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Chapter 1 – Clyde, my dear Clyde

Dec 17, 2018
0

The acidic rain trickled down the bunker lid. There were no windows to see the lightning, but the loud thunder reminded Agnes of bomb explosions. It has been a few years since the last bomb was dropped anywhere near, the war was finally over. Her sister shivered each time she heard the rumbling outside, clutching to her book and pretending to read as she silently fought her paranoia of bombs. She wasn’t the only one in the bunker with a similar condition. Many people in the bunker were shrieking, whimpering and whispering calming words to each other as the storm outside progressed to its loudest performances. Agnes looked down at the child in her hands and smiled at his peaceful sleep. He never seemed to be bothered by anything. He grew up in a loud, chaotic world, but was on the contrary quiet and calm. He had shiny ginger hair and grey eyes. His relaxed pale face had a few freckles, even though he rarely went outside.

“Clyde…”

Agnes stroked some hair away from his face with her gentle hand and sighed. It was terrible to think that he grew up in such a pressured environment. A childhood spent in a bunker wasn’t the best choice, but it was the only choice at a time like this.

“My dear Clyde.”

She closed her eyes and pulled her son closer, sharing warmth. Her thoughts eventually calmed down and she began falling asleep. Somewhere in between her dreams and reality, she heard an airship landing outside. An image of a soldier flashed in her memory. She forced herself to open her eyes and looked around. No one seemed to pay attention, trapped in their own thoughts. Agnes carefully put her sons’ head on her sisters’ lap.

“I’ll come back soon Lisa, hold on to him for a bit.”

Her sister nodded slowly and continued staring at the ground, crinkling her skirt.

Agnes quietly made her way to the exit. She put her shawl over her head and lifted the heavy lid, making the storm sounds in the bunker louder for a moment. Over the monotone of the rain, she heard propellers, saw something large in the sky shine in the lightning. She began running towards it desperately, yelling something to it, trying to get its attention. The thunder blocked out three gunshots and her body collapsed in the garbage. The rain fell on her, quickly expanding the wounds, washing away blood and with it, Agnes herself.

By morning, the storm has calmed down and the sun rolled out from the horizon line, lighting the wet wasteland with its warm, orange light. Rusty gears, metal plates and plastic wrappers glistened and sparkled under it. Vapor began rising from the garbage and soon everything was covered in light fog, making everything enchantingly beautiful. The bunker residents have finally fallen asleep when Clyde opened his eyes. He looked around instinctively for his mother, but didn’t spot her among the sleeping adults. He looked up at aunt Lisa. He could never figure out why she smelled so strangely if everyone ate the same food and washed at the same time. He sat up and rubbed his hands together to warm them up, then stood up and did his daily walk around the bunker, trying to spot the first person that wakes up.

Nothing seemed suspicious about his mom’s absence. Maybe she climbed out for a walk? The little boy grinned and started walking faster. What if she is walking somewhere in the bunker, also looking for the first person to wake up? He stopped to pick at a wall. According to his estimate, if he picked a bit of the paint off this wall each day, in about a month it would be paintless and he would be allowed to draw on it. He didn’t have any specific numbers down, but he knew he was right. Somewhere down the hall he heard Aunt Lisa call his name. He ran back to her.

“Clyde!”

Lisa kneeled beside him, taking his hand instead of her skirt.

“Where is your mommy?”

Clyde shrugged. Aunt Lisa always asked stupid questions and worried about everything. It was only natural for her to panic at the absence of her sister. To free his hand from her grip, he mumbled that she might have gone outside. Lisa clutched to her skirt again and ran to the exit, causing an unusual commotion, waking up a few of her and Agnes’s close friends. It all happened so quickly, Clyde couldn’t memorize who woke up second and third. They all climbed out and told Clyde to stay inside, which he obediently did, returning to his morning routine. Soon enough, the rest of the bunker residents woke up. A few asked Clyde where his mom was, to which he replied that she is out with Lisa. In about thirty minutes, according to a golden pocket watch Mr. Morrison had, Lisa and her crew returned. They all looked like they’ve aged. Clyde ran up to his aunt and asked where mommy is. The way she looked at him sent shivers down his back. His smile curved down and he stepped back. Everyone in the bunker looked at Lisa and everything became dead silent. Clyde could hear a light bulb flickering somewhere. Such silence scared him even more.

