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Chapter 4 - The Mystery Science Labs
Safely out of earth's atmosphere with only minor damage, Joel and the bots were free to evaluate their new home.
But, first, Joel needed to get the nuclear core running.
He climbed below decks and discovered that Tom Servo had made more of a mess than anything.
Joel donned a radiation suit that was emblazoned with the Gizmonic logo and the name, 'Joel Robinson.'
"Robinson?" he wondered to himself.
Joel opened the inner door and set to work on the core.
Talking to himself, Joel began to wonder how the S.O.L. got into space in the first place if its thruster system didn't work, "How did the S.O.L. get into space in the first place if it's thruster system didn't work?" he said.
The voice returned, apparently microphones and speakers were present throughout the satellite, "Joel, while that it is clearly not a soup question, the S.O.L. was launched inside of a shipping case with it's own thrusters."
Joel momentarily pondered how the voice could reference a movie that would not premiere for another 12 years before stating, "Huh, thank you, voice. Say, uh, you don't happen to know how to get this core running do you?" scratching the back of his neck, Joel added, "I got a D- in thermodynamics."
"A new overflow-redirect mechanism is needed for the cooling system to overcome the auto-safety mechanism.
The doctors continually melted through it each time they tested it.
A spare is available in the loading dock."
"Thankyou, voice," Joel said, "You're a lifesaver. Say, uhh, why was the thing melting, anyway?"
"They had it installed backwards, held on with duct tape."
Retrieving the mechanism and quickly correcting the mads error, Joel then set out on his most difficult task, Gypsy.
Assembling random parts from around the satellite, Joel spent the next few weeks building a robot quite like the Gypsum of old.
Using the most advanced processors he could find on the ship, Joel built quite the workhorse of a robot.
With a 386 DX2 with on board math support, 8 megabytes of ram, and 2 hard drives with a total of 550 megabytes of storage, Gypsy would be the most powerful robot on the ship.
After he finished installing the synth sound chip, Joel found his disk box and began to upload Gypsy's basic programming into the ship's computers.
Activating Gypsy, Joel was surprised to find her first words were, "Hi, Joel Hodgson!"
After she repeated the phase four times while looking at various different objects, Joel remembered he programmed a personalized greeting to be Gypsy's first words upon booting up.
As Joel uploaded more and more of Gypsy's programming and she began to take control of the various computers across the ship, fewer and fewer resources were available for her synth-sound chip, and Gypsy's voice became the familiar, raspy voice the girl had always had.
Joel was pleasantly surprised that many of the new SOL's computers functioned identically to those of the old satellite.
He wouldn't have to do nearly as much additional programming as he had thought.
"There, disk 23, complete!" Joel said.
"Thank you, Joel..." Gypsy glanced at the new gizmonic jumpsuit that Joel was wearing that, in fact, made up his entire wardrobe.
Like the radiation suit, this name was incorrect here as well, "...Robinson."
"Oh, no, Gypsy... the mads screwed up my name... I'm still your old bud Joel though," he consoled her.
"Ok, Joel Robinson," Gypsy said.
Joel stood up with the disk box in hand, "Well, I've got to go put these away, hon."
Joel found his way to the ship's storeroom in the lower-left quadrant.
He set the box down on a shelf when he noticed a single 3½" floppy disk labeled, 'Ship Upper Command Modules.'
"Oh, wow," Joel said, picking up the disk, "Now I don't have to manually program Gypsy for this satellite's higher controls at all."
As he wandered out of the storeroom to head back to the bridge, he noticed a large box.
"That's strange," he said, "Nobody likes hamdingers."
Chapter 5: The Human Duplicators
With the new modules loaded, Gypsy's voice changed radically.
No longer did she sound like someone's chain smoking girlfriend; this ship's advanced upper module functions drained her voice even more, to something like Jim Mallon doing falsetto.
In the ensuing weeks, Joel and the bots kept little contact with the mads.
To spruce up the ship a bit, as most of Joel's few possessions had gone down with the old one, Joel was going to send out a cry for help to the members of the old fan club when he discovered that he lost the fan club roster with the old ship as well.
"All of those disks, all that information, lost on the old satellite," he said, downtrodden.
Crown walked onto the bridge, "Well, Joel, we could ask Gidget Howell and that hair guy."
"How, Crow?" Joel asked, "I lost the list."
"I stored the hair guys' number in my archives and I filled out the mailing label for Gidget's hat, so the bitmap is still stored in my image library," Crow told Joel.
"Excellent, Crow!" Joel exclaimed, "Good work."
Pooling the resources of Gidget, the hair guy, and a few friends, Joel and the bots managed to replace many of their lost possessions.
Not only was Gidget able to procure a ram upgrade for both Servo and Crow as well as an old Super 8 camera for Joel to redevelop Cambot, she was also able to get Joel a brand new Lou Reed poster autographed by Reed himself.
