Categories > Games > Zelda > Gatecrash0 Reviews
Chapter 39: Home Alone
Chapter 39: Home Alone
"All right, now slip the RADSL under the relational OLAP and connect those two wires."
Mega Man grabbed the cord and delicately slipped it under the cross-ways pipe that acted as a joint reflexer. He navigated the needle-nose pliers under the same rod and injected the cord back into the socket.
"Roll, can you sense the connection?" Dr. Light said.
"Okay, can you start up your ScanRISC program and see if the connections are back up."
"Okay, now, Rock, take that OLR modulator and adjust her variance frequency with it."
Link stared on in dumb disbelief. He hadn't understood a single word any of them had said so far. The Dr. Light avatar was being displayed in the Computer screen and was instructing Mega Man on how to fix Roll. She had apparently suffered many minor malfunctions during her freezing time and Mega Man insisted that she was repaired back to her standard before he let her out of the house again. Link guessed it was because Roll was so headstrong. The Hylian sat in a corner with his chin leaning on his fist, extremely bored at hearing the acronyms flung back and forth. Programming must have been one of the most tedious roles to take in this society, like accounting.
"Try a diagnostic now, Roll," Dr. Light said from the screen.
Roll closed her eyes, performing the tests internally. "I think it's working now. No errors reported."
"One hundred percent?"
"Excellent. All right, that was the last thing we needed to repair. Right, Roll?"
"Yes, I feel back to standard operating now." She took one of her reacquired pistols out of the holster and spun it around her finger. "And ready for action." She jumped down off the table and shut the panel on her arm where Mega Man was tweaking before. "Should we come over now?"
"Yes, by all means."
Mega Man turned to Link. "All right, Link, we're gonna teleport to Dr. Light's hospital room now. Is it all right to leave you alone here?"
"Yeah, that's fine. You won't be gone long?"
"No. We just have to discuss what happened in detail. Compare notes, as it was."
"That's fine. I don't need a babysitter."
"All right." Mega Man neglected to mention that he had set the child safety parameters on the manor for Link. "We'll contact you if we need to. Just follow the instructions on the computer screens if you need help. They'll all over the mansion."
"Ready?" Roll said.
Dr. Light's image winked out. Both Roll and Mega Man's forms shifted and became pillars of red and blue light respectively, They shot up into the ceiling and disappeared, leaving Link all alone.
"Finally," he said as he rubbed his hands together. "Time to explore."
His stomach then started rumbling.
"I guess I mean, time to eat," he said as he looked down at his empty gut. "Wonder what they eat here. I hope it's not all robot food."
He got up and exited the laboratory. "Computer, show me to food."
The chirpy female voice of the manor's Computer piped up. "Where do you want me to show you?"
"To food. I'd like some food please." Link was wondering why he had to speak vocally to the Computer when it could respond telepathically. Maybe it had ears, but no mouth. Plus it seemed to have a different voice every time. Maybe there were multiple Computers, one for each building.
"Would you like to hear a list of restaurants in the area?"
"No, I just want some food. This is a big place, doesn't it have a kitchen?" This Computer was starting to frustrate Link. Maybe he wouldn't get one to take back home.
"This manor is equipped with a room for preparing meals."
"Good! Where is it?"
"From your current location, exit the room, turn right, continue on past three room, turn left, continue on for two rooms, turn right."
"Thank you." Link finally said. Remembering the instructions, he walked out and turned right. Walking past some luxurious rooms, he stopped where the directions ended and faced a smaller version of the castle's kitchens. There must have been a small amount of people living here to warrant such a tiny kitchen. This place could probably only feed a family's worth.
There was an island in the middle with concentric circles on it and some other appliances which were unknown to him. But rifling through cabinets and drawers he could find no food, only utensils and strange devices, some of which he thought it better not to ask questions about.
"Um, where's the food?"
"Food is located in the kitchen pantry."
"But I'm in the kitchen."
"Well, you're a big help," Link said idly as he opened a door at random. It looked like a walk-in closet with hundreds of little cubbyhole drawers up to the ceiling, and one large one in the middle.
"This is certainly interesting."
