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Author Topic:   Geek Culture Chain Story v. 1.0
Buffy
Super Geek

Posts: 151
From: somewhere over the rainbow
Registered: Aug 98

posted August 25, 2001 09:53     Click Here to See the Profile for Buffy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw one of these on another forum, so I thought I'd try and start a chain story here!!!

It's like one of those stories you used to do at camp as a child where one person does a few lines of the story and then the next picks up. Well, maybe YOU never went to camp, but maybe you heard about them!! LOL!!!

The rules: No posts like "...and then everyone died." or no really dirty stuff. Here we go!!!!!!
________________________

I am about to tell you the strangest story I have ever heard.

It was told to me by my friend, who, as we met over a coffee in the local cafe, suddenly admitted where he had been for the past three months. It was a tale that was to leave me spellbound and breathless for hours.

It all started innocently enough, when while on his way to work, he looked up and saw...

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EngrBohn
Highlie

Posts: 686
From: United States
Registered: Jul 2000

posted August 25, 2001 11:11     Click Here to See the Profile for EngrBohn   Click Here to Email EngrBohn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
... an old hermit, hunched over, glaring right at him. "I know your secrets, young man. I know what you hide from the world." My friend ignored him and walked around the hermit.

The hermit grabbed my friend by the shoulder and warned, "Steven," (for that was my friend's name), "You are returning to work. More drudgery. Shortly after you sit down, a stranger will visit you. She will offer you excitement and adventure. But beware: only misery and heartache will meet you when the adventure is over."

As Steven pulled away and continued back to work, the hermit called out, "Whatever you do, eat not the green M&M!"

Steven ignored the hermit. He reached his building and went up the elevator. As he stepped off the elevator ...

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Janeway
Super Geek

Posts: 234
From: Cyberspace, Delta Quadrant
Registered: Sep 1999

posted August 25, 2001 11:31     Click Here to See the Profile for Janeway   Click Here to Email Janeway     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...the boss got in his face, yelling, "You're late!" He acknowledged his boss's tirade and walked tiredly to his cubicle, muttering. As he sat down, his chair collapsed. He caught hold of the desk and swung hard into the wall of his cubicle. Thank goodness the wall didn't fall he thought as he picked himself up. In his mind's eye, he could see the whole series of cubicle walls going down like dominoes. "What next?"

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Lex
Super Geek

Posts: 167
From: University of Florida
Registered: Jul 2001

posted August 25, 2001 13:15     Click Here to See the Profile for Lex   Click Here to Email Lex     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A face peered over the cubicle wall he had hit. It was that of a young woman. While he didn't notice it at the time, she was actually quite attractive, but the unkempt hair and horn-rimmed glasses distracted him from this at first.

"You should be more careful. These things can collapse like dominos," she said mysteriously, but before he could comment on this she continued, "Skittles?" and held a handful of the colorful candies out to him.

Not thinking about what the man had said about M&Ms, he said "Uh, ok" and took a green one (lime is his favorite) without looking at the telltale lettering on the side...

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Snaggy
Moderator

Posts: 1399
From: Canada
Registered: Jan 2000

posted August 26, 2001 11:00     Click Here to See the Profile for Snaggy   Click Here to Email Snaggy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At that moment, on the other end of town, at 425 Wellsley Rd., a demolition crew waited patiently for the crane and operator to arrive.

But they would wait in vain. A simple, human mistake, a clerical error on a tiny work slip, would spoil their day, and have enormous consequences for the people working inside 425 Wesley Road, the building that was just hit by a wrecking ball.

And so, just as the lime candy slipped into the warm acidic insides of its new stomach home, Steven and his sultry geek co-worker were blasted by a maelstrom of bricks, drywall, office furniture, and post-it notes...

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Nitrozac
Moderator

Posts: 411
From:
Registered: Dec 1999

posted August 26, 2001 15:06     Click Here to See the Profile for Nitrozac   Click Here to Email Nitrozac     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To his horror, the horn-rimmed, unkempt-hair cubicle neighbor lunged at the wrecking ball, and sat upon it like a champion rodeo bronco cowgirl! Her hand outstretched, she said,
"come on Steven! Let's go! It's our only chance!".

He thought for about half a second then...

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DesktopX
Geek Larva

Posts: 23
From: Victoria, BC, Canada
Registered: Jan 2001

posted August 26, 2001 18:08     Click Here to See the Profile for DesktopX   Click Here to Email DesktopX     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
... his stomach started to churn, the warm acidic acid, turned cold. He paused for another half a second, grabbed a stack of post-it notes that hadn't been scattered around yet, shoved them into his back pocket, and hopped onto the wrecking ball with Mindy, and they were off!

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Stereo
Super Geek

Posts: 148
From: Hull, Quebec, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001

posted August 27, 2001 06:25     Click Here to See the Profile for Stereo   Click Here to Email Stereo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
She led him to the basement, into the famed, but not fully known underground labyrinth. In a moment of lucidity, he took the post-it and left one on the wall each time they changed direction. Although he was already unable to say where he was, at least he would have a way to go back.

