SPACEDOOM: A Johnny Explosion Adventure
Chapter 11: Minimum Wage…FOR MAXIMUM DOOM!
Judging by the giant machines and pipes randomly shooting fire, I figured I was in the engine room. Alarms were blaring and maintenance robots were scrambling to patch up the hole I made in the ship’s hull. The bots completely ignored me and I didn’t see any security, but I was still pretty sure that security goons would be coming after me, so I headed for the first door I saw.
I found myself in a long metal hallway. Both directions stretched out as far as I could see, leaving me without much to work with in terms of navigation. Every couple of yards was a sliding metal door with a sign above it stating that rooms purpose: MEN’S BATHROOM, WOMEN’S BATHROOM, DEATHBOT’S BATHROOM, ACCOUNTS PAYABLE, and so on. Placed randomly on the walls was a video screen showing random propaganda slides: APOCALYPSE IS KING, THE ONLY GOOD WORLD IS A WORLD RULED BY APOCALYPSE, REMEMBER! THIS FRIDAY IS WACKY HAT DAY!, ALL GLORY TO THE PROFESSOR. I headed down what I hoped was the way to the control deck.
Alarms were blaring the entire time, but after running nonstop for a good ten minutes, I didn’t see any opposition. It seemed to good to be true. Then just as I thought I was going to have a clean straight shot to The Professor, a small section of the wall slid out in front of me, revealing what looked like a security camera. They knew I was here, so I paid it no attention as I sped right past it. Then it began to talk.
“SCANNING. SUBJECT IDENTIFIED AS JOHNNY EXPLOSION. STATUS: INTRUDER. IMPORTING PERSONNEL.”
With that, the alarms stopped and the lights in the hallway began to glow brighter and brighter, to the point of blinding. I stopped and shielded my eyes, trying to remain ready for whatever this evil doomstation may have in store. As the light peaked at a blinding white, there was a loud ZAP and they faded back to normal. My vision quickly returned, and the first thing I cold see was trouble.
The hallway was now filled with Apocalypse’s security goons, all equipped with laser batons and space-riot gear. I was surrounded on both sides. They were packed shoulder to shoulder as far as I could see.
“PERSONNEL IMPORT COMPLETE. LIQUIFY INTRUDER.” The machine said, confirming what I suspected. The camera pinpointed my location and teleported the entire goon army right to me. That’s one hell of a security system. I pulled out my broadsword and got to work.
The fight was brutal, almost as violent as a mosh pit at a Johnny and The Facekickers concert. I grabbed one security goon by the leg and used him as a makeshift weapon, swinging him with one hand and using my broadsword with the other. Goons were flying everywhere, batted away by my powerful barbarian attacks. With every swing of my sword or henchmen club, I felt the blows of several laser batons pounding every inch of my body. At least seven goons were clinging to my back and legs, trying to weigh me down. As I bucked one off like a rookie rodeo cowboy, another chump would take his place.
About twenty minutes into the brawl, and it wasn’t going anywhere. I kept knocking them down, but there were always more, and they weren’t taking me out anytime soon. Maybe they sensed the stalemate too, or maybe they were just scared, because they all stopped and backed away a few feet. I was still covered on all sides, but at least I could take a second to breathe. They were surveying the scene nervously – they knew they needed a different plan of attack, but they weren’t sure what it was. I dropped the poor sap I was using as a club, cracked my knuckles, and waited for them to make the first move.
Problem was, they were a bit to hesitant to make the first move. After a few minutes of the standoff, I finally lost my patience.
“So are we gonna do this or not? I’ve got shit to do, ya know.” I said.
They let out a collective sigh and charged me. The second wave was the same as the first. Their laser batons pounding on me, my sword mowing them down, them trying to dogpile me, I think I even felt one of the bastards gnawing on my ankle.
A couple more minutes into it and I was starting to get annoyed. At this rate, it wasn’t going to end any time soon. And I had an evil professor with an evil plot to stop. I was trying to think of a plan to get this over with fast: The Barbarian Battering Ram of Might, The Barbarian Thunderclap of Fury, The Barbarian Spin Your Sword Really Fast So It’s Like a Giant Lawnmower Blade of Honor, but none of them seemed like they would do the trick.
Then I was saved by the bell. Literally.
Out of nowhere, the sounds of melee were drowned out by the shrill ring of a bell. Upon hearing it, the security goons stopped their attack and waited patiently for the ringing to end. I stopped as well, dumbfounded by their behavior.
After a few seconds, the bell stopped ringing and was followed up with the same mechanical voice from before:
“ATTENTION ALL FACEMELTER PERSONNEL: IT IS NOW LUNCH TIME. ALL PERSONNEL MUST REPORT TO DESIGNATED LUNCH CONSUMPTION ZONES FOR THE NEXT THIRTY MINUTES. SMOKING IS ONLY ALLOWED IN DESIGNATED SMOKING AREAS. ANY PERSONNEL CAUGHT TAKING MORE THAN THIRTY MINUTES FOR BREAK WILL BE WRITTEN UP.”
“Damn, is it that time already?” Asked one of the goons.
Another goon checked his watch. “Yup. And today’s bacon burger day.”
“Hells yeah. Let’s go.” Said another.
And with that, they all put turned off their laser batons and started making their way to a room labeled MESS HALL.
It was like someone flipped a switch on them. I didn’t get it. I grabbed one of they goons and asked him what was going on.
“Didn’t ya hear the loudspeaker? It’s lunch time.” He explained.
“But what about me?” I asked. “I’m an intruder in your base?”
“Sorry pal, but that’s gotta wait ‘till we get back from break.”
“But what about your sense of duty? Hell, what about your common sense?”
“Sense of duty my ass pal. You know what this job pays? Dick. That what. Plus, us guys is all hourly, that means if we’re workin’ on our lunch break, we’re workin’ overtime. And if the boss has to pay us overtime, he’s gonna have our ass.”
For reasons still beyond me, I tried to protest. “But…”
“’But’ nothin’ pal. I’m takin’ my thirty.” He interrupted. “Look. You gotta do your thing, and I gotta do mine. And right now, my thing just happens to be bacon burgers, which I like a lot more than sittin’ here staring at your ugly face. So I’m gonna go do that, and you’re gonna go fuck off. Ya got that?”
He had a point. I think. “Uh…yeah. Got it.”
“Good.” And he left.
I stood there for a second, trying to figure out what just happened, but it didn’t make sense to me. Then again, nothing Professor Apocalypse has ever done has made sense to me. Then I got an idea. It was more of a shot in the dark really, but it couldn’t help to try. I ran up to the goon and tapped him on the shoulder.
“What is it now?! My bacon burgers gettin’ cold pal. You better make it quick.”
“Which way to the control deck.” I asked.
He pointed an annoyed finger down the hall. “Ya go down that way, make a right at the fork, turn left and go up the steps. Ya can’t miss it. Or do ya need me to write it down for ya? It’s not like I’m on my freakin’ lunch break or anything.”
“Got it. Thanks.” I said.
“Whatever.” He replied.
I stuck around, waiting for everyone to get to the mess hall just in case this was some weird trap. It wasn’t. As the last goon entered the mess hall and the metal door shut behind him. I made my way down the path the disgruntled goon had given me.
The path that would lead me to professor Apocalypse.
Our hero draws ever closer to his final confrontation with the evil Professor Apocalypse! Will Johnny’s barbarian detective skills be enough to save the day, or will The Final Frontier be his final resting place? Find out in the next awesome-packed chapter of SPACEDOOM: A Johnny Explosion Adventure!