Choose Your Drug-Fueled Misadventure: The Spy Who Huffed Me
PAGE 1It is a clear and crisp spring day. Birdsong drifts by on every gentle breeze. Pretty girls are emerging from their winter hibernation with all the tentative enthusiasm of young rabbits. And as usual, there we find you: Huffing paint with juvenile delinquents at the back of the arcade at the Family Fun Center, trying (and failing), to explain Trip Hop to the new generation. "No! It's not 'hangin' out and having fun with my friends music'; it's 'just drank a bunch of cough syrup and now I'm going to try to masturbate but it's going to take a looong time' music.
PAGE 2"You'll never catch me, fascists!" you scream, almost instantly followed by, "I don't know how to drive this biiiiiike!"You careen out of control, and dramatically sideswipe ... hey, surprisingly not much of anything! This was nowhere near as disastrous as it should have been. In fact, the motorcycle doesn't appear to be moving at all. Too late, you realize this is just the bike peripheral of a Super Hang-On machine. Too late, you remember that you're still inside the arcade. Too late, you reach for your pocket to slip a few quarters into the slot to try and get a quick game in. Too late, you realize you forgot that sinister men in blue jumpsuits were chasing you, and you only ran two feet with your ill-gotten goods before pausing to hop on a stationary plastic motorcycle and rummage for change. It is with the utmost pity and shame that they beat you to death.
PAGE 3You fling the illicit, stolen, hopefully-valuable-enough-to-hock-for-some-more-reactor-paint briefcase through the nearest window and somersault after it through the still shattering glass."Did you see that shit, Billy?" you turn back to the slack-jawed, be-bowlcutted child, "I told you I was Karate as fuck!"You linger long enough to see Billy nod, reluctantly ceding your point, before turning and fleeing ... right into the side of the Taj Mahal. Seriously though, can you report the fickle nature of existence to the Better Business Bureau or something? How's a man supposed to get anything done when geography itself keeps dicking him around?You survey the scene, and find only random madness: You stand in a barren desert, but a few scant feet to your left, there stretches an expanse of pristine alpine mountains, complete with quaint windmills and leaping goats. To your right, a busy New York street, crowded with cars and harried pedestrians. Behind you, the shouts of the pursuing men. Before you, still the Taj Mahal that you just ran face first into. Don't do that again.
PAGE 4You scrabble up the side of the picturesque range. Though it is a long and arduous journey, you eventually reach its highest peaks, winded, half-frozen, but alive. Alive!"ALIIIIIIIVE!" you turn and scream to the onlookers. Look at them down there: Like ants.Not because they're so small, mind you -- they actually seem to be standing just a few feet below the mighty peak you've just summited (it felt like a way more impressive feat at the time) -- but because they're all growing ant faces right now. The fat Mant that used to look like Mr. Belvedere, sans moustache, now snaps his newfound mandibles in your direction and chitters something threatening. You screech and stumble, swatting at the phantom helicopters with your mother's face that suddenly swarm the skies above you. You have to get out of here. This place is no good. The Mothercopters have found it.
PAGE 5Swatting frantically at the air and screaming about your mother for reasons you can no longer remember and indeed, may have never existed, you stumble into the city, drawing the suspicious glares of passerby. "Help me! They're after me!" you grab the first man you find by the lapels, only to find his lapels growing tiny hands and grabbing you right back. "Get your fucking coatflaps off me, monster!""Whoa there, son, are you all right? Slow down. Who's after you?""I ... blue? Something blue, I think." Was that right? It was something else just a second ago, wasn't it? Man/beetles? Fatherplanes? "Also, I think maybe my parents are disappointed in my life choices," you amend, fairly sure that this is an accurate, if not entirely relevant statement."Blu- are you on the drugs, son?" the man with the clutching lapels inquires, his voice gentle with concern.Son? Holy shit, did the jackethands get your dad?!"No! Or wait. Yes! A lot! Don't fucking judge me, dad! The color blue wants to kill me!" And even as you speak its name, there it is: Two great, shifting, screaming blobs of powder blue -- one tall, one short -- rapidly closing in on you.To your left is an ancient bomber, sitting unattended on a narrow strip of runway. To your right, a car idles, its driver nowhere in sight.
PAGE 6You sprint up the rattling steel stairwell, smack the oblivious pilot in the mouth a few times and toss him out of the seat while he's still too confused to fight back. You stomp down on the controls and yank the wheel into the air, almost instantly screaming, "I don't know how to fly this plaaaaane!"You of course crash and die. Really, how did you think was going to go?
