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 The Insidious Plot

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The Master
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PostSubject: The Insidious Plot   Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:16 am

Rox: Gosh, how much this series has changed. As you can see if starts out very light hearted. The fic has Fourth wall breaking aspects that inexplicably vanish after the 1st Chapter. I left them in because I couldn't/didn't want to think of a way to write them out.

Everything © Disney

Chapter 1: The Mayhem Begins


This was the Vice President’s favourite part of the week, aside the daily routine of promoting fellow Cogs to full-fledged Sellbots. Maintenance day. . . Even if he was unconscious for most of it.
For a Cog as large as he was, thorough maintenance took a dedicated and competent team and a lot of time. Only the VP’s most trusted were bestowed this honour. They gathered around him now, like butterflies drawn to honey.
The VP tilted his head up and glowered at the narration. “Butterflies?” he objected. “That would be more appropriate for a Toon.”
Bees?
“Still too cute.”
Wasps then?
“Isn’t there anything better?”
Better than a wasp? A hornet. How about vicious Asian giant hornets with skin melting stings?
“Ooh, that sounds good.”
All righty then. They gathered around him now, like vicious Asian giant hornets with skin melting stings drawn to honey.
“But does it have to be-“
Shut up! Hornets like sweet things, deal with it. The team consisted entirely of Skelecogs. They carried toolboxes, rags and tins of polish, of which they would need a lot and tins of grease, also of a considerable amount. One team of four dragged a power cable and the other a fuel line.
The VP closed his eyes and began to power down. A tiny sliver of irrepressible fear surfaced; there was always the risk of being caught in this vulnerable state, but Maintenance and Repairs was always heavily guarded during his appointment and this was never on the same day. Ah well, nothing he could do about it now.

The Vice President opened his eyes. Good, he was still alive. The entire crew, save the two teams of four, now had their attention on polishing him. He liked this part the best.
Lots of empty tins of grease lay discarded around the maintenance bay. Which meant his gears would be running smoothly. Ah yes, he could feel the difference already.
The Skelecogs hopped off, their job done, and began to gather the empty tins into a pile and remove them.
The power cable was removed, and then the fuel line. Now the Vice President was free to go. . . Wait. He did not feel right.
To the Skelecogs watching, all of a sudden their VP began to twitch and spasm uncontrollably. They exchanged deeply concerned looks; what had they done wrong?
His head was spinning around, his arms were going all over the place, and now he was screaming. The maintenance team were beside themselves. What were they to do? “AaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAHHHHHHAAHAAHAAHAAAAAA!”

The Chief Justice’s caterpillar tracks rattled as he travelled around the Courtroom, assessing the jury that had assembled as part of the new Lawbots’ promotion process.
He paused, considering. “Rattling? Is that healthy?”
Well how would you describe the noise?
“Hmm, good question.”
Look. Just get on with it. They even had a captured Toon to put on trial. His eyes sailed over grey suited Cogs, then one in tartan burgundy, then- He did a double take. A tartan burgundy suit? A Sellbot? Here? The CJ leaned in to glower disapprovingly at the offending Two-Face, who cowered in his seat.
“My dear fellow, you seem to be mixed up. This is Lawbot HQ. Please leave.”
He was taken aback by the look of abject terror that greeted this suggestion.
If the Sellbot’s reaction was strange enough, he was even more surprised when the Cog fell to his knees and pleaded to be allowed to stay, seeming to be so deeply disturbed by the mere thought of returning that the poor Cog nearly shook himself apart in fear.
The CJ glanced around the Courtroom and- Good grief! They were everywhere. Lawbot HQ was being invaded by Sellbots! What the devil was going?
“What the devil is going on?” he demanded of the Two-Face. The Lawbot was then assailed by a multitude of explanations from all the Sellbots in earshot. Any further attempts to reason with them resulted in the same response; they were too shaken and disorganised. He held up a hand for silence. It was best, he decided if he saw for himself.
“I think it best if I see for myself.”
Stop copying me and get your own darn lines.
“Then stop pre-empting me.”
The Chief Justice turned to leaved, paused then demanded that all the Sellbots were to return to Sellbot HQ with him even if they had to be dragged there kicking and screaming. With the exception of a few brave souls, all them opted for the latter, stubbornly clinging to any and every object bolted down that came into their reach.

