You find yourself on a dark and deserted avenue. You have seen this street many times in movies and photographs. It is the kind of place usually half-glimpsed in the back of taxi cabs heading elsewhere, at once both familiar, and alien. As the stillness seeps into your mind, lulling you into a hypnotic trance, you suddenly notice a flurry of activity: There's a man breaking into the museum! He's pulling the bars off of a second story window, and nobody is there to stop him!
If you scream for the authorities, desperately hoping that somebody will hear your cries and assist you in performing your civic duty, turn to page 2.If you try to stop the man yourself, turn to page 3.
You bang on the door of the dilapidated apartment building across the way, shouting at the top of your lungs for help. A kindly old woman buzzes you up. She fixes you hot cocoa, shows you slides of her trip to Omaha and eventually falls asleep on your shoulder. Not wanting to wake her, but still completely keyed up on adrenaline, your mind wanders and you inevitably start thinking about titties. You try to take your mind off of it, but that just makes it worse. You find yourself mentally listing the most awkward boners you've ever had. This easily takes the number three spot, you decide.
You have it all planned out in advance: You'll surprise the man with a Captain Kirk style dropkick! You know, the kind of dropkick with absolutely no plan for recovery after it is delivered--just 100 percent double-foot action, and may God have mercy on your soul for the aftermath. There have been better plans, sure, but you like the flexibility of this one.
Step 1: Sweet Dropkick. Step 2: Step 2 is for pussies!
As you are readying yourself to strike, you happen to notice something odd: You're far too busy currently prying the bars off of a second story window to attack anybody. It turns out you're the one breaking into the museum, because you're high as shit, and you really wanna see some dinosaurs.
You finish dislodging the bars and swing inside like some sort of graceful, deadly, ninja- you actually fall back-first onto a glass coffee table, but you're pretty sure you did it just like a deadly ninja would have. You pull yourself to your feet and yank loose a particularly nasty glass shard from just below your elbow, which has the unlucky side-effect of inspiring sudden, random muscle-spasms. Your arm slaps about wildly, but you ignore it. You have an appointment to keep with Awesome, and its best friend, the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Unfortunately, nothing remotely resembling a dinosaur--not even if you squint hard and pretend it's making growling noises--is anywhere to be seen.
If you break the nearest expensive looking thing out of a sense of misplaced vengeance, turn to page 4.If you decide to go with it because, like Tom Cochrane always said, "Life is a Highway," turn to page 5.
Yeah, fuck that shit!
Turn to page 5.
As you set out to explore further, a blinding light suddenly strikes out at you--leaving you temporarily stunned. You panic, thinking the cops have found you already, but when your vision clears you are astounded to find yourself standing before a strange ship. Its doors are open, seemingly in invitation, and an eerie green light bathes the room in a wan, sickly glow.
If you back away cautiously, deciding that--considering the eight tabs of acid and four Ambien you took earlier--it is highly likely that you are both sleepwalking and hallucinating, and you should probably just find a hole to sleep it off in, turn to page 6.If you say fuck it and honor the Tom Cochrane code, turn to page 7.
You go home and sleep it off, because you're a total buzzkill and kind of a pussy. You later buy a Subaru and eventually die in your sleep. That's it. That's what your stupid life was.
You know who you are in this picture? No, not the rad, high-waisted kid ramming a console into tiny Ferenghi. No, you're the old man, actively regretting the chances he never took as he gazes into his own impending mortality.
You barrel headfirst into the aqua light of the alien craft, all the while screaming quotes from what you think is probably Die Hard.
"Welcome to the party, pal!" you bellow, charging.
"LORP." Squawks the surprised alien, his beady little rat-eyes reflecting terror and yet, somehow, also an exotic kind of wisdom. He is hunched low, dressed in a bizarre spacesuit, and his face is covered in impossibly fine hairs. "LORP DOP."
"Whoa, fucker. We speak English in this country," you begin, but you see only kindness in his tiny slit eyes. He extends his hand to you...
If you shake his hand in kindly greetings, turn to page 8.If you are overwhelmed by fraternal love (and enough LSD to give God a body high) and instead opt to hug him desperately, turn to page 9.
You go to clasp his hand in greeting, but due to your injury, you end up slapping him somewhat jovially in what is probably the crotch area. He leaps back in surprise, bashing his head on the control panel... and launching the ship through space!
Turn to page 10.
Congratulations. You totally gayed up first contact.
