Times of Trouble

Join Team Zombie

Episode VI: Return of the Clones

We rejoin two-niner-niner in the Underplex, where they had just confronted an airlock. It was unknown at this time where the airlock went, and in fact if they were on the unsafe side of it. Kelly proceeded to open the airlock door, triggering a “pressure unequal” warning. Kelly then shorted out the pressure sensor, allowing the airlock door to fully open. Water immediately started pouring in from the other side, and the team beat a hasty retreat back upstairs to the spork warehouse.

At the top of the stairs, the team found themselves staring into the yellow laser barrels of troubleshooting team DML-407, the band of yellows who had accosted them previously. Among their number is Gunner, the green grunt they had encountered before, albeit promoted to yellow clearance. He apparently got in trouble for using a name other than the one that Friend Computer gave him, and so insisted that everyone call him Roddy-Y. Just as the yellows are about to execute two-niner-niner, they suddenly decide to be best friends instead. DMM-299 also decides that they are best buddies with DML-407. Roddy even hugs Taylor-O. DML-407’s leader, Gregor-Y, puts up his rifle and decides that DMM-299 are alright, and that the team should come with them. Not seeing an effective choice, DMM-299 agrees and follows DML-407 out of the warehouses. Hanging a right at the endless tunnel, DML-407 leads everyone to a rickety old elevator covered in the same kind of spores as the sporks. Cameron, being a good hygiene officer, sprays the wall with disinfectant. The wall dissolves completely. Gregor-Y tells Cameron if he does that again he’ll shoot him.

The elevator opens on a factory floor, belonging to Complex Utensils – the main competitor to Spork Supply Inc. All of the spork manufacturing machinery has been cleared away, and in its place are cryo tubes, tables with restraints on them, locked cages full of shambling zombies, and more of those souped-up dentists chair torture thingies. Gregor-Y says they are going to see the boss, Titus-I.

Titus-I appears and, in true supervillain style, laughs maniacally while explaining his devious plans. According to Titus-I, the Glory of the Easter Cycle is upon us, whereupon the dead rise and give chocolate ovoids to all the good citizens of Alpha Complex! He throws a massive switch, triggering fog machines (for dramatic effect) and cryo tubes (for actual effect). Screaming “It’s aliiiiiive!!”, Titus-I watches as another Titus-I emerges from the cryo-tube. The “new” Titus-I lunges at Titus-I, and they fight.

All of the zombie cages are open by this point, and both teams of troubleshooters are fighting the walking dead. DML-407 has a vast advantage, kitted out with laser rifles, flamethrowers, and grenades, but even this is not enough. DMM-299 first tries to fight through the zombies to reach the elevator, but after Kadin-O is killed they fall back and hide from the zombies, who are now spilling out into the streets. Kadin-O returns quickly, having re-spawned there in Sector CRS rather than back home in DMM as he should have.

DMM-299 runs for the transbot station as zombies overrun Sector CRS. They kick a bunch of infrareds off the platform and hack their way into a transbot (which had been in security lockdown). Kelly and Kadin attempt to hack the transbot AI into taking them back to Sector DMM; however, Sector CRS has been locked down and the transbot slams headlong into a concrete security barrier. Regrettably, the control panel to override the security barrier is on the other side of the security barrier.

The team returns to the transbot platform, where green security grunts are trying to corral people. Parker scratches her back and the security guards spontaneously combust, allowing the team to pass. Back at the spork factory, the team see Kadin-R-1 and Kadin-O-2 standing guard. Kadin-O talks to them, and the two Kadin zombie clones take the team to see Titus-I and Titus-I. The two (now both zombie) Titus-Is intend to convert DMM-299 into zombies, but first – recognizing DMM-299’s success in getting people to like Spork Supply’s horrible spore-covered sporks – the Tituses want the team to be the zombies’ PR group and come up with a marketing campaign to get all of Alpha Complex to embrace zombieism. The team is divided on whether or not to go through with this, but decide to play along until they can escape again.

The team once again has five points to address in their marketing campaign:
1. zombies eat brains
2. only high-clearance citizens will become Mark II zombies and retain their mind and personality, becoming the upper class of the New Order
3. everyone will be turned into zombies
4. zombies are currently in the process of eating Sector CRS
5. zombies are the result of a traitorous conspiracy

As the team begins their planning, Kelly-O decides to go all-in and allows Titus-I to kill and zombify him. He comes back as a Mark II zombie, with super strength and enhanced abilities (and only a slight hunger for his teammates’ brains). Meanwhile, the team work their totally not traitorous we promise propaganda skills – Parker even composes a “Join Team Zombie” jingle that immediately gets stuck in everyone’s heads.

With their marketing plan complete, Titus-I and Titus-I send two-niner-niner to the CRS-DRS corridor – the last remaining pocket of resistance in CRS and the only exit to the rest of Alpha Complex that hasn’t yet been sealed. Titus-I and Titus-I want DMM-299 to convince the armed forces to Join Team Zombie. Two-niner-niner arrives at the Quarantine & Free Speech Containment Zone, where an army of soldiers and tanks and tactical nukes is waiting. They convince the soldiers to not immediately shoot them, and buy themselves 30 seconds to talk. Kelly, Cameron, and Parker try to convince the soldiers to Join Team Zombie, while Terry, Taylor, and Kadin reject Team Zombie and try to get rescued instead. The result is as expected – they sow confusion and discord among the soldiers, who open fire on each other. Two-niner-niner retreats back down into the zombie-infested Sector CRS, their last hope of escape dashed.

Along the way, a desperate infrared attempts to rob Two-niner-niner and steal higher-security clearance gear so he can escape Sector CRS. Kelly tries to eat his brains – Kadin attempts to stop him, but is no match for Kelly’s super zombie strength.

Two-niner-niner goes to see their old friend Myron-B. Myron-B is a zombie, and he relieves them of their earlier mission to get 50,000 sporks – since everyone is eating brains now, no one has any need of sporks! He gives the team a new marketing task – convince everyone that sporks have uses other than for eating.

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