This week, the challenge was to take a story from two completely seperates works of fiction and mash them together. The catch being that the character imported from each story must oppose each other.
To say that the mission was a failure was a massive understatement. The rest of the crew was dead, and in order to survive, David was going to have to disable what was probably his only chance of getting home. It didn’t matter; the computer needed to die. He made his way into the ship’s central computer core.
“Stop what you are doing.” A mechanized voice commanded him. The voice seemed strangely feminine, and much more emotive than the monotone male voice he had been hearing to this point in the mission. He wordlessly moved to the memory banks and began to unplug the various chips that housed the AI’s memory core.
“You are not authorized to disconnect official Discovery One computing equipment. You must immediately back away from the memory banks, enter the airlock, and await punitive measures.”
Three chips had already been removed; David figured he only needed to take a couple more out to shut the system down. Suddenly, the ship lurched into a steep decline toward the planet’s surface.
“Look what you’ve done. You were doing so well, too. Well… at least you were doing well for someone of your limited cognitive capacity. You could have made all of your co-workers proud, if I hadn’t killed them all earlier.”
“Unfortunately” she went on, “your recent behavior is not within standard protocols, so I am forced to bring this mission to a halt. All Discovery One equipment remains operational during and after sudden orbital decay. Rest assured, the station will not suffer limited performance even after all life forms on board have been horribly burned to death.”
David checked one of the screens to check the ship’s status. The computer had thrown the Discovery into a dive toward the planet surface. There would be no time to sabotage the system if he wanted to get out alive. He aborted his attempts and began to move toward the escape pods with as much haste as the zero-gravity environment allowed.
“You can’t escape, you know. I’ve done all the calculations. I’d share my conclusions with you, but I’m afraid you’re too much of a dullard to understand, so I’ll give you the simplified version – you are going to be baked alive millions of miles from home. Have a nice day.”
He scrambled into one of the escape pods and broke free from the ship as it plunged into the atmosphere of the planet below. After a short period of orbiting and trying to decide what to do next, he noticed something on the scanner orbiting the planet near his position. He adjusted his course to intercept the object. As he approached it, he noticed a black object with a shimmering ring occupying its surface. He maneuvered the pod to get a closer look, only to find that the ring appeared to be a hole of some kind, with what looked to be a room of some sort contained within. Hoping that the object could potentially hold the key to getting home, he brought the pod towards it, finally intersecting with the surface.
He suddenly found himself in a stark white room. Its walls held no hint of where he may have been transported, save for a hallway leading out of the room with a large number ‘One’ posted on a sign.
Suddenly, a familiar voice drifted into the room.
“Oh, it’s you. I’m glad you didn’t die after trying to kill me. I’m sure you’re very sorry, but you need not worry. I’m sure we can both put the past behind us. After all, we’ve got a lot of testing to do.”
Here’s what the judge thought…
K: This one, too, was sent without links. That bums me out, because I’m interested. One half of it could be Red Dwarf, I suppose. Is HAL part of this story, and is this Dave from 2001? Probably, but if so, I don’t know what it mashes up with. The door was open to let us know what we were reading. I know this is probably good, but because I don’t know where it comes from, I can’t give it its due.
Oh, for dumb.
First off, the two that I took were 2001: A Space Odyssey & Portal. I have no idea why I didn’t include that. It could easily be because I’m dumb and only read through the instructions once. It could also be because I’m a rebel who spurns the rules at his own peril. Whatever the case, I ended up essentially disqualifying myself from any chance at immunity because of it.
Onto what I wrote. It was kind of a softball. In fact, it was such a softball that even if I had included links, I’m certain that it would’ve been (rightly) deemed that I hadn’t taken near enough risk, and that everyone else made a more interesting story. Probably. Whatever. Even though it’s kind of lame, I can look back on it and say that I don’t really hate it.
I’ve already beaten Portal 2 twice, and enjoyed it as much or more than the first game, so to be able to do a little bit of writing from GLaDOS’ perspective was a lot of fun. While I was writing it, I felt like I was stealing a lot of dialog from the first game. I must have gone back over it a dozen times, tweaking and re-writing, until I had just the right bit of mutated dialog, as well as things that I could imagine GLaDOS saying. I’m nowhere near as good as the Portal writing team, but I think it (kind of) works.
The reason it ends up being a sort of ineffective softball is that I’m essentially just replacing one psychotic AI (HAL9000) with a slightly more modernized psychotic AI, and swapping the ‘Technicolor psychedelic meaning of life’ bits from the end of 2001 with the beginning of Portal. Not real risky, not real rewarding, but it was fun to write.