With his watch broken from the wreck and no natural light to give him a hint, his only way to know the time passed in this (almost) parallell world was the increasing pain in his chest and weakness in his legs. Then...

(Edit, in answer to Greg: I propose that the next person choose the "official" version to be continued, the other one being disregarded or removed)

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Greg Wooledge
Alpha Geek

Posts: 254
From: Lorain, OH, USA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted August 27, 2001 06:28     Click Here to See the Profile for Greg Wooledge   Click Here to Email Greg Wooledge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As the ponderous cast-iron sphere began to swing back through the wall, Mindy started climbing up the chain. "Come on! We need to get off the ball before it hits again!"

Steven grabbed the chain with both hands. As he strained to gain altitude, he swore to himself, If I live through this, I'll never eat another doughnut! Ever!

The wrecking ball arced down. It tore through the remains of the pulverized wall, throwing shards of brick, wood, insulation and other less identifiable rubbish to the ground several stories below.

A small crowd of spectators witnessed the ball's first pass at the building, cheering on the destruction. Most watched only the building, hoping to observe the exact moment the whole structure would collapse. But one pair of eyes in the crowd saw the two frail human figures clinging to the chain like spiders. One pair of eyes narrowed in concentration....



Edit: Oh no, how do we resolve a story fork?

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CrawGator
Alpha Geek

Posts: 326
From: the heart of Cajun country
Registered: Apr 2000

posted August 27, 2001 11:05     Click Here to See the Profile for CrawGator   Click Here to Email CrawGator     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...As they reached the top of the wrecking crane, a helicopter descended and they jumped for the landing gear. As the helicopter flew into the distance, the pair of eyes thought, as long as Steven is free, the plan is in jepoardy. "Julius, if you weren't married I'd give you a proper reward, but you will just have to settle for a big kiss," Mindy kissed the helicopter pilot. "What's is going on Mindy, and where are we going?" "Later Steven, first Julius will have to drop us off, and then I will take you someplace I hope will be safe. You are our only hope." On the east side of town, the helicopter hovered 1 foot off of an old abandoned building, we jumped and Julius took off like a shot. "This building has an entrance to the old labyrinth underneath the city. Once we are safe inside, we can talk." "Uh, Do you know your way around in there Mindy?" "No, not really"

quote:
originally posted by Stereo
She led him to the basement, into the famed, but not fully known underground labyrinth. In a moment of lucidity, he took the post-it and left one on the wall each time they changed direction. Although he was already unable to say where he was, at least he would have a way to go back.
With his watch broken from the wreck and no natural light to give him a hint, his only way to know the time passed in this (almost) parallell world was the increasing pain in his chest and weakness in his legs. Then...

Note to Stereo and Greg: This fixes the fork and keeps both parts in the story


------------------
CrawGator

A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. Douglas Adams Mostly Harmless

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kimbrosan
Super Geek

Posts: 144
From: Below the Mason-Dixon, USA
Registered: Dec 2000

posted August 27, 2001 16:06     Click Here to See the Profile for kimbrosan   Click Here to Email kimbrosan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steven looked up at the ceiling, dimly lit from the beam of Mindy's miniature flashlight, a tchotchke picked up last year at one of the Networld booths.

("Networld?"
"There was a linux expo in the same town, so she just made a big trip of it."
"Ah. Of course.")

Every square inch was covered with wires, pipes, conduits that went everywhere and nowhere, marked with small red characters that looked like ASCII after a hard night on the town. Where did this all go? He stopped looking up for a moment to slap another Post-It on the wall. Only one more pack.

"Steven."

Mindy's flashlight beam flickered. He heard sounds above and behind...a barbecue? No, this was a hum and a sizzle...

"We're...somewhere."

He barely had time to shield his eyes from the dazzling blue light coming...

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Doc Holliday
Highlie

Posts: 517
From: I'm right behind you!!!
Registered: Dec 2000

posted August 27, 2001 17:16     Click Here to See the Profile for Doc Holliday   Click Here to Email Doc Holliday     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mindy shoved Steven behind a broken up desk. "Down," she whispered sharply. The two tumbled into the darkness behind cast off debri.
Odd voices and an electronic purr filled the darkness. Strange shapes began to form. They looked like small children with over-sized heads and large black eyes that never blinked.
Steven's eyes grew wide with excitment and fear. They were sweeping the area with powerful lights. Several beams converged on the desk that Steve and Mindy were huddled behind.

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xobender
Alpha Geek

Posts: 265
From: Lost in a five and a half mintue hallway.
Registered: Mar 2001

posted August 27, 2001 20:31     Click Here to See the Profile for xobender   Click Here to Email xobender     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Without thinking Steve felt underneath the desk and found what was to be a grate for another drain. Looking over at mindy Steven whispered two words to her, "Trust me?"
Steve saw nothing but promise and a hair obscured wink from Mindy..
and with that he slid the desk debri silently forward and quietly tried to lift the rusty grate out of it's groove with a small key he had for his Cannondale F-1000 Mt. Bike. It looked like the would both fit down the drain ,but the grate made a loud sharp creak from it's rusty hinges and took the attention of What appeared to be ..