The CJ was most surprised to see the Chief Financial Officer also arriving at the entrance to Sellbot HQ. He too had a wave of struggling Sellbots in tow, being hauled along unforgivingly by larger, stronger Cashbots.
“You too, Jacques?” He asked.
“Yup. I don’t know what’s going on, but something’s got the poor devils terrified of their own headquarters. I do hope Elmo's all right.”
“Speaking of, I didn’t hear from him this morning.”
“Actually, neither did I. And it’s not like him to miss a weekly update.”
The two Cogs entered the building. “Well, my friend, I believe we shall find out the cause soon enough.”

Rox: Minor rewrite to accomadate for the fact that they now have names.

_________________
"I was drinking my milk!"
"I was drinking my tea!"
"He is awake! Rejoice!!"
"I take my sugar brown! And my bread!"
"I have two speeds; in my own time, or can't be bothered."
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PostSubject: Chapter 2: Discovery   Wed May 06, 2009 3:30 pm

Chapter 2: Discovery

Sellbot HQ was deserted. Not surprising considering most, if not all the occupants were dragged along behind the Chief Justice and the Chief Financial Officer. The CJ, taking the lead, whether this was intention or not, scrutinised every corner of the building, hoping to find some kind of clue as to what event had overturned the order of SBHQ.
The CFO, instinctively sticking close to his companion, glanced back at the mass of Sell, Cash and Lawbots that were following them. The Sellbots had stopped struggling, seeming to have been rendered catatonic from fright. Not that they had been forthcoming before, but they certainly were not going to get anything out of them now.
The CJ halted. “I’ve just realised something. There are no goons patrolling.”
The CFO looked around. He was right. “We should head for Elmo’s Office. If he’s still here, that’s where he’ll be.”
He raised an eyebrow. “That is to say, if he is not the cause of this.”
“What makes you think that?”
“It would explain a lot. And I can think of nothing else that could terrify a Cog to such an extent as we have seen today.”

The Cashbot looked up. “Well we’re here. Should we knock?”
“Well of course, have you no manners?” The CJ lifted one hand and rapped sharply on the door. A pause and then a loud crash from the other side could be heard. They both jumped back in surprise.
“What-?” The CFO began. Before he could finish, several things happened in the space of a few seconds; the doors were thrown open. Upon sighting his closest friend, the VP flung himself at the Cashbot with what sounded suspiciously like a delighted squee, colliding with him as
he threw his arms around the CFO’s neck in a hug, or more specifically a glomp.
“-Are you doing?” He finished.
The VP let go and gabbled at them in a voice that sounded like a fast-forwarded tape and gesticulated so fast his arms became a blur. The two Chiefs stared at him with opened mouthed horror at the monstrosity that had replaced their colleague.
Chief Justice stared down at his shaking hands. “I’ve-I’ve been struck to the core with pure fear. Amazing. But what could possibly warrant such a reaction?”
“I’m shaking,” and so was his voice. “I’ve never been this frightened in my life.”
“Curious. None of the Cogs after a certain point seem to be affected.”
“You mean it’s radial?”
“I believe so.”
“Listen, Elmo, if you can understand me, move back.”
He looked heartbroken.
“No, I didn’t mean it like that. Just. . . for now.”
He sulked but moved, or rather zoomed back, hitting the wall.
The CJ sighed. “That’s better, now I can think straight.”
“What do we do? We can’t leave him like this.”
“First we must ascertain what “this” is. Then we should determine the cause.”
“All right, good plan. If we have anything on “this”, then it should be in the Archive.”
“Indeed. Providing the Sellbots have been keeping their Archive up-to-date, there should be no difference in content between mine, yours and the Elmo’s.”
“Do you have any ideas?”
“It must be Toon related, or more precisely; caused by the Toons. We’ll start in the Toon Research section.”
“And if there’s nothing?”
“Then we’ll just have to move straight onto the cause.” He turned to the VP. “Now you stay here, understand, until we say you can leave.”
The Vice President gabbled angrily in response.
“Come now, you’ve no control over yourself. How many Cogs, Skelecogs and goons have perished today because you accidentally ran them down?”
He looked stung by the comment and dropped his gaze to the floor.
“Exactly. Now are you going to stay here?”
He nodded.
“Good.”
The two Cogs headed towards the exit.
“I’ve just had a thought. This is exactly the reason why we should have seconds in command,” the CJ remarked.
“I was thinking the same thing.”
“On the spot promotion?”
The CFO grinned nodded.
They picked out their best Cogs and sent the rest home. With the reassurance that the VP would remain in his Office indefinitely, the Sellbots returned to their duties.

