Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    It's About Darn Time!

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    It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:44 pm

    The small shuttle finally landed in the docking bay, harnesses snapping into place securely as the door slid open with a sharp hiss. Smoothing out her hair and thanking the little grub (which she had been fascinated with at first, despite the obvious fact that it was a bug) for the lift, Jo climbed down the ramp and stepped out into the open, looking around Planet Z for the first time as she smoothed out her clothes.

    The planet itself had appeared dark red from the windows; even the walls of the tower were red. The place was awash in several different hues of it, but taking Zurg's coloration into account Jo had actually expected more purple. In fact, the only purple things she could see were just shuttles and details on robots and minions that scurried around, tending to their business.

    She wasn't sure what to do now that she was here, so she loitered by the shuttle, fiddling with her shirt as she crossed her legs and arms and waited for a sign of Zurg.
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Zurg on Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:01 pm

    And the Evil Emperor wasn't too far behind, already having the memo buzzed to him. This was his planet and as such he knew everything and anything about it! Well, not when his minions needed privacy. That... wasn't something he wanted to know about. Rounding his way into Docking Bay 01, where there was always unguarded cruiser, Zurg emerged through the pressure doors with PDA in hand and ready to do business.

    "Jo, so good to see you!" He called out, walking on over. Hey, she was actually right on schedule! Perfect! "I hope the grub didn't drive too fa--" And then his eyes fell to her choice of clothing. "Jo... what are you wearing?"

    Was she in a tank-top, jeans with holes in them, and sandals!? Sandals!? What, was this Mahamba VI!?

    "JO!" Zurg snapped not believing his eyes. "This isn't dress-code appropriate! This... This... This is just asking for trouble! GRUBS!" The Evil Emperor barked at the top of his lungs, little bug-like workers scattering to meet his demand and stand before him, shivering.

    "Yes, your evilness?" They squeaked, trying their best to smile as their knees rattled.

    With a finger, Zurg pointed down the line and issued a order. "You! Get Jo some boots! You! Get gloves! You! Get an apron! And you... stop picking your nose! Ugh! And get a hard hat! We can't have Jo walking around like some tourist, Cosmos forbid!" He finished before slapping a palm against his forehead. Ugh, Jo...

    "Yes, yes, your evilness! Uh..." The grubs all stopped, appearing confused, and held up their arms in a collective shrug. "Who is Jo?"

    "SHE IS JO!" Zurg bellowed, pointing to the person in question. "NOW GO BEFORE I PUT YOU IN THE GRUB BOILER ON DEEP FRY SETTING!"

    That was enough to give the grubs a spook, and they were off, leaving Zurg to just grumble and rattle his fists to the heavens.
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:29 pm

    Jo looked left and right, then grinned sheepishly. "Whoops, I guess?"

    She exhaled and stuffed her hands into her pockets. "Well, it's not like you told me I had to wear something specific. And it's still hot! The weather hasn't let up at all...."

    She looked after the scattering grubs, then back at Zurg. "You really do rule this place with an iron fist. Literally."
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Zurg on Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:41 pm

    "Whoops, is right..." Zurg blew out a short breath and held up his hands, mentally telling himself it's not worth getting worked up. It's okay, it's okay; no need to show the OCD. Keep it calm, nothing bad happened so far yet. Releasing the rest of his breath he had held all morning, the Evil Emperor turned to Jo, slightly less-than-miffed from before. If she thought PB was hot, wait till she stayed a day here. "Alright, fine. I didn't give you fair notice. That's my bad, as they say. BUT." He held up a stern finger. "This place is dangerous, and you'll be needing the proper attire. Speaking of that... GRUBS, WHERE IS THAT PROPER ATTIRE!?"

    "Coming, your evil wind-bagginess!"

    The grubs came all along, in a neat little line and held up the objects they were sent to fetch. One held some work boots, another had a pair of thick gloves, the fatter one had the apron, and the last one was wearing the hard hat while still picking its nose.

