Free D.C.

     Note: This is a very non-linear game, so this is only one of many
possible  ways  through the story. Also, though never mentioned in the
documentation,  a  blue  line  at the bottom of the screen indicates a
path going down.


     Waking  up, my body ached all over. A command from the last dream
still  echoed  in  my head, one where I had surgery done by robots and
then  one of them leaned down and said I was to find a criminal. As if
I  didn't  get  enough  of  that  in  my job as a cop. I G ROANed, the
achiness went down to the bone. I'd just starting to become aware that
I  wasn't on a bed after all when a voice told me to wake up. Since my
last  live-in  was  months  ago  and  had a definite feminine voice, I
jumped  up quick and confronted a 'bo t. I didn't recognize the model,
but they were still new enough not to be common.

     I'm  still a bit dazed, but when it tells me I am now home, I get
PI**ED. Hey, my place isn't the Ritz, but it _is_ furnished and inside
a  building,  which  I  ain't.  Then  the  bot  starts screaming about
something  called  a Red Knight; the 'bot that shows up a nd blasts at
me  definitely  isn't  a robo-buddy. Not grasping what's going on yet,
but  figuring the little 'bot knows the score, I let the robot take me
out of there by heading to the right.

     As  soon  as  the tin trigger is out of sight, I jump off and get
some  answers  from the 'bot -- Wattson, by name. I'm pretty EDGY, but
then  who  wouldn't  be  waking up in what looked like the Amazon, but
with  buildings  in the distant that look like those in D .C.? Wattson
tells  me  I'm in something called the Human Zoo. Telling Watson to GO
AHEAD  and  spill his databank, I find out I've been dumped in the zoo
to  find  a  human that is terminating local robots. I've been given a
laser pistol, so at least I have so mething to work with. Then Wattson
tells  me  there  is  a bomb embedded in my body to "motivate" me, and
I've got only 12 hours to find the guy. Lovely.

     Still,  Wattson  says  there  are only 7 people in the zoo -- zoo
maintenance  personnel?  The  prime suspect is Valerion, hiding out in
the  Stone  Man  Shelter (weird name!). Looking at the paper map, that
would  be  building  1. To get there, I head down until I h it the red
laser fence, then left until I come to the capped corner of the fence,
then down again. Wattson is good enough to remind me that I don't have
much time left: what a bud.

     I'm at the southernmost part of the gate, in a corner of the gate
around  building  14. Heading left I come to a view of a building that
must  be  the  Stone Man Shelter. I head for it and take a left at the
blue/gray lake.

     In  addition  to  the  paper  map,  it sure helps to USE MAP that
Wattson  had  on his console; shows me exactly where I am. Sometimes I
run  into a Red Knight, but I quickly learn that Wattson can move fast
enough to simply outrun them. Those Knights would never make it on the
force: their aim is terrible.


     I go left across the meadow and come to the Lincoln Memorial! But
what  is  it  doing in a jungle? I head into it. (Notice that you come
out  of the blue line on right). The statue looks funny; I move closer
for  a  better  look and realize the statue is starti ng to decay from
age. What's going on? Wattson is yapping about a door, but I don't pay
any attention until a beam comes out and seems to freeze him. Then I'm
knocked  out and wake up with a man that I assume is Valerion standing
over  me.  I CURSE my own s tupidity at getting caught. Valerion talks
like  a doctor; he mentions someone named Johnnie (an accomplice?). He
claims to have disabled a bug in Wattson and releases me.

     I  get  up  cautiously. He wouldn't set me free unless he had the
upper  hand.  This  is the first human I've seen today, so I decide to
TALK  to him and get some answers. I identify myself; it's a relief to
know  that  he's  also  disabled  my bomb, but then Valeri on tries to
recruit me to join him in destroying robots. Hey, I don't like robots,
either, but they are someone's property.

     Not  knowing  which way this guy will jump, I play it FACTUAL and
let  him  know  I am a cop. His claims make him sound like a nut case,
yet the Lincoln statue and the jungle outside start raising doubts, so
I  STAY  to  hear  more.  Wattson butts in and confirms that the Great
Freeze  took  place centuries ago. I get a bad feeling about all this.
Valerion,  or rather Dr. Valerion, goes on about rebellion against the
robots.  Wattson  interjects  that Interface would have us all killed.
I'm  not  buying  any  of this yet, so I try to COOL the idea; one guy
with a pistol is not about to take on the world...or a zoo.

