Part 6: Episode 6: Sender Bender
In case you're just joining the thread, we've hit a fairly major breaking point by leaving Anachronox. So I'm going to briefly summarize where we are and how we got there.
Although I'd prefer you just read the other posts.
Sly Boots, a detective in South Anachronox and the hero of our story, is seriously in debt to a crime boss named Detta. As the game opens, he is roughed up by one of Detta's thugs and thrown out a window. This convinces him to find work and make some money to pay off his debt more quickly. He is eventually led to an old man named Grumpos, who hires Boots to protect him and help him plunder the MysTech tunnels. MysTech is thought to be the art of an ancient alien civilization that died out, but Grumpos believes that there is great power latent in the MysTech. After consulting a master informant named Eddie, Boots and Grumpos manage to sneak into the tunnels. After navigating the tunnels, the duo fight a giant robot out of nowhere. Behind the robot is a strange artifact. It isn't MysTech, but it is made of the same material, Mysterium. Satisfied with the find, Grumpos and Boots leave the tunnels only to be stopped by Detta and some of his thugs. Boots hands the stone over to Detta, and Detta tells boots that he's dead if he doesn't repay his debt in a few days. Grumpos is pretty mad at Boots for handing the stone over to Detta, but he lets it go quickly. He instead recruits Boots to go with him to the planet Sunder, the planet where almost all of the universe's top scientists do research, to meet a scientist whose research is similar to his own. After finding a battery to charge up PAL, the trio sets off to Sender Station, where they can take a shuttle to Sunder.
Episode 6: Sender Bender
We now join the group as they disembark from their shuttle on Sender Station (video). / Backup
Nothing significant happens, it's just amusing.
Upon leaving the shuttle, we were given a warm welcome by a Brebulan and his son outside our gate.
Feel-Ya: What's wrong with him daddy?
Keel-Ya: He must have eaten Trotsky for breakfast.
Feel-Ya: You're dumb.
More Brebulans that need the psueponic combine.
We walked over to the gate where the "Brain Train" (the shuttle to Sunder) would be departing. One of the scientists who would be boarding was waiting for his departure, so we chatted him up.
Alright, so we'd need two tickets, scientific credentials, sciency clothes, and some way to get past the brain bouncer.
I began to look for leads by talking with the other people waiting in the terminal.
Jem: I finally found a place where I belong. It's a church cooperative on Sagan IV. We're like a big family. Reverend Peoples is teaching us his social gospel. He's a brilliant man. I'd follow him into hell.
My parents are worried about me. They think I've joined some dangerous cult. They don't understand.
We're all gathering in the courtyard for a special toast next week. Reverend Peoples says wewill finally all become one with the promised land. I'll pray for you.
Thanks? Remember to drink lots of punch.
I dumped the flyer at the nearest trashcan and moved on. It's not as if I'd be able to make a difference in a conflict that big.
We had celebrities in the terminal. Apparently the Meatles were stuck waiting for a flight. They had fallen a bit if they were using a cheap public flight out of Sender Station these days.
The little kid in me snapped a photo of them.
Pawl: Have you seen me grandfather?
Ree'Ngo: Are ya sad because you're all alone?
Pawl: Man, I had a dreadful flight.
Jawnn: Klaz, you know it ain't easy.
Pawl: Customs tried to bust me for possession of Toka, but I was clean, man, clean.
Jorj: I'm writing a song called "My Sweet Chord". You've never heard anything like it.
Pawl: Yeah, it's guaranteed to raise a smile.
Jorj: I've been studying under the Etramishi Cajoomashi on Asagan IV. He caresses and possesses me.
Ree'Ngo: Pawl's got a ticket to ride… but he don't care.
Jawnn: It doesn't matter much to me either.
Pawl: Oh, let it be already.
Ree'Ngo: Hey, you see that cute bird just go by? I need somebody to love.
Pawl: You were made to go out and get her, Ree'Ngo.
Jawnn: I think she has colitis.
Jorj: Yeah, it was something in the way she moved.
Ree'Ngo: Ree'Ngo's not me real name, you know.
Jawnn: Ree'Ngo just do what he please.