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SupportGoddess
Highlie

Posts: 527
From: The Digital Temple
Registered: Jul 2001

posted August 27, 2001 23:41     Click Here to See the Profile for SupportGoddess   Click Here to Email SupportGoddess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
... a large number of alligators, basking in the warmth of the tunnel. Slowly they slid smoothly off their pipes and into the murky water leaving barely a ripple behind.

Unfortunately Steven and Mindy had both looked toward the blue midgets in alarm when the grate let out it's rusty groan and neither noticed the stealthy activity below.

As several of the strangely colored creatures converged on the desk sheltering the brave duo, Steven noticed that none of them had noses.

"That explains how they can stand the stench down here," he thought as he wrinkled his own in distaste.

Just as discovery seemed imminent a sound like the squeal of a 56K mode halted the advance of the bizarre blue sentients...

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Punchcard
Geek-in-Training

Posts: 38
From: A concrete bunker on a volcanic island, deep in the South Pacific...
Registered: Jan 2001

posted August 28, 2001 00:06     Click Here to See the Profile for Punchcard     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At this point in Steven's story I interrupted, demanding to know how he knew what the guy who saw he and Mindy climbing the wrecking-ball was thinking. Because really, how did he know that this mysterious person was thinking about how Steven was jeopardizing his plans? Steven, being accustomed to my apparently obnoxious habit of pointing out flaws in Star Trek movies and the like, simply put a finger to his lips until I shut up, and continued with his tale.

A screech filled the pungent air as the broken desk began to rattle. The blue humanoids immediately scattered into the darkness. Accompanied with the screeches and rattling, an ominous rumbling sound began to emanate from below. The concrete beneath Mindy cracked downwards; grabbing Steven's leg as she sank into the ruptured ground, she pulled him into a chaotic flurry of gravel and mud. Steven's last coherent thought at this point was the Hermit's words "...misery and heartache...", before everything was drowned out by a rending roar that seemed to fracture the very fabric of reality itself. (Dun-dun-dunnn!!!)

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Greg Wooledge
Alpha Geek

Posts: 254
From: Lorain, OH, USA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted August 28, 2001 05:21     Click Here to See the Profile for Greg Wooledge   Click Here to Email Greg Wooledge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mindy and Steven tumbled down through the sewer and landed, hard, on a stone staircase. As the rumbling stopped, they heard the swishing of the water below. The stench was nearly overpowering, and Steven was glad he hadn't had much to eat lately.

Taking stock of himself, he noticed that he didn't seem to have anything broken. "Are you all right?" he asked Mindy.

"I... think so. What's swimming in the water down there?" Mindy searched her pockets, and the stairs within reach, but couldn't find her flashlight.

"I don't think I want to find out." Steven's eyes had begun to adjust to the dimness. He saw that there was some slightly luminescent growth on the walls, giving just enough light to let him see about a foot in front of his face.

"Well," said Mindy, "we can go up the stairs, or down. Which will it be?"

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CrawGator
Alpha Geek

Posts: 326
From: the heart of Cajun country
Registered: Apr 2000

posted August 28, 2001 17:08     Click Here to See the Profile for CrawGator   Click Here to Email CrawGator     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
“Down, and you can talk while we walk. Explain what is happening to me today.”

Mindy’s dirty face became serious. “Steven, what can you tell me about your childhood?” “Not much really, I was brought up in a foster home because my father died before I was born, and my mother was too poor to care for me.”

Mindy’s eyes looked thoughtfully at me, “That’s just what they wanted you to believe.” “Who wanted me to believe what?” “Steven, do you remember all the cloning experiments on sheep?” “I am not a recluse Mindy, I have heard of Dolly.”

“Steven, your father did die before you were born, only he did not get your mother pregnant. His genetic material was implanted into one of your mother’s eggs and she bore you. You are a clone.” At this point my stomach felt like the acid was eating it away.. “Wait a minute, I can’t be a clone, the science is not that advanced even today.”

“The government wants Joe and Jane Public to believe that, but there is more, you are not an exact clone of your father. Your genetic makeup was altered to be superior.” I stopped walking, “I don’t feel superior.”

“That is because the genetics have a lock on them. The activation sequence was in the ‘candy’ I gave you.” Until that point I didn’t think I could be more terrified than what I already was, “Wh….what will it do to me?…”

------------------
CrawGator

A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. Douglas Adams Mostly Harmless

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Doc Holliday
Highlie

Posts: 517
From: I'm right behind you!!!
Registered: Dec 2000

posted August 28, 2001 17:38     Click Here to See the Profile for Doc Holliday   Click Here to Email Doc Holliday     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mindy chuckled softly and looked at Stevens frightened eyes. "Watch this," she said as she reached up and put her hand behind his head. "Now," she said, "put your hand on top of mine."
Steven's hand glided up her arm slowly and then onto her fingertips. He could feel something pulsing on the back of his skull. he pushed a moist spot and felt teeth, and then a small nose and then the outline of two closed eyes. He whimpered and then grabbed her arm tightly. "What's on the back of my head?!"
She turned away, almost loosing her footing on the damp stairwell. "Your...your going to be going through some changes...."

