Mini-Adventure 3

We open to:  INT, day.  Captain Sparling and Dr. Higgenbotham are chained to gigantic cogwheels, which (when activated) will surely crush them to death after a short interval of time equal to about one second more than it will take them to escape.  

"Hunh hunh HUNH!" laughs the Pierre le Robotique Homme, preparing to throw the switch.  "Poor Captain Sparling!  You nevair should have tried to get in zee way of my plan!"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "What about me? I got in the way, too!"

Genevieve Sparling: "Wait! If you're going to kill us, at least tell us the details of the plan that we're trying to stop!"

Michael Harrel: "Well, since you are, how you say, going to die anyway, why zee 'ell not?  You zee, zees cogs are all part of a gigantic —- ah, hey!  nice try, but NO."

Genevieve Sparling: "Hell."

Michael Harrel: Pierre throws the switch, with much French gusto. The cogs spring to life, edging Sparling and Higgenbotham to what appears to be certain doom (if we didn't already know they were going to escape)!

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn emits a high frequency squeal. Half-robotic rats pour out of several holes in the walls. Six go to unlock Evelyn's chains with head mounted lasers. She jumps to the ground and the rats swarm around her feet.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling eyes the approaching teeth of the cog wheel above her and kicks the heel of her right boot against the wheel to which she is bound. Inside the lining of the boot, an extremely intricate and powerful spring-loaded mechanism shoots a small switchblade into the air, which she catches in her right hand, opens with a flick of her wrist, and turns backward to saw at the ropes. Once one hand is free she makes short work of the other ropes, then jumps to the ground just before the cog wheels mesh at the place where she was moments earlier. She dusts herself up and looks up to see the half-robotic rats. "Oh, well, aren't you just so impressive?"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: She gives her a look as if to say, "Duh!"

Michael Harrel: "Le curses!" shouts the Pierre. "Les foiled again!"

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling furrows her brow. "Who's Les?"

Michael Harrel: "Merde!" Merde, the Pierre's henchbot, issues forth from a circular portal that dilates to the east.  Merde himself is rather intimidating, with half a dozen arms, most of which end in blades, and two shoulder-mounted pistoles.  On his head he wears a shako, with a large plume.

As Merde advances to attack, the Pierre pulls another lever beside the one used to activate the cogs.  A small circular section of the floor, upon which are both he and the various switches he's been using, lifts quickly up on a metal column, depositing him level with the catwalk above.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling takes a few steps backward, away from Merde. "Shame Mr. Falk, Luka, Felix, and Daniel are all off on that tour of the Louvre," she says. "That's the last time I suggest we split up to cover more ground. Any suggestions, Doctor?"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "I wanted to see the Mona Lisa…"

Genevieve Sparling: "Doctor Higgenbotham, please stay in the present if you don't mind. Maybe I'll have them hang it in your quarters when they meet us at the ship."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn claps her hands. "It's settled then." She emits another high pitched note combination. The rats spring forward at Merde.

Merde, instead of being programmed to attack humans only, starts attacking his attackers. He swings at each individual rat. Too soon, however, he is covered with the mechanikal rodents. As more pile on him, he slows and the little creatures cram themselves into every joint and armor chink they can. Merde then focuses his attacks on the rats covering him. With one swift motion, he cuts through one of his arms. Oil spews everywhere as he falls to the ground, losing footing on the oil and with the weight of the rats. Once on the ground, the remaining rats scatter.

Michael Harrel: "Merde!" shouts the Pierre from above, but the intended connotation of the word is unclear.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling has had her pistol drawn throughout the rat attack, and as the rodents disperse she looks vaguely disappointed that she didn't get to use it. "Any other surprises for us," she calls to the Pierre, "or can we move on to the part where I shoot you?"

Michael Harrel: As if in response, the entire structure (the purpose and even general shape of which has yet to be revealed in the episode) begins to rumble and shake, and Sparling and Higgenbotham both feel as though the structure is moving, and picking up momentum.

Genevieve Sparling: "Oh, hell."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn falls over.

