we going to Hephaestus or what?"
"Slow your roll, pops. Why Hephaestus?"
"Hephaestus is home to The Order of Mysterium, a sect of ascetic monks dedicated to the study of MysTech. They have an extensive library that may hold an all-important detail that will complete my work on the modular MysTech system. It appears that some types of MysTech have an array of slots build into them. I suspect an element can be placed into these slots which might allow us to modify the original functionality of the MysTech. But I need to know what that element is, and I'm sure the MysTech Library on Hephaestus holds the answer."
Thank God the old man stopped talking. I was afraid he was about to go into yammer mode.
"Whatta you think about getting' that equipment for Rho?"
"Well, Doctor Bowman's MysTech WAS glowing when Sunder got split in half. I'm sure there's a very important connection between the two. Bur right now our priority is the modular MysTech system. We have an opportunity to unlock a flexible, extremely powerful side of MysTech that no one has ever seen before. Besides being potentially very lucrative, it would give us the edge we need against whoever, or whatever, was powerful enough to split Sunder in half."
Grumpos and Bowman had finished their speeches, but I still had some other issues to take care of before deciding. One of them had been dancing on the bar the whole time I had been talking with Grumpos.
"Whatta ya wanna chomp about, murderer?" Again with the murderer garbage. PAL was getting to be quite the smartass.
"Your attitude. Stop actin' up around the adults."
I'm always a bit irritable when drunk. Grumpos and Rho's nagging wasn't helping things, and I sure as hell was not going to take more attitude from a 'bot.
"I've been around just as long as you have. How come you're an adult, and I'm not?"
"Because you're a toy robot. MY toy robot."
"But don't I keep proving I'm more than just a toy robot?"
"I legally own you, PAL. The attitude's gotta stop. Get me?"
"You don't own me. I'm a unique individual. I don't need you anymore."
"Oh, yeah? Whatta ya gonna do when your battery runs out?"
"Hey, I'm resourceful, man. I've got a stylin' personality, and I squeeze a pretty mean loaf. I'll make enough money to buy a fresh battery in no time."
"But who's gonna swap the battery, kid? You can't do it by yourself."
"I'll find a way. Without YOU."
I was fuming at this point, not just because my best friend since highschool was talking shit to me, but that he was right. PAL had been damn useful since we picked him up. We never would have even gotten this far. I still didn't like the attitude, but I was definitely too rough on him. So I went back to talk to him again.
"Have you come to apologize?"
"Yeah, I'm just being a jerk. I'm sorry, PAL."
"That's better. I'm a valuable member of the group. I'll prove it somehow. You'll see. And I guess those Robodes had it comin' anyway."
I still had to deal with Democratus. How do you tell a whole planet to beat it? I decided to delay it by showing the package that we had found on Sunder to the Resistance member that was lurking in the back corners of the bar.
"You got to Sunder? Made contact? AND got away with the package before the world blew up? Yerocan wasn't kidding. You're a piece of genuine work, my friend. Take this to Mardoman so our resident brains can cook up an analysis of that package."
Well…time to deal with .
"Uh…you've lost weight." If they didn't stop it with the objections, I would have to take an octogun to their faces.
"Why didn't you shrink and hide from the Hive in the first place?"
They showed no signs of shutting up, so I left them and went back to Grumpos and Rho. I had to make a decision.
End: Ok, any preference which way we go? I usually go with Rho first, but I don't think it even matters for the story. You end up doing both eventually.
It'll be difficult to get another update done this week, but next week is spring break, so I'm hoping to make some good progress.