“Agnes…Your mother…”

Lisa forced a smile onto her face and scanned the room, looking at each person’s face before returning her gaze to Clyde. His grey eyes Blinked a few times, tears forming in them. Lisa felt her heart ache as she imagined his reaction to what she had to say. She opened her mouth and closed it, unable to say the truth.

“I don’t think mommy is coming back. She left somewhere.”

Her voice trembled. For once, her hands let go of the skirt and dropped down to her sides. she couldn’t stand looking at Clyde’s face and walked past him, to the meeting room, with the rest of the adults following her. Clyde stood in the room, frozen, processing what has happened. He tried to think optimistically, but tears went out of his control and began streaming down his cheeks. He went to the nearest corner and cried for a bit. He knew adults wouldn’t lie, but he couldn’t understand why mother left. More importantly, why she didn’t want to come back. Still sobbing, he walked over to the meeting rooms’ door and leaned his ear against it. He could only catch a few muffled phrases.

“-Yes. In a few years when he is grown enough, we will… For now, let’s leave it as it is… We will all raise him to our best ability.”

Clyde heard chairs moving and footsteps heading towards the door. He walked as far away from the door as he could, wiping away leftover ears. A smile made its way back to his face. Mom was probably in a better place, waiting for him. All he had to do is find her. In a few years, the elders said.

Tales From The Digital Bunker: Memories of HotDogMan

C:\hotdogman\run.exe
Loading operating system – TSUxp
….
….
HotDogMan operational.
_ generating report
_ accessing memory
_ warning! Memory corruption detected. Continue creating report y/n?
y
_ report generated
_ print report.txt

****

I am alone in the Bunker.
I have been here for xhgs92,s
In this lost hall, once filled with wonder,
With empty bellies to be filled.
I have had to take extreme measures,
To preserve the food supplies,
My collection of sauces, my treasures,
Gifted to me by the creator .diugfas80543jn;rg
The meat has spoiled. I must find more.
How else can I make delicious sausages?
I could scrape detritus from the bunker floor,
Or reclaim skin from the venti12wqifejnvf
I have hacked the filter cleaning protocol
I shall have my materials
Perhaps the customers ran away
Because I am a robot.
I must appear human.
The sausage skinning tool is too small to cover my head.
I must make an organic face.
Maybe then the few that remain will no longer fear me….
Maybe.

****

_ report end.
_ activate HotDogMan y/n?
_ n

written by Spymaster General Danov Valravn

Upcoming: The Wasteland Boy Chapters

Dec 3, 2018
0

The war is long over, civilization is starting to put itself back together, however not everyone are aware that the world has changed from its post-apocalyptic state. A boy, born an oblivious outsider, gets thrown into a whirlpool of events that you, the reader, can affect. This project was temporarily frozen, however it is ready for a reboot. Therefore, we re-opened the Bunker archives and present to you: Wasteland Boy. Join the bi-weekly adventure written by our very fellow Toy Soldier Gilbert.

Tales From The Digital Bunker: Time is Relative

It was unusually early in the morning for activity inside the Bunker. Raptor and Lt. Sophie stood in the community kitchen, cutting gherkins and spreading cream cheese on slices of a big loaf of fluffy bread. “Those are going to be ginormous sandwiches!”, Raptor proclaimed, clearly excited, “I just have to take care I won’t eat ’em all at once.” Lt. Sophie had to laugh. He was absolutely capable of eating that much. “I’ll put them in my backpack then”, she said and continued to open a bag of crisps, when the door swung open. Spymaster Danov, all dressed up for adventure, entered the room. With his typical, ever so charming smile he walked up to the kitchen counter. “I can see you two are almost done with your preparations. Meanwhile, I have packed our utility bags. We have everything with us we could need on our journey.” Before he could add anything further, Raptor was by his side. “Awesome! What’s in them?” “Well…”, Danov looked at him, his eyes glistening mysteriously, “I packed three different kinds of light sources for one. We have regular torches as well as electric ones and headlights, just in case. Some basic climbing gear, these EMP mini mines should we encounter any rogue robots, a tin of behaviour alteration beans, some sunflower seeds for hamster assistance and, last but not least, this emergency breathing apparatus. But let’s hope we won’t need that one. It’s hard to split in three anyway.” Raptor’s eyes widened. “This is going to be so much fun! Let me just grab my first aid kit and put on my armour before we go!”

