Choose Your Own Misadventure: Tripping at a Costume Party


You catch your foot in an errant root, and tumble head over heels down a rocky slope. The revolutions come faster and faster, until the whole world is naught but an unceasing blur of brown dirt and black sky. Or at least, that's how it started. But be honest: At this point you're kind of doing it on purpose, because somersaults are bitchin' fun. When you finally pull over for a quick barf-stop, you're too transfixed by the gargantuan, shining metal cube to continue your tumbling marathon.

"We'll come back to this," you promise Saul Summer, whom you've just decided is the pagan God of drunken somersaults, "but look how shiny!"

He'll understand.

You set your jaw grimly, find your center, and prepare yourself for the horrors that may await you within this bizarre, alien construction. Then you jog up to the door, clapping, and leap inside of it with a gleeful squeal.

You were prepared for a shimmering dimension of color-people, the slick control room of an unfathomable space vessel, even a portal to hell. But you were not prepared for this ...

This shag carpeting, and these -- what are these? Walnut inlays? All around you are orange beaded curtains, and green plastic drawer pulls. And nothing else. It is vast, vacant, and '70s as fuck.

Underneath the helmet, it's all moustache and feathered bangs.

"Jesus. Is this the decommissioned set of Three's Company or did I just miss the key party?"

By the time the resounding echo from your voice reaches the far end of the cavernous space, something is stirring in the shadows. The shapeless form advances at you haltingly, inhumanly, and yet, you sense no malice in its awkward approach. As it rolls into view, you finally see it clearly: The glossy steel skull, the polished plastic pauldrons, the flashing transistors and the cold metal claws.

A robot.

If you try to reason with the robot, turn to page 10.

If you attack the automaton, hoping to exploit the little known weakness of the Robot race, turn to page 11.

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Robert Brockway

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