Chapter 5: Conflict of Interest

» Take the hat

Oh baby. I’ll never leave you again, I promise.

Skree gives you a weird look. You can only assume he is jealous of your sweet fedora. But who cares what he thinks, because right now…

…it’s time…

…to adventure.

» Take backpack

You got your stuff back! Wooooooooo! Time to ditch this piece of cord you’ve had slung around your shoulder for the last little while.

YOU HAVE: A cracked egg, a dead bird, an eyepatch, a broken and empty bottle of Glen Avon whisky, a til of oil, Les’ skull, the video cassette from the piano room, the eyedol, two coins, some string, a broken music box, the sun medallion, and a tin of Dapper Dan Men’s Pomade.

» Remove his arm to replace the one you’re missing.

You grab his arm and shove it into your wirey-socket. Your body accepts the new arm quite easily. Sorry, Scrapheap, but an adventurer’s gotta do what an adventurer’s gotta do.

» Examine the body with one arm. Is it human or a robot? How did it die? Why does it have one arm the same as we have one arm?

It’s the same as you, whatever that means. Looks skin-like on the outside, but has wiring all along its inside. This guy is pretty out of commission. His head’s been knocked loose from the body, his limbs are all snapped or broken off, and he’s got some kind of weird square-ish panel on his forehead.

You also just took his only good arm, so there’s that too.

» Check with Skree to make sure he isn’t traumatized.

He seems pretty happy to be in the cold room now that the monster’s dead.

» Play music box.


» Reattach claw arm.

Also busted.

» Remove some of the teeth from the slain monster thing. Use them to make our robotic arm menace with spikes.

Bones are pretty tough, and these ones seem pretty solid. No way you’re going to be able to snap anything off.

» Examine the room to see if we missed anything items of interest.

Not much else here that isn’t teeth, tentacles, frosted eye-goop, ceiling chunks, or crap that fell in from the kitchen. Excluding that, there’s a note on the ground, and that thermostat-looking thing on the wall.

» Grab the note in the room where we first found the big monster. Read it.

You grab the note; it appears to be one of several pages stuck together, likely from the notebook you recovered earlier.

to get suspicious.

Day 204

A discovery! Despite my assertions otherwise, Les appears to have been correct about the strange skittering noises we have heard being indicative of the presence organic life forms! Today an eye-looking creature crawled into our lower labs – I say ‘eye-looking’ because half its body mass must have been in the one single unblinking eye. It stared at us briefly then fled, presumably in animalistic fear. We followed it but were led to a dead end in the cave system. We are uncertain as to how it escaped our sight.

I will list what I was able to gather of its appearance thus far:
– Its body mass is predominantly a single eye, with a large pupil and a wide, horizontal line struck through it. Uncertain as to the purpose of the line.
– It moves around by spreading its presumably light weight across many long, tangled black tentacles.
– Directly underneath its eye is another set of hanging tentacles, these ones thicker, shorter, and a more grey colour. There appears to be some sort of bone structure behind it, but we were unable to see past this. Perhaps a protected exoskeleton? Other appendages? I can only speculate.

We have ceased looking for the creature and will attempt to appeal to it by resuming our working and hoping it returns of its own curiousity.

Day 209

The creatures have now hung around for three days, and with a bit of coercion they have become comfortable enough around us to let us examine them. I must correct my prior observations with new information I have learned during my time with the creatures, which we are now tentatively calling ‘oculoids.’

– The line through their pupil appears to be part of their pupil as well. Without a scientific analysis I must presume it is to achieve depth perception to make up for the single eye, though I do not understand the workings behind this.
– There is a distinction between its two types of tentacles: the long, thin, black ones are used for propulsion as expected, and the thick grey short ones serve three purposes: As a protective shield in front of its weak spine, to grip objects and pass them into its large teeth structure for feeding using a secreted sticky coating, and to scare predators away. We are uncertain as to what predators exist in this place, nor where it stores nutrients from food.
– Its food source is very tough and likely relatively immobile or slow, as indicated by its large, powerful teeth, and the difficulty with which it consumes things.
– The origination of this sensation is undiscerned, but when in close contact with a creature oculoid, powerful emotions are felt. A defense mechanism? Until the creatures return, we cannot investigate further.

We will prepare a set of tools for their eventual return. An internal examination is necessary to understand these creatures better.

