Day 27 Clone Smash!

30 plots

Day 27 begins with a headline about how the mayor’s shutting down bars he’s linked to violent crime. Second, a politician won’t resign. Finally, doctor fees are under review.

Here’s the plot: A Violet-clearance citizen is in charge of both a Service Service for food and health products for the military and billing citizens for medical bills. He generously offered to lower citizens’ medical bills by a factor of ten if they submit to trying new protein shakes for a month. These protein shakes are R&D prototypes designed to foster aggression and strength in Vulture squadron members.

Long story short, it turns them into the Incredible Hulk. The transformation kicks in just after the Waky-Waky pills leave the system, which is a little before the Nighty-Nighty pills are taken… which is usually when the clones unwind at their social clubs.

The Computer, assisted by the Violet-clearance citizen, blames the social clubs and targets several clubs to be shut down by our team of Troubleshooters. At least one club is up to no good terrorist acts. Another is too wholesome or words. And the one that’s just right… a couple clones turns into a Hulk and start smashing Troubleshooters. They both have bottles of Vulture Squad Smash Protein Shakes Beta Test bottles on their bodies. Maybe the Troubleshooters will get to the real bad guy, or maybe they’ll just shoot each other in the face.

Day 25 While We’re Talking About Cannibalism

30 plots


Brace yourselves for the last five in my Paranoia Plot Lines blog. The month has really flown by. Today the Buffalo News tells the tale of four schools awaiting a fate (aren’t we all). I guess that means they might be shut down. I don’t read the stories, just the headlines. The Mayor’s not campaigning for re-election right now but is still putting his campaign fund to use. There’s typical Paranoia material. Finally, a historic snowstorm is hitting the east coast.

Being a Buffalo resident, it’s fun to watch people freak out over two feet of snow. Those folk aren’t used to it. They aren’t prepared for it. They think it won’t affect their lives, and so they don’t respect it. As a result, people get hurt. Emergency crews get called, and there’s a lot of great footage on the news. There’s no weather in Alpha Complex, so this would have to be something no clone’s prepared for… and it has to have fun gaming possibilities… how about a surge in magnetic fields the Computer must vent somehow, resulting in zero gravity. I’m not talking just about floating around, but being flung with lethal force against the wall or at a lucky break up out of the nasty food vat the Troubleshooter got pushed into. When a Computer is rolled, roll a d6. On another Computer, it’s chaotic, lethal force flinging something or someone fun into the air. On a number, it goes from light gravity resulting in a bonus to chasing or lifting to being lifted a few inches off the ground and not being able to walk, to floating like in Gravity to being flung up against the ceiling (hope the citizen is wearing his helmet).

Here’s the rest of the story: The Troubleshooters are called in to Teela-O’s-Mmm-That’s-A-Tasty-Burger by Teela-O herself. She’s concerned because her burgers (made of clones deemed too low of quality to enter society— see yesterday’s entry) are causing customers to have sudden outbreaks of mutant abilities. Teela-s afraid she’ll be erased if this keeps happening. Since the same bad managers who run the clone creches into the ground until they’re closed and the clones sold as meat to Teela-O, keep getting rehired as the directors of new creches, Teela suspects one of the clone creche directors is deliberately turning potential meat stock into mutants, trying to ruin Teela.

The investigators must investigate the clone creches, which should have the feel and look of inner city schools, with broken nanny bots being dragged out and destroyed for poor performance (even though its legs have been torn from its body by the naughty junior), clones ignoring the nanny bots and watching violent programming on their Cerebral CoreTechs, and jealous clones sneaking up behind the popular clones and stabbing them to death with safety chainsaws.

All the creche directors are psychos. One of them is open about failing the creches so the clones get served as meat (she feeds them lots of candy to fatten them up and get a good price). One director believes she’s Snow White (Old Reckoning secret society member) and the junior clones are her dwarves. Another is training the clones military style to be prepared to fight the Zom-B threat. Zom-B is the creche director’s boss. Finally, there’s the creche director who wrote a letter to Teela-O… and Teela didn’t read the letter on her program.

Day 25 Time For a Soylent Green Joke

30 plots


WIVB gives me wonderful Paranoia headlines, a whole buffet of bizarre and corrupt twists. First, the Mayor issues a cease and desist to a nightclub. Second, volunteers help people navigate the changes to Obamacare. Third, hockey players to be rigged with cameras.