"Well, thanks, guys," Joel said, contacting them over long range AM radio, "You don't know how much we appreciate it.
I wish there was something we could do for you, but, uh, we don't have any stuff."
Assured that the generosity was genuine and they expected nothing in return, Joel cut the transmission and set to work on Cambot.
Joel had always envisioned Cambot as the most advanced robot, someone with which he could hold an intelligent conversation for hours, but now, as it was before, he was forced to use the most elementary of parts.
Chapter 6 - Stranded In Space
With the last of the parts together, Joel connected Cambot to the ship and flipped the 'on' switch.
The robot roared to life. A random assemblage of parts, once again transformed into something useful.
Down at Gizmonic, a red light on the command module started flashing.
Dr. Erhardt, asleep with his feet on the panel, slowly awoke.
Noticing the light, he remarked to himself, "Well, it seems Joelene and his snack machines got everything wired."
Erhardt flipped the switch to accept the transmission and called to Dr. F, "Clay? Clayton, Joel's sending us a message."
From the next room, Forrester shouted, "Lar, could you handle it? I'm in the middle of a lab report for project Borius."
Larry's voice ceased for but a moment before, "Clay, I think I broke the computer."
Dr. F. rolled his eyes and got up, "I have to do everything around here," he muttered to himself.
Walking into the lab, he realized the computer was simply downloading new modules for Joel's latest bot, "Lar, The computer is simply downloading new modules for Joel's latest pin beak."
"Oh," was Larry's meek reply, "Well, shouldn't it be done by now?"
"It would be," Dr. F said, "but Gizmonic refuses to upgrade their satellite communication systems to 9600 baud.
They don't see a need for the speed."
"But what if I wanted to play Battleship Commander with Joel?" Dr. E asked.
Dr. F started to reply, "Well, you would have to sync up... LARRY!" and he hit Dr. Erhardt with a clipboard. "Oh look, it's done."
He clicked the install button and was greeted with an extreme closeup of Joel's left eye and nose, "Guys, I think it's working!" "Good for you, Joel," Servo said wearily, "Can I go back to what I was doing, now?"
"Just a minute," Joel said, "What were you doing anyway?"
"Cataloging the ships rivets," Servo replied, matter-of-factly.
"Uhhhuhhhh, why?" Joel asked.
"I'm trying to figure out how long I could survive after you die and I run out of RAM chips."
"Hey!" Crow butted in, "What about me?"
"Well Crow," Servo answered, "You would obviously sacrifice yourself and let me eat you."
"Ok, you guys," Joel said, chuckling, "None of that's going to happen so why don't we..."
"Hello, Boobie," Joel was interrupted by Forrester doing his best Gregory Peck.
"Hey, sirs," Joel said, craning his neck.
"Don't you 'hey, sirs' me, Joely," Dr. F replied, "You know the only reason we're not torturing you is because we're on hiatus."
"YEA!" Dr. E yelled.
"Well then," Joel asked, "Why did you let us get that care package?"
"YEA!?" Dr. E yelled.
Dr. F leered at Larry and said, "We want your spirits to be high so it will be even more joyful to destroy you." Dr. F gave a knowing glance at Erhardt and they both let out maniacal laughs.
Dr. F pressed the transmission light and Joel's monitor went blank.
"Yea, ok," Joel said.
"Joel," Crow said, "Those guys are awfully weird."
"Yea, I know, Crow," Joel replied, "But don't you worry, they can't continue their experiment too much longer without being discovered."
"But until then," Servo boomed, "We're marooned here... in... outer.... space."
"Commercial sign in 15 seconds," the voice appeared over the ships P.A..
"What?!?" Servo exclaimed.
"Huh?" Joel wondered.
Joel and the bots looked around with confused bewilderment until, "Commercial sign in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Commercial sign now." And Joel's monitor was suddenly greeted with a Jolly Rancher commercial.
Chapter 7: The Beginning Of The End
With Joel's poster neatly hung in his room and his bed moved to the far right wall where he preferred it, he was free to explore the ship.
The past month-and-a-half he had been far too busy working on Gypsy and Cambot to even begin to explore the ship beyond the bridge.
Joel made his way up to the bridge, donning a brand new Gizmonic spacesuit, which, again was strangely labeled with the name 'Robinson.'
Crow met Joel out on the bridge, "Hey, Joel... What's with your spacesuit?"
"I know, Crow," Joel said, "I look like the First Men in the Moon."
Suddenly Servo's voice came over the PA as he spun by outside the window, "Say Joel, didn't we do that movie?"
Joel chuckled, "No, Servo, you're getting your super marionation films confused with H.G. Wells again."
Servo scoffed, "Oh, yea, I have a real problem with that, Doc.
Come on you guys, get out here, it's great. Make with the zero G!"
He spun his arms around and floated out of view.
"Now, Mr. Crow," Joel said, putting his hand on Crow's shoulder, "Let's go out there and have some fun."