Michael Harrel: Sparling examines the structure, which is somewhat difficult to do from the inside.  However, the general gist of it seems to be that she and Higgenbotham are at about the sixth story of a ten-story-tall… something.  (The catwalk on which the Pierre is now standing is about the eighth story).  All around, gigantic cogs much like the ones that almost (but not really) killed the two women earlier are spinning and ostensibly moving the structure.  Far below the three-story tall furnace is being stoked by the automatic movements of the structure.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling gazes up at the Pierre, struggling to keep her balance. "You're just going to trample the whole of Paris, then? That's your grand plan? Bombastic, I'll give you that, but not particularly elegant."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn stands up.

Michael Harrel: "Ah huh huh HUH!" snortles the Robotique Homme.  "Zees structure is but one of SIX HUNDRED such structures!  We will not trample Paris, ho ho ho! — PARIS shall trample les whole of zee EUROPE!"

Genevieve Sparling: "Who's driving the other five hundred and ninety nine, then? Merde's cousins?"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "I have more rats, I'll have you know."

Michael Harrel: "Zat is zee beauty of my plan, Madmoiselle Captain.  All six hundred structures are connected, and controlled by the master controls located on the observation deck of zis very structure!"

He thinks for a moment.

"…Although, perhaps I am thinking it is les mistake to, how you say, tell you zees."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Huh huh HUH!" Evelyn says triumphantly.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling lets a smile spread slowly across her face. "The last mistake you'll ever make, Monsieur Pierre. Reaching the observation deck would be a challenge for anyone who wasn't in possession of an airship." She turns to Higgenbotham. "Doctor, please use your dirigible remote control" wink "to bring the Aether alongside this structure."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "How did you… Okay, well, Captain. Your deductive powers are more than I reasoned. Very well." Evelyn pulls out a small metal box with levers dials and buttons.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling stares for a moment. "You actually…" She stops. "Oh, nevermind. Just do it."

Michael Harrel: "Les merde!" says the Pierre, and this time it's pretty clear he isn't mourning his henchbot. The Pierre steps off onto the catwalk and runs toward a ladder leading upwards toward the ceiling of the structure.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling proceeds to the nearest exterior door and goes outside onto the balcony, then takes hold of the rope ladder dangling from the Aether and climbs aboard.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn climbs outside as well; turning a dial, she waits. Humphrey, in his chair form, jumps out of the Aether and lands next to her. She sits down on him and straps herself in.
"Thank you, Humphrey," she says, activating the rockets in his legs. She shoots skyward.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling reaches the bridge of the Aether and takes a seat at the pilot's console. She diverts all power to ascending the fifty feet to the structure's observation deck and makes note of the fact that the  Mulvill and Ventner Verniers are little sluggish. Upon reaching the observation deck she lowers a tie line and slides down it, secures the tie line to the structure's railing, and turns to the control panel.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: She sees Evelyn zooming by. "HAHAHAHAhahaaa…"

Michael Harrel: The Pierre shows up about ten seconds later.

Genevieve Sparling: "Ahh, Monsieur Pierre. I think you should have your servomotors examined; surely a steamotronick creation such as yourself ought to be capable of climbing four sets of stairs a bit faster." She examines the control panel and keeps her pistol aimed at the Pierre's head. "I assume the large red button labeled 'Ne Pressez Pas' will accomplish my goal?"

Michael Harrel: "Why…ho ho ho!  No, s'il vous plait!  Do not prezz zees one, Madmoiselle Captain!  She will, how you say, blow us all to zee kingdom come!"

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling smirks. "Honestly, you evil masterminds are all the same. So much energy spent on building yourself an army of ten-storey behemoths to trample the whole of Europe, and you don't even think to install some kind of escape method in case someone smarter than you comes along and blows them all up." She takes hold of the Aether's tie line and undoes the knot around the railing, and as she ascends with the rope she tosses her pistol, grip-first, at the self-destruct button.

Michael Harrel: The gun hits the button dead-on.  A scratchy voice plays over some loudspeakers:  "Merci por les pressing les self-destruct buttohn.  Les city will explode in approximately 12 minutes."

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling pauses in her climb up the rope. "Les city?"

