Commander Keen vs. The Keen 'Bots (excerpt)
Chapter 1 - The Arrival
A follower of Commander Keen suddenly realised that he wasn’t and never could be Commander Keen. He wanted to be Keen so much he was starting to loose his grip on reality. This fan soon became jealous; this jealousy resulted in hatred of Keen. This follower soon became an unknown enemy to Keen. Over the months this follower started to believe he was Mortimer and was soon plotting to destroy keen. Believing that if he isn’t Keen then Keen shouldn’t be either After countless inventions failed Morty (as he called himself) eventually came up with the Keen ‘Bot, a biped robot complete with neural stunner, purple top and blue denim shorts. He modelled it on Keen himself as he felt it appropriate that Keen should be destroyed by himself. After remembering how good Keen is with his neural stunner he thought that maybe one Keen ‘Bot wouldn’t be enough, so just to make sure he mass produced an army of them. Of course they would never be as good as Keen but can our favourite hero handle an army of them?
Morty began to filter his ‘bots onto Earth in secret; they were programmed to build secret communications buildings camouflaged as industrial estates. The ‘Bots communicate using sort of micro-radio waves that modern equipment cannot pick up. Well modern Earth equipment can’t as for the Photachyon Transceiver it picks them up loud and clear. Billy listened in as they communicated in Standard Galactic Alphabet. Billy quickly put together a monitoring system that translated, displays and monitored the ‘bots alerting Keen whenever anything happened that he should know about. He wired up the output to his home computer and his computer wrist, so he can watch them at all times. From this information Keen discovers all about ‘Morty’ and realises his plan for Keen’s destruction and the Earth’s at that!
Keen traced Morty’s programming beam (the beam he programmes his Keen ‘Bot army with) to a small shack in the United Kingdom. Keen Hopped in the Bean-With-Bacon Megarocket and blasted over to the shack.
Opening the Door Keen discovers a room filled with ‘Commander Keen’ posters, pictures, scans, graphics, texts, manuals for Billy’s equipment replicas of Billy and his stuff, models and a fully working neural stunner identical to Billy’s. Slightly freaked out Keen plough through his own memorabilia and opened a closet door, a Blazing blue whirlwind of light temporarily blinded Keen, a blasting noise made him jump, he slipped on a model of spot his Yorp and fell into the light-whirlwind bottom first! Apon descending through the multicoloured vortex Keen noticed his rear become stretched as it whirled around in front of him – fortunately the vortex spat Keen out (before he vomited) sending him crashing through treetops then plummeting jhim into a wide lake with a thick blanket of green gung covering it. He sank into the gung for a meter or two when finally it broke -gushing water surrounded him.
After the shock subsided Keen swam to the surface and blasted his neural stunner towards his thick green imprisonment when it reluctantly broke. Keen performed a few evasive rolls across to one side of the lake until his feet thankfully were placed firmly on the brown but moist soil.
Looking around Keen realised he was in the great undergrowth of an even greater forest from which many strange but occasionally familiar sounds of weird and even fierce creatures were emitted. Looking up Keen noticed the tail of the vortex still swirling high above him. He used his Computer Wrist to scan for life via infrared, motion and biological make-up sensors. The planet seemed to be thriving with unusual life. The already dim light became even darker when huge fierce black rain clouds blanketed the sky. The light was almost completely blocked with meagre rays piercing through in random areas of the clouds…
Chapter 2 – Initial defences!