They turned to exit the airlock and Crow said, "Alright, Mr. Robinson, but I've got dibs on the turbo thrusters."
"Oh yea, Crow," Joel said, tugging on the name-tag, "The mads are screwballs... Race ya!"
Joel and Crow jumped out the airlock in record time and Servo was outside waiting for them.
Joel's real reason for his EVA was to slightly adjust the satellites low band communication antennas, which were damaged in the ascension of the ship.
Clamping his toolbox to the side of the satellite, Joel first played a few rounds of what Servo called 'Spaceball.'
It was kind of a full contact version of Soccer and Baseball slightly modified for robots of inarticulate limbs.
Realigning the antennas took substantially longer than Joel had imagined and the robots had long gone inside before he finished.
As well as being misaligned, Joel had also blown some of the circuitry a few weeks earlier when he attempted to boost the power of the communication systems in an unsuccessfull attempt to video-conference with Gidget.
After finishing, Joel closed his toolbox and made his way back over to the main hatch and pushed the button to open the outer doors.
Chapter 8 - Terror From the Year 9000
As could be expected, nothing happened.
After Joel pushed the button eight more times and nothing happened, he realized the truth of his situation, "Come on, you guys, let me in."
Servo's voice came over the speaker in Joel's spacesuit, "I'm afraid I can't do that... Dave."
Joel could hear both Crown and Servo laughing in the background, "This isn't funny, guys."
Servo's voice again, "I'm sorry... Dave."
By now the bots were in uproarious laughter.
"Gypsy, could you help me out here?"
"Joel!" Gypsy cried, "Crow tied me up and kinked my tube, help me! They're maniacs!"
Crow said, "That's for sure, and we're working like we've never worked before. Woooo!"
Joel rolled his eyes and gritted his teeth while making a mental note that robots with an immense knowledge of popular culture and films were perhaps not the greatest idea in the world.
Joel thought for a minute, "The ship must have another entrance."
He had briefly glanced at the blueprints of the satellite while deciding where to mount the receiving end of Gypsy's tube, but that had been over a month ago.
He looked down at the swirling blue and green ball they called Earth.
There were clouds over Branson and the east coast was being battered with an early season hurricane.
Joel had been locked out of the ship before, so he knew how the bots could be.
Glad that he had a few candy bars, Joel chuckled to himself and sat down on the side of the ship, "The six door... The six door!"
"That's right," he thought.
The mads, for some obscure reason, had decided to place a hatch to the outside in the ceiling of the six door of the theater countdown sequence.
Joel made his way over to the roof of the theater tunnel and found the hatch.
It was kept closed with a doorknob.
"Well, they are mad scientists, but this is ridiculous."
Joel opened the door and dropped inside, closing the hatch behind him.
He waited a few moments for the pressure to equalize before removing his spacesuit and forcing open the Gizmonic gear door that hid the bridge from view.
He was greeted with a scene that looked like something from a Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoon.
The bots were still laughing their little bolts off over their HAL 9000 comments, completely oblivious to Joel, and Gypsy was tied up in the corner.
Servo imitated Joel's voice, "Do you, uhh, expect me to talk?"
To which Crow replied, "No, Mr. Joel, I expect you to die!"
The bots again erupted in laughter as Joel stepped between them.
Servo screamed, but before he could get away, Joel grabbed a hold of both bots, "Now you guys, I really don't appreciate being locked out of the ship, again."
No sooner had Joel released his grasp on the robots before both fled the bridge at lightning speed.
As they ran away, Joel yelled, "No RAM chips for a week!"
He signed and leaned on the desk, propping up his head with his hand, "My bots," Joel spoke, to no one in particular, "They're out there."
From the other side of the bridge, Gypsy weakly spoke, "Joel..."
"Oh, yea, Gypsy. I'm sorry about all this, girl."
"It's ok," Gypsy said while Joel untied her, "I changed the combination on the food synthesizer."
Joel was awakened from a nights sleep to Crow looming over him.
"Servo," Crow said, "Joel's waking up."
Servo glided over from Joel's dresser, where he had been going through Joel's underwear drawer, "Joel... Uhh, we're sorry about earlier and everything... but... the food synthesizer isn't working."
Joel stood up, supporting himself with one arm on the sidewall of the ship.
He scratched the back of his neck and said, "Well, I guess you guys should have thought of that before you decided to tie up the one robot who is can control everything electronic on the ship.
I'd watch my back if I were you."
"Psh!" Servo scoffed, "Gypsy wouldn't do anything to us... But really, Joel, could you fix the food synthesizer?"
"Yea," Crow added, "I really want a milkshake."
Joel cocked his head at Crow, "What would you want with a milkshake? You're a robot."
"You tell me, Joel," Crow said, "You built me."
Joel nodded his head sideways and said, "Well, I can't argue with that," he paused for a moment before, "Say, have the mads called recently?"
"No, I don't think so," Servo said, probing his memory banks.
"Now about my milkshake..."
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