Tuesday, July 2, 2013

An Unrestrained Ramble On The Slaying of Sand Beasts

“…well fuck, this will really screw up my updating schedule on the blog.”

This was one of the primary thoughts on my mind as I lay trapped in a steel container buried below the desert miles away from civilization, as I could feel the vibrations of a hundred hungry sand beasts burrowing towards my iron coffin. The other main musings on my mind concerned ways to escape a steel container buried in a desert of hungry sand beasts, the amount of oxygen a vaguely human shaped steel container contained, and related matters. I mean, granted, that wasn’t all that was going on up there. I was also considering whether or not I’d had left the lights on at home. In the back of my mind I was also remembering that one song, y’know, that one that goes “dah nah daah duh nah daah nuh, dah nah daah duh nah daah nuh, daah nuuh dah”, or something along those lines. And I think I was also absentmindedly noting how I kind of had to pee at the time and…

…I feel I’ve gotten off track somewhat. What was I talking about again?

Oh right, the desert! And the steel box. And the giant robot. No wait, that last one was a different time.

So you’re probably wondering how I got into this wacky scenario, right? No? Well unfortunately for you, I’m the one telling this story, and I will steer the reins of the drunken horse that is this narrative wherever I damn well please. And for the purposes of this metaphor, I am steering said horse directly into the past, specifically at exactly 24 hours before I woke up in this blistering hot metal hell cube. Well okay, maybe not exactly 24 hours. It was probably like, I dunno, 22 and a half or something. The point is it was the day before. Or morning before. Whatever. Stop your rampant interruptions for one friggin’ second so I can get on with the story.

So anyway, I awoke one morning feeling pretty good about myself. I had just updated my blog for the first time in a while and was proud of the fact. I mean sure, it may have been a self-congratulatory, self-promoting and self-indulgent celebratory piece, but it…uh…funny, I can’t remember the end of that sentence. Anyway, I was about to head out to my day job as a freelance jetpack tester when I noticed a note pinned to my door. It read as follows:

“Dear Video Game Blogger,
I believe I have stumbled upon a discovery that requires your expert expertise in experienced expeditions yet again. I expect expeditious exploration of these exponentially expired expansions of space shall expunge expectedly expensive and expansive excellence. Expressly export yourself to my location.
Rupert Pitherby”

Oh is that all?

I instantly realized who this was and what their completely straightforward letter was talking about, and saw no reason to reiterate what that was for some metaphorical third party. And so I hastily called my place of work and informed them that someone else would have to cover my excessively awesome occupation for the day. They sighed at this, as they knew no one was quite as good at testing jetpacks as I, but they were used to it. In an endlessly exciting and not at all actually completely normal and boring existence like mine, you had to expect adventure at any time, especially when you weren’t expecting it.

So I took a quick trip to my riding wyvern stables and selected one of my favorite mounts, Scrappy. He was lovably loyal and also could spit acid, two traits that are highly recommendable for any form of transportation. He winged off into the sky at supersonic speeds, which I had no trouble surviving because of reasons I may or may not go into some other time (which is an old saying of my people that translates roughly into “I will never go into this at some other time”).  We quickly landed in our location, somewhere in Britain.

Specifically, the location I knew to meet my contact at was a pub on the corner of a street made entirely of pubs, as is the custom in the country. I passed several charmingly filthy urchin boys trying to sell me the newspaper or shine my shoes in delightful cockney accents as I went to tie up my wyvern at a red phone booth, of which there was one outside every single building. I entered the pub, to see a crowd of people in top hats eating fish and chips and drinking tea. I located the person I was looking for by his distinctive monocle, and sat down across from him.

I was searching google images for what he might look like, and immediately decided that this image took precedence over whatever I was thinking about beforehand.

“Ah, what ho, good day to you, Video Game Blogger!” Rupert exclaimed cheerily in an accent that was not even slightly racist. “I take it you are here to hear about my most recent and exciting discovery, pip pip?”

“Indeed I am Rupert” I replied. “Good to see you again, and might I say you don’t at all sound like a horrible stereotype today!”