Day 212

Rusty has been barking all night. The creatures again? They will no longer leave

That’s the last page.

» Drag adventurer to medical room.

All right, you’ve got two arms now, let’s drag this guy outta here. Maybe you can give him a jump start with that machine you were hooked up to or something.

Hm. This could be tricky.

» Pull at the “sewage” door. Does it seem to be frozen stuck? If so, see if you can increase temperature using thermostat.

You leave Scrappy on the stairs and head back downstairs to investigate. Yup, it’s totally frozen shut.

You crank the temperature up. Could take a bit to fully defrost, though.

» Put paper hat on Skree, so that he can adventure as well.

For his valiance and courage, you promote Skree to Junior Adventurer First Class with a fine salute. Perhaps one day he can reach the illustrious rank of Master Petty Chief Adventurer like you.

» Imagine jolly quest with adventuring side-kick.

You imagine a fantastic adventure-romp through a magical time kingdom ruled by an evil queen and her personal army of servants. You are able to defeat her using your wits and the power of friendship!!! And also archaeology, because that is what adventuring is about too.

» Construct a crude whip from giant oculoid tentacles.

They are gooey and slimey. This is not going to work.

» Search around for some sturdy boards and build a bridge across the gap. Ask Skree for a little help in doing so.

Doubtful that’s going to happen. However, you have a better idea.

Tally hoooooooo!

» Check inside robo-adventurer’s head.

You jump after him and check him out in the living room. Looks like touching the panel makes it pop open. There’s a little cartridge thing inside.

» Take the little cartridge thing and try to stick it in our head… if we have a similar panel we don’t know about.

You take off you hat. Doesn’t look like there’s a panel…

You try pressing down and a little square panel dissevers itself from your forehead. Huh. Damn thing looked indistinguishable until accessed.

Opening the panel, you see your own little memory chip thingy. Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Let’s see what happens.

You pop the junked bot’s chip into your own head.

Nothing happe–


Your vision is replaced by some playback video. I guess the broken dude you found? He is looking at that paper you saw in the medical room.

The feed cuts ahead to—hey, whoa, is that your body?

You are being dragged, unconscious.

You watch as your lifeless body has various wires plugged into it. This seems vaguely familiar.

He takes your bad arm from its socket and appears to be examining it. Very scientific, this guy.

Hey! What the hell?! That was your arm, man!

He returns to the medical room and replaces one of the question marks with an exclamation mark.

The bot takes your backpack off and begins examining it. He seems to find it useful, as he keeps it.

He has taken particular interest in the notepad you found in Dr. Feringus’ room.

He flips through to where a page is torn in half, then abruptly stops.

Taking the pen, he scribbles on the page under the ripped page and finds the indentation made by the previous page. A real life amateur detective.

Q3X5G7. Never would have guessed that.

Hey you put that down mister that’s not for you you don’t just take somebody’s hat— Ah, no point complaining now. It already happened.

Buddy has left the medical room (with your hat) and is unlocking the warm room. I guess he was hanging out in this area the whole time.

…Now he’s cleaning up the living room. You’re not sure what to make of this.

And… rotating the fruit bowl?

He heads through the fridge accessway, apparently open— oh, no. You suddenly realize where this is going.

Turn back, man! Hello! Dude! That thing’s… Get out of there!!!

Run, dude, run!

He’s going for the door, he’s going for the door, he’s gonna–

» Rotate fruit bowl

You pop your chip back in your own head and are met with another error screen for a moment. Apparently your chip’s busted. No wonder you can’t remember anything.

You vision returning, you pop the other guy’s chip back into his head. You can’t help but feel bad for him, hat-theivery or not. The guy did fix you up when you were down and out, after all; and since he had intended to come back he had probably only meant to borrow your stuff rather than keep it altogether.

Time to see what he was up to. You twist the fruit bowl and hear some clanking, followed by a crashing sound and some tinkling.

It appears the fridge machinery exploded or something. It’s leaking a lot of dark smoke. I guess this was some kind of secret way to get in and out of the freezer easily? Now that one of the rails is destroyed and the room is smashed up it doesn’t appear to be working properly. It also looks like the frost from the room below has cleared.

» Use Q3X5G7 as password in the computer downstairs.

You type in the stupid password and are given complete access to all the computer functions you couldn’t touch before.

DOORLOCK, RAMPDOWN, EMRGEXIT, and CAVETRAP are turned off. LIFESPRT is turned on. You recall turning DOORLOCK and CAVETRAP from on to off the last time you fiddled around with this.