Bigwig Lawbot 159-2 thumbed through the book, skim-reading the contents. His Cashbot counterpart, Robber Baron 284-9 had just finished his book and was choosing another.
The quartet, also consisting of the CFO and the CJ, were skimming through books dedicated to the documentation of Toon reactions to certain materials. Unhelpfully, the books were mostly padded out with theories as to why and not actual facts.
The CFO sighed. “We really need to look into a way to make information more immediately accessible.”
159-2 double taked, flipping back to the page he had just skimmed, reading it again this time with a great deal of care. He was on his feet. “I’ve found something!”
The trio stopped what they were doing to listen.
“The Sugar Rush; categorised by hyperactivity and irrational behaviour.”
His boss nodded. “Sounds promising.”
“It is caused by an ingestion of excessive levels of sugar, or foods that contain it. It has been noted that there are two types of Sugar Rush, one that Toon observers find amusing, the other is found to be terrifying as opposed to funny.”
“That must be it. Good job 159-2.”
159-2 beamed with pride.
“What else does it say?” The CFO asked.
“In both cases, the symptoms are the same; hyperactivity, extremes of emotion and unusual, if irrational behaviour that often transcends the boundary between in character and out. It comes in three phases. One. The High, in which the subject displays the symptoms as previously
described. This is followed by two. The Addiction. The subject loses all concepts of sanity in their need and desire to obtain and ingest more of the substance that gave them the Sugar Rush. As subjects are in the process of descending for The High, they lose their hyperactivity, but retain the extremes of emotion and irrational behaviour. However the manifestation of these symptoms becomes sinister and hostile in this phase. It has been observed that subjects in phase two are locked away, or are otherwise prevented from ingesting the substance as it has been proven to make the final stage even worse. Finally three. The Fallout. Having come out of an overly happy state of mind, this must be opposed by one of extreme depression. Subjects display lethargy and generous amounts of woe. It has been recommended that the subject sleep this phase off.”
“Is that it?”
“That’s it, Sir.”
“Hmm, so it seems there’s nothing we can do but wait until he comes out of it.”
“Uh, Sir?”
“Yes, 284-9?”
“How long has the VP been in Phase 1?”
Just then a Mr Hollywood ran into the Archive room. “CFO!” He gasped. “CJ! The VP. He’s gone mad! Er!”
The quartet exchanged wide-eyed looks.
“Oh my,” said the Chief Justice.

_________________
"I was drinking my milk!"
"I was drinking my tea!"
"He is awake! Rejoice!!"
"I take my sugar brown! And my bread!"
"I have two speeds; in my own time, or can't be bothered."