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bull3t
Super Geek

Posts: 246
From: southern california
Registered: Aug 2001

posted August 28, 2001 23:47     Click Here to See the Profile for bull3t   Click Here to Email bull3t     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
then, all of the sudden, bull3t ran in and shot everyone with a large calibre automatic weapon!

but a few people survived!

(i didn't break the rule about everyone dieing )

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Stereo
Super Geek

Posts: 148
From: Hull, Quebec, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001

posted August 29, 2001 07:18     Click Here to See the Profile for Stereo   Click Here to Email Stereo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Holliday:

She turned away, almost loosing her footing on the damp stairwell. "Your...your going to be going through some changes...."

"What changes? And who are you, how do you know all this? Are you one of those who did it?"

"Hey, I'm younger than you. How could I be responsible in any way of what happened? Actually, you are the prototype, while I'm from the first 'official' batch."

"You? You looks normal!"

She turned back to him, and grabbed her hairs... who happend to be a wig. There was still some hairs at the side of her head, but he found himself staring at another face of Mindy; the other eyes opened - so did the other mouth, to say: (...)

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xobender
Alpha Geek

Posts: 265
From: Lost in a five and a half mintue hallway.
Registered: Mar 2001

posted August 29, 2001 12:09     Click Here to See the Profile for xobender   Click Here to Email xobender     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bull3t:
then, all of the sudden, bull3t ran in and shot everyone with a large calibre automatic weapon!

but a few people survived!

(i didn't break the rule about everyone dieing )



Thank the Lord Apothesis that due to Steves Genetic alteration and Mindy's Kevlar Athletic support bra ( boughten off of Supportgoddess thru Ebay ) the automatic weapon had no affect on them . Then as bull3t was running away a Huge Crocodile was seen slithering thru the water after him at a incredible speed. Steve and Mindy looked at each other and each gave a mediocre shrug of the shoulders and continued on with thier saga unaffected by the unpleasant disturbence.

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bull3t
Super Geek

Posts: 246
From: southern california
Registered: Aug 2001

posted August 29, 2001 12:49     Click Here to See the Profile for bull3t   Click Here to Email bull3t     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
and bull3t was eaten by the large reptile..

why? because the bad guy always gets it

------------------
<? echo "bull3t 0wnz j00"; ?>

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Rednivek
unregistered
posted August 29, 2001 14:11           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This death had the ripple effect of causing several crickets in Trafalgar Square to chirp... and a mild breeze to erupt in Southern Minnesota which died down 5 minutes later.

Mindy then mentioned halfheartedly, "Oh."

Steve noticed that her hair...

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Angry Rooster
Assimilated

Posts: 376
From: Coeur d'Alene, ID, USA
Registered: Apr 2001

posted August 29, 2001 17:37     Click Here to See the Profile for Angry Rooster   Click Here to Email Angry Rooster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...was changing color!

"Uhh Mindy, your hair is... well, it's green" Steven mumbled.

"Is it? Hmm, I've never tried green before..." Mindy stated nonchalantly.

Steven looked puzzled.

"You're not the only one genetically different down here, I have some minor genetic improvements too. In my line of work it pays to be able to blend in. I can adjust as my skin and hair tone at will. The light from this growth must be altering it beyond my control, must be emitting some mild radiation. I suspect my skin will be changing color too." explained Mindy.

"It does seem a little darker, but it's hard to tell in this light." said Steven.

"Let's just hope this stuff doesn't effect your transformation process, I'd hate to have some of your power acting without your will..." cautioned Mindy

Just then, Steven felt a shooting pain in his...

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bull3t
Super Geek

Posts: 246
From: southern california
Registered: Aug 2001

posted August 29, 2001 20:56     Click Here to See the Profile for bull3t   Click Here to Email bull3t     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...leg. "Ouch!", Steve yelped, "I seem to have been bitten by something."

Mindy noticed a large spider crawling away from Steve, she screamed, and then stepped on it.

"Mindy, I need to know what kind of spider that was! It could have been poisonous!"

"Steve, we need to get out of here and get you to a hospital, cause that was a..."

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DigitalBill
Alpha Geek

Posts: 254
From: The TiBook(!), on the wireless LAN, to the BaseStation, through the router, nothin' but Net! (around South Florida)
Registered: Jan 2001

posted August 29, 2001 22:48     Click Here to See the Profile for DigitalBill   Click Here to Email DigitalBill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
... Geek Recluse spider. Much more poisonous than the Brown Recluse, at least according to legend. Nobody's even sure if they exist..."

Steven's leg began trembling, followed shortly by the rest of his body, which precipitously and suddenly slumped to the ground.

Mindy looked (with her 'normal' eyes) at the byte marks on Steve's leg.

"Yes," she said, "that's a Geek byte, alright. I can tell by the..."

