Magic Hate Ball
The Magic Hate Ball (or MHB) was originally intended to be a prop for a new edition of Name Your Treason. First dreamed up by Circ-U-LAT-23 and Skweel-U-PGY-4, I myself made the first mock-up which was then passed to Make-U-CRY-2, who made the final version, both of which you can see here: Magic_Hate_Ball/Image
At first, we were content with a mere d20 die, which we intended to allow the traitors of Name Your Treason to roll to determine their fate. Certainly, this plan had a lot of merit--were they to roll the Y, for example, some lucky YELLOW clearance clone in the audience would get to choose their fate, whereas the coveted B3 can gave the traitor death by B3, and the ? gave the traitor this weekcycle's Special Mystery Execution Method. In retrospect, we ought to have been content with that, but we were worried that, for example, we might roll IR and be unable to get our lucky INFRARED clone to stop drooling long enough to execute the traitor.
It was then that Jan-U-ARY-31 suggested we make the Magic Hate Ball into a bot. Bad idea. Not only was Jan-U-ARY-31 incredibly lax about filling out the paperwork (I still have clones filling out Form Completion Forms she left blank!), but the one form she did file was the Special Asimov Circuit Request Form. Had it been properly filled out, this would have been just fine, but she somehow managed to requisition one of the defective Asimov circuits from Loose-I-FER-1 himself, in spite of my report on the GOD_Complex! I would have caught that mistake, were I not so busy making up for her slacking off, but I digress.
As if the Easter_Bunny_Device wasn't bad enough, this leaves us with another marauding bot, out to terminate anyone in its way. Worse, it rolls itself to terminate clones, and it last rolled a U, meaning it's looking to terminate ULTRAVIOLET clones now! Last I heard, Make-U-CRY-2 had a lead on it, I can only hope that he is safe, as this bot weighs 20 tons and has been known to squish anything in its path even when rolling itself to decide what to do next. I sincerely hope it rolls on its "self destruct" button one of these daycycles, by happenstance.
In the mean time, it's becoming clear to me that Loose-I-FER-1 is very much involved with this whole disaster, and I'm not so sure that he doesn't have help, perhaps even from ULTRAVIOLET clones, or worse, some of our panelists themselves! I personally suspect Jan-U-ARY-31. Her jar is covered with algae, she hasn't had a brainscrub in ages, and who knows what's left to salvage in her genetic profile at this point. Not only that, but she's getting lax in her PLC duties, and her incompetance is putting ULTRAVIOLET clones in danger! Worse, several esteemed panelists appear to have dissappeared or gone into hiding. I mean, I haven't heard from Make-U-CRY-2 in daycycles, and we may have to start activating a number of their clones at this rate...
You might complain that this isn't quite enough evidence to implicate someone, but just you wait until you see holovid Zed/Omega-38458-QYT_-_IntSec_Investigation_of_Jan-U. I have with me the only surviving copy and I will be presenting it to you all at our next...
Logfile Suspiciously Interrupted.
IntSec Blackbox Recording Follows:
What are you doing here!? Give me back that holovid! I have to... *AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH* *NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO* *SPLAAATTT!* *CRUNCH* *SQUISH* *GRIIIIIND* Activating roller. *TINK* *BOING* *TINK* *DINK* *BING* Roll completed. Rolled: ULTRAVIOLET / COMMIE / QUESTION MARK Damn, I knew I should have shot the blackbox before telling the bot to execute him. I hope this really IS the last copy of this holovid. MHB, I order you to crush this holovid and that blackbox over there. *ZZZZZZZTTTTTT*
I have been activated to investigate my predecessor's demise, I ask that you all assist me in this endeavor. I have also taken the precaution of decanting 7 through 12, as it seems that we cannot be too careful these days. I'm also not quite so certain of my predecessor's apparent conclusions. While it may be merely a random error or misfiling, I remember seeing at least one form concerning a "Jan-U-ARY-32" which makes me very suspicious about all these goings-on.
Well, well. Isn't this interesting. More allegations from Omega-U-MAN-5. Posthumous allegations, no less. Did that clone's spite know no bounds?
While it seems pointless to argue with the dead, and I really do have a lot of work do to, it seems that I must yet again devote some of my precious time to dispelling Omega-U-MAN-5's odious accusations. It's almost a shame that I'll never have to deal with them again... no, actually, it isn't. Hopefully Omega-U-MAN-6 will prove to be less paranoid and unstable than his predecessor, and we'll actually be able to work together without acrimony. But I digress.
1) In regards to turning the Magic Hate Ball into a bot, my exact words were, "You're going to give it an Infinitesimal_Mega-Hydraulic_Drive_Apparatus? Why don't you just turn it into a bot while you're at it?" As most any clone with half a brain can tell, that was sarcasm, and in the form of a question to boot, rather than a statement. But either through willful ignorance or stupidity, Omega-U-MAN-5 decided that it was a good idea. Once he took it seriously and assigned the project to R&D, I argued vociferously against it, but he was adamant. A cursory search of the PLC Research Allocation Archive turns up a whole stack of my #209/ER No Way Are You Wasting Alpha Complex Resources On That forms, along with an equal number of his #99.40/CL It's My Project, I'll Build A Bot If I Want To forms.