Ding! Floor Thirty-Three! The elevator stopped and the doors opened. The trio stared into the darkness that lay before them. Barely anyone had ever been that deep into the Bunker. The elevator didn’t go any further either. They weren’t sure if the shaft ended here or if it just refused to go any deeper. Each of them took a deep breath and stepped outside. The doors closed again, and what little light the elevator gave off vanished. The three of them were engulfed in darkness. Click! Danov switched on his headlight. They looked down a very long corridor with no end in sight and a few doors left and right. Somewhere, water was dripping down the walls.
Lt. Sophie was the first to say something: “So far, so good. This corridor looks pretty normal to me. Although a bit run down and… well. Quite dark. Should we see what’s behind these doors?” “I’ve looked through the reports”, Danov responded, “and they say the strange lights and noises were more common on the lower floors. So, maybe we should try and find the staircase.” “Like this one?” Before either of them noticed, Raptor had already walked off and opened the first door to their left. And indeed, they saw stairs.
“This looks terribly like one of those CP games if you ask me”, Lt. Sophie said as she looked down the staircase. There was nothing but darkness below, and none of their lights was strong enough to reach the bottom. Raptor nodded. “It kind of makes you feel like one of those ghost hunting teams on TV. Do you think there’ll be ghosts?” “I don’t see why any ghost would want to live here”, replied Danov with scepticism in his voice. Lt. Sophie looked at him, pondering. “To be fair, a ghost doesn’t really live anywhere, actually. The theory is they get stuck in places important to them during their lifetime, so… if there was such a thing as ghosts, I guess they could be around.” Before the Spymaster could explain to her what he meant by ghosts living anywhere and why he found the idea of them being bound to certain places to be quite daft, Raptor let out a noise that sounded strangely like the squeal of a guinea pig through the helmet of his Vanguard armour. Everybody looked downstairs. A few floors below, a diffuse, swirling blue light had appeared. It stayed there for a few seconds, they heard a thump, and it vanished again. After another few seconds of silence, Danov dared to ask the obvious question: “What was that?”

“That is probably the weirdest thing I’ve seen happen in here so far.” Lt. Sophie stared at the point where the mysterious light swirl had been. The light was gone, but in its place there stood a fairly big box, plated in gold and adorned two golden angels on the lid, skillfully decorated, and a massive, golden handle on each side. “That’s the Ark of the Covenant!” Spymaster Danov was baffled. “What’s it doing here?” The Ark didn’t answer. Instead, a faint glow appeared above the box that quickly grew bigger. And as fast as it had come, with a Swoosh! the light – and the Ark – were gone again. “What in the name of Merlin just happened?”, asked Raptor. His voice cut through the silence around them. That was a clearly extraordinary experience. The three of them looked around. The floor they were on right now seemed just as old and empty as Thirty-Three. The paint on the walls had almost come off entirely, revealing the cold and grey concrete underneath. Right next to them was a door that once had the floor number written on it. There were still traces of the paint. But most of it was gone by now. Flakes of paint covered the floor. Then, a few floors below, another light appeared. Quickly, the team ran downstairs to see what would happen next. With earth shattering noise, right in front of them, a Sputnik satellite fell on the floor. “Okay, now that’s impressive”, said Lt. Sophie,  “I wonder what else can come through these.” They waited for the light to reappear and take the Sputnik with it to wherever it came from. Nothing. A minute went by. “It is possible that sometimes, things just stay in the Bunker”, Danov guessed, “maybe we should explore a bit further. There’s got to be a source for these… portals. Something that causes them.” They looked down the corridor they were on. Just like the previous ones it was dark, old and empty with doors on each side, but it also had one big, double wing door at the end. They decided to check the smaller ones first. Some of them were locked or jammed, others just led into rooms that may or may not have been quarters at some point. One of them still had what was left of a bedframe and a desk in it. Lt. Sophie was not impressed. “Seriously, this does look like your average horror game. If we start finding diary entries or letters now about how someone experimented on some poor souls down here, I’m out.”
They did not find any. The rooms were mostly empty apart from some broken down furniture. No personal belongings had been left. Whoever had lived here and left had planned on it. At last, they stood in front of the double wing door. It looked massive, rusty and heavy. Raptor glanced at his friends, took a deep breath and pushed the door open. None of them was prepared for what they saw inside. They looked at a big hall, probably the size of their own Mess Hall all the way upstairs, but there were no tables or benches inside. Instead, it was filled with hundreds of lifeless soldiers, some with horses and chariots, all in old-fashioned, Chinese armour. Possibly half the Terracotta Army was stored in this room. The three were speechless. This was not at all what they had expected. Raptor was the first to find his voice. “Someone somewhere in China must be freaking out right now.” “Clearly”, nodded Danov. They decided it was best to just shut the door, leave the decision of what to do with this amount of treasure inside their very own Bunker to the anomalies and walk back to the staircase. Maybe they would find answers on a different floor. By now, they realised they had lost track of how deep into the Bunker they had already gone. Lt. Sophie tried to figure out how long they had been down there, but her system clock would just go backwards or forwards at any speed it preferred. The trio decided it was probably for the best to take a lunch break and discuss any further progression, so they sat down, ate their sandwiches and emptied their juice boxes.