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EngrBohn
Highlie

Posts: 686
From: United States
Registered: Jul 2000

posted August 30, 2001 05:56     Click Here to See the Profile for EngrBohn   Click Here to Email EngrBohn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...footprints on your leg. It hesitated and debated and hemmed and hawed before it built up the nerve to byte you.

Steven asked, "I can't move my legs. Am I going to be okay?"

"Depends on how much venom it injected. Can you breathe? Can you talk?"

"Yegth. Buh ah thing ma tongh ith thwellng."

Mindy sighed. "I can't carry you back up to get you to the hospital, so I'll just have to carry you the rest of the way to the Janus Society."

"Janith Thothiety? Whuh that?"

Mindy ignored or didn't hear the question, and continued thinking out loud, "They won't have antivenom -- no one was sure if the Geek Recluse existed, and certainly one less exists now." She winked at Steven. "But you'd be surprised what some of us can do."

"Whuh? Whuh gdo yu mean?"

Mindy grabbed Steven in a fireman's carry and answered...

------------------
cb
Oooh! What does this button do!?

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Greg Wooledge
Alpha Geek

Posts: 254
From: Lorain, OH, USA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted August 30, 2001 07:02     Click Here to See the Profile for Greg Wooledge   Click Here to Email Greg Wooledge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"The Janus Society is a group of people -- I guess you can call us people -- who were created as part of a genetic experimentation program."

"Teth tub--?"

"No, not just test tube babies. That's amateur stuff. I was born, just like you; my surrogate mother has no idea that her child wasn't fully human. She was told that I died during the birth. I was raised and trained by the Janus Society."

"Wha? Wain?"

"Well mostly my training was what everyone has to learn -- reading, writing, math, economics, politics, computers -- you know, normal stuff. But when I was 14 we started specialization. My polychromatism, strength and endurance made me a natural as a spy."

By this time, Mindy had carried Steven several hundred yards along the dark, foul-smelling subterranean passageway. The air was becoming noticeably drier -- they were no longer following the sewer, but had instead managed to find what appeared to be a natural cave system. The tunnel widened slightly, into something one could call almost a "room".

With a grunt, Mindy lowered Steven to the ground. "Sorry, I need to rest."

As Mindy sat down, she heard a strange noise...

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Janeway
Super Geek

Posts: 234
From: Cyberspace, Delta Quadrant
Registered: Sep 1999

posted August 30, 2001 08:46     Click Here to See the Profile for Janeway   Click Here to Email Janeway     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Something was coming! She'd never be able to carry Steven to safety in time; they'd have to hide. She glanced around, looking for something. There! In the deepest shadows of the cave, she saw a darker shadow, another tunnel leading off from the cave.
"Wha?" Steven asked blearily as Mindy dragged him across the floor.
"No time now. Listen."
The sound was getting closer. It had an ominous roar, like water breaking from a dam or a stampede of geeks when a new Apple store opens.
The tunnel dead-ended but was large enough for both of them to hide. Mindy peered out of the entrance and watched in horror as an army of anthropomorphic rats marched by where they had just been standing.
"I don't like the looks of that," she whispered to Steven.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, the man who had witnessed Steven and Mindy's escape was lurking in shadows too. He pulled out his cell phone and...

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The Chump
Super Geek

Posts: 102
From: In my chair, in front of my laptop, at my desk, in my kitchen, in my aprtment, on my street, in kent, in ohio, in the US, yadda yadda yadda
Registered: Dec 2000

posted August 30, 2001 08:54     Click Here to See the Profile for The Chump   Click Here to Email The Chump     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...coming from around a bend in the tunnel. A kind of high pitched whistling, almost musical, warbling. "Stay here," Mindy said to Steven as she signaled with her hands. "Non urry, I non tin I'm gon anywa."

Mindy cautiously rounded the curve and came to a door. Not odd normally, but this one sat completely in the center of this end of the tunnel. She circled around it looking for some sign of what the door meant. There was nothing it seemed to just be standing here, completely unsupported. Still that whistling...

She checked the door carefully and discovered that the whistling was coming from the old-fashioned keyhole although there was no wind in the tunnel. Shrugging she peered into the hole and heard someone say the word ka...

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EngrBohn
Highlie

Posts: 686
From: United States
Registered: Jul 2000

posted August 30, 2001 16:02     Click Here to See the Profile for EngrBohn   Click Here to Email EngrBohn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Greg Wooledge
As Mindy sat down, she heard a strange noise...

The Chump

...coming from around a bend in the tunnel. A kind of high pitched whistling, almost musical, warbling. "Stay here," Mindy said to Steven as she signaled with her hands. "Non urry, I non tin I'm gon anywa."

Mindy cautiously rounded the curve and came to a door. Not odd normally, but this one sat completely in the center of this end of the tunnel. She circled around it looking for some sign of what the door meant. There was nothing it seemed to just be standing here, completely unsupported. Still that whistling...

She checked the door carefully and discovered that the whistling was coming from the old-fashioned keyhole although there was no wind in the tunnel. Shrugging she peered into the hole and heard someone say the word ka...

...ren, is that you?