The hockey one seems appropriate, but it’s already done. All citizens are walking cameras, so it has to be something different and wild to rake in more money for sports fans. And what is that? 3D cameras of course! With a new bonus of Sense-Surround, where the viewers experience the same physical sensations as the athletes, including decapitation and broken bones. One good check against the wall could leave an entire viewing audience unconscious.

Here’s our plot: A group of PLC citizens decide it’s their patriotic duty to help citizens through the bureaucracy of Alpha Complex, when it comes to ordering fast food. In the process of untangling the Teela-O-My-What-A Tasty-Burger ordering and billing system (which could take three years to complete a transaction), the PLC Samaritans uncover the nasty truth: Solvent Green Burgers are Orange clearance citizens and not the advertised Green Clearance citizens. The Computer initiates a campaign of cracking down on false advertising and sends the Troubleshooters to check out the claims of Sense-Surround Sports Simulation that their new 3D glasses/receiver captures the experience of a Slipping-Swinging-Sports-Spectacular professional event. The glasses/receiver are limited to use by clones fortunate enough to get a ticket for the Alpha Complex Tooth Gaps event.

While testing out the glasses/receiver (any roll of a Computer on the die results in the Troubleshooters suffering a sports injury), Teela-O-My-What-A Tasty-Burger’s surviving management staff plan to snuff out the PLC Samaritans, who were rewarded for their civic duty by getting tickets for the Tooth Gap game. The managers are Sierra Club members and use their resources to unleash the most lethal of ice monsters: penguins. So, penguins run amuck in the stadium. The managers try to kill the Samaritans themselves, and everyone gets beat up as they experience repeated sports-related injuries.

Day 24 Optical Receptors Wide Shut

30 plots


It’s another day off from work, so well rested, I turn to the wisdom of for plot hooks. A guy shot shot outside a downtown night club. A woman got arrested for prostitution. Owners of abused animals to pay a penalty.

Let’s start with prostitution. Clones don’t desire sex or have any hormones raging through their bodies, thanks to chemicals pumped into them by the Computer. A prostitute wouldn’t be able to make a living there unless those repressing chemicals were undone. Which gives me an idea…

A Mystic’s distributing a drug called Lohan-Cyrus, which undoes the sexual repressing drugs the Computer distributes. A couple of clones start charging xp in exchange for performing sexual acts. Of course, the party at the club, Hilton-Spears, never ends… and the Service Service managers get upset by their employees not turning up to work. One manager tracked his employees down to Hilton-Spears. He was torn apart by the people at the orgy, and abused bots were told to deliver the various body parts to the other Service-Service managers, covered in a contact version of Lohan-Cyrus.

Now, middle managers are becoming horny after calling in Internal Security about the body parts delivered to them. The middle managers get arrested for humping the officers, and a Troubleshooting team is sent to find all the delivery bots still out there before they infect more citizens. If anyone checks, they see the bots are all waiter bots, property of Hilton-Spears. The great free love party will be dealt with at its source… and there’s a good chance a Troubleshooter or two will make contact with Hilton-Spears and lose control of his urges.

Day 23 The Emperor of Alpha Complex

30 plots


Day 23 brings us some doozies of headlines, including corruption charges, a coach who bends the rules and a decrease in abortions. I was so tempted to stay away from that hot topic headline. It would be so easy to have a PLC firm turned upside down by an efficiency expert from Central Processing agent who delights in effortlessly using Alpha Complex’s bureaucracy to his advantage, becoming extremely powerful in the process.

But let’s involve abortion, and only in the context of the setting. In Alpha Complex, that would equate to removing a clone before it was creched. That would be erasure. This is easy to work into our plot. Fred-R-Sin-3 is a brilliant business clone, who turns Chew Toy Gum vending machines repair and distribution’s PLC firm into a power beyond comprehension. By exploiting mandates in subsection of Alpha Complex laws and orders, he’s able to consume other PLCs and even incorporate a branch of Internal Security into his Service firm. He even gains access to the clone template database and is able to order the erasure of his enemies.Successful higher level clones vanish as if they never existed.

The Troubleshooters are brought in by briefing officers who are being framed for the murder and erasure of several Internal Security and PLC high clearance citizens (framed by Fred). They send the Troubleshooters to find the real killer before they get arrested (or even erased themselves).

Roughing up some citizens at the clone database leads to the Troubleshooters beating down Fred’s door. Unfortunately, before a shot gets fired, the Troubleshooters are recalled to become a synchronized swimming team to perform for Fred’s pleasure. Will they swim or fight?

