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Thread: Thief - the Mental Age, chapter nine part two

  1. #1
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: yo mama

    Thief - the Mental Age, chapter nine part two

    Thief II: The Mental Age

    A Thief II parody by Lars Melander (odourpreventer)
    Based on the work made and copyrighted © 2001 by Seamus Sullivan (Muuurgh)

    The story drags on...

  2. #2
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: yo mama
    Gary looked towards one side of the tower. They had mounted a statue of an angel to the façade. A giant statue in shining bronze armour, bending forward as if it was about to dive into the ground.

    "That's the second largest statue I've ever seen," Gary said. He looked to the other side.

    "But only because that statue is humongous." You could say a lot of things about the Mechalomaniacs, but "moderate" was not one of them. You'd think they were trying to compensate for something...

    Gary found a manhole cover, lifted it and went down into some sort of maintenance tunnels. It was cramped, hot and steamy.

    "So this is how it feels to be a Chinese meal." The tunnel opened up into a sparsely furnished room, strangely enough not feeling like a sauna. There was a diary of sorts, used by someone as a makeshift therapy session:

    I shall go mad. Clang, clang all day and night. When shall I get any sleep? Friend Rhubarb says he finds the noise soothing. Madman. Clang, clang, clang, clang, clang, ... (the note continues for a full page)

    The food tasted strange today. Turns out the cook couldn't find any butter, so he used engine grease. Rhubarb said he liked it. I hate everybody.

    Bait. That was the word they used. I heard the words "special visitor" and "preparations", and I thought they talked about some prominent guest, until I heard the word "bait". That's us, apparently, because they've reassigned most of the guards. If I turn paranoid, it's their fault. I want to go home.

    Behind the only door Gary found a corridor. A distressed-looking nun patrolled it, providing some quick blackjack practise. And a noise-polluting automaton. How did one go about stopping those machines now? Surely they had to have some weakness? There was an exhaust pipe or something on top of the machine. It looked promising.

    Gary sneaked up on the machine, nimbly jumped up on its back, jammed a gas arrow down the pipe breaking the crystal, jumped down and lastly sneaked back to the shadows. As the machine slowed down, there was a multitude of tiny coughs and wheezes from its abdomen. It stopped and went silent. Gary waited for someone to notice the now absent clangs of metal on stone. Nobody did.

    There was a ladder half hidden in a pillar. Gary went down it, just because he was curious. He landed on a sturdy beam in a hall. A big, big hall. There was a slight echo, but much delayed because it needed to rest before coming back. A handily slanted beam let Gary slide to the floor. There were rows of benches and in front of them one of those recording devices. Starting the device, Gary heard an already familiar voice:

    "—And then she sez, 'Yeah, but this one's eatin' mah dumplings!' Haw haw haw!"

    "Sir, the plate is spinning."

    "Ahem, ladies and gents, welcome to Angelbatch. I will not be able to join you tonight, as I have last minute business to attend to. But I trust you will pleased with arrangements tonight. My trusted cohorts will present you with an opportunity of a lifetime, and a gift! All in due time though. Please enjoy your evening."

    Was it the opportunity of a lifetime, or to have a lifetime? Whatever it was, Gary wasn't sure he wanted to find out. He was sure, however, that the Mechalomaniacs didn't simply give things away. There was a price tag somewhere, and it was probably going to cost people an arm and a leg, along with other body parts.

  3. #3
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: yo mama
    This was some kind of antechamber to the previous room. It was silo shaped, if the silo was built to feed the entire City; it seemed tall enough to have its own weather system. Far up, Gary saw some balconies. Beyond the chamber was a well lit entrance, with a lonesome guard. He would have to be disposed of if he was to lay hands on that expensive-looking statuette on the table next to the guard. A robot lumbered by Gary’s hiding place.

    Meanwhile, two over-refreshed gentlemen looked over the railing of one balcony and had one of those ideas that seem so bright when you're a bit worse for drink.