     So  Doc whips out a 10Mv laser rifle. He then tries to goad me by
mentioning a much stronger weapon, claiming I'd be too weak to use it.
I'd  used  that  kind of line myself to motivate someone, so I blew it
off with a WITTY response. Sure enough, he gave me more information on
this Detectron weapon. He claims to have a piece of it. Wattson claims
the doc is mad and I have to AGREE.

     I  decide to look around a bit while I try to work out what to do
next  in  this, in D.C., supposedly. The 'bot seems to have
some  information,  so  I TALK WATTSON. I learn about Atom Guards, Red
Knights, and Funnelheads. Great, a planet of 'bots!


     I  USE WATTSON and head to building 8. I get off Wattson and head
toward a huge door, then realize it's a video screen. Wattson asks how
I'm  doing; this whole thing is CRAZY and that's how I answer; I don't
care  at  the moment. Suddenly, the screen comes t o life and I get to
meet  another  denizen of the Zoo, Edsel Binkley. WRIER than I should,
perhaps,  I  make  a  crack  about  his name. The guy flares up like a
punker's  hair  on  an electric blowout; he claims the library is his,
even though the 'bot says it's t he Natural History museum. The screwy
'bot  is  a  great  straight  man.  I  give  it a STUDLY answer to its
question about fear.

     Binkley  is  a  heck of a lot more antisocial and whines at me to
go.  Sounds  like  a  good  idea  to  me, but he's someone I might get
information  out  of,  so  I  CAJOLE him. I tell him he's a great guy,
ABSOLUTELY,  BLUFFing  him  by  telling him everyone talks about "his"
museum.  The  kid's  starting  to tick me off, so I try pushing him by
telling  him  Valerion  thought  he  was an idiot. Yup, that works. He
spills about the things he knows. I ask about the UNDERGROUND, but Mr.
Social  gets  his nose out of joint because he knows something I don't
and shuts off the display. Smug little twerp.


     I  head  into  building  3, but quickly head out when I encounter
some  kind  of  mobile  plant  that attacks me and seems to ignore the

     Moving  on, I come to a lake with building 4 off in the distance.
It's  a  nice  day, so I ride over to it by going around the lake. I'm
amazed  by  the  decay  inside. Wattson cries out when this robot body
there  starts moving; it looks kinda like a Red Knight, so my training
kicks in and I FIGHT it. It falls over after a few shots and it's then
I  notice  it's labeled "Detectron," part of the device that screwball
Valerion was talking about.

     I  barely  stop myself from shooting when the robot starts moving
again,  and  jump when a small kid crawls out of the shell! Never been
very good with kids, but I try and TALK with her. I learn about a lady
named  Candy  who  appears  to  be  friends  with the ki. .er, Cy, and
another lady named Memo who is definitely not Cy's friend. I'm still a
cop,  so  I tell her I'll HELP HER. The kid still seems worried -- but
satisfied  --  and crawls off. With the Detectron body in front of my,
I'm  starting  to  have  second  thou  ghts about Valerion; I grab the
Detectron body and head out.


     I  head  back  around  the  lake  and  enter  building 10. I hear
machinery  in  the  distance, coming from the left door. Following the
sound  through  about  six  rooms, I come to what looks like a control
center.  I  notice what looks like building 12 on the screen as I head
down  the left stairwell. A woman orders me to stop. She appears a bit
militaristic,  so  I decide to identify myself PROFESSIONALly. This is
Memo, the lady Cy is afraid of. Taking a FIRM stand on Cy's defense, I
get  INCENSED when she insists it was her right to use the child. This
isn't  my world and I could just back down, but I'm a cop and that kid
needs help so I PUSH IT. Not too surprising, I get kicked out -- Avery
Zed: Diplomat!