Day 21 Once Upon a Time in Alpha Complex


30 plots

Day 22 offers headlines including the governor seeking wide spread approval in his State of the State address. Princesses are considered powerful (Frozen characters come to the mall). Finally, a professor’s expertise plays a role in a trial. Last time, we decided State of the Union is an obvious revelation about the instability of Friend Computer.

Here’s our plot: Friend Computer gets hacked by Old Reckoning folk, who try to access a folder called “Disney Vault.” In their failed attempt to hack the Computer, the Computer “views” the files and becomes convinced there is a perfect clone in a castle who’s in grave danger. She is better than all the other clones, and everyone’s lives must be thrown upside down so a full military operation can commence to rescue her.

A man experienced in Old Reckoning lore decides to take advantage of this by actually building a castle and placing a warbot in princess clothes with long golden hair flowing from the tower to the ground. Death Leopard teams up with the Old Reckoners by building a giant fire-spitting bot that somewhat resembles dragons drawn for them by the Old Reckoning expert.

This is all a trap. There’s a dead man switch attached to the warbot, so if it’s moved, a thermonuclear device will detonate, destroying the bulk of Alpha Complex’s military. Why do this? The Old Reckoners believe most of Alpha Complex’s woes come from corrupt abusive military forces.

Of course, the Troubleshooters are sent in as the scouts.

Day 21 The Clearance is Greener on the Other Side

30 plots


The front page of the Buffalo News headlined Obama’s quote, “Turn the Page.” This of course reminds me of Bob Seger’s song. How can this relate to Alpha Complex? The Troubleshooters are given the Mandatory Bonus Duty of writing a song to capture the hearts and spirits of the clones of Alpha Complex, with the intent of being seized by the Computer’s minions to rally the people to blindly follow their agendas. You don’t want to fail the power brokers of Alpha Complex.

The second headline discusses a murder trial. The third tells of efforts to dissolve a village. Using acid?

Here’s the plot: there’s a mix-up sending orders. The actual mission briefing folk are called in to be Troubleshooters, and the Troubleshooters are called in to run the briefing. It works best if the Troubleshooters have dealt with these execs before and are itching for revenge. After sending their bosses to their doom, the actual Troubleshooters might think they get some great downtime, enjoying actual food and massage bots.

Instead, they’re recruited by HPD&MC to write a song that’ll be an instant hit and have a chorus that includes something about good citizens offering every Vulture Squadron trooper he sees a cold can of Bouncy Bubbly Beverage. Failure to do so is unpatriotic.

While composing the song, the Troubleshooters are called in to debrief another Troubleshooting team (the actual briefing officers were found to be terrorists and executed). One of the Troubleshooters is found covered in blood, carrying a machete and the severed head of the Loyalty Officer. He doesn’t remember how he got there, what happened, and his Cerebral CoreTech recording only shows video of chickens eating. Is he guilty of murder? Actually, the entire team conspired against the Loyalty Officer. They’re prepared to make a last stand against their briefing officers if caught.

To wrap it all up, the Troubleshooters keep getting updates from the field as the actual briefing officers send in frantic messages, such as, “Everybody’s dead! I killed them all!” to “This experimental pair of binoculars welded themselves to my eyes, and now I’m blind!”

Day 20 My Heart Will Pay On


30 plots

There’s an interesting mixture of topics in Day 20’s headlines. Of course, you have to have the State of the Union. This will be challenging. If a citizen asked the Computer for the state of Alpha Complex, he’d be asked his security clearance and then prescribed happy pills if not terminated. The only way the state of Alpha Complex could be revealed would be by… a hacker showing the Computer at its worst.

Second, who will pay for the proposed downtown Bills stadium? Each citizen will gladly donate 2 billion xp. Thank you for your donations. Finally, an artificial heart patient. Again, challenging for Alpha Complex. Clones are given perfect anatomies, so there’s no need for artificial. It’s simpler to produce a new clone, and more efficient.

Here’s our plot: As a result of a nasty hacking virus, the Computer broadcasts a massive malfunction, where it plays a kid song where it sings, “I am a chicken. Cluck. Cluck. Cluck. Won’t you be a chicken too?”

To combat this hack, the High Programmers print up “We’re all chickens” jump suits to be worn by everyone in Alpha Complex. Also, the approved greeting between clones is changed to clucking and strutting like a chicken.