“Cheerio old chap, thank you kindly for the compliment!” he responded. “I’ve come across a most smashing find indeed, and I think you’ll approve, guv’nor” he continued in what an inexperienced person might think was a writer confusing a cockney accent with a completely different one.

“I hope you’re right this time, Rupert,” I said with a stern expression, “the last couple wild goose chases you sent me on say otherwise.”

“Ah, poppycock!” Rupert said as he hand-waved my objections. “This time I believe that I’ve found…It.”

I gasped in a way that conveyed a great deal of shock and surprise, as I was both shocked and surprised at this statement. “You don’t mean…”

“I do” said Rupert, cutting me off. “That one particular thing you have been searching for all of this time may finally be within your grasp.”

“Wow” I said. “So you really think that you’ve found – “

“Quite” he interrupted again, confirming that it was indeed that thing we both knew about that he was speaking of. “I’ve done some searching, and it was a bugger to find, but I believe I’ve finally discovered its location.” He pulled out an envelope and pushed it across the table. “There were sightings of It that potentially could lead to this remote, conveniently unexplored series of ruins deep in the Samanafofana Desert.”

“Then I must go at once!” I exclaimed, dramatically rising from my chair before tea was served. “Thank you for the info, Rupert, if I find anything else there I’ll be sure to share the wealth as per our usual arrangement.” And with that, I ran out of the building and rode Scrappy off into the sunset.

It was like the Out of this World ending, but not as high resolution.

As I flew Scrappy towards whatever country the Samanafofana Desert was in, I tried to remember what my former Adventurer-Archeologist professor had told me about the Samanafofanan people.

They were an ancient society who were mysteriously advanced for their time, and before they mysteriously died out they left many mysterious ruins filled with treasure and mystery”, I recalled him saying. “This means that visiting their ruins can bring you great wealth, but you must be cautious! For due to their advanced origins they could have all sorts of strangely futuristic technology sealed away, like lasers and shit or something. They are also famous for building needlessly intricate but nonetheless passable ancient traps, which remain intact for thousands of years afterwards.”

“So…they’re just like any other ancient society?” I remember me asking in response. “Pretty much”, he had said.

Before too long I had followed the map enclosed in Rupert’s envelope to the ruins he had spoken of, and landed Scrappy nearby. The ruins themselves were filled with the usual mystic shit, lots of strange symbols on collapsed stone structures partially engulfed in the sands. I found the entrance before too long, and motioned for Scrappy to wait for me. Donning my adventurers pack, I descended into the ruins.

The dark, ominous traipsing through mysterious and ancient ruins long forgotten by man was actually pretty dull, until I found one of the traps. There was a big red X on the floor, and the wall was lined with whirring blades. Thinking carefully, I utilized all my expansive adventurer knowledge and cunning instinct and carefully stepped over the big red X on the floor. As I walked away, the failed trap exploded out of sheer embarrassment.

Of course I didn’t look at it. Who do you think I am?

The next trap I encountered was a fair bit more devious than the last. The ceiling was lined with a host of spiked crushing devices, crusted over with the blood and gore of previous victims. Below this grisly display was another hallway, with another big red X on the floor. However, this time there was a crucial difference. This time, crudely painted on the ground next to the X (in English for whatever reason) there was the following message: “pLEazE sTEp oN Da BiG rED X”.

As I stepped over this next trap a piece of parchment could be seen taped to the wall. It read “u maY HaVE soLVED THoSE TaRPs BuT waS oNLY BEGiNiNG oF coRRiDoR oF HuNDRED TaRPs”. Looking slightly forward I could see another big red X next to the floor message: “pLEazE DoNT NoT sTEp oN Da BiG rED X”. I sighed, leaning against a nearby wall. I couldn’t help think that this was going to take –

…a while, is what I would have thought were I not busy falling over onto the stone floor, as there wasn’t actually a wall where I was leaning. Rubbing my head, I got up and looked over the open door, as it did appear to be a door that I had just fallen through. Up above the opening I could read the text: “sERVizE ENTRaNsE” written on the wall.

