Where: Deck four twenty one-ish
When: Around the same time as everything else
Abruptly Cass strode off down the corridor towards where she guessed a lift cluster might be located, feet squelching slightly inside her damp boots
She was going to need some pop tarts and an arc-welding kit for a start...
But first, she realised, it would probably be prudent to see what had actually happened to the Computorium...
A mercifully event free, half hour later, Cass stood, glumly looking down the blackened shaft of the main computer core; the stupid smeggers had actually done it: They had killed Holly!
"Sometimes, I hate it when I'm right" she muttered to herself, kicking a charred fragment of memory crystal out into the shaft, and watching it rattle and bang back down the shaft into the darkness below.
Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath, and slowly exhaled, a hard smile playing across her lips
"Party time" she hissed, flicking her eyes open
Spinning on a heel Cass squelchily strode back to the nearest lift cluster, mentally counting off the things she needed:
'Pop tarts, arc welding kit, induction coils...'
The lift doors pinged open, some three quarters of an hour later, and Cass stepped out onto an eerily deserted Promenade. The place just wasn't the same without the usual milling crowds of shoppers, drunkards, pickpockets, perverts, and prostitutes
Still, she reflected, having nobody around would make her job much easier...
First things first though: These damp clothes were starting to chafe somewhat, so it was high time she scored herself a new wardrobe - Besides, flight suits were never a good idea if you were a girl; you had to almost strip naked every time you just wanted a pee, and for the life of her, Cass could never figure out why the hell it was that every few years, the fashionistas proclaimed they were this seasons new "in" style when they were so bloody inconvenient to wear.
Probably, she reflected, it was something to do with the fashion doyennes being a bunch of gay men who hated women, and the fact that most people had a lower IQ than a pot of yoghurt, and would cheerfully spend their hard earned dollarpounds on anything that a glossy magazine told them to buy.
"Stupid, stupid people" Cass sneered to herself
Taking a deep breath to calm herself and focus on the job at hand, she set off down the deserted Promenade
It didn't take her long to find what she was looking for in a deserted department store: A pair of canvas trousers, a well tailored top, some real underwear with real under-wiring, and a heavy pair of boots, all in black, and many times more expensive than she had been able to afford in recent years - Not, she smiled, that she had any intention of actually paying for any of it
Pulling her hair back up away from her face, Cass frowned critically at herself in a mirror. All she was missing was perhaps a decent bath, some expensive makeup and maybe a couple hundred spending on a decent hair cut, and she might even pass as a normal member of society, instead of some weird fantasy object for the hordes of repugnant punters that swarmed through the Fister's doors on a daily basis
With a sigh at this, she released her hair to tumble back down around her face and shoulders, and let her arms flop down again; Philippe, the club's owner still wanted a word with her, and although there was the outside chance that he had might have been killed in the 12th century, Cass was pretty sure that trifling details like that wouldn't get in the way of the man's legendary unreasonableness.
Turning, she made her way down towards the luggage department with only a brief, wistful glance back at the other clothes; Knowing her luck, it was likely to be some time before she had the opportunity to beg buy or steal anything of similar quality again, but needs must: There was a job to do here, so there was no time to indulge in a frenzy of shoplifting decent clothes however tempting it was
The luggage department was in the stores basement
"You and you. With me" Cass said to a couple of large suitcases, one in pink, and the other in black
"Yes, Ma'am" they replied in unison and trundled over towards her
"Where first, Ma'am?" asked the black one in a cultured, measured tone
"Shopping" Cass replied bluntly, walking off towards the electrical department "I need you two to carry my shopping for me"
"Ooh, wonderful!" effused the pink suitcase zipping around after her "I just love shopping. What'll it be? Bikini's for the luxury spa resorts of Io? Or perhaps some fabulous evening frocks for an evening of champagne blini's and honey glazed castrati at the ambassador's reception?"
Cass frowned at the pink suitcase but said nothing. Maybe it would shut up if she didn't encourage it
"I do hope its frocks" it continued "They make a girl look so elegant! I can tell you'd look wonderful in a little black number darling! Or how about something long and flowing? With your figure, you could get away with almost anything! How are your ankles in heels?"