     Wattson  and  I  head  to  building 12, but can't seem to find an
accessway in front of the building. Best to case the building and look
for  another  way in. I head right, enter the left path in some brush,
take the left path up, and then go right. Taking the right path again,
I  come to the laser fence. Heading left a while, I find a door at the
back  of  the  building  (look  for the blue line at the bottom of the
screen).  Odd,  the same sounds as in Memo's place are here. Following
essentially the same route, I c ome to what looks to be the same room,
except  the building on the screen is building 10 and there appears to
be  no  one  here. But then a woman, like a much younger Memo, pops up
from  behind a chair and starts spewing abuse like a spoiled brat...or
my ex-w ife with her lawyer.

     I  try  to  be  NICE and she responds with more abuse. Well, it's
usually best to deal with folks at their own level, so I get ANGRY and
a  bit  abusive myself. I try to explain that I wasn't with Memo, when
another  vitriolic  stream comes out of her mouth. She seems to prefer
crudity  and  emotionally  seems like a young teenager. I SPIT and she
seems to approve. She identifies herself as Candy Larko, a Memo clone.
The  distance in centuries between us becomes obvious as I use a slang
term  that  confuses  her. I ma ke some flippant comment about FLORIDA
that  she  seems  to enjoy, and Wattson seems to think I'm on her good
side  now.  Just as we seem ready to get a dialogue going, she screams
and cowers. I admit I was caught flatfooted; I just babble "Whaaa...?"
as she screams of being attacked. Wattson suggests we leave and I have
no problem with that idea.


     Ending  up back in front of building 12, I decide to head down to
building  11,  going around the jungle and walking near the blue lake.
Problem  is, there isn't an entrance for this building. Looks like the
robot  keepers  didn't want humans playing with anyt hing inside. With
no way in, we head over to building 9. Once inside, going left through
several  rooms  I  come  to  what looks like a full life-support unit.
Wattson (bless his little tin heart) contradicts me; this bozo is in a
VR  computer  gaming  machine,  preferring to interact with a computer
than deal with the real world. Wattson feels he'd be useless to us and
I  tend  to  agree, but he's been living here longer than I have, so I
try  talking  to him, and get brushed off. I'm AMUSED when he tells me
to  scra  m;  so  he  tells the nearby Atom Guard to attack -- I gotta
learn  to  keep  my  trap  shut. Fortunately, the robot looks like its
warranty  expired  a few centuries ago -- it's just so much junk. This
must have traumatized the clown, for he flips back on the mac hine and
is oblivious to us again.

     Wattson  points  out  that  nerds  like  this  guy  think more of
machines  than humans. This guy wants to BE a machine. I have to admit
that  with that reasoning, Wattson would be SURE to do better than me,
so  I BITE when Wattson offers a proposal. We do a little role-playing
where  he's the boss and I'm his servant. I even SHAM a bit to keep in
character,  though I decide that later I'd make sure the 'bot knew who
the boss really was. The nerd seems to accept this situation, but then
gives us the bum's rush.

     Rather  HEATEDly,  I jump on Wattson, but Wattson assures me that
next  time  I'll find him ready to talk. I have a better idea. If this
guy  was  like  the  hopheads I had to deal with, he has no clue about
time.  Exiting the room and then coming back, the guy t hinks days had
gone  by  and is willing to answer a question. Asking Zapman about RED
KNIGHTS, I learn that a disrupter can stop them. He clams up again, so
I repeat the process and get a description of INTERFACE. It's a rather
CONFUSED dialogue and I deci de I've had enough.


     Once  outside,  we  go  over to building 7. Eventually (go right,
enter  the  right  back  door,  go  right), we find a girl and an Atom
Guard.  Real  pretty,  too, the girl, not the guard. She was quick and
cool,  and  her  guard  lost no time grabbing me. I have a hunc h, and
make a WITTY remark; she makes a decision and has the guard let me go.
I  follow my hunch and make an offhand remark about Emily Post. Bingo!
She's one of the good-lifers. I make another WITTY remark and there is
a  brief  smile,  then she turns on th e no-nonsense mode and puts the
pressure  on. I tell her my name is AVERY and that I'm a D.C. cop. She
seems  totally  unimpressed  and  has Bruno, her robot, escort us out.
Wattson  proves  the difference between humans and robots when he gets
the idea she lik es me. Come to think of it, I wish he was right.