Well that was convenient. I took the side door, despite the nearby signs that said things to the tune of “EmpLoYEEz oNLY”. I passed through a lot of empty corridors, and what I think was a break room with a working coffee machine. Granted, the coffee machine only dispensed rocks, but the intent seemed to be there, at least. At any rate, it wasn’t long before I got through the blasted hallway and made it to the treasure room.

Of course there was a room filled with gold at the end. I’m pretty sure that was like, a rule in ancient societies. Where else would they store all their priceless relics that they never used?

The treasure room was standard fare for someone who owned their own private island at any rate. Walls lined with platinum, statues made of pure gold, piles of precious gems billowing up in huge mounds across the room. That was all well and good, but there would be ample time to examine all that later. First thing first, I had to start searching the room for any sign of…It.

I was rummaging through a pile of useless flawless rubies when I suddenly heard a maniacal laugh from behind me. ‘Wait a minute’, I thought, ‘that sounds like…’

“Doctor Acidmeltskull!” said the man behind me. I turned to find out that the person who had shouted that was…Dr. Acidmeltskull! “I have proclaimed that identity for it is the one I have,” he continued, “which is to say that I, the one announcing my presence to you right now, am Dr. Acidmeltskull!” The doctor laughed again, and I waited patiently for him to run out of breath and wind down.

“…so, Doctor,” I said about half a minute later as he started wheezing, “what are you doing in these ancient ruins? And how did you even get here in the first place?”

“I am glad you asked, Video Game Blogger!!” he exclaimed excitedly in between gasps. “You see, I was stewing after my last humiliating defeat at your hands” he said, his face contorting in anger. “It was at this juncture that I devised an astoundingly brilliant, intelligent and really quite smart plan of evil disposition! A plan to have my revenge and defeat my troublesome nemesis, which would be you, once and for all!”

“You know, speaking of that” I said, before he could get all monologue-y on me, “I’m still kind of wondering how we became nemesis…es (nemesii?) in the first place. I mean last time we met you gave me your backstory but you didn’t-“

“Did someone say backstory?!” the doctor loudly interrupted.  “Oh, I have a backstory all right! A terribly tragic and awful backstory! One that I remember like it was…” he turned his head away dramatically as he continued, “yesterday…yesterday…yesterday…”

I groaned as he went all the way through the exact friggin’ same backstory as he had last time. Sighing, I settled down in a comfortable bed of rubies. If anything, it only seemed stupider than before. After several minutes of this tomfoolery, we began to exit the shared flashback and continued the conversation where we left off.

You know what I’m flashing back to? How good that last article was! You should re-read the whole thing!

“…right, well, that was…yes” I said afterward. “I kind of already heard that one the last time but whatever. It still doesn’t explain my original question. What I was asking if you knew the reason that you became my nemesis in the first-“

“Don’t try and distract me from my brilliant plan!” said Dr. Acidmeltskull, apparently forgetting he’d just interrupted himself for several minutes. “You’ll have plenty of time to ponder whatever unimportant question you were about to ask when you’re dead!” Seeing this proclamation wasn’t getting a rise out of me, he cleared his throat. “Because I’ll have killed you, you see!” he tried again with what he probably thought was a threating expression.

There was silence for another few seconds.

“It…it will be entirely gruesome and horrific!” he continued, somewhat nervously. “The dying that is! And I suspect you, uh, won’t like it at all! …because of how utterly awful it will be! All that awaits you is unpleasantness! And…other bad things! What I mean to say is-“

“Would you just tell me your plan already?!” I interrupted, getting tired of this.

“…fine” the doctor responded grumpily. “Yes, well…it was a most brilliant plan! Via my many exceedingly eeeevil contacts I discovered more about you, Video Game Blogger! I learned you are searching for something, and deemed this the perfect way to lead you into a trap!”

My spirits started to sink at this. This whole trip had been a waste, hadn’t it?