The loud claps of thunder rattled through Keen’s brain followed by brilliant white light which lit up the whole of the forest displaying formerly hidden creatures of immense magnitude bearing putrid yellow fangs at Keen. Keen soon dispensed of them with a couple of blasts from his trusty neural stunner, each blast into the monster’s vast bodies left behind a perfectly circular hole that allowed an abundance of vile puss to pass out of their bodies at an enormous pressure sometimes pushing trees nearly right over! These huge eight-legged monsters resembled spiders accept they were jet black with many heads and despite their phenomenal size they were as nimble as earth spiders. Keen slowly passed a large black withered tree (keeping an eye out for those giant spiders) when suddenly a humungous crack of wood splintered through Keen’s brain – he spun round lightening fast to see a robot, (a biped robot with many human-like qualities) bursting through the ancient wood of the tree and landing but a few feet in front of Keen. The robot stood about six foot tall on two legs, it had two arms with claw-like hands which gripped a sword. The sword’s blade was diamond shaped it was doubled sided and glinted in the light of a single ray that pierced a black cloud above. The robot looked as if it had a VCR for a head with a small video or camera lens adjusting itself frequently to focus on it’s surroundings – Keen could tell by the magnetic tape reels on the side of it’s head that it was recording Keens every move – he noticed the writing on the robot’s chest panel, “Keen Bot 00565 – sentry defence unit” which as Keen knew meant, ”Keen ‘Bot 00656 – sentry defence unit”
“ah, my first acquaintance with a Keen ‘Bot!” Keen muttered to himself. In the blink of an eye the Bot lunged towards Keen, flailing it’s sword in all directions, Keen merely backtracked a step or two then pulled at his neural stunner, aimed…ZAP! The Bot intelligently anticipated the blast and placed its sword in the correct position to deflect it. The green blast sliced through the blade but only had enough energy left to dent the Bots pristine chest plate. An enchanting blue crystal on the bottom of the handle glows brightly, then end of the sword then miraculously grows back into its original form, “Regenerative technology?” Keen Muttered. A quick change on the dial on the Bots shoulder changed it from ‘Close Combat’ to ‘Laser Artillery’ made the Bot drop it’s sword and pull a very familiar neural stunner. The Bot opened fire on Keen he jumped and rolled evasively. Wham! Wham! Wham! Blast after blast the Bot continued relentlessly frazzling an unsuspecting caterpillar-like bug (only it was two feet long!). Keen suddenly stopped, the Bot fired three consecutive shots directly at Keen’s head, Keen whipped out his pogo stick and bounded into the air narrowly missing the blasts. He landed, grabbed the ‘Bots sword and lifted off once again, this time he plunged down towards the ‘Bot hammering the sword with immense force into the robots unusually flat head slicing it cleanly in two. Electric sparks and flames rose from the two halves of it’s head, they burned a small yellow wire leading into the neck of the Bot. Soon the plastic coating melted and a naked flame hit the oily fluid inside and the entire robot erupted into blue flames. Keen ran in the opposite direction still clutching the sword then the Bot exploded and formed a small clearing in the dense undergrowth. “Nuts! I could have studied that!” Keen exclaimed, “But at least it destroyed!”
Keen trudged through the undergrowth blasting nasty looking critters along the way. Bounder-like creatures, black with huge silver spikes ejecting from their skin for example, or the long snakes with yellow poisonous skin that excreted a rancid substance of a violet colour. In the distance a kind of whinny music followed by deep chanting repeated over and over. Keen followed the sound and it eventually led him to a huge arch with two of those black ancient trees that Keen saw earlier on either side. Keen got ready for two of those Bot’s to appear but instead the two trees simultaneously split at the sides revealing long vines with flower heads on the end (in the shape of a Venus Fly Trap plant) they propelled themselves towards Keen, he leant back and touched his palms on the ground behind him, with one hand still on the ground he drew his newly found sword and sliced two of the vines in two. He hopped to his feet with an impressive flip. They split and formed four heads, the six heads lunged at him. Keen bounded into the air on his pogo stick once more, they followed like heat seeking missiles, Keen did a few summersaults to build momentum and then plummeted back towards the ground. The heads lined up and opened themselves into mouths, they began creating and spewing digestive fluids that ran down their vines until it touched the ground where it dissolved. Unfortunately the vines were immune to this digestive acid and were unaffected. Keen plunged his pogo into one of the heads blocking its acid passage, luckily Keen’s pogo was unaffected too! A large bulge appeared in the vine just beneath the head, the plant, like a volcano erupted and rocketed Keen into the air at a tremendous speed followed by a spew of the digestive juices. The vines tried to follow but failed to reach Keen. Keen plummeted again back to the ground and once again the plants lined up and opened wide, keen quickly drew his neural stunner and fired multiple shots into the mouths. The blasts seemed to dissolve and keen was about to plunge his pogo into the mouth of a different plant when they all just exploded reacting to the neural stunner blasts. Keen landed on the ancient tree crunching through the old bark – Keen braced himself – but surprisingly he just landed and never took off again. Looking down Keen saw that he was in a runny, gloopy substance of an orange colour that held his pogo tight. Keen jumped off and landed beside the old tree, he reluctantly decided to abandon his pogo (at least temporarily) after all he could always get a new one on earth – if he ever gets back to earth! He opened the huge gates that were in the centre of the arch, ancient looking 20ft tall thick wooden gates. They creaked loudly…
Chapter 3 –The Inhabitants
Keen hastily yet cautiously
Passed through the huge gates, missing his pogo already. He passed through the gates and as he grit his teeth tight preparing for whatever lied ahead a blinding flash of lightening temporarily blinded keen…then he heard footsteps in the moist soil behind him, with faster-than-light reactions keen whizzed around baring his neural stunner in one hand and clutching his newly acquired blade…nothing! He saw nothing, he glance in all directions anxiously awaiting opposition to explode towards him…. nothing! He scanned his ComputerWrist for life on ground level and found nothing within thirty meters! He suspiciously tapped his ComputerWrist screen in a feeble attempt of encouraging a reading. Then he briefly thought he could hear a noise that resembled the noise of a jet, faint, yet he was sure he could hear it…he switched on the amplifier on his ComputerWrist and listened carefully, realising that the sound was real, he hurriedly crouched in a defensive position from opposition form the air…stunner poised. Three green silhouettes passed over a treetop level and with jet-like speed. Scanning for air born readings he picked up the three objects…discovered they were biological, winged and green…they were moving away at a very high speed so keen relaxed slightly and decided to analyse the new surroundings. He was in the middle of an opening in the trees, the huge gates had already shut without keen noticing, he glanced around and noticed some large wooden structures…he assumed they were huts and decided to explore them after he had checked the perimeter for opposition.