     Between  #7 and the gate, there are some ruins; I decide to check
them  out. But as we enter them, the floor collapses and I fall, along
with about a ton of dirt and debris. Regaining consciousness, I try to
MOVE,  feebly  at  first,  then stronger. When my he ad clears, I find
myself  free of the debris. I thank Wattson for getting me out, but he
tells me someone called Harry the Subhuman got me out. Uh-huh. Anyway,
I  seem  to  have  found  the Underground, even if it is merely an old
subway tunnel instead of a gr oup of people. We head left.


     Eventually,  the  tunnel  leads back to Dr. Valerion. We drop off
the Detectron body. Valerion mutters to himself "I just hope it fits,"
which  makes  me suddenly SUSPICIOUS about what or _who_ he intends it
to  fit.  Both  he  and his answer make me JUMPY. He tr ies to blow me
off.  Obviously not impressed with my risking my life out there, I get
TOUGH;  it does no good and Valerion leaves. I head out, but realize I
want  to ask Valerion something. So, I head back to the statue. Of all
the  PEOPLE  he  knows,  I want t o ask about Johnnie, but when I hear
there  really  is  someone  called HARRY, I ask about him. Valerion is
surprised  that  I  even know his NAME. I learn a little, make a JOKE,
and leave.

     I  get  away  from  the  statue, think about it for a second, and
decide,  "What  the  heck?" go back, and ask Valerion about JOHNNIE. I
admit,  YES,  I've  met  Johnnie, which seems to annoy Valerion. Looks
like  the doc has a crush on her. I TWEAK him about it (hey , I'm easy
to amuse). I may not be a SCIENTIFIC type, but I understand Valerion's
description  of  her,  and  he  obviously  knows I understand from the
comments he makes.

     Me,  I just play the INNOCENT. Wattson and I head out and (taking
the  _left_  blue  line)  go  back into the tunnel. Eventually, I come
across  an  odd,  shaggy,  man-like  creature:  Harry.  I  ask him for
INFORMATION about the CONES I met back in building 3. Harry gets on my
case  about  killing  them;  I  start to get mad but then realize that
Harry  might  feel  he has more reason to like the cones than me. It's
possible.  I  make a CONTRITE answer and he seems mollified. I ask for
his  help, but he says the child Cy is th e one to go to. The damndest
thing  happened then. Maybe it was the warmth of the place or the long
hours  since I awoke, but I fell asleep while talking to Harry. When I
woke up, he was gone.


     Of  all  the  people  I've  met so far, only Johnnie seems like a
normal  --  albeit  suspicious -- person, so I decide to meet with her
again.  As  I  enter,  the  guard comes charging toward me. I consider
shooting  it  but  don't for two reasons: 1) it seems likely t hat the
Atom Guard is protecting Johnnie and that she'll call him off; 2) from
what  I've learned, nothing would even dent an Atom guard. So I decide
that  it's  best  if  I  DON'T  DRAW  any weapons, but instead take it
casually. She seems to appreciate that, s o I continue to be FRIENDLY.
I  ask her about DETECTRON, but she really doesn't know anything. When
I  don't  immediately  have  another question, she has Bruno escort me
out.  All  business,  she is. Still, considering who she's had to deal
with before this, I guess I don't blame her...too much.


     I  still  don't  know  how to deal with the cones, so getting the
head  is out for now. I head back to the Underground to talk to Harry.
I  find  him  at  the  right end. I tell him I'm doing WELL, but still
looking  for  Detectron  parts.  When he asks, I tell him th at YES, I
still  need  the head. Seems Harry, or rather a friend of his, has it.
I'm  very  GRATEFUL to Harry for giving it to me and I tell him so. In
my book, there's nothing sub-human about Harry.


     With  this  wonderful start to the day, I decide to let things go
downhill  and visit Zapman again. We do our little routine for him and
ask  about  the  FUNNELHEAD robots -- scavengers that pick up anything
that  comes  in  their  path.  It's  likely that one of th em has come
across a Detectron part. They seem to stay mostly in the dense foliage
like the jungle or the scattered groups of trees and shrubs. The laser
rifle will destroy them, but wish I had a water gun too.


