Popular Post Akril Posted December 1, 2014 Popular Post Report Share Posted December 1, 2014 Well, here I am...again. If you've been hanging around these forums for the last couple of years or so, you might have noticed the quotes from "a WIP" in my signature, or noticed me allude to a piece of fan fiction I was working on once or twice. You may also have heard the SQ Historian podcast episode where an excerpt from said fan fiction was read. Well, after nearly two years of on-again, off again work, it is (nearly) DONE. This is the first piece of SQ fan fiction I've written in years. I started it for various reasons which I won't get into right now, hit a lot of rough patches when I was about 2/3rds of the way through, and even when most of it was finished, I still had some difficulty getting this thing hammered out until I was (mostly) satisfied with it. I'm going to be posting one chapter a day throughout December. I probably won't have the entire thing posted by the time the new year rolls around, but at this point, I can't promise anything for certain. Now that all of that's out of the way, here is... Space Quest: The Time Machination Prelude Roger Wilco Junior – son of Roger Wilco, the man who had saved the galaxy multiple times despite being nothing more than a moderately skilled janitor – was confused. This was hardly an unfamiliar feeling for him, and after several years of his mind being dominated by fear, depression and hopelessness, it was a relief to be bothered by something as comparatively trivial as mere confusion. However, the reason behind the confusion was far from trivial. RJ (the name which Roger Wilco Junior had insisted that his peers and family call him by since he hit adolescence) had just sent Roger Wilco Senior back to the point in the past that RJ had originally pulled him from. As much as RJ wished that he could spend a little more time with him, the fear of causing irreparable damage to the timeline prompted RJ to immediately return his father to the Space Quest IV time sector while RJ himself remained in Space Quest XII time sector. He had sent his father back to his own time with a head full of questions to which the answers would not come for many years, if they would come at all. However, RJ's own head was bulging with questions as well, one of which loomed ominously above all the others (not unlike the massive Supercomputer that RJ was currently standing in): The Anomaly. What was it? Why did it exist? How could it exist? RJ gazed out at the mangled metropolis hundreds of feet below him, the memory of the events leading up to the discovery of the unimaginatively-named Anomaly slowly replaying in his frazzled mind. It all started with the Supercomputer -- the Supercomputer which a group of scientists (who in hindsight really should have known better) accidentally exposed to a crippling virus. This virus was in actuality a digital replication of the mind of Sludge Vohaul, an evil, twisted, aesthetically challenged scientist who made several attempts at dominating Xenon many years prior but was ultimately defeated by Roger Wilco. It turned out that Roger Wilco's defeat of Vohaul wasn't as ultimate as the people of Xenon thought. However, Vohaul hadn't given up on his plans of taking over the planet, and this time, he came very, very close to succeeding. The events that followed after the Vohaul virus gained control of the Supercomputer and nearly every piece of technology on the planet were, in short, very unpleasant. Though most of the population either fled Xenon or perished, a small number of people remained in hiding beneath the streets of the planet's central city, hoping to find some way of destroying the Supercomputer. When the rebels learned that the Supercomputer had discovered time travel, they had little time to ponder on this discovery. Recalling that Roger Wilco was the only person who had ever defeated Sludge Vohaul, the rebels realized that time travel could be their only chance of destroying the Vohaul virus. Two of the rebels (who had just recently decided to call themselves the Time Rippers, given the nature of their mission) were selected to steal some of the time technology, travel into the past and return to the present with Roger Wilco. RJ was one of these two rebels. In the time between the infiltration of the Supercomputer, the pilfering of the time tech (a pair of guns that looked suspiciously like modified hairdryers) and the departure for Space Quest IV, RJ and his companion discovered the following information: 1) The Sequel Police -- the intimidating cyborgs tasked with making sure that the Space Quest timeline ran according to Vohaul's wishes -- were planning to travel to the past as well... however, their goal was to kill Roger Wilco. (This was bad.) 2) In order to avoid accidentally setting off a retroactive chain of events resulting in the Vohaul virus never getting uploaded to the Supercomputer and thus erasing them from existence, the Sequel Police wouldn't confront Roger Wilco until after Space Quest III. (This was good...sort of.) 3) Because of 2), the only available time when both the Time Rippers and the Sequel Police could reach Roger Wilco was a narrow window at the beginning of Space Quest IV.