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


    It's About Darn Time!

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    Zurg
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Zurg on Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:31 pm

    "Every. Single. Day."

    Zurg gripped the tram's throttle and eased it into a steady speed, the transport strolling along the tracks. And it was on this tram that Jo could fully understand how massive and intricate this entire facility was. Not only did this tunnel serve as a tunnel for the maintenance tram, but it also connected all maintenance bays for ease of access and efficiency. There had to be dozens of bays similar to the one Jo and Zurg had waited at, and all around, the architecture screamed advanced and before its time.

    "So, what are you?"

    The silence was broken as a grub spoke up, causing the rest to stare intently at the woman, curious and confused. She was dressed like them, but... she was different from them. And not just the obvious physical part. This person was different. Very different. The grubs' antennas twitched as Zurg's voice rumbled to them, the Evil Emperor not once taking his eyes off the railing as he still drove the tram.

    "She's not going to eat you, lackeys." He remarked with a slight smirk. "She's here to watch what you do and observe. Why don't you grubs give her a warm, Planet Z welcome. She's going to need it for the entire day."

    Hearing a faintly-disguised order, the grubs went back to staring and clicked their mandibles, huddling closer to Jo and simply sitting at her side. If Zurg allowed her on Planet Z, then she was part of the pack and as part of the pack, Jo was now a customary not-grub and they merely sat obediently and stared out to the tunnel beyond while their master ferried them to perhaps their inevitable doom.

    It was, yet again, another silent trip with the grubs staring out the tram's open sides and with Zurg driving in concentration, only momentarily taking his eyes off the controls to check his timecom. Thankfully the entire duration only took a good half hour and the tram eased up to another maintenance bay, this one even worse off than the one before--if that could be believed.

    "We're here. Charlie team suit up and lead the way. I want flashlights on and no one--no one--is to wander off. You all heard the reports of experiments on the loose from Quarantine. Move out."

    The grubs hopped off the tram one by one and kept together, their lights merging into one and helping light the way as Zurg purposely stayed behind for Jo to take his hand; his other was currently occupied with a gun, and it was on terminate.

    "Jo, stay close to me. This may get dangerous." Was all he warned, his expression no nonsense.
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:30 pm

    Jo stayed silent throughout the trip, looking around in amazement. She hadn't expected it to be quite this large and expansive. It just seemed to go on for miles. She gripped the railing tightly, not wanting to fall off or lose her balance, but was brought out of her thoughts when she heard one of the grubs address her. She wasn't sure what they meant exactly, but judging by Zurg's words, they had never seen a human before, and maybe not even a female.

    "Well, I'm a human and my name is Jo." She smiled. They looked absolutely darling with their outfits, despite the muck and grime. "What're your names?"

    But the tram soon shuddered to a stop, and they all climbed outside, the grubs preparing flashlights and Zurg preparing a weapon, his warning about experiments on the loose sounding all the more graver now. She gripped his hand tightly, swallowing. "How dangerous can these, uh, loose experiments be?" she asked, whispering.
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Zurg on Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:43 pm

    "Very." Was all he said to her before leading her down, following after the grubs.

    Again, they traversed through narrow, claustrophobic tunnels deeper into the complex, the grubs having relatively no problem while the Evil Emperor himself had to resort to stooping and contorting his body through the tubing and crammed spaces.

    "This way." Charlie group brought them before an expansive chamber, and there was a massive machine smack dab in the middle. The grubs walked onto a rickety, thin mezzanine high above a steamy chasm and they pointed to one of the many pipes surrounding the pylon. "Grub-223 got stuck in one of the pressure pipes again! He caused a clog and piston no. 12 has ceased functioning!"

    With a snort, Zurg strode up the metal stairs and took his place upon the scaffolding with crosses arms, observing the stalled piston.

    "Great, just great... This happened just last week! What did I tell you about waist limits!? Ugh, never mind... Stand back. We need this piston online to power up the factories in F-sector!"

    The Evil Emperor glided over to a set of pressure valves and he began to toy with the knobs, spinning a few leaky wheels before the entire chamber began to shake. Pipes began to bulge and gauges started to rattle as the pressure began to rattle and creak.

    "She's going to blow!" The grubs all scattered away, crying out in alarm but Zurg held his ground, rather stoic, and he kept on fiddling with the pressure valves. If anyone knew the machines here, he did, and he was certain nothing wrong was going to happen.

    "Please. As if I'd blow half my palace up." He rolled his eyes, and twisted the final knob.

    PSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSH!

    That did it, and a pipe suddenly burst, the stuck grub in question shooting out like a bullet and into Charlie group with a thud.

    "Problem solved." Zurg remarked dryly, while the pile of grubs all groaned and got up, holding their heads and backs. Not waiting to hear a word from them, the Evil Emperor took one of their tool boxes and threatened to hit them. "Now get out of here! I have to fix your mess! AGAIN!" He snarled taking a swing.

