Everything Right Is Wrong Again

From the Story Arc: Volgograd on the Adams

Previous Story in the Arc: This Ain't Your Father's Party, Son. by Krasniy Oktyabr (Saturday, September 25, 2004)

Next Story in the Arc: It's Still Rock and Roll to Me by Krasniy Oktyabr (Thursday, July 28, 2005)

(posted Thursday, June 23, 2005)

Miss Caitlin Murray from the Atlas Park D.A.T.A. office is an intriguing woman, for an Amerikanskii. While most officials I have dealt with handed out orders to be promptly taken care of. With Miss Murray, it is more that she /asks/ for things to be taken care of. And while I am biased against those who are soft, ingnorant bourgeois who don't soil themselves with the affairs of their lessers, there is something more in Miss Murray which dismisses it. She is an ally, I think, and this does not bother me.

I have also been in communication with an agent on my short contact list. These coded communiques have been double-blinded so far, so I don't know much other that it is an organization of Russki Heroes. Apparently my dossier had been circulated from Moscow and there is some interest in testing me for membership. What an honor! I am looking forward to further correspondance. But for now, I have a task to perform for Miss Murray.

Since introducing myself to the D.A.T.A. personnel, I have been busy with these metal curiosities know as Clockwork. Diminuitive in stature, these walking "toys" are not lacking in firepower. When I was asked to clear and abandoned warehouse, be sure that I had no idea what to expect. But one thing I wasn't expecting were brown, spindly gearwork automatons. Some even sported wind-up keys on their backs! I stood there slack-jawed in wonder...this is what worries D.A.T.A. so much? The thought actually made me let out a barking laugh. The laugh caught the attention of the nearest Clockwork. A propeller unfolded behind its head, and it actually /lifted/ off the ground. So, out of both amazement and duty, I raised a gloved fist to it, primed a charged blast, and fired.
The ensuing events were filled with enough raw electricity to power the Kremlin for a week.
When I finally stumbled out of the warehouse I was beaten, entirely numb and my uniform was smoking. I managed to take a fews steps from the door before collapsing to one knee, panting heavily. I took mental stock, and realized I really had not sustained much more injury than from a full day of running track events...and falling down a few dozen times while running hurdles. Soon, I was back on my feet and running towards the D.A.T.A. office and I was determined to get some answers as to what exactly I had gotten myself into.

But what of this task I mentioned? Oh yes. After several more warehouses and offices, plus a city patrol, I had come to know a little more about these Clockwork fascinations. First; in combat, there were no problems. Merely applying basic combat techniques is sufficient. The State-issued web grenades keep enemies from advancing nicely, and a woman I freed from street thugs inspired me to add a taser to my arsenal--I have rigged it to run off my gloves' self-generating energy--and it works just as well on these machines as on humans.
Second; I have gained some insight into the ideology of these creations. After bringing down a group of Clockwork endeavoring to dismantle a parking lot, I rested and wondered aloud "What makes them tick?" Several citizens were going about their business around me, and I didn't think any of them would know Russian.
One disinterested young woman did, I assume, as she stopped and said "They weren't always like this."
I silently regarded her as she continued, "After the Rikti war, Clockwork actually helped clean up areas of the city alongside the people. Then they suddenly started hoarding materials and attacking when anyone came too near."
I pondered these word, but by the time I could form my question in English, the woman had walked on like we had never conversed. But I had an idea. These machine were Proletariat in nature; tireless workers, giving their all for the good of the People.

You might not be sure why I bother to chronicle this at length. The reason is simple. It is an explanation as to how both of these revelations are based on assumptions. And it is on those assumptions that I find myself where I am. Notably, hiding behind a large crate after the biggest Clockwork I have ever seen struck me unconsious.
My /second/ assumtion was proven wrong the moment I walked in this warehouse, sent to look for a supposed diary of "The Clockwork King". The human bones were odd enough, but this? Anyway, talking did nothing. No attempts of communication were made, in either language I knew. They attacked without listening to reason, and I had to defend myself.
The first assumption was proven wrong by this monstrosity of metal I am hiding from. This beast was several heads taller than me, spewing steam from its joints and hatred from its eyes. This one actually spoke, but only to say, "Krasniy Oktrabyr has arrive, as computed." In my shock, I fired off an electrical blast from both fists, which did little to hurt the machine, dispersing most of the blast with shielding panels. The web grenades would not stop its charge, but merely slow it until several could be thrown. The meager taser barely phased the death machine and probably the cause of my biggest mistake. I had gotten too close in the attempt to shock the robot that it swung its huge metal hand at me, doubling me over bruised and bloodied. So I ran, blasted and ran some more.
The Clockwork behemoth has mastered electricity far better than I--so far I still haven't figured out more two discharge settings on the gloves--and proceeded to finish what it had begun, by blasting me relentlessly until I fell.
To my surprise, instead of coming in for the kill, the Clockwork turned around and lumbered off from where he came. I was fading. Get up!, I shouted to myself. The Proletariat WILL triumph! Get UP!. In a flash of pain, I gathered the rest of my strength, crawled to my knees and stood up. Wobbling and woozy, but up. I stumbled behind this crate and recovered from my ordeal, and wrote these thoughts down for future recording.
But I've decided to fall back to D.A.T.A. and find out what I could about this Clockwork. I need inspiration.

---

Entry Two, additional.

Let me tell you, comrades, I was inspired. I ran across town as fast as I could. As soon as I walked up to Caitlin Murray and told her what occured, she immediately started pulling out files.
"Detailed schematics, " she said, handing me several sheets of paper, "Locations of weak points, how to spot them easier and suggested power levels for maximum incapacitation. This should give you an edge. And I'm not letting you out of here without some medical kits and oxygenators."
I took my time going back, studying the schematics and formulting a plan. As long as the diary remained, so would the Clockwork. Indeed, when I stepped back into the warehouse, the odd mixture of ozone and oily smoke still hung in the air, putting me on edge.
To be sure, the huge machine stood exactly where I first discovered it and now in some shut-down mode. I looked over the papers once more, and suddenly all the pieces fell into place. Where to hit it hard, fast, and continuously. All the weak spots stood out like beacons. This time, with a loud cry of "The Proletariat shall triumph!", I leapt in with electrical bolts flying and determined that this time it would go down.
The look of satisfaction on Caitlin Murray's face when I held out the sought diary somehow made it all seem worthwhile.

I had no more duties to perform. So back to my hotel I went. This decadence, it will not last long. I feel ill at ease that I live in luxury while the proletariat of the City struggle to survive. I considered the options for awhile, but no answers came. In the end, after much tossing and turning, I decided to let it be for now and just get some sleep.