"When I want fashion advice from a suitcase, I'll ask for it. In the meantime: Shut. Up."
The suitcase lapsed into peevish silence while Cass paced around the electrical goods
"Hey there! Fancy some toast?" asked a toaster
"Don't listen to that old series 200" scoffed another toaster "He only has six settings and three of those are for burnt toast!"
"Bah! Like you'd know anything about toasting anything" the first toaster spat back "Lots of people love their toast well done!"
"I'd like to go on a tour of the off-world colonies" the pink suitcase started up again "If you don't pay any attention to the burning attack ships, the weather's lovely on the shores of Orion this time of year"
"Crumpets" started another toaster "Lovely buttery crumpets. I've got aaargh..."
Cass grabbed this one and jammed it into one of the suitcases.
Giving appliances like toasters artificial intelligence had never been a good idea in her opinion. Unless you had an insatiable crumpet fixation, they tended to have too much time on their hands, meaning that they spent most of their lives sitting around, coming up with odd ideas
"Oh, so it's not frocks or bikini's that we're shopping for?" asked a slightly crestfallen pink suitcase
Cass began moving methodically around the department store, pulling items from various shelves and stuffing them into the suitcases: Three encrypted comms units, a few petabytes of crystal memory, a few packs of gourmet pop tarts, a black cocktail dress to stop the pink suitcase's whining, and an array of other assorted bits and pieces
Before long she was about ready to leave, needing only a few hundred grams of Demex, an arc welding kit, some screwdrivers, screws, and a superconductive grid; all of which she was pretty confident she could find in Stumpy's Mining Shack down the far end of the Promenade
"Right" she said, addressing the suitcases as they stood amidst the 'beauty' concessions scattered across the stores lobby "I think we've got most of what I need. Time to go"
"What was that? 'Time for a lovely slice of toast?'" came a muffled voice inside one of the suitcases
"Shut up, before I prematurely take a..."
Cass was interrupted by the high pitched whine of energy weapons powering up behind her
She turned around slowly, to see a large humanoid-ish security droid, both arms mounted with what appeared to be high powered blasters, stalking across the foyer
"SHOPLIFTERS WILL BE PROSECUTED" it intoned, a blue light mounted on top of its head beginning to flash
"Aw, smeg. Aren't you meant to be deactivated or something?" Cass asked backing away
The droid fired a warning shot past her, leaving a bubbling pool of plastic where a makeup display unit had until recently been
"SMEG" Cass screamed, diving to the floor behind a counter
Another warning shot crackled overhead, showering Cass with glass as it blew a lighting array out
"I need all this crap to help save our collective arses!" she shouted, peeking out from behind the counter "Can't you just look the other way and give me a break?"
The security droid began stalking across the foyer towards Cass
"COME WITH ME, OR THERE WILL BE... TROUBLE!"
"Like hell I will!"
Cass made a dash towards the main entrance, darting out from behind the counter, hotly followed by the two suitcases, but pulled up sharpish as another blast of energy crackled a few metres in front of her, blowing a glass fronted perfume counter out
"SMEG" she screamed again, skidding to a halt amidst the reeking glass before turning heel and dashing back the other way, feet slipping amidst the oily slick on the floor
"IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NO EXCUSE" Another blast of energy crackled overhead
Cass dashed between a couple of beauty concessions, and snaked her way past several others, taking a couple of sharp lefts, before finally darting, panting, behind a ceiling support pillar nestled amidst a couple of large artificial plants
She peeked out from behind the pillar, looking for any sign of pursuit, and wondering why this sort of crap always seemed to happen to her, when the pink suitcase bumped her leg
"This *is* exciting" it burbled, "Do you think we managed to shake the filth?"
With the computer core destroyed, and both Holly's dead (Nice posts btw Mike), it kinda looks like we're without computer support. I've a plan to remedy this, and if anyone would like to join in, please feel free, but I'd appreciate it if we all could refrain from doing something easy like simply switching on the previously unmentioned secondary computer core.