The Game

The crowd whispers from beyond the yellow tape of the crime scene. The police officers stand aside as the photos are being taken of the three totes on the carpet. “That’s sick, piling them all on top of each other,” one says to the other.

“Kinda impressive, though. Only one is touching the carpet!” The first police officer decides to ignore this and instead analyze the crime scene. “I mean look nothing’s supporting that stacked set! No wires, no robots, no whatever!”

“Auto Zone Court is usually a peaceful place, surprising this happened in bright daylight. especially with all these kids around.” The officer can’t imagine why all these kids are wearing matching T-shirts. Maybe they’re in a gang? Some sort of cult? The officer assumes it’s like band, a religion popular with highschoolers.

The crime scene investigators are putting away their cameras and tallying up the points of this horrendous event. The officers decide to wrap up and head off to their next case:

The Robot

They sit down at their desk and look at the file over mochas and donuts. “So?” The first one asks. “Whats new, today?”

“Hmmmm” the second one says, looking over the file. “Hmmm!”

The first one just rolls her eyes. “Get on with it and tell me already!”

“Alright, it’s from the safety section: Any ballast not secured sufficiently,including loose ballast e.g. sand, ball bearings, etc, such that it may become loose during a MATCH. There, happy?” the second one says just as an alarm goes off.

****one car ride and two mocha accidents later****

The officers sit the man down in the backroom. “Sir, do you know why you’re here?” The first officer asks.

“No, you guys just came in to my house and said ‘Come with us’”

Power Distribution,” the second officer says menacingly and slams her hands down on the table.

The man looks confused. “Officers, I have never experimented with recreational drugs wires or anything.”

“You have been charged with the misuse of PD. We need you to understand that using nuclear energy for your air cannon is illegal. The only legal, non-electrical power sources are the ones listed in Title G.M., Section 4.8: Power Distribution, R24, a list which has actually recently been updated to include closed-loop COTS pneumatic (gas) shocks and air-filled (pneumatic) wheels.

The man shifted uncomfortably in his seat.  “Officer, I don’t know what you’re talking ab-”

“Save it, buster,” the second officer said, hoisting a disembodied nuclear battery in the air. “We’ve got all the evidence we need.”

The man cringed. “I swear I have no idea where that came from.”

The first officer just rolled her eyes. “Suuuuuuure, tell that to the jury.”

The two officers turn to leave. “Oh, by the way,” says the first on her way out the door. “You can read up on legal power regulating devices in R42 of the same section. I hear there’s been some changes there, if it interests you. Not like you’ll have much else to do when you’re doing time for your drug wire charges.”

An investigative duo walks into a Pneumatic System. (“Psst! hey, partner, does this feel like we’ve been turned into some kind of joke to you?” “Shut up, Straws” “Speedy, you’re no fun.” “It’s not my job to be fun.” “Actually-” “Shut. Up.”)

The two walk into room R66, looking for whoever’s in charge.

They decide to do the call of the Lavery. They take a deep breath and scream, “PNEUMATICS!!!”

The call worked! A wild Lavery appears, holding a diet coke.

“We were told you had some information for us,” the first officer tells the man.

The man is silent, and the first officer (hahah Star Trek reference) was forced to repeat her question.

“I don’t know. Do I?” the Lavery said enigmatically.

The second officer sighs, rubs the bridge of her nose, and says something that sounds suspiciously like, “Oy vey.” Her partner, however, was unperturbed by the Lavery’s antics.

“Pneumatics, Dave. Pneumatics,” she says, giving the Lavery a level-headed look.

He picks up an expo marker and walked over to a whiteboard and writes down something as hard to read as a riddle, or a game manual.

“R66:E    pressure transducers, pressure gauges, passive flow valves (specifically “needle valves”), manifolds and connecting fittings.

The officers look at each other, confused. Neither of them bother to write down this nonsense on their notepads. The second one just pulls out her phone and takes a picture. She can just email it to someone else to deal with.

The second officer looks at the first officer “Is it just me, or has the stability of the verb tense in this narration been steadily breaking down?”

The first officer shrugged. “Don’t knew, didn’t care. If the space-time continuum wants to break down, then that was its own damn business.”