The alien returns the hug just a little too hard, and as you break away--giving him the "we're just bros here" pat on the back before disengaging--it seizes onto you. Two hours later, you are running through the city park, the alien hot on your heels making a slurping kind of belch that you assume to be "kissy noises."
Also, the pink cleavage-accentuating decor on your spacesuit isn't helping any...
In terror and desperation, you fling everything you have at it, attempting to slow the being. Unfortunately, it assumes these to be courting gifts, and merely pursues you more vigorously in response. You find yourself cornered. There is no exit. Perhaps your pants and underwear should have been the last thing you threw, you think in retrospect, as you frantically attempt to tie a makeshift noose out of the tail of a furious stray cat. It goes poorly, to say the least.
Your eyes dim and blur, but when they refocus you find the ship has come to a halt. No sign of the alien is to be found. The door is still open from your entrance, and from it you attempt to examine your surroundings, but they are simply incomprehensible! A myriad of images shimmers and twists before you--now the familiar onion-domes of Moscow besieged by robots, now a shimmering sea of mercury skated upon by angels, now not even a place but a resonance of sound, thick with emotion--and you realize it must not have stopped at all. You must be shifting through inter-dimensional space! Suddenly, something leaps through the doorway! It's a vampire!
Why is there a fucking vampire in outer space? Turn to page 11.Two words: DROP. KICK. Page 12.
I know, right? That's pretty crazy.
Turn to page 12.
"WHAT THE FUCKING SPACE VAMPIRE!?"
You hurtle yourself with absolutely no forethought into the emerging vampiric form. He screams in surprise and pain as you make contact, and both of you tumble from the doorway, somersaulting through Nth dimensional insanity. The worlds smear as you fly by them with ever-increasing speed. A vertigo takes hold of your mind, and your vision extends to infinite space. As your perception of time slows to a crawl, you catch sight of an image through the cosmic mist, and latch onto it. The image resolves slowly, and though you know you are perfectly still, you feel as though you are traveling somehow. The image is of a being with beady, slit-like eyes, its face a mesh of impossibly fine hairs...
In his visage, you find yourself drawn away - away and down - away and waxing a way a-
When you awake, the alien is holding your hand and muttering to you in his indecipherable language. You know you should not--it is everything your strict father, ever the macho marine, forbade you--but you lean forward to kiss him out of sheer gratitude. It is unlike a kiss that could be performed by man, and pleasures heretofore unknown to human life wrack your body like a series of beautiful sobs. This moment is an eon-long orgasm of tranquility, culminating in the utmost contentment of the heart.
If you tear yourself away, knowing that this is a feeling men will become lost in, never to return to their former lives, turn to page 13.If you slip it some tongue, because if it's willing to go this far maybe you could get some ass out of it, turn to page 14.
You pull yourself away, loss and regret immediately seizing your heart like a vice made out of punches to the dick. You look the alien dead in the eye, attempting to communicate, through sheer will, your eternal gratitude for this moment, but your wounded arm flips out, and you slap him on neck instead. Your hand barely makes contact, skipping across his chest and settling on his shoulder.
Turn to page 14
The alien pulls away from you, offended, and motions to the door. You try to explain, but the look in its eyes is of such heartbreak that you know you cannot. You exit through the portal, and find yourself emerging into a crowd of stunned onlookers. Their jaws are agape, and the expression of awe on their faces as they watch you disembark from the shuddering vessel is nothing short of religious. You wave to them, signaling that everything is going to be okay...
"I have returned! To wave at nothing!"
And that's when the security guard tackles you.
"It's okay, I've been beyond," you explain, but he's far too busy rapidly and furiously tasering your inexplicably naked body to listen.
"Drop kick me, motherfucker?! I'm takin' you down to Tasertown!" He screams, despite the presence of a great deal of children on what appears to be a fifth grade field trip.
Later, at the trial, as you are brought up on charges of breaking and entering at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, indecent exposure to minors, vandalizing the Lunar Lander, assaulting the security guard and sexually molesting the night janitor, your explanations fall on deaf ears.
"But it wasn't a man... it was a-a thing! It had little beady, slit eyes and these tiny, disgusting hairs and... and we did stuff! Weird, beautiful stuff!" you begin to plead, but are interrupted by the sudden, violated sobs of the elderly Chinese man on the witness stand, whose thin beard looks impossibly fine in this light, come to think of it...
Find Robert on Twitter, Facebook and his own site, I Fight Robots. Or continue the story by turning to page 15.