Bleep! Bleep! His ComputerWrist sounded as the three silhouettes started to retrace their trajectory back towards keen! Grumbling to himself about his old friend, pogo, he once again poised his Neural Stunner whilst sheltering behind the huge gates…considering the impact damage that the gates might endure. He grit his teeth as the beasts flew over once again, this time they slowed to an almost complete stop then slowly floated towards the ground in the clearing where Keen was hiding. Keen, thinking quickly jumped and flipped trough the air towards them, he landed unusually softly, then he realised that he had stepped in more of that goop (from within the tree earlier) and his sneakers were stuck fast. Hoping that the beasts hadn’t realised his vulnerability he raised his stunner toward them…
“D-do you speak English…?” Keen said, wishing he could move his feet from their current position, “Fluently” the creature replied. Keen pondering…feebly asked, “What are your intentions for me?”
“Well…” the largest began, but before he could utter another word from his green, round, trunk-like mouth the smallest exclaimed, “That’s no way to address someone, I believe the term is…Hello,”
“Astonishing!” Keen lowered his stunner slightly, withdrew his sword and continued in amazement, “I cant believe that you are so civilised as to that you would question the way present myself to an obviously alien life form”
“Well, I think it hardly matters, you have to have good manners, otherwise you will not succeed in life. Why are you hear, you are much like the Emperor, though your more muscular physique and lighter colouring differs you, plus you seem less hostile”
“Emperor! Who is this man, and to whom was he hostile?” Keen interrogated with utmost determination
“The Emperor…erm…lets see, he originated from a huge light vortex of many wondrous colours, he brought with him legions of robotic companions who from his order, ordered us to help build a city by pain of death! His armies made little effort of the little resistance we had. He has lived in that city for many years using us as slaves dominated by his robotic minions! We are sentry beasts, well, actually we are Koraxtons, he calls us sentry beasts. We take orders from him and he disciplines us for errors and for successes. What more would you like to find out?”
“Well, how does he know what your doing, cant you just fly away and never return, I mean, look at those boosters embedded in your backs, just don’t come back!”
“We would love to but he has imprisoned us to this forest via these anklets, many have tried to escape, but all have died after crossing the perimeter of the forest! Also he injected all of us with chips – they are directly placed on our brains. He monitors us from these chips, we have…” Before the green beast could finish his sentence his eyes set back in his skull and he dropped to the floor. The other two panicked and blasted away. “Fantastic, here I am with some dead carcass, feet firmly stuck fast and a forest of foes to take care of from this spot!” Keen began weighing out the pro’s and cons of his current situation, “What to do?” he wondered. He blasted a couple of stunner shots directly into the goop, carefully avoiding his own feet, but it had no effect, the goop remained, as did his feet.
Chapter four – Time Out!
The rays of light that had once pierced through the thick smog that blanketed an entire sky soon began to start to be overwhelmed by smog, then all was dark…keen activated his flash light. Looking around and poised ready for the offensive he waited for an hour or two. “Now I’m really bored! I’ve completed Paddle War sixteen hundred times!” he drew his sword once again, he began to tab aimlessly at the goop, he noticed that at the edges it started to dissolve, he flicked a thin layer of top soil over the gung hoping that the goop might dissolve a little faster.