Pawl: Very strange.
Ree'Ngo: Well, there's no one here to tell us what to do.
Jawnn: I think the Meatles are more popular than Klaz.
I had enough of them carrying on random conversations using only song titles and moved on.
Matrix 0 is a basically a VR tourist spot. You can be anyone you want for a price.
Aroncu: We're going to Matrix 0 for our honeymoon.
Bethane: Because who wants to be themselves on their honeymoon?
Aroncu: This trip to Matrix 0 is costing me half year's salary. If it's not better than sex, I'll sue.
Bethane: I've been waiting all my life to go to Matrix 0. I can't wait to be someone other than me.
Aroncu: Neither can I.
This marriage is off to a fantastic start.
I had determined that nobody in the terminal had anything else worthwhile to say and left the starport. As I was leaving, someone called out to me.
So Rukh was on Sender now. I'm sure he'll try to get me to do his work any moment now.
There it goes.
I would do what Rukh asked after I had secured the tickets to Sunder that we needed. Afterall, he gave me a neat gadget that I never use last time.
Just my luck. We'd have to find another way. Maybe the friendly neighborhood PAX Guard could be of assistance.
PAX Guards generally were no better than NoxGuards, but at least they weren't all bought off by Detta.
The orange-skinned cyclopic aliens that were prevalent on Sender Station are Cordicans. As Cordicom became an influential interstellar company, they turned into a planet of bankers and traders. Sender Station was already a trade center, but we happened to arrive during an Intergalactic Commerce Convention, so they were everywhere.
We needed to get out of here as quickly as possible. Urge to kill…rising.
The first important building that we found on Sender Station was the "Sender Station Gold Deluxe Palatial Royal Penthouse Suites" or just "GDP" for short.
Me: We'll take it.
Note: The price is always 1 loonie higher than you have.
Note: This guy is floating because of some sort of bug. It definitely is not intentional. This is strange because Anachronox is otherwise totally bug-free.
The Sender Station Gold Deluxe Palatial Royal Penthouse Suites are the ultimate in luxury. Why, the Queen of Tezzereth herself has stayed in this hotel.
The suites are exquisite. The aroma of Wild Kluvian Bayberries, considered the most fragrant flora in the galaxy, is pumped into every room. There are mirrors on the ceiling, and pink champagn on ice.
Chef Brozak specializes in Brebulan cuisine, delicious to even the most discriminating palette, and prepared from the hotel's very own herb garden. It is out attention to the smallest detail that makes this the finest of establishments.
Would you like a job application?
The mention of Brebulan cuisine brought back flashes of the alien tendril with goiter sauce.
Muy-Moy: Your kidneys?
Santok: Yeah, can you believe it? They're not filtering out all the right stuff or something. I mean, this could be bad.
Muy-Moy: Jeez. When did our bodies start falling apart like this?
Santok: I know it's not a big deal, but I'm a little embarrassed about it. It's almost like I don't want anyone to know.
Muy-Moy: I could see that, yeah.
Santok: It's like YOU know. My wife knows. And this nosey creep listening to our conversation knows. Soon it's going to be all over the papers.
Muy-Moy: Maybe you should stop drinking.
Santok: It's my kidneys that are broke, dunce. Not my liver.
In the back corner was another scientist. Perhaps he'd know something more about the Brain Train.
There must be a way to get the guy's ticket.
We exited the GDP and continued the search.
I'd keep a lookout for Goat Knife, but there had to be a better way to get the tickets.
The station was filled with insufferable business types due to the conference.
Note: For the love of the browsers, I'm just going to transcribe some of the somewhat amusing conversations rather than post screenshots.
Siek Bukurt: It's like you can't go anywhere these days without coming across a Cordicom product. They make one of everything. They dominate every market, every field.
Any time something new and innovative comes out, Cordicom rushes out their own version within just a few days… always a little more useful and a little bit cheaper.
Unethical business practice? Hell, Cordicom wrote the book on the subject. They've got an entire industrial espionage division with double agents in almost every competing company in the galaxy.
They deny it of course.