» Attempt to repair hat-thief.

You drag the poor guy back up to the medical room (Skree staying behind as usual) and plop him onto the bedtablething. Okay, you’ve got five wires, four character slots on the machine, the numbers 1 through 9, and no idea what to do. Let’s get this party started.


You turn on EMRGEXIT and RAMPDOWN. No whirr-clunking from the walls this time; the effects are apparently a bit too far away to be heard.

On your way back upstairs, you notice a new staircase in the smithy. You decide to go try to fix up your friend before you keep exploring, though.

» Search the damaged guy for a serial number.

Nope, nothing. If the panel in your head was so well-hidden, though, who knows what other information or panels are hidden on him.

» Plug in the other memory card and do what it did.

You pop in the dude’s memory chip and decide to pay a bit more attention this time.

Okay, that wire goes there… that one goes there…

You pay careful attention to his fingers this time. He enters “5315.” From what you can see, nothing else happens, but he seems satisfied and moves on.

You pop the chip out and hook up the wires, then enter 5315 yourself.

Voltage is a little high. Sorry buddy! You’d better lower it before you fry him.

» Lower it to 4000.

There’s no ‘0,’ weirdly, but you lower the number to 4111. The electric flickers along the wires ceases.

» Raise it in increments of 100 until something happens.

You continue raising the voltage until you see any sort of reaction. At around 4611 the electric flickering starts up again, so you dial it down to 4511 and leave it. Hopefully that’s enough to power him back up, though it’ll probably take a little bit.

» Go down the stairs.

You head down the stairs, bringing Skree with you.

The room is filled with five lockers, each marked with a symbol – an eye, a sun, a cloud, a raindrop, and a lightning bolt. Familiar. On the right side of the room is a door marked ‘LAB’ with an image of a beaker on it and a six-button keypad next to it. There are two oculoid skeletons here, though there are no tentacles here. On the back wall is a larger blast door and a card swipey thingy.

» Open all the lockers, if possible.

In the eye locker you find a control panel. It has a pulley switch set to the ‘up’ position.

In the lightning bolt locker you find another map, this time for “4F.”

In the cloud locker you find… a corpse? It’s a headless robot body in a labcoat.

The sun and raindrop lockers are locked.

» Swipe memory through swipe-slot.

It’s not shaped right for that – the slot is practically paper-thin, while the memory chip is more cartridge-shaped.

» Put Skree on the headless robot body so it looks like a funny oculoid person

You put Skree on top of the robot body. Aww, how cute! He thinks he’s people!

Then again, I guess so do you.

He gets an electric shock and jumps off. Enough of that, then.

» Take the labcoat and wear it.

You become Dr. Adventure Guy. This one fits a little better than the last labcoat you found, too.

» Search the labcoat’s pockets.

You find another ID card. This one belonged to Les, apparently.

» Examine keypad next to lab door.

It has the same symbols as the lockers have, in a mixed-up order. There is also a ‘enter’ key.

» Take scientist’s body to medical room.

You drag the body to the light room, but have your doubts about getting him up the ladder.

» Take the arm and give it to Hat Thief.

Unfortunately, the body’s quite harmless. Er. Armless.

» Go check on the “SEWAGE” door.

You make your way across the kitchen and back into the freezer. The frost is gone and the eye-gunk along with it. Actually, it feels a little toasty in here. The SEWAGE door is definitely unstuck now; you open it quite easily.

You enter the sewage room. Bleck, that smell! It’s rather… pungent in here. Several pipes are pouring gunky water into a basin in the middle of the room. A small panel in a machine on the wall is open and appears to be missing some wires. There is some kind of meter across the basin as well as another note.

Gentleman is here.

» Ask the gentleman what he is doing here, where he’s been, and if he knew he was a robot.
» Also ask if he knows how to fix one.
» Ask the gentleman if he’s a robot, what he’s doing there, and how he got in.
» Ask the Gentleman whether you could pop his head open and take a look at his memory.

Gentleman asks you why a creature is following you around.

» Quit playing metaphorical dodgeball with our questions MR. SIR!
» Offer Skree up for Gentleman to pet to show how friendly he is.

You call him out on dodging your questions, but tell him that Skree is your friendly adventuring sidekick. You pick Skree up and are about to hold him out for a pettin’ when you suddenly get feelings of anxiety and discomfort from the little guy. You hesitate to hold him out.