Whilst he waited, he continued to monitor the ‘Bots actions on Earth, he noticed that they were beginning to form stocks of ‘bots which all began congregating in multiple locations on Earth. Keen assumed the worst, The Preparation for Battle, but with whom?
Keen’s suspicions were incorrect, the robots were not preparing themselves for war, but for total world domination. Morty’s logic was that if he could take control of this other world he had stumbled across, he could take the earth, the galaxy and eventually the universe under his control. Removing Keen was just the beginning of Morty's plan, keen was the only serious nuisance that was in Morty's way to total domination. Granted the earth was far more superior to this primitive world but Morty assumed that his mass numbers of ‘bots enabled him to defeat the armies of earth – especially if he plays one off against the other, in order to weaken the larger countries and their unions. Morty’s aspirations for total universal domination were backed up with his theory that with keen out of the way, he could cause two superpowers to wage war with one another, by framing a countries attack using his ‘bots, then attack the superior yet weakened country. This would give him an edge over their nuclear and other military technologies. Plus because of the ease of producing his warriors as apposed to military resources and human men to operate them was by far easier he had two main advantages over his opposing countries. Then he could dissolved parliaments and monarchies and replace them with his autocratic rule – reinforced by his loyal, expendable robotic warriors. He can destroy any resistance with his armies and control earth! Then move upwards to the solar system then the galaxy then the Universe!
As keen sat for an entire evening, (about 15 hours) he pondered about Morty’s plans, soon he came to the conclusion that either he was fighting an unknown military force, or he was after taking over the world. Fearing the last option he rose with utmost determination and marched forward. Then realised that as he’d sat and thought the gung had dissolved and he was free. He took a small sample for analysing later and continued his quest to stop Morty and not be destroyed in the process, the world was at stake – little did he realise that the universe was really at stake!
Chapter 5 – Ready for Action!
Keen examined his newly acquired arsenal, the sword with its glowing rock on the handle, his neural stunner – he recharged it so it was at full capacity, the pogo that sat a foot deep in gung. Checking his equipment two or three times he decided to test the limitations of his sword. He placed it on a rock in front of him, balanced it so it was touching the rock as little as possible, and then blasted the tip off with his stunner. He then watched in amazement as the blue stone on the end glowed with amazing colour and the sword seemed to be limp as the tip grew back to its original form. The sword returned to be hard and stable as before. Keen took more shots elsewhere on the blade and watched as it grew a new section. He warily shot the handle….the stone ejected itself, the blade fell off and lay on the floor beside the damaged handle.
Keen exclaimed, he ran over and looked at the rock on the floor, it was now green, didn’t glow and seemed to be sweating a green substance. Keen inspected the handle, it had a small whole in it from the blast, but other than that was fine – except for the loss of the blade. Keen picked up the handle and kept it with him discarding the stone and blade – assuming that if he replaced the stone the blade would re-grow.
Keen began looking through the huts. He opened the second door, it has an array of different sized boxes and pots all sealed and very dusty, as if they hadn’t been touched for many years. A sign on the wall behind the boxes obviously labelled the building but was in a very strange and abnormal language. Keen decided to open a box and hoped the sign wasn’t a warning. Stunner poised, he peered in….a blue light emitted from under a cloth, he lifted it and gazed at around a hundred of the stones that used to be housed in the handle of his sword. He assumed that the building was a storehouse, he looked in the other boxes and pots, they all contained the blue stones. This sword was either a native weapon, or the robots have storehouses because of the weakness in the handle of the sword. Whatever the reason keen grabbed about ten, then loaded one in the sword…nothing happened, the stone ejected itself and turned green. Keen discarded the handle along with the green stone, then proceeded to rummage through the cupboards on the walls. He came across a steel box with strange letters on it. He blasted the lid off, then peered inside….a box full of handles – reinforced handles! Keen hastily grabbed a few and then a couple more stones and loaded one of them into a handle. The stone glowed bright and a diamond blade grew from it. Keen continued to rummage through the rest of the storage huts. He found a crude form of pack in which he stored all his new weapons. He also found a blue coloured neural stunner with a rock in the bottom. He fired it and it emitted a blue blast which obliterated a rock ahead of him. He smiled an went to put it in place of his stunner…then it whirred so he looked at it puzzled. A large crack formed down the side and a yellow lick of flame popped out, he threw it to the floor and it burst into flames, it appeared to have the same security mechanism as the sentry ‘bot. Keen held his original stunner and thought to himself, “Never tamper with the classics” he smiled then stocked up on everything that appeared useful. He feared this was a storage place for the armies and decided to remove all the stones, then burnt all the huts to the ground in an attempt to slow down Morty. He hid the stones nearby for future use, plus he might be able to implement their regenerative power on other devices of his, then he would have no trouble with damages and malfunctions.