2) As this wasn't my project, I was in the dark about why Omega-U-MAN-5 kept sending me all the paperwork to fill out. I bounced it all back to his staff, and if they didn't fill the forms out properly, that's simply another black mark against Omega-U-MAN-5. The only form I made sure to fill out was the Special Asimov Circuit Request Form, on the grounds that Omega-U just might try and get the thing manufactured without them. The defective circuits are R&D's fault, and I accept absolutely no responsibility for their deplorable failure.
3) At the time of Omega-U-MAN-5's tragic demise, Servs-U-RIT-7 was in my quarters to personally realign the new nutrient exchange systems that he'd so kindly donated to me a few weekcycles ago. My life support system was set to "hibernate" during the tests. So it wasn't me, thank you very much. And I had nothing to do with that misbegotten bot since its unfortunate inception, in any case. Unless Omega-U-MAN-5 deliberately terminated himself just to get at me -- and given his recent irrational outbursts, I wouldn't put it past him -- I'd be most likely to blame those who had direct authority over the bot: HPD&MC. Someone should track down Don-U and Brush-U.
Very interesting, but what of the indications of a "Jan-U-ARY-32"? Do you have an impostor, a clone which was mistakenly activated (perhaps when you were reduced to a brain in a jar?), or did my predecessor allow commies to file paperwork so sloppily?
I would guess the last one. Jan-U may have many, many faults-- and her advanced age may be showing itself in all sorts of odd ways-- but one thing I have absolute faith in is her positively ridiculous attention to even the most trivial details regarding matters of paperwork. If a "Jan-U-ARY-32" authorization was pushed through somewhere, I am certain it was someone else's doing-- almost certainly a botched attempt at a frame.
Sorry to hear about your death, but honestly, your predecessor seemed inordinately sloppy to me. The mere fact that he blithely compares this "Magic Hate Ball" with the Easter_Bunny_Device (I quote: "As if the Easter Bunny Device wasn't bad enough, this leaves us with another marauding bot") suggests he was unaware that the Easter_Bunny_Device is not a bot. I mean, the two items are not comparable in any sense other than the fact that they are roaming our halls causing death and destruction-- a category which also, it so happens, contains the Men_in_Infrared, the Acidophizz-infested Ayleean-B-LUD-3, the Denta-Bots, any surviving pockets of CyberChomp_4000s and Fire-and-Forgetpicks, the still-missing Legion_of_Ultraviolence, and-- let's face it-- a substantial percentage of our Troubleshooter and Vulture units. In short, last time I checked the logs, there were no fewer than 9,228 IRSMs (Inadequately Restrained Sources of Mayhem) loose within Alpha Complex's 17, 576 Sectors-- approximately every other Sector has a problem like this, to some greater or lesser degree. Why Omega Five felt he should get so worked up about this one... Well, it couldn't have had anything to do with the fact of his own complicity in its creation, I suppose?
While Zed/Omega-38458-QYT_-_IntSec_Investigation_of_Jan-U may contain any number of interesting speculations about her proclivities and the various under-the-table mechanisms by which she has amassed her personal fortune, I am quite certain it will fairly conclusively absolve her of responsibility for the death of Omega Five. (For what it's worth, I don't believe Jan-U killed my predecessor either, and agree that Don-U and Brush-U are both much higher on the list of suspects. Also, I think, the probably-aptly-named Kill-U-DED.)
Dammit... I just figured these things would make for an amusing desk ornament; I was thinking more along the lines of 20 ounces - NOT 20 TONS! Actually, I still have the original prototype here on my desk. One of these days, remind me to send you guys the rules for the Magic Hate Ball Drinking Game that Skweel-U and I came up with one night. Tremendous fun!
I can shed a bit of light on at least some of the references to Jan-U-ARY-32. Due to Jan-U's extreme unpopularity with certain traitorous elements of the Alpha Complex underworld, IntSec seems to have used the "Jan-Us next-in-line has offed #31, and is looking for allies" ploy at least twice to entrap highly placed traitors. The form you identified could be one of the pieces of evidence manufactured as part of these operations. My dearly departed predecessor's files show that several such forms were misfiled and therefore not destroyed at the end of the operation. And Circ-U, with the deepest respect possible... I'm not sure I want to try drinking a Magic Hate Ball, no matter how fun the game may be.
Mesh-U seems to be correct about the form in question; it is fabricated evidence that the upper clearances of the bureaucracy have (properly) ignored.