     I  decide  to  continue  reversing  my path, checking up on Candy
Larko's  condition.  When  I find out why she was warring with Memo, I
tell  her  it  is  DISGUSTING:  now I'm really worried about Cy! Candy
doesn't  understand  my  PROSE comment, but it is appropriate. Like so
many  dark-haired  folks,  Candy seems to despise the idea of changing
over  to  blonde.  I  tell  her  that  NO,  I  don't think it's silly,
myself...but  nicely.  Getting  worried  about Cy, I decide to talk to
Memo again.

     Memo  tries  to  blow me off, but I am FIRM, yet telling her "NO"
when she feels I am mocking her. I work hard to make her believe there
is  NO WAY I am lying about this deal, and convince her (I think) that
I  will  try  to  get rid of the robots, but only if s he lays off the
kid, she agrees.


     I  have  to  admit,  I  am  quite  PROUD  as  I  inform Cy of the
agreement, even laughing when she makes me say "YES, I promise" twice;
cute  kid.  Cy  surprises  me  when she offers to tell about the cones
without me asking. Remembering what Harry said, I ASK MORE qu estions.
I'm  a  bit  LACONIC when her information is that they "hurt bad," but
when  she  mentions  that  Memo  says they hate slime-goo, I decide to
LISTEN some more. The kid surprises me again and asks me if I want her
slime-goo gun. I give her an OKEY DOKEY and a grin.


     After  that  I  head  us back to Binkley Manor. Heading up to the
screen  gets  no  response,  so  Binkley  is  still pouting. I get the
feeling  he didn't turn the microphone and viewer off at his end, so I
tease  him  out.  Telling  Wattson  a RIDDLE -- one of those TI MELESS
Chicken  jokes -- I intentionally mess it up, knowing an insecure type
like Binkley will have to show his vaunted "superiority" by correcting
me.  It  works, yet when I ask about the Detectron HELMET INFO, I have
to  SOFT  SOAP  the  guy, try to butter h im up. Like most, he doesn't
give  anything  away. I try using the FREEZE INFO and bingo! Seems the
dope doesn't even know anything about history after all. He must think
I'm  an  idiot when he wants me to give my info first: of course he'll
then  renege on t he deal. I INSIST HE GO FIRST and I learn the helmet
is  in  the  Natural History museum. Just to throw him a curve, I tell
him  Memo  knows  about  the  Freeze.  I'm  sure  she's old enough and
intelligent enough to know about it, and the concept of the two of the
m dealing with each other amuses me.


     I  realize I hadn't been to building 2, so I head there. I find a
robot  that  I try to TALK to. Sounds like a tour robot: I let Wattson
attempt  to  link up to see if the robot has acquired any useful info,
after  Wattson  tries  to  EXPLAIN  what  the link does. However, once
Wattson  does  establish  the link, the robot just walks into the next
room. We follow and I try to TALK to it again. I keep following it and
trying  to  talk  to it through each room. Eventually, the tour has to
end.  In  a  dead  end it seems to ru n down. I QUERY the robot and it
admits it can't go any farther, and that it has some information.

     I  ask about DETECTRON and it mentions that two people know about
pieces:  the one in the Old Human Junk Center and the one in the Place
For Exhibiting Trash (see paper map). We head out.


     I  head  back  to  Memo and ask her about the FENCE, wondering if
there is any way past it. She mentions that there is a weak spot and I
press her for MORE INFO. Despite her obstinate and obnoxious attitude,
I  find  out there is a gate leading to building 13. At this point she
tries  to  clam  up, so I goad her by saying, extremely sarcastically,
"SO?" then make a JOKE to take the edge off: this is one woman I DON'T
want as an enemy.


     After  Memo,  I can use a little civilization (or at least that's
how I rationalize it), so I head back to Johnnie. At least my off-hand
comments  get  a  smile  out  of her; YES, I enjoy talking to her. She
admits  to  being upscale society, but hey, I won't hol d that against
her.  You  don't  work as a D.C. cop without learning the rules: she's
the  type that one uses the light touch on, keep everything amusing. I
tell  her  I  dropped by in case BRUNO needed practice. She opens up a
bit  and  mentions  the  Underground.  I know about it already but I'm
pleased  she  mentions it. For the first time she invites me back as I
leave. Yup, it's a good day.