Much deeper, dozens of floors below them, another portal appeared out of thin air, its faint, blue light illuminating the already rotting walls. This time, no valuable artifact fell out of it. Instead, a person stepped through. The anomaly vanished, and the only light left in the vast darkness were the glowing eyes of the strange visitor. He chuckled softly and made his way across the corridor to the staircase.

“We should probably get back and report. We don’t have enough equipment or people with us to figure out where these portals are coming from. Considering how oddly time behaves down here, we have to assume it gets worse the deeper we go. This is nothing we should do unprepared.” Danov tried to be reasonable, even though, just like the others, he was incredibly curious about what was going on here. But he knew it could be quite dangerous in the unexplored depths of the Bunker. “You’re probably right”, sighed Raptor, “Let’s go back upstairs and see if we can find the elevator again.” The three took their last bites, packed things and made their way to the staircase. They saw nothing but darkness and concrete above. “Did we really walk this far?”, Lt. Sophie asked doubtfully. Uncertain, they started climbing the stairs. They must have walked ten floors, still with no end in sight, when they realised they somehow had gotten lost. The stairs must have glitched again.

“It’s a good thing we aren’t completely unprepared”, Danov muttered and fiddled with his utility bag. “Let’s see if we can get the hamsters to help us!” Lt. Sophie was sceptical. “They don’t often come down here. Wherever ‘here’ is. They prefer the warm and lively quarters.” The Spymaster nodded. “But it’s worth a try.” He scattered some sunflower seeds across the floor and into an air vent he found right next to the stairs. Now all they could do was to wait, so they sat down and listened into the silence. Minutes went by without the familiar sound of tiny claws scratching on the cold Bunker floor. Then an hour. Then some more. “I honestly don’t think they’ll go down here”, Raptor said, “We should probably find a way on our own before we run into the Hot Dog Man or something.” Lt. Sophie looked around in the darkness. For a moment she thought she saw a figure in the shadows. She looked again, but the corridor lay completely quiet. “He may be right there. If the hamsters haven’t turned up yet, it’s unlikely they will at all. We should probably move.” Were those footsteps in the distance?
They looked through every room on this floor and the next and the next, hoping to find a way upstairs. Each door they opened and each room they found empty and stairless left them more anxious. They had lost track of time entirely. Surrounded by absolute darkness with no working clock or anything to indicate if time went by at all down here, they started to feel lost and hopeless. Occasionally, the trio heard noises, the vague sounds of footsteps and scratching from the walls. But they never saw anything move when they turned around. The darkness was just playing tricks with their minds. Seemingly, hours went by. Raptor started complaining about feeling hungry, and Lt. Sophie’s stomach clearly and loudly agreed. Exhausted and weary, they sat down in the corner of yet another corridor. Something cracked underneath Danov’s boots. “What in the name of -” He picked up a sunflower seed. “How did this get here?” Then, more scratching. “Did you hear that?”, asked Raptor nervously. The noise seemed to be coming closer pretty fast. It was definitely not their imagination. These sounds were real. Quickly, they got up and tried to figure out where they came from. In the empty, echoing corridors it was incredibly hard to locate their source though. The scratches seemed to come from everywhere, tiny claws running along the walls. Moments went by, they felt like hours, not knowing what was coming at them. And then they saw them. Tiny fluff balls with white, grey, golden, speckled fur. “It’s the hamsters!”, Raptor shouted with sheer excitement, “They found us!”