“All it took was the spreading of a false map to these deadly ruins!” the doctor continued, confirming my thoughts. “If the deviously clever traps didn’t manage to destroy you, then I would still have you in my clutches by the end, ready to enact my devilish plan B and crush you myself! And you, like a fool, fell right into my trap, you foolishly foolhardy foolperson! So that aforesaid plan B is what I’m going to do now!” as he finished this statement, he pulled out an ancient, tattered book. “Guardians of the tomb!” he shouted, reading from the book. “This foul intruder wishes to plunder your sacred hoard! Rise from beyond the grave and exterminate this fool!”

Suddenly the room was cloaked in a strange, vile darkness. A choking, rotten smell began to permeate the room. Something started rustling beneath the gold piles, and a tattered, skeletal hand burst from beneath one of them! All around the room, skeletal soldiers were pulling themselves out of the piles. The shambling skeletal abominations slowly started to converge on my position…rather slowly indeed, actually.

“Hm…” I mused aloud as I looked at one of the skeletons struggling to lift the sword it was carrying. Deciding to test my theory, I walked over to the nearest one to me, looked it straight in its lack-of-eyes, and poked it in the ribcage.

First a rib slid slowly out of place, and then there was a clicking sound and other ribs followed suit, and the whole skeleton started to slowly collapse into a pile of bones on the floor. It was one of the most awkward demises I had ever seen.

The poor guy just fell apart under pressure.

“Yeah…thought so” I said, turning to face the doctor, who was wide-eyed and frozen in place. “On the whole, ancient rotted remains aren’t the most physically fit” I turned back to the skeleton pile and watched some of the limbs still twitching a bit. “Really, it’s quite a surprise that they got these things up and moving at all…”

“Err…right, uh” said the doctor behind me. “Plan C activate!!!”

And then he hit me in the back of the head with the book.

When next I woke up, I appeared to be in a steel container of some kind. After rubbing the back of my head, I decided to try the obvious and lift the lid off of said container. Unfortunately, this was expectedly unsuccessful. Well this was embarrassing. “I can’t believe” I murmured to myself, “that I let my guard down to someone like Dr. Acidmelt-“

“Did somebody say Dr. Acidmeltskull?!?!” shouted a voice from outside my tiny prison.

I groaned internally. “Oh, hello doctor” I said wearily. “What exactly are you trying to do now?”

“Exacting my revenge, of course!” the doctor screamed unnecessarily loudly outside. “The Smanafofana Desert is notorious for its many vicious and horrible sand beasts! They live beneath the sands and devour anything they can! So I have trapped you in this steel container, which I will now proceed to bury in the middle of the aforementioned desert! This will lead to you being devoured by the sand beasts in an uncomfortable and no doubt generally disagreeable demise!!!”

There was a brief silence as he got his breath back, and coughed. “…probably should have had this be plan A, in retrospect” he said. “Now so long, Video Game Blogger! We shall not meet again, because I will be alive and you will soon be dead by way of sand beasts, those ones I just talked about!! Farewell!!!”

And with that, I could feel my container being dropped into a hole and having a great weight dropped onto it. Meanwhile, I could hear Dr. Acidmeltskulls maniacal laughter, which gradually faded into the distance. The silence was soon broken by the sound of something, in fact a great deal of somethings, burrowing toward my position.

“…well fuck, this will really screw up my updating schedule on the blog.”

Y’know, this was just like that one time…no wait, it was the same time.

After a brief and unexplained period of déjà vu I tried to assess my situation. I was in the middle of a desert with nowhere to go and countless hungry sand beasts coming my way. I needed a way out, and fast. But how was I supposed to manage that? I was out in the middle of nowhere, in the Samanafofana Desert, and there wasn’t anything out there except…except…

I hit myself on the head. Duh! I had completely forgotten that this desert just happened to be where he spent his time when not in use! Rummaging through my pockets, I pulled out a tiny, high-tech looking communicator.  “SOS, SOS, I need help at my position! Do you read me?” I said into the communicator.