Going by instinct he looked at the central cubbyhole. There were several buttons on the device, so he pressed the biggest one. It buzzed with discontent. He hit some more buttons, each buzzing unpleasantly until one said "Please state selection."
Link was a bit confused. "You mean food? Ah, what's good here?"
"Please state selection."
"Um, all right, I'll have an apple."
The machine whirred for a second and deposited an apple in the screen. Link, flabbergasted, pulled on the handle to open the drawer. Delighted his food came so fast, he bit into it. It was just about the sweetest, juiciest apple he had ever tasted.
"Wow, this is great? Can this thing get me anything I want?" He pressed the button again. "I want a chopped sirloin and mushrooms with romani cheese."
It buzzed in discontent. "Chopped sirloin not found, romani cheese not found."
"Hmm, guess not everything," he mused to himself. "How about some baked cucco in glazed mustard with a side of pineapple rings?" He rubbed his hands together and licked his lips as he thought of the meal.
It buzzed again. "Cucco not found. Pineapple available not in specified format. Do you wish to proceed?"
The screen blacked out again. Link watched and listened as the walls whirred, almost sounding like they were bubbling. Then a healthy pineapple appeared on its side. Link pulled the drawer open and took it out.
"Oh well," he said as he looked at it. "I guess you can only order basic ingredients." He suddenly cursed his inability to cook, wishing he'd taken Zelda's opportunity to show him when he had the chance. "Hmm, what's something I don't get very often? Can you make me a poultry product, uh, baked, with a strawberry tart?"
Amazingly, the machine whirred, the screen blacked out again, and the bubbling in the background sounded. A plate of chicken with stuffing was sitting there, along with a red, crumbly pastry. Link rubbed his hands, thinking he was going to like it here.
Thirty minutes later, after Link had let out his belt and waddled out of the pantry. "Oh, man, I'm going to have to get some recipes from Mega Man before I go back. Phew."
He rolled out of kitchen and wandered down the hall.
"Hm, now what am I going to do?" He passed by some art in the halls and some other decorative touches, inspecting them, not really finding what he was looking for. After some nosy peeking into rooms, he became suddenly aware of the creepy silence invading his ears. Usually, there was some natural noise, either the rushing of the wind or the creaking of a house. Here, it was eerily silent, and even a little boring.
"Hmm, Mega Man said the Computer tell me to do anything I asked it. I wonder... Computer, play some music, please."
"Please specify a genre or station?"
"Uh, genre, what's a genre?"
"A genre is a class of art, or artistic endeavor, having a characteristic form or technique. In colloquial, a type or kind of something."
Link didn't know there were different types of music. Just the kind they play at pubs and the kind they play at royal functions. "Um, just regular music, please."
"Please specify a genre or station."
"Just play whatever everyone listens to here."
"Finding Top 40 station. Mainline 504."
A sudden heart pounding song came ringing through the speakers. It didn't even sound like music to Link, just a lot of beeps and boops, with loud static in the background and some high-pitched girl warbling incoherently. Link put his hands to his ears and nearly dropped to his knees.
"Aggh, no, stop it, stop playing!"
The noise cut out with a wink. If this was what passed for music in this world...
"What do people do for entertainment here?"
"The most popular form of entertainment for this country is holographic television."
"Okay, um, do that."
"Command not understood. Please rephrase."
"Um, how does holographic television work? What do I need to do?"
"Holographic television uses a system tri-point lasers to-"
"No, no, skip that. Just tell me where it is."
"The holographic television is located in the family room. From your current location, turn left, proceed down the corridor and turn right. Enter the room and press the power switch on the holographic pad."
"Okay, family room, family room." Link traversed the rooms until he found something like a disc in the middle of a set of couches. "Interesting." He stepped on the pad, thinking it was something like the teleport device. Nothing happened, so he inspected the disc. There were several buttons and displays on it. He pressed one big green one.
The surface of the disc lit up and a woman began waving her arms frantically in the air.
"Jeez! How did you get here?"
"Are you bothered by feminine itching?"
"That painful burning sensation. And there's nothing you can do about it."
"Try new and improved Hartaculine 45. It's got oxycetaline and benzoate vitamins."