Mindy recognized the voice. "No, it's me, Mindy. I didn't know this door was real -- I thought it was a decoy door. I've got Target Foxtrot with me, but he's hurt. He..." She paused as she heard a soft thump-thump in the distance. It repeated.

The person behind the hole whispered harshly, "The ROUSes are coming. Get Target Foxtrot in here, now!"

Janeway

Something was coming! She'd never be able to carry Steven to safety in time; they'd have to hide. She glanced around, looking for something. There! In the deepest shadows of the cave, she saw a darker shadow, another tunnel leading off from the cave.
"Wha?" Steven asked blearily as Mindy dragged him across the floor.
"No time now. Listen."
The sound was getting closer. It had an ominous roar, like water breaking from a dam or a stampede of geeks when a new Apple store opens.
The tunnel dead-ended but was large enough for both of them to hide. Mindy peered out of the entrance and watched in horror as an army of anthropomorphic rats marched by where they had just been standing.
"I don't like the looks of that," she whispered to Steven.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, the man who had witnessed Steven and Mindy's escape was lurking in shadows too. He pulled out his cell phone and...

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Angry Rooster
Assimilated

Posts: 376
From: Coeur d'Alene, ID, USA
Registered: Apr 2001

posted August 30, 2001 18:25     Click Here to See the Profile for Angry Rooster   Click Here to Email Angry Rooster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...started playing a game of 'Snake', attempting once more to beat his personal best of 350.

"Damn snake keeps running into the wall," he grumbled.

Then his game paused for a second, and his ears filled with a song embedded in the minds of gamers everywhere... the Mario Brothers theme!

"Why do they always call me when I'm in the middle of a game..." complained the man, "Hello?"

"Mr. Anderson I presume... you filed a report earlier, regarding a pair you saw escaping the collapsing building by way of a wrecking ball. The police passed it off as a mistake on your part, we would like to follow up on it. Could you please discribe the event you were privy to?" said a ominous voice.

"Who is this? Is this some kind of joke?" he asked.

"This is no joke Mr. Anderson, I suggest you cooperate, you're dealing with...

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Hergor
Geek

Posts: 94
From: another geek-o-sphere
Registered: Aug 2001

posted August 31, 2001 02:08     Click Here to See the Profile for Hergor   Click Here to Email Hergor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...someone more powerful than you can imagine. We expect you to collect all information you can get about subject 'Steven 26'... But first we'd like to know...did you see anything that seemed strange to you? Some physical changes to the man who escaped? Did he...mutate in some way?"

"What? Mutate? What are you talking about?"

"Did you see anything UNUSUAL concerning the man's body?"

"I don't know what you want from me! And who the heck are you anyway?"

"Good, ...so nothing happened yet. Remember, Mr. Anderson, collect anything that might in any way relate to Mr. Steven-26 or that agent who followed him. - We will call you later..."

beep, beep, beep... the ominous voice had gone and suddenly Mr. Anderson...

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Greg Wooledge
Alpha Geek

Posts: 254
From: Lorain, OH, USA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted August 31, 2001 07:14     Click Here to See the Profile for Greg Wooledge   Click Here to Email Greg Wooledge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And suddenly Mr. Anderson felt that he wasn't in Kansas any more.

* * * * *

Steven's head hurt. Strangely, the rest of him didn't really hurt; but he felt most peculiar. For instance, he was pretty sure that when he woke up this morning, he'd had only one heart. Now, he thought he heard a second heartbeat, not quite in sync with the first one.

His leg was also turning an alarming shade of red, especially near the calf where the spider had bitten him. He wouldn't have been surprised to feel pain -- in fact, he rather expected it -- and so he was somewhat confused (albeit not entirely disappointed) by the utter lack of feeling from the knee down.

He was also having some trouble focusing; he looked up and saw two Mindys looking over him.

And one of them seemed to think his name was "Foxtrot".

He heard a voice telling him to drink, and he found a straw in his mouth. He eagerly pulled something through the straw into his parched mouth. His taste buds didn't quite recognize the flavor; it seemed to be a cross between Pepto-Bismol and a really old beer. But it was wet, and he swallowed as much of it as he could manage.

Mindy #2 started to say something to him, but he couldn't understand the words. It would help if she were right-side-up, he thought. Or if the words didn't sparkle quite so much.

He slipped into darkness.

* * * * *

"How long will the drug take?"

"It's hard to say; remember, the first few Janites were more guinea pig than anything else, and nobody's really sure just what sort of genes he's got."

Mindy nodded. "Between the activator I gave him earlier, and his unstable genetic material, and the geek recluse venom, and the antidote, I'm glad I'm not him. Any outward manifestations yet?"

Sheryl checked him once again. There was no sign of secondary facial characteristics yet, of course; that should take several days to appear. His skin color seemed unchanged, except for his leg. Hair color was too hard to tell in this dim light, and his eyes were closed. Anything more subtle would require equipment she didn't carry with her.

"Do you think he's stable enough to move? I'd like to get him to HQ pronto. The Rats and the Blues are swarming this area."

