02-11-2017, 08:58 PM
The Deadly Dirge of Molluck the Glukkon
Prologue — Part One
Glik sprinted through the antiquated factory, his mechanical pants hissing violently as they struggled to maintain his hurried pace.
He had been due in Molluck's office fifteen minutes ago according to the clock in the Slig Pen, which meant he could be anywhere up to an hour late or just as early. No slig trusted that old clock, which was so foggy and stained it looked like the factory had been erected around it.
Being caught tardy was the least of Glik's problems through. He'd spent too long last night drinking his fellow sligs under the table at Alf's Bar. The bar was deep in the core of the factory, out of sight of any surveillance, and for good measure. Brew was contraband in RuptureFarms 1029, and if the boss smelled bones on Glik's breath, he'd likely find himself lashed and thrown in solitary confinement for a month. If he somehow managed to keep his job and wasn't shipped off to the local Slig Barracks after his punishment, his fellow slig guards would undoubtedly beat him to death for exposing their tasty secret.
He ducked under a vagrant security orb that was hovering far too low, strafing at a peculiar and trepidatious angle. It looked to Glik as if the orb's computer had locked on to something considerably suspicious, but it didn't appear to be following anything tangible. He cursed at the floating metal ball and pitched himself down the catwalk, pushing his pants to their limit.
He skipped around a corner and had to skid to a stop as he came upon two mudokon slaves parked in the middle of the catwalk, lackadaisically sponging the framework and bickering all the while. Glik caught himself mere inches from spilling over the edge and into the mouth of a rusty grinder that churned incessantly, as if begging for Glik to come a little father and fall like a feather into its violent, visceral embrace.
He threw himself back from the edge of the catwalk and scowled at the two slaves, who stared back at Glik with cloudy expressions.
"What do you pissants think yer doing?" Glik screeched.
"Yeah. Didn't see ya there." The second one had a lisp, and it somehow made his speech seem spiteful and sardonic.
Glik fumed and kicked at their bucket with his metal foot, spilling soapy suds all over the catwalk. "Clean that up, ya good fer nothin mud dolls!" The bucket clattered and landed near the edge, then rolled wistfully over the gap. There was a curt burp of steel-within-steel from below—the satisfied mewl of the incessant grinder as it consumed the bucket and tore it to jagged ribbons.
The first mudokon shrugged and returned to scrubbing without further comment.
"I ain't gettin that," the second mudokon declared, peering over the side of the catwalk.
Glik cursed at the mudokon and garnered almost no reaction. He considered beating the senseless biped over the head a couple of times and dangling him by his ponytail over the grinder until he shed an ocean of tears, but he suddenly remembered the cause of his haste. Instead, he promised both slaves he'd be back in an hour to make them cry then turned tail.
They seemed pointedly uninterested, and the second one actually waved Glik away, as if he believed he had authority over the slig.
Conditions at the slaughterhouse had been lukewarm for almost a year now. There were rumours coming down the grapevine from the Board of Executive that the wildlife was starting to thin out, and you only needed to read The Daily Deception to know that the profits for the RuptureFarms franchise were rapidly dwindling. There hadn't been a successful meech harvest in six months, and with the last batch of Meech Munchies having been shipped off to Nolybab last month, one of the slaughterhouse's quintessential tasty treats had been indefinitely discontinued. At the same time, Zulag 5 had been emptied out and all employees reassigned. Officially, the fifth zulag was said to be undergoing renovations, but everyone knew what had really happened, and it came as no surprise when other smaller wings of the factory were being continuously boarded off and cut from the power grid. The Executives were trying to cut costs wherever they could in a brash attempt to reach a profit this quarter, yet what they really needed was a miracle.
Even this strange novel brand, New 'n' Tasty, which had cropped up on several advertisement billboards around the factory, was nothing more than a bid to save time. There was no New 'n' Tasty; there were no animals left to harvest, so what could they possibly be proposing? It was just an exciting prospect with an empty promise, designed to give the investors one last glimmer of hope before they pulled their hands out of the Magog Cartel's affairs.