Chapter 6 - The Journey
Keen knew time was against him – what about dinner, what would his mom think?! – but he decided as he had no idea where to start, he decided that he should gather as much intelligence as possible about the planet, the creatures and Morty’s action on the planet – if it was even a planet. He began exploring further out of the reach of the small village he was in, he avoided strange creatures, none of which appeared to have the ability to speak English, and destroyed offensive ones – for survival purposes. He ran across two or more of the green creatures mentioned before, they were with what apparently were security guards, robots similar to the sentry ‘bot however were in blue denim shorts, a pinkish top, baring a very familiar adapted neural stunner, and with the usual VCR-like head. They were holding through some kind of electro-magnetic grip (from what keen could conclude as, rusty chains attached to the collar). The creatures put up no fight and appeared very exhausted. Keen grit his teeth and jumped from the bush in which he was hiding, blasted at the ‘bots and then at the chains. The chains shattered, but the ‘bots simply looked at him, then lunged at him. Hurtling backwards through a series of flips and jumps and a couple of rolls keen avoided their blasts and retaliated with deadly accuracy, after around five or so blasts the chest cavities protection on the ‘bots seemed to give up and spit – letting a blast or two enter the chest of the bots, they responded but bursting into blue flames. The armour or skin of the bots appears very strong but after a bombardment of shots the case gives in and crumples exposing the ‘bots’ valuable and delicate circuitry – and that all so important vein like cable that runs through out the body and head of the robots. Much like human veins or arteries keen thought. The second robot had managed to avoid a shot or two thus was still on the offensive, keen drew his blade (as the robot was nearing him rapidly and apparently had discovered how to either avoid or deflect the blasts) keen lunged in with his sword to the bots attack and plunged it into the chest cavity, bursting that yellow wire, the liquid contacted the and the flames began to rise. Ken assumed this was one of two things, a bug in which the bots weakness was situated, or a security measure to stop attackers analysing and copying his robot. Whichever, this little yellow wire was the key to the downfall of the bots – and keen knew it! The green creatures feared keen and ran – well flew away as fast as they could, keen couldn’t even stun them.
Keen searched for the green creatures knowing their conversational capabilities. He came across a small bush, which at first seemed very average and earth-like. It was this factor that drew keens attention to the bush, as nothing on that entire planet was at all earth-like. He approached it, examined it, it appeared to be green leaved, have a small central stem of a bark-like substance and above all seemed like a bush. He walked a way from the bush…then he heard footsteps, he hesitated and then heard rustling from above him, he turned around, then jumped backwards. He rolled and glanced at his attacker, the bush??? Its short brown stem actually had two feet – normally submerged in earth – which landed on the ground where keen was standing, then sunk back into the earth at a feeble attempt to regain its camouflage. Keen had a brief flash-back to his experience in the shadowlands, then blasted a shot or two at the now stationary bush…a leaf or two shed, but little all else happened. Keen turned around briefly, then turned back lightening fast, and depressed the trigger three of more times, the tree lands head first on the ground behind its previous position, it was now that keen noticed two – stunned – eyes within in the bushy exterior. “
He thought to himself, smiling he continued exploring. These robots, or Keen ‘Bots as the creator had designed them were nearly as agile as Keen Himself! These meant they were becoming very hastily a nuisance to keen, he had to discover a way to defeat them on a massive scale. There was one difference between the robots on this planet and our home planet, they seemed much smarter, and keen found no programming beam, but merely a beam that sent status reports to some satellite above. This meant that these ‘bots were independent from the rest, they appeared to be learning from their mistakes, and worked much faster and efficiently than the earth bots. They also seemed to have no routine behaviour about them, such as checking perimeters etc, the last two keen encountered didn’t even seem to be sentries, rather…dare he think it…inhabitants. Keen assumed the artificial intelligence was merely better on these bots that the others, but he feared how many more of them their were, if two were causing him to break a sweat then what would it be like for more than four of so to attack him. Stealth appeared to be the only answer.