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VorpalSpork
Mini-Geek

Posts: 59
From: Tempe, AZ USA
Registered: Aug 2001

posted September 06, 2001 10:23     Click Here to See the Profile for VorpalSpork   Click Here to Email VorpalSpork     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steven was falling.

Not that wobbly stomach falling you get on a roller coaster or that you would get when you skateboarded off the roof into the swimming pool as a kid. No, this was the rip-your-stomach-through-your-esophagus falling that you can only experience when you plummet into certain death, and in dreams, though Steven couldn't figure out whether this was a dream or he was really falling.

He was dizzy, and had a hard time focusing on anything but the blurred images screaming past his head. He saw a school bus, dogs, people with faces like Silly Putty, changing and moving as if unseen hands were having their wicked way with bread dough. Then he saw it...

The spider, strangely, was the only thing not whizzing past, and it was slowly crawling towards him. Well, as Steven was falling, he couldn't very well scurry out of the way of the tiny critter. Naturally, panic set in. Steven absently wondered how he could be panicking even more than he had been, but the thought was quickly lost.

"Somebody! Please help me!" Steven screamed at the top of his lungs. "God, I'm falling. Help me someone. Wake me up!"

"Help yourself" Steven's voice caught in mid-"Please", so it sounded like "PLLLLEEEEE". The wheels began turning, and he was wondering where he had heard that voice before, so recently.

"You're it, kid. They finally found you."

Steven felt his bladder release when he noticed that the spider was now crawling up his leg, strangely so, because his legs were flailing so wildly about.

"You can stop moving now, you aint going nowhere."

Steven's mind was going wild, not functioning, and all he could think about was the memory dump error he kept getting on his PC at home. Then it hit him.

"You're the hermit!" He barely squeeked out.

"Bingo, kid. See, you got lotsa brains in that huge melon up there. They got plans for you"

Steven only now realized that the spider was sitting on his chest in a not-so-menacing manner, and that the voice of the hermit, sounding like too many cigarettes, was emanating out of the spider. Oddly enough, it was a focal point, and Steven seemed to be able to calm down, but just a little. That "falling-ness" was still there, and he felt like retching.

"Are you talking to me?" Steven queried.

"No, I am sitting here on your chest, hoping that you don't crush me, just for my health. Listen, we don't have much time, I bit you for a reason."

"Wait, I thought you were the Hermit".

"Oh boy" the Hermit-spider thing groaned. "Do we have a lot of work to do". Steven could tell by sound of his voice that all 8 eyes just rolled in perfect synchrony.

"Listen kid, you got something inside you. Certain tweaks to your genetic code that might let you do things you never dreamed of. Or..."

Steven instantly thought of the hair color change on that girl. "...Or what?"

"Or you are going to go stark raving mad and probably hurt yourself or others. You need to learn control."

Steven was losing focus on the spider now, and his voice was getting ever so softer.

"Just remember, kid. 'If you wanna pick a rose, you're gonna get stuck by thorns first'".

And then he was gone. Steven was vaguely aware that he was facedown on something very hard and cold. He could sense dim fluorescent light from behind his eyeballs. Very slowly, he opened his eyes. There was a thick film of crud on his eyelids that were making it very difficult to open, like when he had pinkeye in 6th grade for the whole summer.

When he finally opened them enough to see, he rolled over to see his bed above him. He had fallen. He was just remembering something about a talking spider when he heard light footfalls getting louder, just outside his door.

The handle turns, and...

------------------
"Oh Dogs! Yeah, I like dags."

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Greg Wooledge
Alpha Geek

Posts: 254
From: Lorain, OH, USA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted September 06, 2001 11:55     Click Here to See the Profile for Greg Wooledge   Click Here to Email Greg Wooledge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Oh good, you're awake."

Steven saw Mindy, and another woman who looked just like her, enter the room. They were both wearing the same uniform -- a black and grey jumpsuit, with black soft-soled boots. There was some sort of insignia on the collar that probably specified rank, but Steven didn't know how to interpret it. He was still having a bit of trouble focusing his eyesight, as well.

The Mindy on the left spoke. "Steven, this is Sheryl. She's my commander." Steven tried to focus on the insignia, and decided that Sheryl's collar had slightly more blue things on it.

Sheryl moved closer, and started examining Steven in a clinical manner that left Steven feeling a bit like a laboratory specimen. She examined his face closely, and turned his head from side to side. She lifted up the hair on the sides and back of his head. Her face gave Steven no clue as to what she saw, or failed to see.

"How do you feel?"

"Uh... better. Tired, though. What--"

"I can't answer your questions now; you've got some more tests and therapy to go through. Mindy will help you; she's assigned to your case." With that, Sheryl marched out of the room and closed the door behind her.

Mindy approached the bed. "Come on, Steven, let's get you up. There's a 'suit for you in the closet." Mindy took Steven's hand and helped him sit up. When that seemed to have been accomplished without any loss of body parts, Steven swung his legs to the side of the bed and let them dangle down to the floor. The floor was surprisingly warm under his bare feet, and he felt a subtle vibration.