Hell, I bet Cordicom's even got some scam worked out with the SET Commission to avoid anti-trust laws. These Cycloptic little bastards are ruining the industry.
Zing-Ya: I swear to Klaz, man… I'm trying to be reasonable, but those Cordicans freak me out. Ever since I was a kid, I felt like their single, unblinking eye was staring straight into my soul. Now they're everywhere and I can't avoid them. Imagine trying to negotiate a multi-million loonie deal with someone you feel so naked around.
You ever feel like going up to a Cordican and poking his huge, unblinking eye with your finger?
Did I just lose my credibility?
We had the misfortune of seeing a deal go down in real time.
Shazz Monito: If Jefferson wants to wheel-deal, he better Hancock before the money brothers scoop up the slack.
Bizmore: Fifty-two on the spin-end. He's in for more if you can blue book the property by moon-over.
Shazz: Sixty blow, pay or play. We know Jefferson's got dime to boot, so the deal's dead if he's gonna PLAY dead.
Bizmore: We ran the numbers past the slicer. It's spin-end or we walk with the dime. Jefferson's heavy hitter and he won't have the wool pulled. Certainly not by YOU.
Shazz: Fine. We can blue book the ante, but only if he's willing to goose us on a back-end deal.
Bizmore: Oh, stuff the dunce dance. You know Jefferson's in a moon-over pinch, and he's balls tall for a spin-end. You wanna close this deal or cry home to daddy?
Shazz: C'mon man. Word's tight that your boy's in tailspin and he ain't breakin' wind unless he lands property before we go quarter, so stop making big, and pay the sixty.
Bizmore: Sixty blue book by moon-over. Buck or walk.
Shazz: Buck. But tell him he's playing piano with broken fingers. Pleasure doing business.
Shazz: I'm hungry.
Bizmore: Let's get a taco.
Grumpos could take notes on Yammering from these guys.
We made our way back to the entrance of Sender Station and located Goat Knife.
We would have to keep on the lookout for clowns.
We wandered around until we found the Sender Station Theoretical Science Museum. Just inside, there was an information kiosk. Since I had equipped PAL with a dataport interface accessory, he could hack into such terminals.
Most of the information was uninteresting, but the TSM Database should have the Scientifica credentials that we would need to board the Brain Train.
Watch it Pal, the battery comes out as easily as it goes in. I didn't remember him having that attitude before.
Grumpos insisted that we hang around the museum a bit longer. I agreed on the condition that we could take a detour to the Red Light District.
We left the museum and went onward in search of scientific looking clothes and tickets to Sunder.
Oh look, a half naked man wearing patent leather in the corner.
I'm going to regret asking for this, aren't I?
Mean Tang: Thanks, man. Here's the secret…You know that door right around this corner? Well, it leads to Pumping Station 7. But if you break left instead of right, there's a gat that leads to the Routubes… Sender Station's underground substructure.
If you take the Routubes all the way down into the core, you'll find a secret Red Light District where youc an party 'til dawn.
Me: Um.. I've probably been to the Red Light District more times than you have, buddy. Why don't you tell us something we don't know?
Tang: Oh. Well did you know that the Routubes are infested with drug runners these days? It's become quite the little drug route ever since Duke Duece lost the Gorian drug wars a few months ago. And with all the heating ducts, it's hotter than hell. Leather just seems to soak the heat right up. So there you have it.
Well that was it. We were going to the Red Light District. A PAX guar was nearby the entrance to Station 7.
PAX Guard: I remember the first time I bashed punk's head in. It was the summer of '23. We were quelling a spat of civil unrest on Cordica. Man, those were the days…
I remember the feel of the whack as my arm absorbed the impact. I kept going for the eye… that single unblinking eye, clubbing it until it cried blood. I'll always remember that wonderful feeling.
Every time I see one of those one-eyed bastards walking around, I think of the first time. Sometimes it's hard to resist the temptation to relive that moment.
Okay, story time's over. Hit the road, jack.
Simply heartwarming. I could only pray that the Cordican would sneeze in his face.
We made our way into Pumping Station 7 en route to the Red Light District. It had been far too long since I had hit up the Cold Sweat Sex Machine.