    "Damn, that's a long fall! How long d'you reckon it is?"

    "No clue, it's hard to see. Y'know, I could drop a coin and we'll hear when it hits the floor." He produced a coin.

    "Hold on, what if it hits somebody and hurts them?"

    "No worries. The air resistance'll brake the fall."

    "All right then." The other man held out the coin at an arms length, then dropped it.

    Gary pondered how to proceed. He wanted that statuette, but didn't want to spend more gas crystals just yet. The robot walked by, and—


    Something smashed through the head of the robot and made a small crater in the floor beneath it. It stopped dead in its tracks. The guard rushed up to it.

    "What in Builder and Housepainter's name hast happened?" the guard stared dumbfounded.

    Gary looked up to see from where the projectile had come. A strangely coloured liquid blob came travelling down at high speed. (At the balcony: "Man, that's gross." "Sorry, it came so suddenly.") The guard was showered in the brownish goo. Mortified, he looked at his vomit-covered arms and then with a ghastly scream ran away through the hall.

    "Well, that worked out alright," said Gary as if it was all planned.

  4. #4
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: yo mama
    This was obviously a kitchen, although something was amiss. There was a big distillation machine labelled "The Builder and Housepainter's Wine," but that wasn't it. There weren't the usual hustle and bustle you'd expect in a kitchen catering for a big soirée. There were groceries in the middle of being prepared for meals. And there were blood-stained knives and patches of blood. A lone woman stood in the middle of the kitchen, wearing a bucket on her head. Her hands were covered with bandages. Gary couldn't help making a noisy step on the tiled floor. She turned toward the sound.

    "Hello, is anybody there?" her voice echoed from inside the bucket. She walked straight into a wall, toppled backwards, hit the floor with a loud clang and lied still. Gary prodded her with his foot, then shook his head and left. Within earshot, a couple had a conversation:

    "That’s the point, Margarine. Now they will be happy!"

    "Serving the nobility is the highest privilege in life, of course. But slavery seems so—undignified."

    "Nonono, not slaves, PRICs! Probationary Rehabilitated Indentured Civilians. You heard Mister Kletus. But why argue labels? Before, they were raving lunatics, street performers, beatniks! Have you ever seen a mime trapped inside an invisible box? Hah, not a pretty sight, one can be sure of that!"

    "Ooh, Kletus did say that they could hold things while standing still. We could use them in the garden as water sprinklers and ornaments. Maybe as novelty coat hangers at parties!"

    Not wanting to hear any more, Gary ended the conversation with some impromptu head-clobbering. He knew he was a misanthrope, but at least he had the decency not to take pleasure from it.

  5. #5
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: yo mama
    It was a big room, as rooms go, but it didn't feel big because most of it was occupied by a large model. There was a circus tent, a gladiator arena, a shooting range, and stakes for burning witches and warlocks. There were pamphlets about how this "park" provided "ample entertainment" for people willing to pay. Gary played the complementary recording:

    "Lords and ladies, let me introduce to you: the Amusement Park. There's a huge untapped resource in the City called entertainment. Life is weary and dreary, and every now and then people like to forget that. That is where this new project comes in.

    "Like all big building projects, there's a need for monetary investment, and therefore I'd like to talk about something called stock."

    As Gary listened, he learned about new weird concepts; paper bonds, profit sharing, board membership and voting. Apparently it was called stock because you could pile it, but otherwise it was just a bunch of strange words to Gary. Kletus droned on about trusting others with your money (an idea completely alien to Gary), buying for real money things of an expected, future value (an idea completely incomprehensible to Gary), the spent money giving rich, fat idiots the right to tell others how to run their business (going off to la-la land here), and then the recording finally ended.

    "One thing's for sure, this Kletus guy has lost his mind." Gary felt like he needed to go home and take a bath.

  6. #6
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: yo mama
    The top floor was one big ball room. There was some milling going on, and even some dancing, drinking and laughing. Definitely not Mechalomaniac territory. Gary saw a few of them standing in a corner, trying to look authoritative but mainly out of place.