"Ready? Here we go." Mindy took both Steven's hands and helped him stand. His legs didn't want to support his weight, though, and he fell forward into Mindy's arms. She caught him easily, and together they concluded a successful bargaining session with gravity, leaving Steven in a mostly-standing position with Mindy supporting him on one side.

After a few moments, they had reached the closet on the side of the room. Mindy opened the door for him, and extracted one of the black-and-grey jumpsuits (there were in fact two of them). "Can you make it to the head on your own?"

"Head?" Steven was still feeling disoriented, and after recent dreams (or were they hallucinations?) he could only imagine a large disembodied face somewhere at the end of a hall....

"The bathroom. It's right over there." Mindy handed him the 'suit, which was surprisingly lightweight. He shuffled over to the door Mindy had pointed to, which Mindy opened for him.

In the bathroom, Steven found the typical suite of equipment: a toilet, a sink, and... a mirror. Telling his bladder to hold on just a moment longer, Steven approached the mirror and looked into it....

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EngrBohn
Highlie

Posts: 686
From: United States
Registered: Jul 2000

posted September 08, 2001 19:06     Click Here to See the Profile for EngrBohn   Click Here to Email EngrBohn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...and saw the face of the hermit looking back.

His bladder decided it didn't like getting told what to do.

Steven looked down at the warm feeling on his legs. Realizing he had wetted himself, he doffed his pants. He looked back up to find a towel and found himself facing the door behind him. He blinked and he was looking at the mirror again, this time with his own face looking back, though his head had been shaven bald.

This was getting too difficult to cope with. Who was that hermit who was also a spider (no, that was a dream)? Why was he unsure which direction he was facing? Who were these women, and why did they think of him as Target 26? Or was that Steven Foxtrot? Who were those blue people and those large rats, and why had he never heard of them before? Or, at least, why had he never heard of large rats who marched in formation?

He finished undressing and looked at the jumpsuit. Funny, no zipper...

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Greg Wooledge
Alpha Geek

Posts: 254
From: Lorain, OH, USA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted September 10, 2001 13:04     Click Here to See the Profile for Greg Wooledge   Click Here to Email Greg Wooledge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sheryl 49 was not having a good day.

When the command had been passed down to her to retrieve and awaken Steven 26, something in the General's voice -- some subtle hesitation, or some hint of gravity -- had warned her that this was not going to be a routine extraction.

Her background checks had confirmed it. The file on "Steven 26" was laughably incomplete; it was practically empty by Janus standards. There had been the standard bio with date and place of birth, lineage, known genetic alterations, vital statistics, last known whereabouts, and contact information for monitoring agents (in this case, Mindy 49). But that was all.

The only way she could proceed was to contact Mindy and hope that additional information could be provided. Mindy had been of some help: she was able to describe Steven's current civilian job and lifestyle, and his habits and personality. He had a BS degree in computer science, and was employed as a programmer for HiComm, a local networking company. On weekends he liked to ride a bicycle.

It was a thoroughly average cover.

This worried Sheryl 49 greatly. Her instincts were practically screaming that there was something she didn't know yet -- something important.

She asked Mindy what was special about this case. Mindy hesitated for a few seconds, and finally admitted, "Well, he's one of the... prototypes."

Oh, shit. Well, thought Sheryl, I still have to get him here. She ordered Mindy 49 to activate subject Steven 26, and bring him to HQ quickly and quietly.

Unfortunately, it seemed that the Blues had also taken an interest in Steven 26. An attempt to terminate both Steven and Mindy had been made at the HiComm building (an alteration in the orders of a demolition crew -- Sheryl was impressed by the subtlety).

Two hours later, Sheryl made a rendez-vous with Mindy in the ancient tunnels, where she found packs of the Rats, at least one armed squad of Blue agents, and one Steven 26, somewhat the worse for wear. Together, they carried him the last 2 miles through the tunnels, and got him securely quartered.

After that, things started to get interesting.

* * * * *

Jack Anderson was not having a good day.

When he had seen the wrecking crew going after the HiComm building, he figured it would provide some entertainment. He stood in the crowd and cheered as the cranes approached.

The first hit by the wrecking ball was a really solid SMACK that tore a huge chunk out of the west wall. The crowd (some 10-15 people had already gathered on this side of the building alone) started clapping and yelling. "Yeah! Give 'em hell!"

A few seconds after the ball hit, some people started running out of the building. What the hell? Why are there people in that building if they're tearing it down? Jack wondered.

Jack grabbed his cell phone and dialed 911. He told the dispatcher where he was, and that the building being demolished still had people in it.

What Jack did not know was that the entire area, including the cellular telephone network, was currently under surveillance. His call was overhead by an operative and forwarded to the Chief, along with Jack's cell phone number. A quick computer search revealed his name, address, birthdate, driver's license number, police record, and blood type. Among other things.

Seven minutes later, the Blue Chief himself was informing Mr. Anderson of his new assignment.

Jack did not realize it yet, but in just ten minutes, his life had been changed forever.

Things were starting to become interesting.

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