    "We have failed his evilness!" They all wailed, running past Jo and into the darkness, leaving Jo with the sighing Evil Emperor.

    Great, just great. Time to fix another busted, broken pipe...
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:03 am

    She followed them through the narrow tunnel, ducking only a few times, not being as tall as Zurg, and when they reached their destination and the grubs explained the situation, Jo finally understood what they meant about losing one of their fellows; he was stuck!

    Jo kept her distance when Zurg fiddled around with the controls, then quickly jumped back when the grub shot out of the pipe and into the pack of other grubs. She was about to go and see if it was alright, but they scampered off with Zurg's outdoor voice.

    "So, uh.... what about the pipe?" she asked Zurg curiously, looking at the pipe in question. "Are we going to fix it?"
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Zurg on Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:07 am

    "What does it look like." The Evil Emperor grumbled sarcastically, pulling out some packaged jelly along with a trowel. He didn't bother to explain how to fix the situation, and instead got to work, taking a glob of the gelatinous ooze and smearing it all over the pipe's crack. This is where the trowel came into play, and Zurg used it to smooth and seal the jelly in place into a neat, even spread so that crack started to be filled.

    "I can't believe it..." Zurg growled, patting the work to make sure it stuck before digging back into the box for another tool. "This is the fifth pipe this month that's busted. I think those grubs are eating too much... Just another day at work."
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:11 am

    "Aw, come on, Zurg! Let me help you with that!" she said, stooping down to his level. "This is an area I actually have some know-how in!"

    She helped him look through his tools, then pulled out something that looked like a small blow-dryer. "This is what you're looking for, right?"
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Zurg on Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:14 am

    ".....Hmph." But Zurg took the offered tool in gratitude and clicked it on with a whir, roving it back and forth to dry the gel faster. "Thank you, Jo. How do you like it so far?" He asked in regards to Planet Z itself. "Is it everything you've been hoping for, or are you pleasantly surprised."

    Of course he sounded amused, seeing as this was not a paradise, but he was curious to hear her reaction.
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:18 am

    "Pleasantly.... surprised.... I guess," she said slowly, not sure what else to say. "It's not like I expected, that's for sure!"

    She adjusted her helmet again before adding, "It sure is a lot of work. I'd hate to see how the rest of the levels are!"
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Zurg on Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:25 am

    "Uuuugh...." The rest of the levels. Right, right... Getting back up and off his knees, Zurg turned off the dryer and put the tools away neatly, wiping his hands upon a towel to relieve it of the goop. "Don't worry; the maintenance levels are the worst, and also the first to be inspected. Luckily everything was in order save for a blockage in piston no. 12 and trust me, we need these pistons fully operational. Without these, we wouldn't have power throughout the entire facility!"

    And speaking of power, due to emergency shut-off protocol the piston had stopped pumping power thanks to the blockage in the first place.

    "Stand back, Jo. We need to turn this thing back on and see if we have ourselves a winner." The Evil Emperor strode up to the controls, fiddling with a few switches and when all seemed go, he lifted up a button's red protective cap and pressed it firmly.

    Kssssssshk....

    The piston thrummed and rose sharply up with a hiss, but that's pretty much all it did as it dropped back down into a slowly agonizing halt. Well, that wasn't good. Zurg checked the controls again and when it was all clear for the second time, he pressed the button and crossed his fingers.

    Kssssssshk....

    The same, bloody thing. The piston was not working, even with the blockage cleared and the Evil Emperor only groaned and draped himself over the control panel, not believing his luck.

    This was going to be a long day, indeed.
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:36 am

    It looked like Zurg was out of luck, for the piston just didn't seem to want to work. "Maybe I can figure out what's wrong. Hang on," Jo said, stepping forwards.

    She examined the machine at first, then fiddles around with the same controls Zurg did, even slapping her hand against once side to see if the old smacking trick did any good. But the piston merely shot up, then slid down slowly just like before. "Hm."

    She peered at the piston in question, frowning. "It doesn't seem cracked or damaged in any way.... the problem's got to be the power." She looked over her shoulder at Zurg. "Where's the power generator? Maybe we should check that out first."
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Zurg on Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:40 am

    What made Jo think she could fix it if he couldn't? It was a fifteen-foot wide piston for Cosmos sakes that lurched itself up and down for a total length of thirty feet each day at seventy miles per hour. It was a really big piston! Simple slapping of the controls would not do the trick! And when she suggested the power generator, Zurg only groaned again and slid off the panel, grudgingly carrying himself away with tool box in hand.

    "This way, Jo..." He sighed, gesturing for her to follow. "This way."

    The journey would take them both through another hall, the Evil Emperor using a flashlight this time for Jo to better see, and he led her to a rickety, battered elevator. If she thought the last one was terrible, wait till she rode on this. This beauty had no solid walls, only chained fencing with a grating that slid for a door, and it was suspended with a pulley system. It was clearly ancient and Zurg stepped in, gripping a bar as part of the ceiling with his other hand already around the lever.

