Nuclear Meltdown Evacuations, Multi-Sector Obliteration Methodologies, and the Zero_Hourcycle_Crisis_Mandate pale in comparison to Party Omega, one of the most critical Procedures and Protocols in the Complex. In the event of an an Apocalypse (as specified in the Incident_Terminology_Categorical_Hierarchy), it details the actions required to ensure that Alpha Complex will recover from the chaos and shine once again as a utopian paradise. It is occasionally referenced by other names, such as "the Apocalypse Recovery Methodology", "What To Do When The Big One Hits", or (historically) "the Hail Mary Contingency".
Party Omega was originally formulated during the early yearcycles of Alpha Complex, but was never actually used. As you may be aware, unused Procedures and Protocols in Alpha Complex tend to suffer one of two fates:
- They languish, unupdated, slowly becoming obsolete and useless;
- They are revised and refined based on purely hypothetical situations, slowly becoming ever more tangled and less applicable to reality.
In this case, #1 was followed by #2 - ninety-seven yearcycles ago, a hardworking CPU clone realized that many of the Complex's emergency procedures were woefully out-of-date. Following the initial flurry of rewriting and correction, policies were implemented to keep all such documents current, generally involving monthly bulletins and yearly compilations listing all of the changes made during that time period. An entire new division of CPU was required just to track and publish the changes to Party Omega, which was (and is) impacted by virtually any change to Alpha Complex layout, bureaucracy, technology, sociology, demographics, economy, or cuisine.
Forty-one yearcycles ago, another diligent worker pinpointed two major difficulties with the system as it stood:
- The average GREEN clearance commissary sub-supervisor would have to spend 5.2 monthcycles looking up all Apocalypse-relevant procedures for their job, a period of time unlikely to be available in the event of an actual Apocalypse;
- The sequential nature of the publication (base document plus over half a century of updates) was extremely challenging for those not specifically trained in cumulative paperwork lookups;
Supplying all RED+ clearance citizens with their required hardcopy of the Alpha Complex Emergency Regulations was causing a severe paper shortage.
Thus began the Great Rewrite. All updates were rolled into the base documents; similar Sub-Tasks were made consistent across multiple Emergency Procedures, and - most significantly - the documents were modularized so that the aforementioned citizen could get a custom-printed tome containing only those Procedures relevant to a GREEN clearance commissary sub-supervisor.
The Great Rewrite finished just over four yearcycles ago.
While the various emergency protocols are uncontestably more accessible than they were prior to the Great Rewrite, they are still in rather lamentable shape - particularly Party Omega. Really, it's a wonder it got finished at all - not only was the Apocalypse Revision Department being deluged with new information as they tried to sort through decades of old information, but much of the old information was, quite frankly, terrible. Seventy-four clone lines were retroactively indicted for treason due to mistaken information, poor organization, and blatant fabrication. In many places, Rewriters had to choose between "bad" and "worse" - or even integrate them. Is it any wonder that portions of Party Omega read like they were written by Codemonkeys?
Nonetheless, some chunks of it are now comprehensible, usable, and useful. Its modular nature, when combined with improved Reconstitution_and_Recycling technologies, allows for complete re-printings of revised editions rather than the clumsy update methodologies of the past. The volumes are even flavored, now, using synthesized tastes that slowly dissipate, so that one's current volume becomes flavorless by the time one ought to replace it.1
Some High Programmers - myself included - have proposed that we ought to engage in a series of practice drills and mocked-up Incidents, so that critical Policies and Procedures can be tested and improved. For the most part, Friend Computer has denied authorization for these activites, with a few notable exceptions such as the BOM Sector Evacuation Drill and the Yogurty_Overflow_Response_Tests.
Party Omega was invoked during the Toothpaste_Disaster by Make-U-CRY-2. I do not know Make-U's motivations in doing so, and it was certainly done improperly, as no Apocalypse was ever declared. However, the error was quickly corrected, most of the resulting casualties were INFRARED and RED clearance citizens, and 371 desirable clarifications and revisions to Party Omega were revealed, so it ended up working for the good of the Complex - however unintentionally.
1 For the record, I had nothing to do with this idea. Who tastes their reference manuals???
"Party" is used instead of "Procedure" as a form of Information_Distortion, to keep INFRAREDs from panicking. Many scenarios also call for wide-scale celebration to distract the IRs from their impending doom, keeping happiness levels high for as long as possible.
"Omega" is an Old Reckoning term. Its exact meaning is the subject of some debate, but the following three postulates are currently accepted as plausible:
- "Omega" simply means "the end".
- "Omega" has something to do with chronometers, and thus, time periods or cycles.
- "Omega" is a compound word meaning "Wow, That's Big!"
I believe that #2 is most likely correct, as #1 and #3 seem overly simplistic.
220.127.116.11.2/C Cleanup and Closing Procedures [Advanced Food Specialists, YELLOW through BLUE clearance] 1. Cover all open foodstuffs with plastic wrap. Ingredients used to feed citizens of BLUE clearance or higher should be placed in radiation-shielded freezer units, if available. 2. Return all sharp objects such as knives to their proper storage location. Should you be unable to reach said location due to fire, flood, or collapse, proceed to step 4. If riots, Commies, or renegade 'bots block your path, employ the sharp object(s) to force your way through for proper cleanup. 3. Scrub and mop floor. 4. Retrieve MobBlaster Limpet Mines from behind IntelliFluid canisters. (If the mines have been stolen or are inaccessible, substitute well-shaken cans of B3.) Set them up along approach vectors to the commissary. Viable foodstuffs must not fall into the hands of treasonous Commie mobs! (etc.)
This should not be confused with the "party" I just had in the cloning tank room. The stupid vat operator (yes, VAT operator) seems to have confused clone tanks and food vats and, well... I'll explain more later. Suffice it to say that the Magic_Hate_Ball wasn't my only worry...