A Mad Gorian Attacked!
Dead. The shockclaws did far more damage than either Grumpos' staff or my gun.
Pushing deeper and deeper into the tunnels, we encountered a corpse. He was holding a pretty high-powered gun, which was now damaged beyond the point of use. The walls showed signs that he had fired a number of shots that apparently had missed his assailant.
One of those shots had damaged the opening mechanism for the gate. Usually this would be a minor inconvenience, but without that gate open, there was no way to get to the Red Light District. Whoever did this would pay. I took a picture of the body, and we left the Routubes, all of us dejected except for Fatima.
Back on the surface, we continued investigating. The next building we found was the Sendormitory. This is where people who are too poor for the GDP stay.
We interviewed some of the residents
I can't imagine having anything but nightmares sleeping in a closet like that.
Cosmic wristbands will totally save you from the complete destruction of the universe.
Aha! Another scientist! Certainly he'll know something about Sunder.
We have ways of making you talk.
Alright, one ticket taken care of. We still needed a second ticket and scientist clothes. We left the Sendormitory.
Goat Knife said his contact was into clowns. Time to investigate. That woman must be the contact.
Instead of talking about tickets, she went on and on about her dead husband. Sorry lady, but unless that can get me a ticket to-I am a genius. We'll hook her up with the lonely scientist at the GDP to get his ticket.
Before leaving the clown, I asked the kid if he knew anyone else who was into clowns.
Such a shame, they get younger and younger every day. At least the kid is clean now. Hopefully we wouldn't need to use the kid's connection, but it could still prove useful.
We took a stop at the nearby Vend-O-Mart
We walked around to see what they had in stock. On the top floor, which strangely had no guard rails, we found a distressed patron.
Pay2Pray? I hadn't heard of the School of Order, and I didn't figure Grumpos to be a religious person.
They had labcoats available, but they weren't available through the kiosk that was set up.
Pal saved the day again by hacking the terminal.
Out came the clothes.
Glasses, a moustache, and everything! I looked like a freaking genius.
Back on the street in our new duds, we continued to look for our last ticket to Sunder. Grumpos wanted to return to the Vend-O-Mart and use the Pay2Pray.
Bot: Welcome to Pay2Pray. The relics of 3,600 different religions are housed here within our bank vault secure, bullet-proof, PrayPod (tm). For a reasonable fee of 50 loonies, you can be put in the presence of a holy relic from the religion of your choice. From a Gorite Glory Tether to a Brebulan Saint Spine, we guarantee a quality communion with an authentic relic no matter how obscure your faith. Would you like to purchase quality time with our PrayPod?
Grumpos meditated with the two prisms that we had found. I had no idea they were holy relics.
Gameplay Note: Staffsweep deals Grumpos' melee damage to all targets on screen regardless of range or line of sight restrictions.
Gameplay Note: HealField heals all allies for a little bit of hp.
Satisfied with his meditations, Grumpos allowed us to leave the Vend-O-Mart. We found the Lounge of Commerce nearby the Vend-O-Mart.
Before entering we spoke to a Cordican sitting outside. Perhaps he was the kid's ticket contact.
Fearing the double entendre, we continued into the Lounge.
The bar seemed like a nice joint, certainly nicer than Rowdy's. Unfortunately, like Rowdy's, there was a Detta thug at the bar. It was strange to see Detta's thugs out on Sender Station, he usually keeps to himself on Anachronox.
Zicky: Hey, step the hell away from my TACO, deathwish. I lost them all. Twice.
I bet you think I'm stupid.
First, I got hooked on the latest fad: TACOs. "Collect them all!" they said. "Everyone's got one!" they said. Then the scandal… the internal memo leaked that TACO stands for "Totally Arbitrary Collectible Objects". They were laughing in the face of the consumer. We were all duped.
Then the TACO burnings, the suicides. Some people had spent all their savings on them when the bottom fell out. But I kept them. I still loved them. Then I fell on hard times. I sold everything: my sled, my furniture. Finally, I had to sell the collection. For chump change.