PAGE 7You hop into the driver's seat -- taking a moment out of your busy schedule to swing that sweet Gull-wing door open and shut a few times while yelling some misremembered Back to the Future quotes at the nearby gawkers -- then you mash the pedal to the floor. "Gettin' jiggywatt it! Nanannanana!" you holler, almost instantly followed by, "I don't know how to drive this caaaaar!"Inexplicably, however, you do not crash. Indeed, the car seems to be doing a fine job of steering itself. It takes corners at breakneck speeds, madly accelerating to a velocity that no earthly conveyance should dare. This speed! It is incredible. It is in defiance of physics, of all the laws of nature and man -- you feel as if you are about to burst through the thin cosmic scum that separates the bubble of our universe from the next, and just when you begin to blackout (probably from the extreme G-forces and not at all from the onset of Krolon-B Reactor Coating poisoning), the car screeches to a sudden halt. Ascending before you, triumphant and noble like the mighty metal erection of some half-buried Transformer, is the most beautiful sight you have ever seen: A pristine, untouched and entirely unguarded Space Shuttle. Its uneven white paneling thrums with eagerness, its saucy little boosters just itching to ignite, that perky little cockpit practically pleading for you to get all up inside of it. The very avatar of mankind's adventurous and exploratory nature materializes beside you (incidentally, it looks a lot like Bowlcut Billy). "Steal it," the avatar of adventure says simply. "You steal that shit, gaywad."
PAGE 8"I don't know how to pilot this shuuuuuttle!" you cry, as the G-forces hurl you backward into your seat. The focused fury of the boosters roars below you like stolen fire from the sun itself. Through the viewscreen in front, you can see nothing but the stars. And for the first time in your life you are content, for want of nothing, because you know you're finally on your way to them.
PAGE 9"Gaywad," the avatar of adventure says, only you can see now that it is not the sum of all human daring in the shape of Bowlcut Billy, but is, in fact, merely Bowlcut Billy himself. And now he thinks you're a gaywad.You can't live with that shame. You'll have to find another Family Fun Center, and convince a whole new batch of kids that you're actually a 14-year-old stuck in a Big situation, so they don't tell the manager about the weird 32-year-old with the paint can who won't shut up about Tricky.
PAGE 10Space.Wondrous, awful, silent and vast. A vacant ocean of omnipresent black envelops you like cold amniotic fluid in the austere womb of the universe.There are no words. They should have sent a poet. Still, you must try:"I'm fucking space as balls!" you scream, to the great disappointment of all.Suddenly, your ship is wracked by a terrible impact! You swivel around to peer through the portholes on the starboard side (or wait, is it the starholes on the port side?). And what you initially perceive to be the calm, peaceful blue of the Earth's oceans, infitely far beneath you, soon resolves into a vaguely humanoid shape.It followed you. Murderous Blue has followed you into space itself."Where are the cannons on this thing?" you mutter, slapping at a series of buttons so unresponsive they may as well be painted on.Oh no! They must be jammed!The shuttle rocks with another terrible blow, and you realize that, one way or another, you're going to die out here. But by God, if you're going out, it's at least going to be
PAGE 11When you next open your eyes, it is to a plain, featureless white room. Before you sits a patient-looking elderly gentlemen, his flowing white beard resting gingerly on an unadorned wooden desk."Is this heaven?" you ask. But he only shakes his head sadly. "This is the Scandia Family Fun Center. Or more specifically, this is the detention room at the Scandia Family Fun Center.""I wish I could say I was surprised," you reply, at ease with the complex threads that fate has woven around you, "but we both knew that's how this would end.""Well, it is the eighth time we've had to detain you," he concedes. "Honestly, I don't even know how you keep getting in here. We've got pictures up everywhere.""Fake moustache," you supply, and then, seeing his confusion, clarify, "over the real moustache.""I guess that makes as much sense as anything," he sighs."But wait, what did I do wrong this time? I was minding my own business-""Huffing Soviet-era reactor paint with minors," he interjects."Is that a crime?" you scoff."Yes, absolutely. Just possessing it is considered an act of treason in most countries. I don't think anybody's even
But how else are they supposed to have adventures?""Well technicalities aside," you continue, "I wasn't doing anything
You can buy Robert's other book, Everything Is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
For more adventures, check out Choose Your Own Drug-Fueled Misadventure and Choose Your Own Drug-Fueled Misadventure: Flight of Terror.