"I... how did you get here?"
The woman faded out of existence.
"Acck! Wait, where did you go?"
Two women teleported onto the pad, as well as a couch and other objects hanging in mid-air.
"Wait, what's going on?"
"But Tammy says you couldn't go out tonight," one woman said.
"Pfft, you think Dan can keep me here. The Rag Dogs are playing at Club Cadbury. I can't not go!" the other said.
"The Rag Dogs! Hang on, I'll get my money."
Link scratched his head, until he inspected the scene playing before him a bit more. The people and objects were all strangely transparent, as if they were only half there. On an experiment, he stuck his hand through and it passed without resistance.
"Ghosts? I'm watching ghosts put on a play?"
The two ghost women continued talking about sneaking out of the window. They were also apparently oblivious of his presence.
"Man, this world is weird," he said as he sat down on the show, watching the lives of ghosts portrayed through this disc. "But I might as well enjoy it."
Mega Man and Roll opened the door and peeked inside. "Dr. Light?"
Dr. Light was lying on the bed, his face leaned away on his pillow, apparently sleeping.
"Dr. Light, are you awake?" Roll repeated.
He slowly rolled his head over, sleepiness dragging his eyelids down. "Mmm... Oh, Roll... Rock," he answered hazily. "Rock!" he said as he came to his senses.
"Hi, doctor," he said.
Dr. Light held his arms out for a hug, which Mega Man gave quite willingly. "Oh, it's so good to see you. You are all right, aren't you," he said as he gave a few clanging pats on the metal back.
"Had an interesting time, but I'm okay." I think, he added mentally.
"I want to hear all about it. It was just through the transporter I built?"
"Yes, although now it's destroyed."
"I have no idea what settings it was on the last time I was working on it. The last thing I remember was adjusting something on the primary CPU. Then Roll yanked me out of there. Maybe I bumped an isolinear chip? I wonder if there was a fluke in the polymatrix that-"
"Doctor, we can figure this all out later," Roll said. "But for right now, Link is fine, and time is of the essence."
"Ah, yes. Wily," Light nodded, "This is a most interesting turn that he's taking."
"And I don't think he did it to add to his pottery collection," Mega Man said. "Roll told me what was going on, showed me the evidence. I still think the key is in the binary code."
Roll said, "But we haven't been able to find out what it means."
"Neither have I. But I have been able to do a little more research on Dr. Selkirk." Light picked up his movable display screen by the attached bendable arm and rotated it so that all three could see. Mega Man moved around the bed so that Dr. Light was in between him and his sister.
"I looked up some newspaper articles, read some of his technical documents, white papers, um... his autobiography."
"His autobiography was 2.4 million words long!" Roll said.
"I get very bored here in the hospital. I'm surprised I haven't made schematics for a time machine yet. Anyway. Here's the long and skinny of it." Roll meekly smiled as she heard Dr. Light mix his metaphors. The human brought up an image of Dr. Selkirk. He had thick square glasses, greasy straight black hair, and a confident smirk.
"He was a premier roboticist as you know. I had the... uh, experience of seeing him at some conferences. Early in his career. He was a very dynamic individual. He was a genius at artificial intelligence. Spoke a lot about the future of robotics."
"Dr. Light, I think we're just looking for the facts at hand," Mega Man said.
"Ah, yes. So," he scrolled through some of the documents he had saved to his personal folder. "Went to school at Oxford, got his Ph. D. at Cambridge. Got his second at Harvard. Got his third at Yale. You can see he was quite a genius. And of course, various awards. Accomplishments." He waggled his finger and glanced at Rock. "Now this is the interesting part. During the last part of his career, before he died, he released some white papers of his experiments at putting a human brain inside a robot. He called it the 'ghost in the shell' project."
"He wanted to put a human brain inside a robot?"
"That's about the summary of it. It was hard to decipher his notes about it, they were half lab report, half ranting about other roboticists trying to steal his work... and half trying to order a danish."
Mega Man jerked his head back in confusion.
Roll said, "Uh, Dr. Light, that's more than two halves."