And then a year later, their popularity resurged. People were retro-proud to own them, and everyone who had them made a mint. Not me, I was penniless. But I worked my way back up. I have money now. But there's no TACOs on the market. Collectors hoard them. They're status symbols. Every one I see and can't have mocks me. I need to heal this wound, this pain I've had eating away at me for so long.
Could you help me? If you can find TACOs for me, I'll reward you handsomely. I have contacts. Please?
I exchanged my TACOs for a HealGrease complete and a few timeminder tears.
Maybe that guy was right and they can see into your soul with their single, lifeless eye. Even in the scientist getup, he had me figured out completely.
Thug: You sure ya wanna be seen talkin' to me? I'm a representative for Detta Corp. Well it's nice ta see that not everybody around here is so judgmental. People jump ta conclusions about me, ya know?
I can't say I don't blame 'em. There ain't no denyin' that Mister Detta has a questionable background. I can't deny that. But he runs a clean business now. Honestly, I should know. I'm on his board of directors.
In addition to being a legitimate business, Vendelin Detta is quite an erudite gentleman. Not only is he a generous benefactor of the cultural arts, he also owns one of the largest private collections of Mytech in the galaxy.
Problem is, his reputation is in the toilet. All the rumors 'bout his background make it hard to broker any deals. Hell I can't even get a drink. The bartender says it's cuz she can't see me behind the bar. What are you laughing at? You laughing at me?
There was someone else lurking in the shadows of the bar's backroom.
Word had traveled quickly about my involvement in the Resistance. I had come this far already, so I agreed to help Salsa.
Leaving the Lounge of Commerce, I located the kid's ticket connection and asked him about the sleeping pills.
We returned to the Routubes and found Slick. Strangely, he wasn't there the first time we went there. We purchased the drug from him.
Returning to the Lounge, we bought Detta's thug a drink and slipped the stuff in.
Thug: You hear that, girl? This gent says he'll buy me a drink.
Bartender: I'll put it on his tab.
Me: Here you go, ace.
Thug: Down the hatch. Oh, yeah. That's what I'm talking about. This is some strong paint…
Man, it's been a day. Quite a day. One of THOSE days. One of them long days. It's hard, you know, having to face those businessmen. Ya know they all think you're a chump because you work for Detta. Some of 'em play it off. Most of 'em are rude.
Hey this is some good swill. Thanks again.
Detta… he ain't such a bad egg. He took us in… Alvin and the rest of us clones. Treats us like people, ya know? That Detta's got a big heart. He's even nice to the floaters. He appreciates talent. Doesn't matter if someone's got wings or if someone's a clone.
Not only am I a clone… I got a big metal fist. Holy Klaz, I'm almost done with my drink. It ain't easy… ya know when you're a clone…We're all different peoples, ya know…? That's what…
That's what…That's what no one understands. About. Us. At all.
*THUD* The goon fell to the floor.
We showed the note to Salsa.
Fact: Everyone in the Resistance is stupid.
What a coincidence, we were heading to Sunder! I'll see what I can turn up.
I had almost forgotten, we need to fix that scientist up. We ran back to talk to the brain about the beauty. He wasn't listening, but we found a rose on the table nearby.
I am so smooth.
She walked back to the GDP. We followed closely behind. After they had time to exchange pleasantries, we talked to the professor again.
And with that, we were ready to ride the Brain Train.
Note: You can buy a ticket from that drug dealer too, but I prefer to get my 2nd ticket this way.
Back in the terminal, I showed Rukh the corpse we found in the Routubes.
Gameplay Note: This protects from sleep and winky in battle.
Pal provided our the credentials at the shuttle gate. Now all that was left was facing the brain bouncer.
None Shall Pass. (video) / Backup
Note: It doesn't matter what choices you choose.
Now it was my turn. I hoped Pal knew what he was doing.
African or European? Again, just amusing.
That's my beebot.
Pal did his victory dance.
And with that, we boarded the Brain Train, headed for Sunder.
End: I struggled a bit with this update. It's fun just wandering around Sender Station and talking to people, but it also wrecks the flow of the game. So trying to strike a balance there was a little tough. Don't worry, next update things will take a turn for the .