There was a brief silence before a rather stiff voice responded. “ACKNOWLEDGED. I SHALL ARRIVE AT YOUR COORDINATES WITH HASTE.” The communicator cut off and I was left with nothing but the sound of the encroaching beasts for a few minutes, when I started to hear a rumble. It got louder and louder until finally I heard giant footsteps stop above me. “SIGNAL DETECTED BELOW”, a booming metallic voice could be heard to say. Suddenly the weight around my container started to shift and I could feel some giant metal appendages clamp around it and pull upward.

Though I couldn’t see through my container, I knew the voice belonged to Super Robo Defender Mecha X Go!, a giant robot I had met previously during my long past crime fighting career. Conveniently enough, he happened to stay idle in the middle of this desert when he wasn’t out apprehending evil-doers. My thoughts were interrupted when the pressure on the sides of the container stopped and I felt myself dropped on top of the sands.


There was a grinding of gears as Super Robo drew his weapons, of which he had many. Soon I could also hear a great host of creatures emerging from the sands. They sounded to range in size from my fist to giant whales, and they all sounded angry. And with that, what was possibly one of the greatest fights I had ever been party to began.

It was such a shame I couldn’t see it.

From my metal penitentiary, all I could see way a huge array of flashing lights through the cracks. I heard laser swords wooshing through the air and flesh, a horde of monsters constantly screaming and wriggling, giant booms as metallic appendages crushed and crashed, and an innumerable host of constant explosions from absolutely every direction. This went on for what felt like a very, very long time. Eventually, silence finally fell.

“THREATS ELIMINATED” I heard the voice of Super Robo say. “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, RETURNING TO IDLE LOCATION…” He then started stomping off to the distance.

“Uh, hey, aren’t you forgetting something buddy?” I said nervously over the communicator. “Hello? Super Robo? Super Robo?! HEY!” I shouted, but apparently too late, as the steps just kept getting further away. Well, the robot had saved my life…he’d just left me in the container.

Well shit, what was I going to do now? As I contemplated my options I could hear something flapping its way towards me. Oh, that’s right, Scrappy! “Hey!” I shouted from inside the box. “Scrappy! Scrappy, is that you?” The flapping grew closer and I heard Scrappy’s distinctive yip. “Oh good, it’s you Scrappy. Now listen to me, I have a plan…”

“…I need you to barf on me.”

There was a brief silence, and then with a choking sound I could hear acid covering the outside of the steel container. With a sizzling sound, the metal melted slowly away and I saw Scrappy looking down at me curiously. I gingerly got up, eyes adjusting to the light, and stepped out of the half melted steel container. What greeted me outside was a scene of absolute carnage. From giant Sand Worms to packs of ravenous Desert Dogs, every variety of sand beast you could think of was splayed around the surrounding area. Some were mostly whole, but most were hard to recognize due to how many pieces their corpses were in.

It was almost as bad as my last New Year’s Party. Hey-oooooooo

Well as disgusting as that was, it meant that Super Robo had done his job well. All the sand beasts were dead and there was nothing to worry about. Yup. I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that I was absolutely, completely safe and there was no possibility whatsoever of any live sand beasts still being around. Uh-huh. None at all.

…it was at this point that the narratively predictable happened and a horde of temporal leeches leapt out of the sand at my feet, screeching and latching all over myself and Scrappy. I desperately started tearing them off and throwing them on the ground, but I seemed to be moving in some strange type of slow motion. As I threw them off and stomped, Scrappy aided by barfing their entire bodies off. After what seemed to us to be a matter of seconds, the temporal leeches were all dead on the sand.

Dreading what I’d find, I pulled out my phone to check the date. My worst fears were confirmed. The temporal leech, which feeds of the time of others, had sucked out exactly whatever the amount of time was since my last blog post! Sighing, I realized there was nothing I could do about this undoubtedly true series of events that had just happened.

And so with a heavy heart I rode Scrappy back to my home, to post on my blog a long time later than I was expecting. It was a shame to disappoint people, but I knew they’d understand what terrible hardships I’d been through. In fact, they’d probably all realize as they finished reading my newest post that I had been through so much that instead of being insulted I’d been gone for so long they should all send me exorbitant amounts of money and free ice cream.

And so they did. The end.

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