Part 23: Episode 22: Honey, I blew up the...
Ahh the villain ship, how I hate thee. Luckily for all of us it can be knocked out in a single update.
Episode 22: Honey, I blew up the...
Trapped in the KSC Grimacer, ship of supervillain Rictus. How cool was that? I mean, who wouldn't jump at the opportunity to take down his or her childhood enemies? Don't tell me you wouldn't jump at the chance to give Lex Luthor a black eye or kick the Joker in the balls.
There was a locked door directly in front of our shuttle. On each side of the door were staircases that lead up to a control room.
A hologram projector and two dudes just chilling out. They didn't look like Rictus' minions. We checked out the hologram projector first.
The Cosmic Machine? I had stopped reading before Rictus got his hands on this baby. Just like in the comics, the cosmic machine constantly shifted its form.
Alright, first we tried to see if the two guys in the corner can shed any light on the situation.
"Whatta ya think?" The man in the blue pants asked.
"The planet might make it out alive, but the rest of 'em are screwed for sure."
I shot them a nasty look. It just isn't polite to talk about our untimely demise while we're still in the room!
"Don't look to us for answers," the blue panted man said, "This whole place was a mystery when we landed too."
"Screw the rules. I'm spilling the beans," said the other. "It's like this…We're all trapped in a grand comic book contrivance. You're the prey in an elaborate game of cat and mouse against an army of super henchmen. With only a few scant clues for guidance, you must escape the ship before the enemy catches you."
Or we could just kill everyone.
He continued, "We were heading out to the Sunder debris to salvage scientific equipment when the villain sihp swallowed us. Nice, huh? While the competition is out there scavenging the valuable stuff, we're stuck In here fighting for our lives. Well, the rest of the crew is. We refuse to participate in this twaddle. Push that blinking button over there to open the door downstairs and join the game."
Sign me up!
The downstairs door came open.
And inside we were immediately welcomed by a pair of pintos.
He was punching her…I think.
Rictus would have to try harder than that if he was going to take us down.
Accessing the computers allowed us to see a map, a fairly unhelpful map at that, of the ship.
We kept wandering through the ship without the aid of the map, fighting squads of pintos every five steps.
After what seemed like an endless number of encounters, we finally found Pinto HQ. Of course, that meant more fighting. By now we were pinto pounding pros, so this was no problem.
There was a hologram projector in the Pinto HQ, similar to the one in the control room. This one, however, didn't shift like the first one. It showed just one configuration of the cosmic machine.
We continued onward through the ship. Even though we had cleared out the pinto headquarters, we were still forced to fight packs of pintos.
And then something Miraculous happened…
We got to fight Devilslugs instead of pintos!
It was attacking her…I think. Poor Sera. Or maybe lucky devilslugs? In fact, the slugs were so intent on suctioning Sera that they didn't even use their trademark laserbeams.
Cobalt crawler-enhanced freeze MysTech put a quick end to them.
As with the Pinto lair, the Devilslug's domain also had a hologram projector, fixed to one of the cosmic machine's configurations.
There were more devilslugs in the room, but they were still in "conditioning" according to the monitor.
Oh hey, what do you know, now we're fighting members of the insanito brigade!
They throw axes. Sadly, that's all that they do. Oh right, they also die.
Another strange holographic projector! Certainly this couldn't be part of some dastardly puzzle.
Enter the fishmen.
They throw fish.
While wandering through the halls of the ship, we found a crystal on the ground capable of fueling Democratus's laser array. Rictus wouldn't be leading us through this maze so that we find the necessary items to beat him now would he?
We'd need to find some way through this.
A large pack of fishmen attacked.
The new crystal fried them quickly.
Yet another projector. This was 4.
What a strange, dopey looking fish.
And you aren't going to believe what happened next. We were attacked, by yet another type of enemy! Honestly, at this point it was getting to be tiring.
Just take my word for it, we beat them. We also found a fifth projector.
And another security door.
And a TACO! We now had 16 TACOs, just 4 away from a complete set.