Gentleman asks why you are not following the oculoid management protocol.

» Tell him we would quite possibly be happy to. But we do not know what this protocol is.
» Be prepared to kick Gentleman into the sewage if the protocol turns out to be extermination.

You inquire as to what the protocol is. He says that all oculoids must be dispatched due to safety concerns.

» That sounds like extermination! Go to plan poop-kick!

You panic slightly and throw courtesy to the wind. You also throw your foot out at Gentleman. Nobody’s going to dispatch your buddy!

Gentleman catches your foot. Oh. Er. Looks like his reflexes are just as good as yours.

He asks why you are protecting the creature. Your programming should not be resisting this action. Are you in need of maintenance work?

» Tell him that if he touches Skree, he dies.

You tell him that if he lays one lousy hand on Skree he’s dead robomeat. He says that would not be possible, as to the best of his knowledge oculoids do not have a contact-sensitive natural weapon. He releases your foot.

» Yes, we most likely do need maintenance.

You wonder if you do actually need maintenance work done. You ask him what sort of work. He says that he must shut off your systems while he reboots your personality logic board.

That… doesn’t sound good.

» Well tell him to F-off about maintenance, too.

You tell him you are just fine and don’t need none of his maintenance crap. He maintains that your wiring appears to be defective and that he must repair you.

He suddenly holds out the water medallion over the murky pool. He says he is aware you are collecting the three medallions, and if you express continued hostility he will drop it into the filthy sewage basin to impede your progress.

He says your power cell is in your back. He says to turn around immediately or he will assume you have opted for continued non-compliance.

» Tell Skree to flee!
» Don’t obey. Punch him out.

You aren’t having any of this macguffin-as-hostage crap. You shout for Skree to run (wiggle?) and start your fist a-swingin’.

Gentleman moves to catch your fist, but momentarily pauses as the fleeing oculoid catches his eye. You seize the gap in his defenses.


Gentleman hits the far wall headfirst, then falls into the sewage, unconscious. The water medallion goes flying in as well. A panel on Gentleman’s head reveals itself.

» Find a way to turn off the flow of sewage first. We don’t want to go in there unless we really have to.
» Pull the back wall lever, it might drain the sewage

You pull the lever on the back wall. Nothing happens. Probably these damn broken electrical wires.

» Pick up the note.

The mining shaft hit some kinda big cavern today! Would be mad about having to re-plan the diggin’ but it was actually pretty cool :D It was fulla more of that magma-like stuff but this time there were trees growing up from in it, without burning up or anything! Feringus says we can use ‘em for something but I think it’s just super exciting to see. I hope they turn out to be sentient… ain’t found nothing yet we could talk to. A man could go stir-crazy out here without some good conversation! -Les

» Steal his hat

The hat appears to have mostly melted into the sewage basin. Disconcerting.

» Open up the panel.

You look up to figure out how to get Gentleman’s body out of there to see that he is gone as well.

Ew. What is this stuff? You’re pretty sure you don’t want to go in it one way or the other.

» Show idol to Skree. How does he react?

You head upstairs and find Skree sitting on the couch in the living room.

Skree goes nuts as soon as you take out the eyedol, jumping around everywhere. It is actually pretty adorable.

» Check on the hat thief.

Must be stormy out again. The weather door is locked down.

While pondering what to do about this, you hear a noise from the other room.

» Investigate the noise…

You return to the living room to investigate and find Skree freaking out up on the ceiling.

Weird. What’s the little fella doing up there?


Gentleman is here.

» Say hello and apologize about that unpleasant acid business.

You awkwardly attempt to explain away your previous aggression. Can’t we just put this all behind us?

Ow! I guess no—



There is a momentary pause in your beatdown. Gentleman appears to be processing something.

Da-a-a-a-a-a-amage approaching critical lev-ev-ev-evels. Mainten-en-enance required imme-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-diately.

He gives you what you can only approximate to be a look of resentment, the first time he’s shown any emotion, and begins to leave.

I will re-e-e-e-e-e-e-eturn to continue carrying out reparation protocol.

Do n-n-n-not get comfortable.

He is gone.

Skree crawls out from under the couch and moves to your side. You can feel him emoting at you.

get up get up get up

Maybe not right now. You’re pretty tired… it might be…

nap… time…

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