    "..........It's going to be a long day." Zurg sighed, momentarily appearing tired before he scowled and clapped his hands loudly. "Alright! Make like bunnies and hand them to Jo! Chop, chop! It's a work day, not a vacation!"

    ".....Who is Jo?" The grubs asked.

    "SHE IS--JUST HAND THEM TO HER!" The Evil Emperor nearly cried.
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:52 pm

    "Oh come on, how dangerous can--?" But Jo never finished her sentence when the grubs showed up again, each holding up an article of clothing. She hadn't expected them to be so fast. Wow, Zurg sure had these guys on a tight leash!

    "Why, thank you~" she said, patting each grub on the head as she took the clothes from them and got dressed right there and then. All she did was slip off her sandals, pull on the boots, tie on the apron, draw on the gloves, and cram the bright orange construction helmet firmly onto her head. She didn't think they were necessary, but she decided to humor Zurg this time around. Maybe next time he'd let her walk around without dressing her up like a tree for the Holiday.

    "All set~!" she grinned, putting her hands on her waist. "Where do we start?"
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Zurg on Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:56 pm

    "Ooooh!" The grubs all smiled at the patting, but Zurg was quick to snarl and shout at them again.

    "GO AWAY! THERE'S WORK TO BE DONE!" He hollered directly into their faces, even picking one up and squeezing it to show he meant srs bsns. That got the little suckers to scram and the Evil Emperor, once again, turned to Jo with a sigh. "Jo... I know you mean well, but you can't give these little guys positive reinforcement. This is a place of unspeakable evil! Not Cuddles R' Us! EVIL!" He flamboyantly reiterated.

    But yes, the day was burning and Zurg had a list of things to do! Many things to do! Whipping into his cape he pulled out a clipboard and browsed the list, briefly penning in something as he grumbled.

    "Hmph, first we check maintenance. Always check maintenance. Now... let's see..." He was already off, leaving Jo behind as he got lost in his work, briefly pausing to glance back at her, blinking. "Well, are you coming? This place is too big to get lost, and the brain pods may abduct you for their low-budget experiments!"
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:03 pm

    "Aww, but they're kinda cute," she giggled, watching them run away. "And hey, positive reinforcement boost productivity! A happy worker is a more productive worker~!"

    She blinked as he glanced down at his clipboard and began muttering, then started when he demanded whether she'd follow or not. "Oh! Uh.... I'm coming!"

    She quickly ran to catch up to him then fell into step beside him, pushing the helmet firmly down on her head so it wouldn't slip off. "So, maintenance, huh? Want me to help you out with anything?" she asked eagerly. "I'm good at that. Even Drakken's hired me to do maintenance to his machine every month!"
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Zurg on Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:06 pm

    "Jo, I already tried that. Trust me." Blasted unbreakable bonds. Unbreakable his tin-plated, purple behind! He'll show those slackers unbreakable! Approaching a section elevator, Zurg swiped his PDA down a scanner and went once the doors whished aside, the Evil Emperor waiting for Jo to enter along before he pressed a button. It was amusing, however, to hear that she wanted to offer her help and Zurg simply refused.

    "And if you do that, then they all want help. They're workers, Jo, and as workers they stay workers. Number one rule about ruling over people: keep people in their places. Simple."
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:12 pm

    Oh, well, if the only thing that worked was intimidation, she wouldn't get in the way of things. This was Zurg's turf now; if someone knew how to run this place at one hundred percent capacity, it was Zurg.

    "Alright." She nodded, keeping her hat securely in place as the elevator started to go down. Not that she'd need any of his advice, but it was interesting to hear all the same. And who knew? Maybe she would need to use it sometime in the future. You never knew what was in store for you!
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Zurg on Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:19 pm

    And it was a long, silent elevator ride. It hiccuped here and there, lightly shuddering and bouncing, with the lights winking in and out. And it almost seemed at times as if the elevator itself would fall apart at any moment's notice. But Zurg didn't seem too concerned, and he was rather busy going over a checklist for a sheet of paper aptly labeled MAINTENANCE in big, black, bold lettering. Grubs were terrible at reading, sometimes, and his eyesight wasn't getting any better!