    "Guess you and I are going to the generator. You're in for a real surprise."
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:46 am

    She followed him over to another elevator, the only thing providing them with light being his flashlight, and this one was in worse disrepair than the previous one. It even worked with a pulley. A pulley! How ancient was that!?

    "...You're not serious," she gawked. But as he stepped inside, she couldn't help but blurt, "Oh cosmos, you are."

    But she didn't want Zurg to tease her or anything, so she stepped onto the elevator beside him, gripping his arm tightly for support. "It won't break or anything, will it?"
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Zurg on Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:54 am

    "It hasn't broke on me yet. Going down?" And that was a rhetorical question as he pulled the lever and the elevator went into its slow, rocky descent into the bowels of Planet Z, itself. Soon the metal turned into rock, the real earth of the planet, and they both had left the safety of artificial creation. The air was now staggeringly suffocating to the point clothing would stick as if it were sopping wet, and Zurg fidgeted a bit at the increase of temperature.

    "Core's hot today." He murmured, keeping his flashlight trained in front, watching the rock go past. He gripped the railing tighter as the elevator seemed to moan and teeter, but it held and they continued deeper.

    The earth began to peel away into metal once again, and this time... things had dramatically changed.

    The air cooled noticeably and a soft, blue light shone from below. With a start, the elevator halted before an open alcove into the rock, and ahead lied a metal floor that extended into unknown, foggy territory.

    "Well, we're at the lowest level I can possibly take you." Zurg stated, pulling back the protective grating and taking a step onto solid ground. He turned to Jo and held out a hand for her to take again, gesturing with a tip of his head. "Come on. Time to see what's up with the piston."
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:03 am

    As they descended into the planet's core, the air grew hotter and muggier. It was harder to breathe, and Jo could feel her clothes start sticking to her like a second skin.

    As the elevator shuddered to a stop, Jo noticed a faint blue light in the distance as a wisp of cool air hit her face, a welcome reprieve from the stifling hotness from before. She took Zurg's hand and kept close, still looking around curiously.

    "Have the grubs ever been down here before?" They didn't look the type to take this elevator to check on the generator, but wasn't it a regular part of maintenance?
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    Re: It's About Darn Time!

    Post by Zurg on Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:16 am

    "Of course not. This is a company secret." Zurg turned off the flashlight and walked down the corridor, taking his sweet time. Unlike the battered halls and metal walls on the maintenance level, this environment seemed... new. In fact, it seemed pristine and well-kept. The metal was a dull slate in colour and blue alien glyphs shimmered here and there, only to wink on and off like they were playing hide and seek. "Pay no attention to those; they're just instructions."

    Below, at their feet, was pulsing energy and the closer they got to the brighter light ahead, the stronger the vibrations felt underneath through the glass floor.

    "Almost there. I hope you wore your sunscreen today."

    Before Jo could even possibly ask what he meant, they exited the shaft and entered into an enormous chamber. It was so vast, it had to have been miles and miles across in diameter, as well as in depth from the floor to the top. And, oddly enough, it was a remotely spherical chamber with thousands if not millions of little pylons darting all around its surface area. What were they for? They seemed to be emitting some kind of buzzing sound...

    Zurg paid no heed and found his way to the controls, which were no longer in Basic but in... what language was this? Holographic keys and commands? With each tap the Evil Emperor did, the panel let out a ripple at his touch like a pond and more of those strange keys popped up. Some were in 3D and others skimmed about, warping into more keys and more apparatuses.

    "Ah, here's why." Zurg pointed to a symbol that Jo probably wouldn't know about. "The generator restarted. That's why the piston didn't work. We best fix that." Pressing another key, the chamber suddenly went dark and the pylons shut off at once.

    All was darkness and silence, and then...

    BAM!

    A spark ignited in the middle of the void and it expanded into a mass a thousand times bigger than it had started. Protective shields went up at once around the command post and alien alarms went off. The Evil Emperor just continued issuing commands, playing with the flattened surface and before anyone could be the wiser the mass far into the chamber began to stabilize and the millions of pylons kicked in at full power; flares emitting from the mass itself as its surface began to boil and writhe upon harnessing.

    It was a star, and a young one at that.

    "Blasted stars..." Zurg grumbled, looking up with a small scowl. "They die on me faster than I can use them!"

    No heat or gravity or radiation washed over the two thanks to the pylons and intricate contraptions all strewn about the chamber, but everyone was bathed in a slightly blueish hue and Zurg looked absolutely frightening as his eyes appeared black with the pupils a winking white.

    "So, do you like my generator? This is the only one like it that I could save. Heliomancy is a dying art, I'm afraid. Then again, what isn't with me?"

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