Michael Harrel: "C'est la vie," shrugs the Pierre.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn floats down with on a parachute with Humphrey. "What's happening?"

Genevieve Sparling: With a sigh, Sparling slides back down the tie line and secures it once more. "Additionally, all you evil masterminds are chronic liars. What did Paris ever do to you anyway, Monsieur Pierre?"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: She lands next to the Pierre, "So you got him then. Did you get the grenade I sent down?"

Michael Harrel: "I told you zee button would blow us all les up, Capitain!  Zee fault, she is not mine."

Genevieve Sparling: "What grenade would that be, Doctor?"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "… Nothing."

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling glares.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: It floats down on a smaller parachute. She catches it up and hides it behind her back.

Genevieve Sparling: "And I don't need to keep a weather eye for any more falling explosives, yes, Doctor?"

Michael Harrel: "There is one way to save the city, mon capitain.  You must only — " The Pierre suddenly explodes.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "… Not anymore."

Genevieve Sparling: "Hell." Sparling walks over to the control panel and attempts to pry the red button up and deactivate the countdown.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn moves over to her, "You're doing it wrong."

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling steps back and gestures expansively at the console. "Please, Doctor, be my guest."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn steps in and begins doing Mechanikal work.

Michael Harrel: "Merci por deactivating the self destruct sequence.  Les deactivation will commence in 13 minutes."

Genevieve Sparling: "Merde!"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Damn, French shite!" Evelyn kicks it.

Michael Harrel: "Danke schon auf die activating der self destruckt sequence."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Sie bemuttern verdammt Stück verdammt Bumserbumsen der Scheiße!" She kicks it again.

Genevieve Sparling: "Doctor, we have to find a transmitter or antenna or something that's sending the self destruct signal to all the other structures. If we can stop them from exploding, the damage will be minimal."

Michael Harrel: "Gracias para deactivatar el self-destructo sequence."
"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "No no no. I've got it…" She fiddles with it again.

Michael Harrel: "Thankee kindly fer turnin' on that there activationary sequence.  I reckon yer city'll be blown to smithereens in a jiffy!"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "You reckon my ass!" she starts pulling wires.

Michael Harrel: "Les 13 minute deactivation procedure has been, how you say, les bypassed.  The deactivation of self destruction sequence, she is commences!" All the gears of the structure screech to a sudden halt.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Completely unnecessary wiring! Flashy panels of no importance! The French lack any sense in engineering. Nice aesthetics, though," Evely acts as if nothing has happened.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling blinks. "I have no idea how you did that."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "It's quite simple. Please don't ask me to explain it."

Michael Harrel: INT.  The Louvre.  The rest of the crew is running from museum employees, clutching various expensive works of art, when there is a sudden earthquake.   Statues fall everywhere!  When the dust clears, it appears the guards have been trapped beneath the rubble, and the Aether crew runs off into the chaotic city.

Genevieve Sparling: "Right, well, now that that's settled, I suppose we'd better take the Aether back to where we docked her and wait for the others."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "That seems wise."

Genevieve Sparling: "Before we go, Doctor, may I see that remote control?"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn looks at the captain, holding the remote close to her heart. The doctor, she is suspicious. "What for?"

Genevieve Sparling: "Doctor, you know I'd never destroy anything that could save our lives in a time of need."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "But you'd put us in a time of need," she grumbles.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling glares.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Fine." She hands it over to the captain. "Just don't show it to the Gentlemen."

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling takes the remote and uses it to direct the Aether close enough to the observation deck to jump across the gap between railings. Then she drops it to the floor and crushes it underfoot. "Let's be off, then."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "You lied to me!" Evelyn looks hurt and angry and sad all at once.

Genevieve Sparling: "I'd never destroy anything that could save our lives in a time of need. That thing you created would cause more trouble than it was worth. Come along, Doctor." Sparling climbs aboard the Aether.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn picks up the pieces and puts them in her lab pocket. She sits atop Humphrey once again and it takes her to the Aether.

Michael Harrel: The Aether flies off to pick up the rest of the crew. Roll credits.

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