    When the amber dial up above chimed and flickered "B1", the Evil Emperor looked up from his sheet and strode on out as the doors creaked open.

    The moment Jo would step out she would notice grime everywhere; muck and rust literally creeping up the walls and ceiling, the floor littered with puddles of rancid water--if that was water. The piping snaked in the corners near the floor and above, hissing with steam and whining as if they were going to burst. It was a dark place with barely any ample lighting, and the smell was enough to gag on; the very air thick and stagnant.

    This was the maintenance level.

    But again, Zurg didn't seem to mind and he stopped at a nearby beaten bucket to pick himself a hard hat, an apron, and safety goggles. After a moment he was fully prepared for the world and he wrote something down before eying Jo again.

    "Here, you'll be needing these." He said, offering Jo a pair of safety goggles before walking down the dark, decrepit hall.

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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:28 pm

    The elevator ride was kind of awkward what with them not exchanging any words, but Jo hadn't wanted to disturb Zurg who was absorbed in reading the maintenance report. When it came to a shuddering stop (Jo being relieved that the elevator itself hadn't given up on them) she followed Zurg out and quickly had to cover her nose with a hand. "Ugh! What in the cosmos is that stench?!"

    It was downright nasty down here. It looked like this place hadn't been properly cleaned in decades. She recalled Zurg saying that he often had to do maintenance, but would it really kill him to get the place into shape? It looked like it would fall apart at any second!

    She wondered briefly whether the rest of the tower was this decrepit or if it was just this level that was out of sorts as Zurg donned the same attire Jo did and handed her a pair of safety goggles. She frowned down at them and wrinkled her nose at the grime. Well, it wasn't like she could do otherwise. She snapped them on securely, then cracked her knuckles. "Lead the way!"

    This hadn't exactly been the way she had envisioned visiting Planet Z, but she had been the one who insisted to know all the nitty-gritty details. Probably just her luck.
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Zurg on Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:35 pm

    "That--" Zurg went right on along, ducking under low overhanging pipes. "--is the smell of evil."

    It was another quiet, relatively short trip down to the maintenance bay. The bay itself was a long, narrow tunnel built for perhaps a tram and there was the common, universal yellow-and-black caution colouring all around the edge; just one more step would result in Jo plummeting a good three feet onto a bunch of railing and cables. The chasm itself had to have been twenty feet across and it seemed to go on forever in both directions, the tunnel like an abyss beyond their little alcove. It didn't look much different, only older, and the Evil Emperor went over to a command station and plucked the intercom microphone and brought it to his face.

    "May I have maintenance groups Alpha, Bravo, and C--" PZzzzzzt!

    The intercom short-circuited with a spark, and Zurg just stood there, his face blank as he took a breath and did the job himself.

    "MAY I HAVE MAINTENANCE GROUPS ALPHA, BRAVO, AND CHARLIE PLEASE COME TO THE B1 LEVEL'S MAINTENANCE BAY!" He yelled into the chasm, his voice echoing like mad.

    Leave it to the equipment to break apart on him.

    Water dripped down from the piping over head upon Jo and the Evil Emperor, those hard hats really coming in play.
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:43 pm

    Jo kept close to Zurg, holding onto his cape just in case she slipped and fell off of a ledge, though she took great care to stay in the middle of the path. The lights overhead flickered, and Jo had to refrain from jumping when she saw something move at the edge of her vision which only turned out to be their shadows.

    "How often do you have to come down here and do maintenance anyway?" she asked in a hushed voice. The surroundings didn't seem to encourage loud noises.

    Trying to relax and ease the tension in her shoulders, she expelled a deep breath and came to a stop when Zurg did, cringing when he hollered at the top of his lungs. She sure hoped he didn't cause a cave-in or anything. Tweaking an ear, she flinched when she felt something smack against her helmet, then something cold and slimy dribble down her back which was no doubt water or some other nasty thing.