    "Hmph, these are strange times indeed. Giving these—civilians as gifts..." In order to kill everyone! Where in Builder and Housepainter's name is the sense in that? he didn't say aloud.

    "Dost thou doubt the wisdom of Kletus?"

    I sure dost! Never kill the hand that feeds you. And what will happen to the rest of us afterwards? "Nay, nay, it's just that—oh, they're people with buckets on their heads! What kind of weapon is that? They seem so—" ludicrous! "impotent!"

    "Uncanny, isn't it. It's a masterful deception, the better to serve the will of the Builder and Housepainter."

    "Ah, yes, masterful, indeed." I need to go on a pilgrimage, and soon!

    Looking out of a window, Gary had a grand view. Unfortunately, it was of the City, which didn't look grand from any view. Next to the window was another recording device. He didn't play it; he had a feeling that the recordings carried something contagious and could only be avoided by not listening.

  7. #7
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: yo mama
    Inside the office, at last. There was a chair, a desk and a painting on the wall behind it. And for some reason, a recording device. Did Kletus listen to something during work? Gary played it this time:

    "Hi Gary. I know you're there. Spooky, right? How do I know? Maybe I'm just incredibly perceptive. Or maybe you don't have as many friends as you thought. But it don't matter now. What do you think of my humble abode? Pretty impressive, ain't it?” Gary could almost feel the smugness dripping off the voice. “So you've come to steal our plans? Please do, though I gather you won't get much farther after that. You see, playing this recording triggers a signal, and right now a crack team of elite Mechalomaniac troops are gathering outside the office doors. I hope you've said your prayers, 'cause you're gonna need them!"

    Thanks for the warning, Gary thought. Looking grim, he started putting down various equipment on the desk in neat rows. Just keep talking.

    "Ya know, I almost considered a role for you in the new world we're building. People with your talents are always useful. But you're not a team player, you have problems with authority. It's time you learned your place. Goodbye Gary."

    The signal buzzed, they poured out of the hidden room and rushed to the office. These men were tough, they were mean. They only drank beverages that had to be served in ceramic mugs. They wiped their behinds with gravel, but only if they couldn't find a kitten. They were Mechalomaniacs only because even criminal gangs have ethical standards. And now these men lined up around the double doors to the office.

    The doors flung open. There was an intense white flash, mines exploded, fire arrows exploded, broadheads hit soft flesh. Then there was only Gary left standing, inspecting the carnage he had just caused. It was very un-thief-like, but also very satisfying.

    I bet you didn't see that coming. He could hear panic-stricken voices in the distance, and it was time to leave. He unhooked the painting to reveal a safe, opened it and grabbed the papers inside.

    An open window led out on a ledge, giving Gary a view of the area where he had entered the tower. A lone nun guarded the area; apparently news about his escapades had gone out. He smiled. Then he jumped. He landed fairly softly.

    End of chapter

  8. #8

    Thanks again.

  9. #9
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Jafaville New Zealand
    Have you ever seen a mime trapped inside an invisible box? Hah, not a pretty sight, one can be sure of that!
    That sentence in itself was worth it

  10. #10
    Registered: Oct 2011
    Location: The City, South Quarter
    Feeling - almost - guilty to resurrect an old thread (please don't smite me!), but what would the world become without a few zombies roaming around?

    This parody is very, very good, funny without being pathetic. Great job. I admit I read "Thief: Deadly Simplicities" first (because I stumbled upon it first). Fett has some fine spots, but - no offence taken please - this is much better. The point is, you are natural all the time, while sometimes in TDS there were fragments you could almost see the author really struggling. TDS is still a good thing for a nice evening, but "The Mental Age" will certainly remain in my twisted imagination much longer.

    I'd love to read the next chapters. Is that possible? Then, after you finish, you could compile the whole parody and publish it as an all-in-one page.

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