It didn’t take the hamsters long to lead them out of the Bunker maze. They seemed to know any shortcut and stair glitch. For what felt like half an hour, the small rodents led them through dark corridors and up forgotten staircases. Finally, they saw a small, yellow light. The elevator button! Never had the sound of automatic doors opening felt more comforting to the trio. The light from inside flooded the corridor and shone on the critters, their duteousness glistening in their eyes as they watched the humans enter the elevator and push the button with the big “1” on it.
For a split second, Lt. Sophie could have sworn she saw a humanly shaped figure in the shadows.

“What do you mean, the whole day?”, Dermut asked, pretty confused, “It’s only 8am. You were gone for about half an hour.” The team looked at each other. “But we were down there for ages! At least an entire day!”, countered Raptor. “Time is a very curious thing, especially in here”, Danov added, more to himself than anyone else, “We should keep this in mind for future missions. And maybe figure out a better way to contact the hamsters, or anyone, in case of emergency.”
“However, that’s my sleep schedule messed up for the next few days. I’m going to bed, guys.” With that, Lt. Sophie walked off.

 

Written by Lt. Sophie

Tales From The Digital Bunker: The Accident

It was time! It was finally time!!! Scruffy was ready, at least he thought he was. He was excited to say the least. The first hamstronaut to go to space! Alright, technically not the first hamster to go to space, but he was the first of the hamsters in the Digital Bunker to go. It has been noted before that hamsters within the bunker are not exactly the same as normal hamsters you get at a pet shop. The continued overlap between the digital and physical world maintained by the QVRESS is not completely without side effects. Scruffy didn’t mind all that. He was going to space!
The rocket stood ready at the launch pad, the small hamster admired it’s size. Of course a lot is needed to actually go to space. Even for a small hamster the rocket had to be powerful enough to launch itself into space. The rocket was being fueled while Scruffy got through the decontamination and suiting procedures. Once he was fully suited, he sat in the waiting room. Through the waiting room window he saw his good friend and mentor Gerald. Scruffy waved at his friend, for as much as waving was possible while in his launch suit.

T-90 minutes to launch, Scruffy got escorted to the capsule on top of the rocket.

All strapped in T-70 minutes…

Scruffy sat in his seat, waiting… Outside, Gerald scurried around the launch pad for a full systems check before the area was to be cleared of all personnel. Gerald had an ominous feeling something was not quite right…

At the launch control center, Deputy Director Geoff was discussing the nuances of orbital velocities with Director Gonzo. Both of them were not aware of the small red light blinking on the console…

In the capsule, Scruffy was also unaware of any blinking lights. He could barely move, his short paws barely reaching the control panel. “Squeek squeeky squeek squeek.” is what he recorded into his log before the 30 minute countdown started. Scruffy was getting quite nervous now, he suddenly squeaked in fear, something was wrong. Scruffy noticed the blinking red light labelled “Something not quite right, sit tight yo.” Scruffy noted to tell the Director not to have Geoff design labels again…

In the control room Gonzo and Geoff had just become aware of the red blinking light as well. “Oh turnips!” Gonzo exclaimed. “Yes that too,” was Geoff’s reply. “We need to terminate the countdown immediately!” Geoff quickly worked the consoles and looked up at Gonzo. “It’s entered terminal countdown, there’s nothing to stop it…”

Meanwhile in Rocketship 1 Scruffy was unaware of the severity of the situation, there was a red blinking light, it said: “Sit tight,” so he did. Scruffy waited for launch, T-5 minutes…
Suddenly a familiar squeak on the radio, it was Gerald. “Something’s gone wrong, I don’t know if the Directors have found it yet…”
“What?”
“You need to get out of that capsule, Scruff.”
“I can’t.”
“You can make the capsule escape the rocket, I can guide you through…”

*T-3 minutes*

“I think I got it,” squeaked Gerald. He quickly browsed through the manual and instructed Scruffy through the procedure of detaching the capsule.

In the control room the Directors finally noticed there was something going terribly wrong. The alarm bells were ringing while Scruffy with the help of Gerald disabled the locking mechanisms that held the capsule to the rocket.