    Maybe she should have worn that other shirt, after all....
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Zurg on Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:53 pm

    "Eh, you say something?" Zurg asked, momentarily ceasing in fixing a heavily-abused circuit breaker. "Darn sewer rats! I can't have them chew on the wiring every, blasted day..." He muttered under his breath, standing back up to his full height and overlooking the chasm as he checked his timecom. Those grubs should be here any moment.

    "I'm here everyday I work, Jo. Like I said, maintenance is an integral part of this facility and it's also the most time-consuming. Now back away. I hear the tram coming."

    And sure enough, just seconds before, there was the distant squealing of brakes and a light shone far, far away. The noise came louder and louder, the light stronger and stronger, and soon a tram rolled on along past them and halted with a screech; a brief wind fluttering his cape and offering Jo, perhaps, a tiny bit of relief of fresher air.

    Grubs soon came out of the door, covered in goop and muck, and they each wore hard hats, safety goggles, and aprons along with gloves and little tool boxes. These were maintenance grubs, and they certainly looked the part.

    "Maintenance groups Alpha, Bravo, Charlie; what do you have to report." The Evil Emperor demanded, getting his pen ready.

    One grub stepped up and cleared its throat. "Alpha has nothing to report, your evilness. All the leaks and patches have been taken care of."

    Good.

    "And Bravo already did our deeds for the day. No incidences here."

    Even better.

    But when it came for Charlie to speak, the leader of that group gave a weak smile and shivered with a gulp, delivering its report. "We, uh... had a little malfunction down in G-Block...?"

    .....and not good.

    This clearly got Zurg to look over his paperwork, his eyes narrowing with a faint glow almost as if he were going to incinerate with that stare. "What kind of malfunction." He issued in a low growl.

    "Ah... one of our group, uh, got... stuck?" Charlie group all huddled together and clenched their eyes, fearing what their master would say or throw at them today for their insolence. Luckily for them, he only sighed and appeared resolved with something. Perhaps one of his many inner demons. They had noticed he was rather... placid as of late.

    "Fine, fine... Alpha, Bravo; you're relieved for the day. Head to your barracks and catch some rest. And as for Charlie..." Zurg scowled again, hopping onto the tram. "You're going to help me fix that malfunction. LET'S RIDE!" He barked.

    Alpha and Bravo teams patted their unfortunate brethren and scuttled off, but not before glancing at Jo. What was she? Who was she? Was she food? All these questions were left unanswered and the grubs scrambled down the hall and disappeared into the fog.

    "Jo, you coming or not? You can stay here, if you'd like." Zurg's voice called out to her as he manned the controls. "You may even find some of the brain pods' lost experiments and make a new friend."
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:06 pm

    "You do maintenance every day?" Well, that was surprising. But then again, such a large facility was bound to have problems crop up all the time and needed constant supervision. She sure was glad she didn't have to worry about things like this.

    A tram came into view, and as it came to a stop, grubs scuttled out of it, each team reporting their findings. The first two teams had no problems whatsoever, but the third... she wasn't sure what they meant by one of their party being stuck, but it was apparently something Zurg had heard before since he seemed more resigned than angry. Although when he asked her whether she'd be coming along he still had some of that sarcastic bite in it.

    "Huh? No, I'm coming!" She didn't want to be left without Zurg for a second down here!

    She quickly climbed into the tram and stayed close by him, looking down at the grubs and wondering whether she should say something to them, even though she found their staring a little more than unsettling. She couldn't help but recall that they were still bugs, though they weren't your typical kind of bug. But then Zurg's previous advice rang in her mind, and she recalled that being friendly or positive with them would be counter-productive. She still had doubts about that, but she wouldn't disagree with Zurg on the subject for now, at least.

    She grabbed onto the railing for support and waited for them to set off and see what the problem was about. Even though it was far from a pleasant job, she felt excited about exploring and discovering the unknown.

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