Another big computer. This one asked us to match enemies with the holograms in their rooms (sorry I didn't get a SS of it). Matching them up correctly opened the RED SECURITY DOORs. We arduously backtracked to the previous doors and found LaserArray Defense Plans for Democratus, and some Beef Bracers (+1 Beefiness).
There was also a red door in the same room as the computer. This led on into another network of tunnels. Along with many meetings with mobs of minions, we also picked up Hero Moss and a Superhero Shieldcell.
Eventually we hit a dead end in the tunnels, leading to another computer terminal. This one left little indication of what to input. The camera button on the bottom of the display looked back at the constantly shifting hologram of the Cosmic Machine.
Matching enemies with the configurations of the machine in the order that it shifted proved to be the correct solution. This opened the green security door in the same room.
This door, of course, led to even more fights. As a small consolation, we found another elementor host along the way.
After wandering through what appeared to be the engineering bay, we walked through what appeared to be just another door, but was in fact…
Rictus' Lair / Backup
Alright so here's the battle with Rictus. You'll notice that he supposedly steals all of your MysTech before the fight begins. Just like previous fights have been no physical attack gimmick fights, this one is a no Mystech fight. Like the previous gimmicks, this one can be avoided by pressing the proper keyboard shortcut to activat MysTech. If the combat is too dull, at least watch the last minute or so of the video for plot.
Looks like we weren't the only ones Rictus had captured.
Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed thinking about the vastness of space. Good thing we're on this side of the airlock.
Although some of the captives were normal people like us (except for Democratus), the brig had its fair share of freaks too.
Take this guy for instance.
It said, "Go away. I'm in a bad mood. I've got problems with my glands. My perspiration sacs are bloated with water. It's very unpleasant."
This guy looked like a member of the ship that the people from the very beginning were with.
"None of these clowns will save us," he said. "What chance do we have? I've been here ten months and not one of them has lifted a finger to help us. Take that little freak Headwork for instance… He could read the mind of a guard and find out a security weakness to exploit, except he's too busy communing with the harmonic melody of the universe to bother. Couldn't Multidude have created dozens of duplicates of himself to overpower the guards when they put you in here? The only hero with a real chance of saving us sits in his cell, drinking all day. No one knows what's wrong with him. It's like 'El Puno' has given up on life. It's sad. Rictus keeps the booze flowing to make sure he's too sloshed to rescue us… "
Paco? Captured by Rictus? We'd have to find a way to restore his rage.
Jack kept talking. "I've been cooped up here for ten months. I've seen 'em come and go. We've had some characters… There was one guy who had the power to turn into different types of bread. He was a lovely loaf of cinnamon walnut raisin bread when Galactigoat ate him. Oh yeah… and how could I forget the guy with a head made outta gelatin. He was a real winner. Why couldn't I be locked up in here with The Golden Strumpet or Wammo Woman? Klaz, I gotta get outta here."
As mentioned by Jack, here was the captured Multidude. Epsiode 21 "Multidude Multitude" was my favorite.
"Welcome to lock-up, dude," he said, "I hope you didn't have any plans this year. With 'El Puno' down in the dumps and drunk as an owl, escape doesn't seem likely. Me? I can create duplicates of myself whenever I want. Here, watch this."
"Unless they wander out of sight, I can absorb 'em back into me quick as a blink. Each one is capable of independent thought, which is a real pain in the butt since they're all as lazy as I am. I've lost about two dozen duplicates since my powers developed. They tend to sneak off to live their own lives without me. If you've ever met anyone who looked like me, he was probably one of my duplicates. They're all over the galaxy. Well… make yourself cozy dude. We're gonna be here a looooong time."
After saying the above, she continued to berate me, saying, "How about you drop the hero act already. You've gotten us into enough trouble."
Which Flamboyantly-dressed -
It was really sad seeing Paco like this. We had to help him. But my inner nerd wanted to go and meet all the heroes.
We'd need the four digit combination to get him out. Pretty low-tech for a super villain.
"I'm guarding the Emergency Parole Button," he stated nonchalantly.
"What's an Emergency Parole Button?"