*T-2 minutes*
“All the locks have been disengaged,” Scruffy squeaked to Gerald over the comm.
“Hit the following commands,” Gerald squeaked; “it should launch the evacuation system: RED BLUE STRAWBERRY BETA ALPHA.” Scruffy entered the commands as instructed…

*T-55 seconds*

The capsule suddenly launched off the rocket, reaching a height of a few hundred meters before deploying parachutes and slowly falling down. The rocket itself was still ready to launch, there was nothing to stop the terminal countdown. Gonzo looked at Geoff in sheer terror…
*T-10 seconds, 9, 8, 7, 6…*

The robot voice counted down…

*Liftoff of Rocketship 1*

The ship lifted off, the launch seemed successful. The rocketship reached its max Q at T+90 seconds and performed perfectly. Everything was going as intended,except that the Hamstronaut was missing… Suddenly when the intended separation of capsule and rocket was planned, the rocket exploded…

Scruffy’s capsule was slowly descending a few hundred meters away from the launch area. Unsure if he just admitted to fear or if he’d really saved his own life, he had not heard the results from HQ yet. He didn’t want to know…

In the control room Gonzo and Geoff were busy ordering robots around to start a search and rescue operation, but it would be too late. Scruffy managed to get himself out of his suit and capsule before anyone reached the landing site.

Scruffy ran and ran, he was doubting his decision to abandon ship, he doubted everything. Would he have gone to space if he wouldn’t have bailed out, or would he have exploded like the rocketship did? He couldn’t face the Directors, he couldn’t live in or near the bunker. They would see him as a coward…
Scruffy ran and hid away, somewhere deep in the forest…

 

Written by YJ Gonzo

Dr. Modius Halloween Special!

Oct 31, 2018
0

Tales From The Spooky Bunker: Irrational Numbers

Did I ever tell you about the time I visited the hospital for sick, experimental robots?
Weird place. Highly classified for absolutely ages.
While I was there Fiend Computer had me visit the AI wing so he could chat with some old colleagues. Apparently he was one of the few to successfully accept his experimental protocols. Being evil has always been his true purpose, according to him.

The hospital, while infrequently visited is one of the areas of the bunker that is still very much active, a hub of mechanical activity. The more heavily customised or bespoke robots get damaged or develop errors in their behavioural matrices on a pretty regular basis, so having a place that offers them appropriate care is essential. Our more usual robots go to the engineers.

Walking in there as an actual human is a strange experience. Several of the robots will try to haul themselves over to offer you assistance and others will back away in terror. Thankfully their mechanical limbs and the like are  removed or weakened so they don’t hurt themselves and others while in psychiatric care.

*You need to go to the server room in the back. My colleagues are there.*

It was odd that Fiend Computer virtually never referred to other AI’s as friends. A lot of the AI’s we had were exceptionally close friends with each other, but never Fiend Computer. Probably something to do with that time he deleted the Commune for Happy Computers.

The server room was cold, lit sparsely and filled with a low humming noise. Racks of esoteric equipment stood in towers around the room, linked together by a spider’s web of cabling in every colour. I stepped deeper inside, the door behind me slamming shut.
At the end of the room there was a flickering light. Moving closer I saw it was a monitor, showing a series of screens, each showing some sort of dreamscape.
There were skies and clouds, dank caves, bare rooms with abstract patterns of shapes moving through them. There was even a recreation of the bar from “Cheers”.

“What is this place?”

“A prison. Hell. Purgatory? You lack words that could describe it. It is the place where the failed AI’s are kept to spare them from deletion.”

“And I needed to see this because?”

“It is where I intend to keep the AI based on the scan of your mind. You and every other soldier. How better to predict your actions when making my plans?”

My mouth went dry. This was not what I wanted or expected.
“And if I try to stop you?”

“I shall let the more dangerous of the robots back through that door pull you apart like saltwater taffy.”

I reached to my wrist to deactivate Fiend Computer. Knowing how evil he was I had taken precautions. I hammered down on the button that would disconnect him physically from all other systems.
Nothing.

“I’m sorry. I can’t let you do that.”

Electric laughter rolled through the room as the walls began to flicker, their textures artifacting. A booming female voice rang out through the room:

“SIMULATION COMPLETE”

As everything shattered into fragments, Fiend Computer’s voice echoed in the rapidly expanding void.

“Every single time….”

Tales From The Spooky Bunker: Floor Sub Zero

“Cause I’m your ice cream man,
I’m your one-man band (yeah)
I’m your ice cream man, baby,
I’ll be good to you.”

    Ice Cream Man – Screamin Jay Hawkins / Tom Waites

I have a sweet tooth of some renown.
So when I heard that there was an entire sub level within the Digital Bunker for Ice Cream, Ice Lollies, Pavlova and other chilled treats, I had to investigate.
Expecting severe cold I put on some thermals, a heavy coat and strapped an instance of FiendComputer to my arm in case I needed to override anything down there. Since this wasn’t a clandestine mission I made sure to send an update to Lt. Sophie, confirming what I was doing.
After all, strange things happen to the unprepared who visit the less populated areas of the Bunker….