However, further investigation reveals that Cloning Bank #92/775-C did prepare to produce an additional Jan-U-ARY - presumably #32 - three daycycles ago. It's not officially recorded, of course, but Jan-U's rather ancient heritage makes many of the preparations quite distinctive. None of the "fabricated evidence" forms had been near that Cloning Bank, until just recently - at which point the preparations ceased.1
It looks like someone was trying to covertly activate another Jan-U, and stopped when they found out that people might be investigating such an eventuality. I have as of yet been unable to discover a paper trail pointing in any particular direction, but will continue looking, in between all of the other data tracking I'm doing.
(Oh, and twenty ounces? And tons? Why use such obsolete Old Reckoning measurements? More modern measurements are...
Pardon me. There appears to be something weighing approximately twenty tons approaching my headquarters. Computer willing, I'll be back in touch later.
-- Err*TRANSMISSION INTERRUPTED*
What, the damn bot got Err-U too? Poopy. I'd just started to like him, too. It's a pity that this breaks his perfect record of one promotion per termination, but that was inevitable, wasn't it? It's not as though there's a GAMMA_Clearance for him to be promoted to. It would be treasonous even to suggest it, which is why I'm not doing anything of the kind.
In any case, this bot is clearly under some High Programmer's direct control. How else did it know who to go after, and how to penetrate their security? Stealth isn't an option for a giant twenty-ton icosahedron. Is someone in Power Services rerouting traffic around the bot? Or is someone in the Armed Forces pulling back the Vulture Squadrons? This sort of roaming killer bot nonsense is unacceptable in an orderly Complex. I want it stopped before it comes anywhere near ARY sector.
And would someone like to tell me which Sector contains Cloning Bank #92/775-C? I'm not seeing any record of such a cloning unit. Is it an obsolescent installation that's fallen through the cracks, or a High Programmer's unlisted personal facility? If someone's making another me, I'd like to know. I haven't filled out any consent forms for this sort of thing.
Hmmm. Didn't you have plans for a remote control unit for this device, Circ-U-LAT-23? Did anyone ever build one? It would sure come in handy now...
Actually, controlling it by remote is easy. It seems that the bot responds to almost any remote control, including standard Universal Ultraviolet Entertainment Remotes as I discovered when it tried to mow me down while I was watching "Catch That Traitor!"
The problem is that it responds to almost any remote. Dozens of conflicting commands make it erratic at best. If one could build a mega-remote control, they could control the bot better. I have no problem with that solution, as long as whoever builds it doesn't send it bouncing by me again.
Begin dictation. Yes, now.
This is Err-U-DYT-9. While I have managed to avoid termination by the Magic Hate Ball machine, the extreme measures required to do so have laid me up with a bad case of writer's cramp. (Ow.) No, you don't need to transcribe the "Ow." Look, the reason I'm having you take this dictation is so I don't have to use the security tapes, which will include every single word I've said.
Two salient points....S, A, L, I, E, N, T. Two salient points about the Magic Hate Ball. One: It has apparently been modified to roll "ULTRAVIOLET" over 95% of the time. Two: It will accept brevets when determining if a clone is of appropriate clearance. If you send out a clone "breveted to ULTRAVIOLET for the purpose of confronting the Magic Hate Ball" in a white robe, it will kill them and re-roll. Thus, my writer's cramp, and the current shortage of good help around here.
What? Yes, I mean you. You're an excellent research assistant, but a terrible secretary. Oh, forget it, I'll just use the security tapes.
Anyhow. Jan, I don't know where Cloning Bank #92/775-C is; I came at it via the supply and diagnostic subsystems records. It doesn't seem to be on the official listings, as you say. None of the sub-references indicate a physical location. PLC records do confirm that the required?...no, requisite materials were removed from storage, though. This ought to give us a lead for interrogations, since someone must have actually physically moved the materials somewhere.
Ow. Insert editing mark Alpha before phrase "begin dictation". Insert editing mark Beta now.
-- Err-U-DYT-9, still - due to Friend Computer's mercifully fast processing of highly unusual brevet requests
Dang, that thing's loud. I can hear it knocking around from here.
Uh. Not that I'm anywhere near it. Of course.
Just for the record, I am now in hiding, and it appears that I will be unable to do the research required for my next entry. Sadly, the ball has it in for me, so I hope that my next clone can continue where I have left off. I will try to draw it away so that my entries can continue normally. Thankfully, I decanted 7 through 12, so hopefully one of us will be able to continue sometime after the next turn, or whenever the MHB leaves me alooo....... *AAAAAUUUUGGGHHHHH*
Hello. I will resume my entries whenever this thing stops killing me long enough to... *AAAAAUUUUGGGHHH*
Uhh, this is the Clone Vat/PLC liason. Omega is *AAAAUUUUGGHHH* going through a lot of clones *AAAAUUUUGGHHH* right now. Whenever things settle down, we'll figure up just what clone he's on and let you know *AAAAUUUUGGHHH* uhh, when he can *AAAAUUUUGGHHH* resume his entries without interruption from that ball thing, okay?
-- Omega-U-MAN-7, 8, 9, 10, 11 ...