Wired.

The Mechanical Debacle – Prequel

*CLUNK* *CLUNK* .. *BLEEP* .. *CLUNK CLUNK*

Hamster King George looked up from his scavenging, pointing his ears in the direction the echoes seemed to originate from. George was curious, but generally careful when it came to things his little hamster brain didn’t understand. Even though hamsters in the bunker have quite a high tolerance for all kinds of radioactive materials, hearing loud clunks usually meant something heavy. And thus far the hamsters in the bunker have not developed heavy object proof bodies. This fact was sadly demonstrated during the first (and only) annual robot versus hamster speed run debacle; where hundreds of hamsters lost their lives to robot-foot coordination malfunctions…

George rather kept his small hamster body not flattened to the floor, and so he skidded up along some cable tracts towards the sound. Slowly the little hamster got closer, and could hear bleeping noises in various tones. Robots rarely bleep to themselves, it’s just one of the signs the robot in question has lacked regular orders. Like how that R2-D2 fellow kept bleeping to itself all the time, a tell-tale sign of robot boredom…

The hamster got closer and closer until he spotted the figure of a very badly damaged robot walking down the corridor. Random machine parts seemed to be attached to the robot that didn’t belong there. George was able to trace some of the bulkheads strapped on the bot with tie-wraps and duct-tape to corridors #82, #26 and #2578 respectively. The hamster frowned, no one’s ever been so deep down the corridors, as far as the files go. Many tunnels were blocked or are not accessible to larger (artificial) lifeforms. Some hamsters speak scary and daring tales of visiting corridor #1313 which is allegedly haunted, although George doesn’t really believe in that kind of stuff.

*CLUNK* … *BLEEP* … *GLITCH* … *OPERATION UNCLEAR* *BLEEP * … *CLUNK* *CLUNK*

 

The robot was clearly malfunctioning, lacking maintenance badly… George usually keeps away from the robots, unless it’s during work shifts when the hamsters and robots have to work together sometimes to keep the bunker up and running. But this was just a sad case, this robot needed help, and judging by  it’s current shape wasn’t going to survive for long.

The hamster waited for the robot to pause from its stumbling and made a calculated jump right onto the robot’s head. George inspected the clumsy repairs and concluded that the robot must’ve tried to repair itself after something had happened. It half-looked like an accident and half intentional. The hamster made it’s way to the robot’s audio sensors and squeaked: “This is King George of the Hamsters, you look damaged. I’m here to help in any way.”

The robot stopped making sounds and looked around fast, nearly slinging off George, who managed to grab on to the reaction last minute.

WHO? WHAT?
Are you another voice? Or are you real? Is it another glitch, or is this hamsterspeak?
[DOES NOT COMPUTE!]

“I’m a friend,” George said. “Please let me help you.”
The hamster climbed down from the head onto the arm of the robot. The robot observed the hamster carefully and stated: “You need upgrades.”
“No I do not!” Exclaimed the hamster, “now listen: You need maintenance!”
“∀GR∃∃D” The robot glitched.

The hamster led the robot through a maze of tunnels eventually ending in an abandoned robotics lab. Most of the equipment was stripped, this would have to do.

King George had to get a few of his hamster friends involved…

antique-telephone-exchange

*Ring* *Ring*

I am Robot 01912. I have been designated the task of finding the old telecommunication suite within bunker area 9. This area of the bunker is noticeably underutilised, deemed derelict by the Administrator.
Walking through the corridors my visual scans are detecting large amounts of dust, hamster droppings and in one case, what appeared to be some form of meat product partially wrapped in baked yeast/flour compound and coated in flavour enhancement compounds YellowSauce and RedSauce.

The map I had of the area was somewhat outdated. It was rapidly apparent that some tunnels had collapsed due to lack of maintenance in recent years. Picking my way through the rubble I started seeing more wiring across the walls. This was in multiple colours. Deep scan showed copper wiring composition. I was on the right track. I followed the trunk line until I came to the switchboard room.

The switchboard was an ancient creaking piece of technology. All manually switched wires, vacuum tubes and long rusted robot operators. I expressed a pang of sadness for my colleagues, secreting several drops of lubricant from each eye and playing the required audio files.

“Wah. Wah. Wah. How very sad.”

Having completed my sorrow and mourning subroutines, I moved forward and attempted to engage telecommunications network. The main board lit up, lights and vacuum tubes coming to life.

Having succeeded in the first of my objectives, I broadcast my progress back to base and proceeded to investigate further.

Once I had passed the operator pool I was moving into the depths of the old communications suite. There were enormous machines filled with spools of tape.

One specimen had its tape broken off on one end and rotating clockwise, the frayed end flipping past the spool over and over again. The room was high ceilinged and filled with these machines along each wall. At the end of the room was another door, marked “HOLD”. I approached the door and held the handle for 360 seconds.