     I  realize  I'd  forgotten  to ask her about Detectron, so I head
back  inside  the  building.  I'm  surprised  that Bruno isn't around.
Johnnie  seems rather wistful -- odd after our banter earlier -- and I
wonder if she is homesick. A little 21st Century banter h elps. When I
mention  food,  she  comments  on  those  cruddy food pellets that she
detests.  ME TOO. We talk about old-time social dining for a bit, then
the  light  in  her eye dies, wistfully calling it all a dream. I tell
her I DISAGREE: I plan on trying to se e that light in her eyes again.

     I got back to business. The closest Detectron part that I know of
is  the  one  in  the Natural History museum, but Johnnie doesn't know
about  it. I knew that with the slime gun I had now, I can go in but I
really  don't want to wade in through all those cone s; I want another
way  in  if possible. I am disappointed that Johnnie is no help, but I
stay  RELAXED  and don't show it. She must have sensed it, though; she
suggests that maybe Harry can help. I take her advice.


     Back in the tunnels, I go right until I find Harry. Once again, I
stay  RELAXED during the conversation, as Johnnie suggested. I ask him
if there's another way to BREAK IN, like a window or skylight. I think
my  cool breaks a bit when I yelp "WHAT?" when h e casually mentions a
secret  passage.  Boy,  was I GRATEFUL to Harry; it pays to be nice to


     I  change  guns  so I'm using the slime gun, then, walking to the
right, I find myself in building 3. Eventually (go down, right, right,
up),  I  find the Detectron Brain amidst the cone bodies. It surprises
me  that Wattson thinks so highly of the brain. He c ompares it to his
own,  but  I  guess things haven't progressed much with robots running
things. I retrace my steps and get back into the tunnel.


     Quickly,  I  change  back to one of the laser rifles and take the
tunnel  all  the  way back to Doc Valerion to deliver what I've got. I
figure  I've  been  hard  on the old guy, so I modestly tell him 'TWAS
NOTHIN' to get the parts I've got.


     Deciding  it  might  be  a  good  idea to check on Cy, I take the
scenic view from Valerion's place, around 14 over to building 4. She's
cheerful  enough, kinda making me think of Johnnie. And _that_ reminds
me  of  COFFEE.  I  ask Cy if she'd seen some, thinking J ohnnie would
really appreciate some. No luck.


     Since I'm checking my charges, I swing by Candy. She is in a good
mood,  good  enough  that  I  say "YOU BET!" when she proffers a joke.
Umm...yeah.  Anyway,  I  ask  her about the FENCE, faking ignorance by
saying  NO  when  she asks if I know about the weak spot. She tells me
about  the  spot I already know about, but then mentions the number of
guards.  My  response  sounds  a lot TOUGHER than I feel, but what the
hey? Wattson, of course, ruins the entire attempt at machismo.


     After  discussing it, Wattson and I decide to start searching the
forest  and  zoo  shrubbery  to look for funnelhead stockpiles in case
there  is a Detectron part there. It's long and tedious, but does turn
up  some  surprising  things:  laser  pistols  and  rifles  of varying
strength,  a  disrupter,  and  a  watergun  that  works  well  on  the
funnelheads but not on robots or poodles. As we search, I realize that
since  the  funnelheads  are  such packrats, if I come back later, the
items  I've  found  would  be  gone  and  dropped s omewhere else. (In
essence,  it  appears  that  the  placement of items in the bushes and
trees,  including  the  Detectron part, is randomly generated when the
game  starts.)  I  finally find the Detectron weapon in some bushes at
the northeast corner of the lake that is to the right of the jungle --
the last place we were going to check. Figures.


     With  only  one  piece  of the Detectron system left, I feel good
even  though I don't know where the last part is. Success is close and
Valerion  can  put finish and start up the Detectron robot. In fact, I
feel  good enough to drop by and see Johnnie again, st rictly socially
this time.

     But as I head over there, I decide to stop by and try to get more
information  from  Zapman.  I  remember the head robot, the one called
INTERFACE.  Zapman  informs  us that Interface is on the other side of
the  fence  in  building  13.  A lot of what Zapman says d oesn't make
sense  and  Wattson  obviously notices my CONFUSED look as he explains
further.  Looks like getting out of here means going through the zoo's
head, 'bot.


