Andy - 'I'll be home for new years' Part 1

Who: Andy, 099
Where: Passing Saturn
When: December 31th, trade ship
The janitor's chest gently rose up and down as the ship's cargo bay
lightly rumbled from the worn down inertial dampeners. Andy had set
himself up against a stack of crates that where too poorly lit to be
read correctly. Beside him were 099 and a stack of tranquilizers so he
could easily sleep through the trip, as well as adrenaline for when
the big moment came. According to her the ship would by Blue Dwarf at
precisely New Year's Day… or eve… it was kinda hard to tell with these
Warp-hop ships.
Getting aboard the ship had been easy. It was a simple matter of
overwriting the ship's cargo-quota to allow for two more passengers.
Namely being a Dunny jockey and an electric shoebox. True it was a
tight fit, and yes he did have to re-route some of the oxygen from the
main ship into the cargo hold so he wouldn't be inflicted with the
fragrant scent of his own feet but it wasn't all that bad.
At least he wasn't wearing his hazard suit anymore.
Of course, at this very moment Andy didn't care much for what he had
done an almost full four days before.
Right now he was more concerned as to why his arms had turned into
toilets, their white lids flapping up and down as they accused him of
It was going to be a long trip, and in more ways than one.
Who: Andy
Where: Andy's old home
When: December 27th
Andy's face was mute as he stepped through the commended building. The
place hadn't exactly changed much. Just as decrepit and decayed as
before actually. The janitor had come here from something. It was
something that he had left behind all those months ago, no, years ago,
fifty to be precise. In a way he felt guilty, even stupid coming back
for it. In another it was the only thing of value he had. In a way it
was like being attached to a radioactive necklace. You know you
shouldn't go near it but you simply love it too much to obey the angry
voice in the back of your mind.
The sounds of his boots reverberated through the halls with every
step, and each one came with an echo of a creak. At least… it normally
did. The janitor blinked as he slowed. He began to put increasingly
heavier steps into the floor. But there was no creak. Perhaps the
place wasn't as rotted as he remembered. The man shook his head. That
was insane! This place was already 50 years old when he had got here
the first time around. Now it was over 100 years old! This place
should be a pile of slowly decaying brick work by now!!
"There's only one way to prove this…" Andy scowled as he drew his
finger tips across the walls. When he drew them back he saw that no
dust accompanied it. "No way…" The janitor breathed. There wasn't any
dust. No dust.
Andy pulled a plunger from his shiny new belt. Looking down at the
small dial that lay just above the cap he noticed that he was
currently on 'vacuum cleaner' suction level. A rarely un-gloved hand
reached over and cranked up the suction rating past 'industrial
vacuum' to 'vortex' next 'space vacuum' towards 'Black hole' to
finally 'Dai-katana'. Now it really sucks.
Kneeling down he slammed the plunger into the floorboard and toggled
the suction latch with his thumb. The sound of crackling wood and
flying splinters soon filled the air as the cleaner tore back the panel.
As Andy looked down into flooring he instantly knew why he didn't hear
it creak. The floor had been reinforced with steel plates.
This place had a new tenant.
It was ingenious in a way. Maintain an old sign out front to deter
visitors, bribe the counsel to leave it alone and keep the wood works
rotting so the place looked old to any trespasser. Then reinforce the
foundations so the place wouldn't collapse on top of them. Kinda of
begged of question of WHY they would go so far though…
The janitor placed a hand on his face. It didn't matter to him. He
just had to get the Babel fish and get out of here.
Andy pulled his eyes away from the board and continued down the
corridor. It felt just like yesterday that he'd retried down here
after a long day's work of doing God knows what.
The Janitor stopped at the door that he had opened daily for a
majority of his life. As per normal the door's number had long since
fallen off. Now it looked as though it was barely holding together.
His hand reached out and grasped the brass knob fully expecting it to
crumble in his hands. However as he turned and pushed the door open he
was met with an entirely different experience.
"…Home, sweet home…" Andy mumbled.
His room was exactly as he remembered it. In the corner was his bed,
at the floor of it was the computer with a wireless connection and
opposite them both was a couch with a TV nestled up against the wall.
But as he took a closer look he realised that the place was also
different from the rest of the house. Kept…maintained…cleaned. This
went beyond a simple front to fool visitors it was more like…
Andy walked over to his lumpy bed. Sure it was terrible and it had
springs poking out of it at odd angles but he had many a nights upon
it. Andy turned and sat upon it.
Then he stood up. This wasn't his bed.
He walked over to the couch and dove down upon it. Andy froze then
reached for the remote. His arm snapped out and turned on the TV. The
janitor's heart was suddenly caught in his throat. Then he scrambled
up and over to his computer.
The Janitor's frantic fingers jammed into the power button. The
computer turned on with a smooth, fresh, start.
Andy jumped away from the computer as though it was on fire.
"What the…" The former (?) hacker let lose as he stared around the
room. This was impossible. His bed was replaced, yet the frame looked
the same. His TV had an LCD screen yet it clearly was a large, fat
CRP. But the icing on the cake was that his computer.
It… it didn't have his background of a dancing bear on it.
<To be continued.>

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