Last edited by The Master on Wed May 06, 2009 3:36 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Formatting)
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PostSubject: Chapter 3   Fri May 15, 2009 8:07 am

Chapter 3: The Fallout

The Chiefs Justice and Financial Officer, Bigwig 159-2 and Robber Baron 284-9 raced after the Mr Hollywood that had alerted them of the Vice President’s descent into Phase 2 of his Sugar Rush.
“He’s leading us to Maintenance and Repair,” the CFO noted as they zoomed down the corridor.
“Why is the VP going there?” 284-9 asked as he hopped onto his boss’ left tread guard.
“He must’ve worked out that Maintenance and Repair was where he got his Sugar Rush.”
“Of course!” The CJ and his second in command exclaimed in unison. “The Toons must have mixed sugar into Elmo’s fuel supply,” the Chief continued.
The sight that greeted their eyes halted the trio in the tracks. 284-9 was so horrified by the scene before him that he forgot to hang on and was thrown off the CFO’s left tread guard. He sailed through the air to land on his knees.
The VP was struggling with three large groups of every variety of Sellbot. The quartet could only guess as to the events that had transpired while they were in the Archive room. It was logical to assume though, that shortly before they had been notified of his increased insanity, he had left his Office for Maintenance and Repair for more fuel and thus more sugar. As neither the CFO nor the CJ, nor indeed either of their seconds in command had been seen entering or leaving the VP’s Office, his Sellbots had come to the obvious conclusion that he was disobeying orders and had acted accordingly by trying to stop him. He had accelerated in response and the Sellbots had had to flat out sprint to catch him, which, considering as he was having a great deal of difficulty moving forward with such a large mass of Cogs clinging to him, explained how he had got so far down to Maintenance and Repair. As more and more Sellbots had latched onto the back on his suit, he had begun to slow down, this had allowed for yet more and more to grasp onto the Cogs who already had a hold of the VP then plant their heels into the ground in an attempt to slow him down even further. A second group had bravely headed to the front and, at great risk to their health, began to push against him. The VP had almost come to complete halt but was making life difficult for his Sellbots by swatting them away. The resilient Cogs however would pick themselves up and rejoin their respective group. The third group, split into two halves, was trying to prevent him from doing this, but had trouble getting a good grip of his arms.
“Tip him over!” Their guide bellowed to his fellow Sellbots as he got stuck in. The third group broke off and regrouped on the VP’s left side.
159-2, 284-9, the CJ and the CFO watched in astonishment as the Sellbots succeeded in tipping him over onto his side.
“Nooooooooooooo!” CRASH! Then before the Senior Vice President could even think of attempting to right himself, they had all piled on top of him.
The Mr Hollywood approached the quartet, beaming. “The VP’s been restrained, sirs. What should we do with him?”
A moment of stunned silence before the CFO answered. Well it was not really silence, since the VP was writhing around on the floor, alternately screaming to be let up or begging for more sugar. “Er well. Myself and Monty will drag him back to his Office and then we’ll barricade the door closed so he can’t escape.”
Chief Justice scratched his chin, considering. “Actually. . . Let’s take him to Maintenance and Repair.”
“With all due respect, sir, are you mad?”
“Not at all, 159-2. Trust me on this, won’t you?”
159-2, 284-9 and the CFO exchanged bewildered looks. As insane as his suggestion sounded, he had yet to give them a reason not to trust him.
“All right, if you say so,” said the Chief Financial Officer.
“Excellent.” The Lawbot turned to the Mr Hollywood. “What’s your designation, Cog?”
“717-3”
“717-3, instruct your fellow Sellbots to release the Vice President and help him back onto his treads.”
The Mr Hollywood hesitated, before he reluctantly complied. His colleagues stared at him as if he asked them to go and live with the Toons.
“Let him up,” he repeated. Then strode forward and yanked off several Cold Callers, Minglers and Movers and Shakers by the backs of their suits. Slowly the pile began to dissipate. The VP looked confused as they grasped one arm and pulled him back onto his treads. “Sugar?” He asked hopefully, putting on his best puppy dog look.
The CJ rolled forward and put on arm around the Sellbot’s shoulders. “Yes, my dear fellow. Sugar.”
He squeed, hugged the Lawbot then headed off for Maintenance and Repair.
The Sellbots looked after his retreating back in horror. As did the CFO and his second command 284-9.
159-2 hopped up onto his boss’s left tread guard and asked in a low voice. “Are you sure about this, sir?”
He leaned down to whisper in reply. “Actually if I’m totally honest, I’m taking a bit of a gamble.”
“Perhaps it would be best to follow him, sir, in case this gamble doesn’t pay off.”
“Quite right,” he replied, and accelerated after the VP.
The CFO stared after them for a moment. “Hey wait!” Then hurried after them. 284-9 and 717-3 had to sprint to catch up, hopping onto either side of him when they did.