(This was because...) RJ quickly pushed the reason for 3) out of his flashback. He didn't feel like revisiting that memory just yet, but when put together, it became very clear that if he and his companion didn't rescue Roger Wilco from the Space Quest IV time sector before that window closed, there would be no way of stopping Vohaul. Fortunately, luck was on the Time Rippers' side: They arrived in Space Quest IV just in time to save Roger Wilco from being killed by a pair of Sequel Policemen. After sending his father to Space Quest XII, RJ paused for a moment to catch his breath, but before he could open another rip to follow his father into the future, there was the sound of a Sequel Policeman's rifle being fired and an explosion of pain in his side. RJ remembered little of what happened after that -- it was mostly brief, blurry moments of consciousness interspersed with what seemed like distorted dreams or hallucinations. After finally regaining full control of his senses, RJ found himself in the innermost sanctum of the Supercomputer, with his father standing in front of him. The pieces quickly came together: He was alive, his father was alive, they were inside the Supercomputer, and there was no Vohaul virus attempting to destroy them. They had won. RJ led his father outside to the landing bay, a large opening near the top of the Supercomputer which provided a great (but depressing) view of the ruined city. He explained what had happened on Xenon, and why his father had been transported to Space Quest XII. Though the conversation began well enough considering the circumstances, it became more and more uncomfortable as it progressed, and despite his disciplined mind, RJ was quite shaken by the time he was ready to return Roger Wilco to Space Quest IV. After saying a final good-bye to his father, RJ stared at the wall of the landing bay for several minutes, wondering what to do next. Then he returned to the entrance to the Supercomputer and began to make his way through the labyrinth of catwalks, circuitry and transport tubes, down into the heart of the technological colossus. Sometime later, he located the small, dark chamber that housed the Chronolux -- the massive mainframe that the Sequel Police had used to track Roger Wilco through the various Space Quest time sectors. To his amazement, the machine was still running. It was also surrounded by the lifeless bodies of several Sequel Policemen -- it seemed that once the Supercomputer had been shut down, the Sequel Policemen themselves suffered a similar fate. RJ (correctly) reasoned that the Chronolux must not have been connected to the Supercomputer, despite residing inside of it. RJ slowly approached the Chronolux. Then, with trembling fingers, he selected the Space Quest IV time sector, entered his father's name, and pressed the Scan button. Several minutes later, a message appeared on the Chronolux's main screen: SUBJECT PRESENT ON MAGMETHEUS UNTIL 00:001:00:26:07.NO PRESENCE DETECTED AFTER 00:001:00:26:07. The hairs on the back of RJ's neck stood on end. He glanced at the digital display on his time gun, looking for the line that displayed the last time entered on it. The line read: SQIV||MAGMETHEUS||00:001:00:00:00. That was the time and place he had sent his father to -- a time approximately twenty-six minutes before the Anomaly. RJ's mind reeled as the memory of the fourth thing that he and his companion had discovered during their infiltration of the Supercomputer came rushing back to him: A few hours after the Space Quest IV time sector began, Roger Wilco vanished. No matter how many scans Sequel Police had made on the ChronoLux, there was never a trace of Roger Wilco to be found...and he wasn't just absent from Space Quest IV, either: he was missing from every single time sector, all the way up to the end of Space Quest IX. This absence was what RJ called the Anomaly. When he first learned about it, he had little time to ponder what it meant or why it existed, but now that the chaos on Xenon had finally ceased, his questions about the Anomaly began careening through his mind like rocket-powered meteorites. What was going on? What had happened to his father twenty-six minutes after he returned to Magmetheus? Could he have been killed by the Sequel Policemen? If he had been killed, then why did RJ still exist? With both his heart and his mind racing, RJ had the ChronoLux run a scan of Space Quest V. Five minutes later, the message "NO TRACE OF SUBJECT DETECTED" appeared. RJ ran a scan on Space Quest VI, only to have the exact same message show up. He ran scans of Space Quest VII, VIII and IX and was about to run a scan of Space Quest X when he finally broke down, slamming his head into the keyboard with a howl of frustration. Saving his father's life hadn't changed anything. The Anomaly was still there -- from the beginning of Space Quest IV until the end of Space Quest IX, Roger Wilco was gone. As for Space Quest X and beyond... No, RJ told himself. Don't go there. Don't. He tried to make sense out of what the Chronolux was telling him, but couldn't. It just couldn't be true. His father had existed when RJ was born near the end of the Space Quest VIII time sector. RJ remembered listening to his father's stories of his past adventures; how his father kept calling him "Junior" no matter how many times RJ told him not to; and that one galaxy-wide family vacation where, despite driving a ship with the most easy-to-use navigational computer available on Xenon, his father still managed to get RJ and his mother thoroughly lost. The Chronolux had to be wrong...but if it was, why hadn't Vohaul or the Sequel Police spotted and corrected the error? After all, they were all machines to a great extent, and they built the Chronolux -- if they hadn't detected any problems with it, then why was the machine reporting Roger Wilco as MIA in spots in the timeline where he had undoubtedly existed? RJ lifted his head from the keyboard and noted that the Chronolux had finished its scan for an individual named LJNGHTDTCH (which it actually had located on a planet somewhere in the Dgjegtmxs galaxy). Though both mentally and physically exhausted, RJ wasn't ready to give up yet. He ran a search on his father in Space Quest I, II and III, and except for one odd patch of time in Space Quest I, Roger Wilco was detected in every one of those time sectors. RJ rubbed his eyes and stared blankly at the screen. What