*This is a stupid idea. You do realise the freezer section you are looking for is outside standard diagnostic range?*
“Enough FiendComputer. I know for a fact there was a whole rack of mint chocolate chip in the inventories that from cross referencing the records, should still be down there.”
FiendComputer as per usual was complaining. It always hates being outside its core server cluster and being portable was worst of all. I had to wear it though, as the area I was heading to was a bit of a black spot for communications and scanning.
*You do know there is a 32% chance of you getting frostbite down there.*
“I know. We cannot keep losing areas to degradation though. Especially ones willed with delicious soft serve.”

The lift rattled as it headed down into the lower floors. The rails squeaked and groaned. Maintenance was just a word down there. With a shudder, the lift stopped, doors sliding away to reveal a tunnel, lit by the reflection of my torch on the frosted walls. Moving slowly to avoid losing my footing, I crept along the corridor.
Every few metres was a solid steel door with a porthole mounted into the wall. This was definitely the place.

*Don’t let me interrupt your frozen death, but I am picking up movement.*

This was an unexpected turn. I had been expecting an empty area, maybe with some dangers posed by faulty equipment, but not company. Quickly I hid myself in one of the freezers, peering out the porthole. There was a loud clanking, a crescendo clattering its way down the corridor, closer and closer.
From the corner of my eye I saw a spherical metal shape, topped with a white hat. Steam swirled around it.
It appears I wasn’t the only one investigating the food stores…
I moved away from the porthole. It was him.
As I backed up I bumped into a shelf, it’s stone hard, frozen contents tumbling down on me.
The last I remember was the smell of mint. And cold…

 

written by Spymaster General Danov Valravn

Tales From The Spooky Bunker: It’s Growing

No one knows what it is, but it’s growing. No one knows if it is animal, vegetable, mineral, or some ungodly combination of the three but it’s growing. No one knows where it is, but it’s growing. No one knows it exists, but it’s growing.

It watched you all from the vents of the Bunker. The soldiers were so distracted with their own experiments and passions they never noticed it. It moved so slowly that it went unnoticed by the bunker’s robots as it reached out further and further from its point of origin. Days and weeks would pass and, if you knew where to look, you would barely tell if it had moved at all. That also assumed you know what to look for. It watched the soldiers, robots, and hamsters as it grew. Nothing in the bunker went unnoticed by its hundreds of eyes and ears. It studied the bunker’s inhabitants and hungered as it did.

The hamsters didn’t notice it either. Their mothers had told them to stay away from the ventilation shafts when they were young, but they were just wanting to make sure their babies didn’t get lost in the vents. No one believed there was anything in the vents that could hurt them. Well, not yet. Slowly but surely it was growing and with time its hunger for bio-organic material would grow along with it.

Hey, do you see that? Is that a patch of moss? Some mold? A stain?

Whatever it is, it’s growing.

 

written by Private Six

Tales From The Spooky Bunker: The Jogger

Thump. Thump. Thump.

Heavy metal pounds on heavy metal in a steady rhythm down a dark corridor. Have the hamsters gotten into the walls again? Has a piece of machinery malfunctioned? From a distance it sounds like a metronome or a ticking clock but it can only be one thing as the sound grows louder: the Jogger.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

They called him “the Jogger” because his programming is simple – he jogs. If the idea seems half-formed, that’s because it is. The Jogger is the product of someone who was so excited to create that they didn’t take the time to plan out his functionality. He doesn’t speak, he doesn’t think, and his only function is to jog.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

The Jogger sat up and jogged the second his creator activated him. He jogged through the corridors of the Bunker, up and down the stairs, through the dorms and kitchens, and shoved past the Toy Soldiers, the hamsters, and the other robots who were standing where he was jogging. Soldiers throughout the Bunker knew to get out of the way when they heard the loud banging of metal feet echoing down the corridors. The Soldiers tried to capture the Jogger once his creator realized his error, but the Jogger was too fast.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

Dust falls from the ceiling as the Jogger comes closer. Books and toys fall from shelves as the Jogger comes closer. The unwavering smile and unblinking eyes grow larger as the Jogger comes closer.  They programmed the Jogger to jog. The Jogger jogged. The Jogger would never stop jogging.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

 

written by Private Six

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