“I don’t know what he’s thinking,” the Chief Financial Officer grumbled. “The last thing we need is for Elmo to go hyper again.” Come to mention it. “284-9, remind me to have the fuel supply thoroughly checked when we get back home.”
“Yes sir.” 284-9 pulled out a notepad and pen and scribbled the memo down.
Ahead they could see the Chief Justice and his second in command, 159-2.
“He’s slowing down,” 717-3 noted.
The Lawbot spun around, so that now he was travelling backwards and grinned at them. “Success.”
The Cashbot pulled up beside him. “What’s a success?” Before he could reply, 717-3 hopped off and ran ahead.
“Just as I thought,” he explained. “Elmo burned up a lot of fuel in his attempt to get to Maintenance and Repair which accelerated his descent into the final Phase.” He gestured ahead. “Observe.”
The CFO looked ahead to the VP, who was now slumped over, seeming to have lost the will to move. 717-3 was attempting to comfort him. The two Chiefs drew up on either side.
“How bad is it?” the Cashbot asked.
“Watch.” The Mr Hollywood pulled out his notepad and pen and scribbled something on it. This was ripped off and waved in front of the Senior Vice President’s face. “Look, sir. A sales pitch.”
The Sellbot took it, looked at it then handed it back and resumed staring dejectedly at the floor.
284-9 shook his head. “That’s just sad.”
“Am I to assume that we’re still headed for Maintenance and Repair?” the CFO asked.
“You assume correctly.”
The Cashbot grabbed one arm as his companion grabbed the other. Together they pulled him along. The VP gave him a soul-crushing look. Instantly he felt his spirits being dragged down into the gutter with the Sellbot’s. He broke eye contact and his spirits were restored.

Maintenance and Repair was in a sorry state. According to what was left of the Vice President’s team, he had lost control, crashing into and destroying several work-stations, not to mention running down the members of the team that had not been able to get out of the way fast enough. They had done an impressive repair job, considering that they had been working for only six hours. The VP’s faith in them was well placed.
“As important as repairing M and R is, we need to you turn your attention once again to the Vice President.”
The team leader wordlessly saluted and began directing his team. They got to work, as if it was the last six hours had not occurred and this was the VP’s scheduled appointment.
As they got to it, the CJ turned back to his colleague and took one of his hands. “Now then, my friend. We should have you back to normal when you wake up.”
The Sellbot looked at him with utter despair, then closed his eyes and powered down.
The lead Skelecog jumped up onto his shoulder and pressed the small device he held in his hand to the VP’s chest. It whined and clicked. With a whirring noise, the two doors to the interior of the Sellbot’s
undercarriage swung open. Steam and smoke billowed out. All Cogs present exchanged looks; that was not good.
159-2, 284-9, 717-3 and the team of Skelecogs peered inside.
“Oh my,” 159-2 remarked.

_________________
"I was drinking my milk!"
"I was drinking my tea!"
"He is awake! Rejoice!!"
"I take my sugar brown! And my bread!"
"I have two speeds; in my own time, or can't be bothered."


Last edited by The Master on Fri May 15, 2009 8:18 am; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : Damn formatting.)
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