"I know! That's how crazy this guy was." He brought up the cover page of the offending article. "He basically said that if a robot was sophisticated enough, and had something similar to the synaptic nerve pathways humans use for motor functions, there was no reason that a brain couldn't be used to operate a robot, like a brain operates a human body. And it was pretty much a plug and play operation."
"Drop the brain in the robot, make the connections, and watch it go," Rock interpreted.
"Exactly, so, what mad scientist do we know who would want something like that?"
"Wily," Mega Man said with grim attitude.
Roll said, "Wily was a fanatic about robots, but would he actually want to become one?"
Mega Man looked up at her. "Imagine Wily's brain inside something like me. Or bigger."
"All right, so Wily wants to put his brain, or maybe multiple brains, inside a robot." Mega Man had to keep himself from shuddering at the thought. "That doesn't really explain why he stole the vase. I mean, all this information is freely available online. What does the vase, or the binary code have to do with it?"
"Hmm... we have to think like Wily on this one. If I was a power-mad maniac, what I want to do with this? I'd want to find all the information I can... and then destroy it so no one can trace me."
"All the information he can? Is a vase he made really that significant?"
"It might if Wily knew the binary code was on it."
"Well, if he wanted to find all the information he could, then he'd go to every single site connected to Dr. Selkirk, like his house."
"Aha!" Dr. Light entered some information into his computer and looked up Dr. Selkirk's residence. "I bet Wily visited there, I bet. Hmm, yes, let's see." He clicked around. "Oh," he said dejectedly. "It looks like his house eventually burned down. Now it's a parking lot." He thoughtfully brought up some pictures. "A nice parking lot, but still a parking lot. Wow, look at all those spots."
"Right, okay, so the house is a bust. And he didn't have a summer home or anything like that."
"Might he have had a cabin in the woods?" Mega Man said.
"Perhaps, but the registrations records don't show anything." Light investigated more. "Wait, the house was burned down after he was arrested, right?" he asked rhetorically. "So all his property would have been seized and auctioned off by the police force."
"But all his documents were taken and made available under the creative commons license," Roll said.
"But what about unpublished material?"
Mega Man and Dr. Light looked at each other. "He had to have a personal computer," the robot said.
"And what happened to that?" Dr. Light accessed the police record files, going back several years in their records. The two robots scanned the lengthy texts looking for signs of clues.
"There, Dr. Selkirk was arrested on December 17th, and there was an auction held a week later. Access that file."
Mega Man pointed and Dr. Light clicked. The file listed all the items brought up for auction, including previous owners. Dr. Selkirk's name speckled the list with odd implements, including a personal computer.
"It sold as a set to... the CORE group."
"What are they?"
"CORE is a non-profit organization for the history of computing, as I recall. I wonder..." Dr. Light minimized the auction information and opened a new search for museums owned by CORE. "Aha, I was right. My hunch was right. The Babbage International Museum of Technology."
"What about it?" Roll asked.
"Of course, they have an exhibit there dedicated to the development of robot A.I. I have some artifacts in there as well. And look what else is there."
Light brought up a promotional picture of the inside of the exhibit. In the middle of the room was a yellowing computer sitting on a desk.
"That's Dr. Selkirk's computer," Mega Man said.
"And it's been untouched since it was seized. The law doesn't require extraction of data or reformatting of equipment for auction. They wouldn't have bothered with something as old as this."
Mega Man said, "So some of Selkirk's data might still be on it."
Roll interrupted, "But he would have protected it with at least 512-bit encryption. There's no way we could get at it without destroying it."
"What do you think the binary code's for?" Light mused.
Mega Man and Roll looked between them. "We have to get to the museum before Wily does!" she uttered, and readied her teleporting system.
"Hold on," Mega Man instructed with his hand held up. "Let's not be too hasty, or we'll alert Dr. Wily that we know. There haven't been any reports of a break-in yet, have they?"
"Good. Doctor, can you tell the museum to put up a low level tachyon field, scattered enough so that it avoids detection for awhile. We'll get down there as soon as we can."
"Why not before I tell them to put up the tachyon field?"
"Because, first we have to get Link."
Next Chapter: Train Ride