was going on? Was the man he knew as his father just a clone of the original Roger Wilco, or an android duplicate? Had an alteration of the timeline caused RJ to become his own father? Was all this an illusion he was experiencing while plugged into a console deep within the bowels of the Supercomputer? Roger Wilco only existed until the beginning of the Space Quest IV time sector. After that, he was completely absent all the way 'til Space Quest IX. Then, somewhere between Space Quest IX and Space Quest X (there was no way of telling exactly when this was, since for some reason, the Chronolux couldn't scan the time between sectors, just the sectors themselves), he vanished and never appeared on the timeline again. Of course, this had to be because... RJ tried to push that memory away again, but by this point, he was too weak to hold it back: ...because he was dead by then. Both him and Mom. No one could have survived an explosion that large...besides, if they weren't dead, Vohaul wouldn't have needed his lackeys to go back in time to bump him off... But why Space Quest IV? Why Space Quest IV!? KLUNK. RJ froze. Though he had been contemplating smashing his head into the keyboard again, he hadn't actually done it -- that noise had come from outside the room he was in. In fact, it seemed to have come from outside the Supercomputer. RJ's mind went on full alert. He had no idea what had made that noise, but he knew he wouldn't find out what it was by waiting next to the ChronoLux. He grabbed his time gun, sprang from his chair, barely avoided tripping over one of the deceased Sequel Policemen, and bolted out the door. He ran until he reached the tunnel that led to the landing bay, then crept stealthily along the wall, grateful that the deadly laser beams that once filled the tunnel were now deactivated. As he neared the end of the tunnel, he heard and felt the thrum of an engine filling the air. It sounded like a ship...a ship which definitely wasn't the kind used by the Sequel Police. As he reached the entrance to the landing bay, RJ flattened himself against the wall and cautiously peered around the door's circular metal frame. The sound of the engine grew louder and louder, and then there it was -- a small, bulbous shuttle that looked as if it had been built centuries ago. It had gull-wing doors, was painted a gaudy shade of purple and its windows were too dark to make out any of the occupants. It slowly approached the Supercomputer, but despite the massive size of the landing bay's entrances, the ship's nose collided with a section of the Supercomputer's outer wall several feet above the landing bay, producing a noise very similar to the one that RJ had recently heard. The ship slowly backed up, then after a moment of hesitation, it decreased its speed, banked slightly, then dropped its landing gear and gingerly maneuvered itself through the landing bay's rightmost entrance -- the entrance right in front of the tunnel where RJ was hiding. Suddenly the shuttle's thrusters cut out and it bounced off the floor of the landing bay with a jarring thud. The thrusters fired up again almost immediately, and after lurching drunkenly in midair for a moment or two, the shuttle slowly lowered itself until it was resting firmly on the cold, cracked plasticrete. As a cloud of dust billowed around the shuttle, RJ gripped his gun in his hands, ready to leap out of hiding and confront whatever or whoever was inside the shuttle. Then he remembered that the only thing this gun was good for was opening rips into different time periods. Maybe if he just acted as if it were a real gun, whoever was in that ship might think it was real...if only it didn't look so much like a giant hairdryer... There was a sudden hiss of escaping air -- the driver's side door of the shuttle was hinging open, and someone was stepping out. RJ leaped out of the tunnel, his gun aimed at the individual, who was still mostly obscured by the airborne dust. "Freeze!" he yelled. The figure jumped in alarm and tried to run away, but only succeeded in banging its head on the partially opened door. It clutched its skull with a primal outburst of surprise and pain that made RJ feel as if someone had injected liquid nitrogen into his veins. That voice...he knew that voice... The figure staggered unsteadily out of the rapidly thinning dust cloud towards RJ. RJ lowered his time gun, gaping at the figure with a mixture of astonishment, disbelief and a small amount of terror. It was him...and yet it wasn't him. He seemed older, his clothing was completely different...and his hair definitely wasn't that color when RJ had last seen him... Still cringing slightly, Roger Wilco lowered his hand from his head, looked into the widening eyes of his son and grinned. "Hey, Junior." Deciding that it risked serious damage if it remained conscious for a moment longer, RJ's brain promptly shut itself down. His body dropped to the plasticrete with a soft thud accompanied by a loud clatter as the time gun slipped from his limp fingers. Roger Wilco cautiously approached his son, stared mutely at him for a moment, then looked over his shoulder at the shuttle. A tall blonde woman had just emerged from the shuttle through the now open passenger door. She took a few steps forward, regarded the unconscious body sprawled in front of Roger for a moment, then glared coldly at Roger himself. "Uh..." said Roger sheepishly, "I guess it would've been better if you'd talked to him first, Bea." EDIT: Apparently, I can only center and indent individual lines in "Coding Mode" since if I attempt doing that in "Plain Text" mode, the entire body of text ends up centered or indented. Annoying... MusicallyInspired, BlockMaster, pcj and 3 others 6 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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