     Even after Zapman, I'm in good spirits. Dropping in on Johnnie, I
kid around and make a REQUEST. She's got her stiff upper lip on again,
but  I  persevere, keeping the banter FRIENDLY and continuing with the
dining  memories.  She  finally  smiles  when  I  give her the BRITISH
"Ruggles  the  butler"  routine.  Keeping  the  conversation light and
FUNNY,  we  have  a  good  time with a make-believe dinner. She really
seems  to  enjoy  that.  As  I leave, she asks me to escort her to the
cotillion. Hot damn!

     Then,  she hands me the last remaining Detectron part: the servo!
One way or another, I'll make sure she has her cotillion, and that I'm
her escort!


     Taking  the  Underground  because  it's quicker, we bring all the
remaining  pieces  to  Valerion.  I  must  be  in  good spirits if the
frivolous  "YIPPEE!"  I  make  in response to Valerion's praise is any
indication.  So naturally, life has to dump on me in the form o f some
comments from Valerion. I get SUSPICIOUS when he hesitates to kick the
Detectron  into gear. I'm STUNNED from the news, then get RED HOT with
anger at him when he says why. I GIVE IN to his reasoning only when he
points out the alternative.

     Still,  I'm  impressed  by Detectron and turn back into a YUKSTER
once  I'm  wearing  it  and  have  a  chance to look it over. But, I'm
quickly  PUZZLED  when  I  can't seem to fire the weapon. Doc Valerion
gets  pretty  testy;  I  try  to lighten things up with a NYUK or two;
doesn't  work.  I  figure  he's the doctor, and a few hours in the lab
should fix it, but he says he can't. When I ask WHY, he claims someone
damaged  the  Detectron brain beyond repair. After coming so close and
the  recent  emotional rollercoaster I've b een on, it's impossible to
keep  the  BITTERNESS  away,  and  I  get  rather  ANGRY. When Wattson
comments  on  how  similar Detectron's brain is to his -- again -- the
doc  and  I  both get CURIOUS about _how_ similar they are. Even for a
'bot, Wattson's no dope: I h ave to be pretty SUBTLE and SOOTHING with
him trying to get him to let the Doc experiment.

     Poor  little guy, guess I can't really blame him but the Doc gets
his  way...again.  After  attaching Wattson to the Detectron system, I
tell Wattson to be PHILOSOPHICAL about the whole thing. Actually, once
the test starts he gets so excited I have to CHUCK LE.


     I  run  through  the  tunnels,  heading back to Johnnie. I got to
admit,  even  I get a kick out of the feeble effects caused by any Red
Knights  or  Poodles  we  encounter.  But when I get back to Johnnie's
place, she isn't there! It just doesn't feel right; I don' t think she
is  very  happy  about  leaving the building and Bruno's protection. A
nasty  suspicion grows in my stomach that I might be too late with the
suit  or that the suit caused her disappearance. Leaving the building,
we  head  toward  building  13.  I have to search the fence facing the
building  while battling Atom Guards to find the gate, but they aren't
a  problem. I finally find the gate (a gap in the fence) and enter the

     With  Detectron's heightened senses, I hear machinery running and
charge  toward  the  sounds  through the deserted Capitol building (go
back,  right,  back,  back), ending up in a room with a Keeper holding
Johnnie.  Seeing  her held by that tincan makes me churn inside, but I
drop  back into the RELAXED negotiation method that I learned as a cop
and bide my time.

     Once  I see my opportunity, I don't hesitate and FIRE. Johnnie is
a  bit  mad,  but I can tell it is basically stress; our stress levels
raise  considerably  when  the  electronics  panel  next  to us starts
talking.  This  junk panel is Interface? What can I say? I throw it an
INSULT.  Ya  know,  the  way it talks reminds me of some of the creeps
from  the  old  days.  When  it  offers  me a bribe, I act SLOW on the
upswing to stall for time: keeping Johnnie safe is paramount. It gives
me  the  usual  "join-or-die"  offer. I have no choice and REFUSE. The
subsequent  shootout  is  no contest. Finally, the only LATIN phrase I
know is appropriate.


     Well, Johnnie and I talked about a CARIBBEAN vacation which I was
all  for, but then she agreed when both Valerion and Wattson butted in
that  there  was  a world to save. Those two are the biggest killjoys!
Can a robot have a human brother?

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