Nothing happened.

Having deliberated that HOLD was the room’s designation and not an instruction, I entered. The room was a large classical ballroom, the dance floor filled with old fashioned microphones pointed towards a stage at the front. On the stage a series of robots stood, clad in ice cream white tail suits and brandishing musical instruments.

They played a strained version of “Green sleeves”. My auditory sensors were “horrified” at the sound. Apparently these robots had not been serviced for a very long time.
I approached the stage to attempt communication. The leader of the robot band turned to me and loudly said

“The Army of Toy Soldiers thanks you for your call!”

The band began playing again. This time an old Beatles number.

The band master shouted at the empty room,

“Please Hold! Your call is deeply important to us!”

I had to conclude they would be here forever. So next time we put you on hold, remember: Your call is deeply important to us….

~ This guest story was written by Danov Valravn

Duck feet

A Mallardy in Romance

“Quackington! Where are you? Mister I’s getting the ship ready, we gotta go!” The Captain’s voice echoed down the hall, getting louder with every step.

“I…I guess I have to leave, too.” Quackington stuttered as he stared into her dark, beady eyes one last time.

She stared back and gave a half smile. “I promise I’ll write to you, Q. As soon as I learn how to write.”

Earlier…

*pat pat pat*

Quackington’s feet smacked against the floor as he traversed the Bunker hallways.

“Adventure this, adventure that… Why can’t Cappy just sit in the lounge with me and have some quackers for once?”

He saw a small hole in the wall up ahead and slowed his pace. Seeing as how curiosity never did anything bad to a duck (and in fact made him some good friends in the past), Quackington hopped up into the cavity and ventured into the wall.

Walking further and further, Quackington found the walls becoming less and less finished. Until finally he was surrounded by the Bunker’s rocky foundation and what appeared to be an intricate system of tunnels in the earth.

“Could this be the work of the hamsters? They never mentioned anything like this…” Quackington started to wonder aloud.

“Hey!!!”

Suddenly he felt a sharp pain in the back of his head and a large object clatter to the floor.

“What do you think you’re doing in my house?”

Fuming, Quackington turned around, but stopped short of raising his voice. Before him stood the most beautiful squirrel he’d ever laid his extremely life-like eyes on, a tiny emerald bow perched between her ears. He could feel feathers ruffling, but as if the feathers were in his stomach and setting his whole body aflutter.

“Well…” his beak quivered as he tried to muster up some charm “I didn’t think I was on an adventure, but I seem to have found buried treasure.”

The squirrel’s eyes widened. She turned away, trying not to blush. “Yeah…well, you’re still in my house… Sorry I threw that acorn at you, by the way” she said, smiling sweetly.

“Why don’t you come with and get some fresh air? Cappy’s always dragging me out on adventures, we can see the world or whatever!”

“That sounds awfully nice, but I’ve made arrangements to go scouting up in a hot air balloon in a couple days. They already went and bought a hundred pounds of acorns and everything.”

Both could feel tears starting to well up, but neither wanted to crack first.

“Be on the lookout for the ship..maybe you’ll be able to see me waving from the duck’s nest.” Quackington said quietly while glancing down ​​at his own feet shifting around.

“Where could he be?! Quackington!!!”

~ This guest story was written by Captain C. Worthy

TheGlitch

HMJUDI

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siberia

Siberia

Whilst going through the frequencies on the radio I came across a channel transmitting in Russian. Below is an excerpt of what I picked up and got through the translation device.

… ПОМОГИТЕ! NEED ASSISTANCE — UNDER ATTACK!!  PLEASE IF ANYONE CAN ….

The transmission ended abruptly, returned to static noise for 20 seconds or so, until I heard another voice calling:

… 0960 ВЫ МОЖЕТЕ ПОЛУЧИТЬ США? …
Please confirm location! The uplanders will need the recipe before it is too late! -повторение- Please confirm location! Scout Division 0960 respond! …

The radio went static again. On my terminal I searched for information about missions in Russia, and I quickly found the 0960 squad that last reported in 5 months ago.  They are on a mission to distribute the U.C.C. [Uranium Chip Cookies] in Russia and Siberia, and apparently something to do with secret bunkers and the Tunguska event from 1908… The rest of the document was encrypted.

The radio sprung to life again:

штаб! We are safe! -повторение- We are safe! Escaped from the attacking forces with minor injuries. Retreating to camp and wait for first light to continue our mission. Команда 0960 из!

Static again, I could barely understand these messages. What attacking forces were they dealing with, could it be a threat to other Toy Scout squads investigating other points of interest?

Команда  0960 иметь в виду, Glowfish activity is being reported in your area. Stay safe. Contact on next frequency at двенадцать тридцать.
Штаб-квартира отключение

I wonder what these Glowfish could be. It seems that any connection on this frequency was cut, I have heard no more transmissions in the hours following.