day-01-Danov

The Caterer

Have you seen the hot dog man?
The Hot Dog Man?
The Hot Dog Man.
Have you seen the hot dog man? The one that’s locked away?

The Hot Dog Man had finally been placed into captivity. Three years of hard work and who knows how much therapy for the team all combined into this….
I looked into the holding cell where the once insane robot known as the Hot Dog Man now lay, deactivated and secure. Once we had hosed all of the reconstituted meat off of his exoskeleton, we could see what we were looking at was in fact the missing robot 9886. Checking his internal hard drive for directives it appeared he was originally meant to be some kind of catering robot for the Toy Soldiers, utilising recycled organic material and produce from a hydroponics farm to create tasty, nourishing meals for the growing army. From his records it seems that when the bunker started failing and there was nobody to feed, let alone anything to feed them, the programming had adapted accordingly to its new environment.

It was the Winter of 2015. I was preparing my next mission assignment for the Ravenguard when I heard a faint scratching from within the walls of my private office. The hamsters were much more active than usual tonight. Paying them no heed, I took a swig of my Experimental Grade coffee and peered into a computer screen that was suddenly…
Swirling…
Falling…
Spinning…
Then darkness…

****

Derek and I looked at the prone form below from the safety of the ventilation duct. He wouldn’t be going anywhere soon. It turns out the red behaviour alteration beans really are the sleepy ones!
Part One of the plan was now underway. It was all going to be such a surprise for them! Squeaking our excitement, we signalled the rest of the team and made our way down the vent to the holding cell.
Malcolm, the Earl of Love was already with the Hot Dog Man when we got there, checking the robot was intact before attempting to boot him up. We needed him able to listen. We had big plans in store for him, after all. He had work to do and people to feed….

****

I woke up in a pool of cold coffee, the grounds and dregs sticking to my face, the paperwork on my desk stained beyond comprehension. Peeling my face from the mess I looked around, wondering what had happened. Nothing had been logged on my computer.
The room was also clean, apart from the previously mentioned pool of coffee formed on my desk.
I pulled myself to my feet, my chair rolling away behind me, leaving tracks across the laminate floor.
Staggering to the window I looked down into my holding cells to find… nothing.
He was gone.
Three years of work had vanished.
I ran down to the cells and found the doors wide open. No sign of a forced entry or exit. Whoever had done this was subtle. Subtle and well connected.
As I stepped into the cell there was a faint squelch. Looking down at my boot, my suspicions were realised in the form little brown gifts left on the floor.

“THOSE TURNIPING HAMSTERS!!!!”