The Troubleshooters are sent after the hacker, who performed the hack from the new Fun Grenade stadium HPD&MC press box. The Troubleshooters find two hundred clones, whose hearts were deemed too weak for continued service… and were scheduled for cremation and a new clone… tethered to an artificial heart the size of a food vat. Tubes run from the artificial heart to and from the clones, who are forced to constantly do customer service work. What’s going on is diabolical. These clones are believed to be destroyed by the Computer, however they were purchased by a High Programmer who manages a customer service firm. The Computer thinks he’s doing all the work by himself and has no idea he literally controls the lives of clones deemed not worth heart replacement or repair. Because of all the bonuses he gets for productivity, the High Programmer can afford to pay for his own Fun Grenade stadium.

Unfortunately for the High Programmer, the hacking was done on the premises by one of the tethered employees, hoping for a Troubleshooting team to arrive and vape him.

Day 19: The Evil of Sheryl Crow



Day 19 brings us the top story: 3 locations targeted for building downtown football stadium. Didn’t I just leave his party? I moved to Buffalo from Indianapolis, and what happened when they started building the new stadium was they confiscated all the cheap downtown parking, allowing the conglomerates that owned the parking garages to lure people downtown with one dollar parking for five hours… but jacked it up to fifteen bucks a night whenever they could justify a special event being in town. A special event included any concert, pro or collegiate or high school sports event, or even a religious convention. People stayed away from downtown, not able to budget their nights, and my favorite establishment shut its doors.

They said people would drive in for hundreds of miles and stay near the town and frequent the restaurants in the surrounding counties. Did not happen. The same local wealthy people with season tickets came in, saw the game, maybe had a beer at a surviving adjoining pub, then left without dropping another dime. But they got to enjoy the thrill of being downtown.

In other news, there’s the debate whether to pay people a livable minimum wage. Finally, something about a hacker. Isn’t there always?

The story: PLC notes there’s a significant drop in infrareds buying Bouncy Bubbly Beverages, after their monthly xp pay rate was halved for efficiency costs. Bouncy Bubbly Inc solved this problem by convincing the Computer to randomly draft hundreds of clones to work second and third shifts of back breaking work building their new Blast Ball stadium. In exchange for each shift, the infrareds get one can of Bouncy Bubble Beverage.

This program’s proven so successful in moving BBB product, it’s been expanded to include Red Clearance citizens, and that means most of the Troubleshooting team. Those of higher clearance have the joyous opportunity to supervise the penniless masses, using Thank-You-For-Motivating-Me-Lightning-Sticks.

The clones delve too deep below the complex and awaken an ancient evil, a video juke box that plays Alanis Morissette, Counting Crows and Sheryl Crow music videos. A sect of infrareds declare the video machine to be the Computer’s originator, which should be worshiped above the Computer. Adopting their behavior and speech to reflect the wisdom from the Originator, the cult quickly takes over the stadium and construction bots, preparing to wage war at the request of the Originator Machine… as soon as they understand what Tom Petty’s singing about.

What might be fun is to put together a 2000’s music mix. Whenever a Computer is rolled on the dice, hit shuffle and play to see what instructions are given to the cult.

Day 18: New Location For Alpha Complex



Good morning, Alpha Complex. It’s barely been twelve hours since the last journal entry, I’m still off from work, so I’m gonna check out if the site’s changed much. The main story’s still the bank robber. He’s on the loose and considered armed and dangerous. Also in the news, citizens are advised to shovel their walkways. Finally, the Governor plans to go to Cuba to promote New York.

Let’s make a sequel.

Last entry, a machine empath convinced XP Transfer Bots to throw off the shackles of enslavement to the Computer, and they went dancing through the mall. Frankenstein Destroyers found the ones the Troubleshooters didn’t destroy and lured them into a transbot with a sign by the door saying SUPER FUN DANCE PARTY! BOT NIGHT!

The bots got on, the doors closed, and the Frankenstein Destroyers took the bots to their idea of a fun night: smashing the bots to scrap. Tonight’s a super special night, because their Bot Smash Fun Time will be hosted in conjunction with the Frankenstein Destroyers of Beta Complex (who look like bipedal walruses).

The simple mission involves tracking the XP Transfer Bots to ASK Sector, which is littered with refuge (since it is the Alpha Complex dump) and contains access to the surface, which surprisingly is the exposed surface of an iceberg adrift. Global warming took its toll, and Alpha Complex, it turns out, is in the belly of a drifting iceberg. On the slopes of the iceberg, the dancing XP Transfer Bots are assaulted by Frankenstein Destroyers and the Beta Complex Frankenstein Destroyers (who arrived on an ancient submarine called the Red October).

Good luck not blowing up Alpha Complex.