"It's better if I don't tell you. Super villains have a sick sense of humor. Let's leave it at that lest the truth drive you mad."
"Why are you guarding the Emergency Parole Button?"
"Because Invisolad is going to push it. Ever since he lost the ability to become visible he's gone off the deep end-doubting his own existence and talking like a crazy man. My fear is that he'll sneak up on me and press the button. I'm trying to jury-rig a device that can locate his position anywhere in the room using sonar, but I'm having trouble doubling a stick of gum as a frequency transducer medium…Hey you wouldn't happen to have a beveled rubber washer would you?"
"No, but man I'm a huge 'Rage of The Fist' fan!"
"You recognize me from the comic books, huh? Personally, I don't think the graphic novels did my agreeable personality any justice. Aren't you surprised by my genial nature? While I understand artistic liberties must be taken to make characters more dramatic, did they have to make me so short on looks? Isn't life hard enough for intelligent men? You better leave me alone. If invisolad sees I'm distractdd, he'll creep up and push the button. And if that happens… It's quietus for everyone."
Nearby Dr. Hush-Hush, Krapto the Hero Hound had been imprisoned. Of all the heroes, why would Rictus only imprison Paco and Krapto?
His water dish was empty. So I took it.
Even the freaky whale men didn't look out of place around here. I decided to test his knowledge by asking for a brief history of Krapton.
He cleared his throat and began. "In 197AC, An unexplored sender spike sent an expeditionary team to a remote area of the universe somewhere near the Wu-Chan system. They discovered a crtystalline planet operating under bizarre comic book rules. It was the superhero world of Krapton. The normal inhabitants of the planet, tired of being constantly abducted and saved by their super-powered population, had long since moved away. Many super villains constructed massive starships and sent them out to roam the galaxy in search of victims to bring back to Krapton. That's where we are now. The source of their super powers is a mystery. Some people believe that abnormal radiation from Krapton's sun is responsible. Others believe the powers were a gift from a godlike being in search of quality entertainment. Twenty years ago, two enterprising brothers created a line of comic books based on the real-life adventures of the Krapton heroes and villains. 'Rage of The Fist' was the flagship of Krapton Comics until lagging sales and a general disinterest in super heroes put the publishers outta business for good. These are the twilight years. Most of the major heroes and villains are gone or simply specters of their former selves. Only a handful, like Rictus, continue to play the game."
I also asked for info on the various heroes in confinement here. I knew most of them, but I had quit reading comic books a while ago so some were foreign to me.
Paco 'El Puno' Estrella
Krapto the Hero Hound
Alright, I had already met most of these people. But I still had to talk to Force-O, Headwork, and Susan Street. I wondered which one was Force-O…certainly not the gigantic hulking monstrosity.
Big talk for an inmate. He gave me another pair of Beef Bracers.
Susan Street was also nearby, but she offered little help, just more ridicule.
"What's your power? No offense, but you don't look like you warrant detention in the high security cell. Lemme guess… You've got good slags of MysTech? Well, can't be that good if Rictus gave them back to you before putting you in here."
Yeah, none of our MysTech lets us hide among blankets, you win.
Lastly, we found Headwork the grey midget.
He said, "My dear child, come closer to me. I am harmless. I am but a dancer on the fringe of thought-space… darting from notion to idea in the twilight of consciousness. I am also a telepath. My powers are so strong that if we make physical contact, my mind reading abilities will extend to you. Would you like to try?"
"Forget it, pal. You fried Fabuloid's brain doing that in Power Patrol #3."
"While true that Fabuloid's mind was completely wiped of all memories by my power, the event was drastically over-dramatized in the periodicals. The adverse reaction was a result of mental conditioning he previously suffered at the hands of evil Gigatoon's mind foam. To read another person's mind is a life-affirming experience, my child. It pushes individuals one step closer to collective harmony. It makes us realize that we are not so different from one another as it would seem. It is a pity you will not eve try."
"Alright, you talked me into it."
"Are you quite sure you are ready for the experience?"
"Absolutely. Bring it on, baby."
"Very well, my child. Lean forward and touch my sleeve. That was my belly button, but no matter… you should feel a tingle race down your spine. Now the warm sensation of your expanding mind will wash over you. It is the harmony of the universe filling your soul with love and understanding. Yes… I can feel your mind swelling. Now wander the prison yard and sample the gossamer strands of transplendent thought floating across the room. It is quite pleasant. When you are done, return to me and I shall subtract the power from your mind. Enjoy yourself, my child."
Alright Sera…I know you love me. Let's see…
…Well I was sure she was thinking of me before the escape plans.
I was hoping for something really trippy trying to read Democratus' mind.
"…So in love with her… why won't she look at me… look at me once…please… the most beautiful… the most gorgeous… it's love… love… love… love… her face so … Walk over and say, come here often… ha ha ha… that's clever, mister… Olingo… Jack Olingo… That's a very interesting name… Are you from… So cool she hangs out with planets… Mom/Dad Im-pressed if she were my girlfriend… bet she can really… Klaz… no-no-no-no-no-no… Klaz she caught me… stupid stupid… saw me .. looking… now she'll never…Want to hide… Stay here… Stay calm… Don't look again… If she looks and I'm not staring everything fine… I hope she doesn't think I'm… Tough guy won't leave… invading personal space… What's he looking at… his girlfriend maybe… saw me looking… gonna punch me… gonna punch me in the…"
Well this turned out to be less fun than I had hoped.
"…Energy shoots from my blow hole as I swim past enemies… ZZFAT!... Suddently… The sea cucumber erupts from the foamy sea to help me… vomits on my enemy with violent… First issue of Whale Boy becomes instant collector's item… gold foil… stamp… embossed… signed… with 38 alternate covers."
Hush-Hush was thinking up lots of sciency-sounding stuff, but this was the important bit. Those numbers sounded like a four digit combination to Paco's cell. It's just he was confused about the last bit.
"…Do you know how frustrating it is to have inadequate vocal cords for human speech? Everyone treats me like a dumb animal. It's maddening. I'm feeling really drained right now. All my senses are dulled from Dehydration…"
There was only one source of liquid in the whole brig…
I agreed to. For Krapto.
He said, "Lean forward between the bars, and place your hands around my scuzzum sac. While massaging the base, firmly pull down on the sleeve bag and squeeze. Be careful not to upset the hair spine near the opening. Pump the pouch until it is empty. Are you ready? Then spit on your hands and let us begin."
And that's the story of how I pleasured an alien super villain with my hands. Thanks for listening so long!
"Thank you so much. That was refreshing. My heightened sense of smell is finally coming back…Why does my dish smell funny? Did you know that there's an invisible man wandering the prison yard? My nose is powerful enough to pinpoint his exact location in the room. He's hanging out in the far corner of the yard, near the entrance door. "
Before long I had found Invisolad and began to read his thoughts.
"…Is the number… Fractions and decimals… existence is safe when invisible to the word… I must keep the number safe… 200 keeper addict… what is the number again… the holiest of numbers… the number is… 68… 68 in mine eyes… I fly… I fly… pattern… light show clusters… the tubes… 68 tubular number punches… I'm dying inside… invisible to myself… 68… 68… In mine eye… I fly… I fly."
Hopefully that meant 68 was the last two digits to Paco's cell. But before moving on, I'd have to get rid this mind reading. People's thoughts suck.
I felt the pressure leave my skull. "Now that the power is gone from your mind," he said, "I will disclose the potential side effects."
Oh, how wonderful.
"You may experience feelings of loss and regret. Many report feeling introspective for several weeks after the event. Do not be surprised if you experience recurring dreams in which you relive painful events from the past. Commonly observed side effects also include dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, constipation, hallucinations, and intractable vomiting. But those are temporary. Oh, no need to thank me child. Have a transcendent day."
Alright Paco, break us outta here.
Paco? / Backup
End: OK, I hope that's cliffhangy enough. Next update we get to play through the first demo zone and do some good old fashioned detectiving. MSWord doesn't think cliffhangy and detectiving are words. Screw MSWord.