This air of uncertainty and ubiquitous unease was infectious, and it had spread throughout the entire factory. No one believed RuptureFarms would survive much longer, and thus the security was growing lax; the slaves we're becoming more cocky; and general inattention and unconcern was rife among all tiers of the workforce. Even Glik, Chief Commander of Capital Concerns and Molluck the Glukkon's most treasured slig advisor, had found himself acting remiss on more than one occasion. He had no excuse—none of them did—but he knew it was only a matter of time before the last pillar fell, and Glik didn't see the point in walking blindly beneath the growing shadow.
He arrived at the door leading into Molluck's Office. It was less than a door and more akin to a bulwark—about the only door that was more secure in the entire factory protected the secret vault in the belly of Zulag 3, which not even Glik was supposed to know about. It had exaggerated rivets, an elliptic design, red warning lights flanking the door on either side, and the omnipresent vignette of a glukkon side-portrait: the world-known emblem of RuptureFarms. The emblem had been established by Molluck himself when he had first come out to Eastern Mudos to turn over a profit in a failing business. He wanted khanzumers in every city to know when they were purchasing a glukkon-made product, and it had worked a charm. Sales had never been better once Molluck became the CEO of RuptureFarms 1029, yet with more sales came higher demand.
And much faster than Molluck or anyone else anticipated, the resources of RuptureFarms' flagship products began to dry up.
Glik approached the service monitor embedded in the wall next to the oversized door. He noted the time in the corner of the screen, 15:02, which meant he was only two minutes late. He sighed, and the tentacles hanging out of his gas mask danced jubilantly for a moment. He leaned close to the monitor, pushing his face against the overhead camera, and spoke into the microphone.
"Hi." He waited. No response. "Hi!"
The monitor flashed several times. Several colours struggled to form a picture as unstable bars of static marched from one side of the screen to the other. Eventually, the video feed of a slig sitting in a control room, with umpteenth computer screens and keypads, came into focus. The slig wasn't looking at the camera. He was filing his nails and concerning himself with a crinkled newspaper draped over one of his computers.
"Yeah. Whad'ya want?"
"I'm here to see Molluck, jackass."
"Got yer clearance code?" the slig on the monitor queried, his tone rote and tiresome.
The slig on the monitor turned in his seat and punched in the code with defiant dilatoriness, as if forcing others to endure a tiresome routine would somehow make his day inch along a little faster. When he finished, the computer chimed triumphantly, and the red warning lights flanking the door smashed to a verdant, welcoming green. The door then began to reel open on tired, cumbersome tracks.
The slig on the monitor disappeared in a familiar display of strangled colours. When the home screen finally reappeared, the display was now slightly crooked, and a single bar of static rolled up through the monitor over and over again.
Once the door was ajar, Glik stepped inside, into the office of Molluck the Glukkon, into the heart of darkness.
I wrote this while lying in bed today. I couldn't go to sleep and Oddworld was on my mind, so I figured there was no better cure than a bit of inspired literature. I haven't edited it properly, and I'm sure autocorrect screwed up at least a few Oddworld terms. Regardless, here it is, mould and all.
From the title and the tone of the story, you can probably guess this is going to be a story about Molluck the Glukkon. If I ever can't sleep again and decide to continue this little fic, it will tell the tale of how Molluck survived the destruction of RuptureFarms and where he went once he became a wanted gluk. There are a few ideas rummaging around in my head, and it'd be cool to get them all down in the best way I know how: A long-winded story with lots of metaphors!
For what it was, I hope you enjoyed it, or at least don't regret reading it. If you enjoyed my style and want to read more, I have a published memoir that I painstakingly reconstructed over several years
, a short story that might make you pee your pants
, and a website with a very ambitious project 11 years in the making
Until then, take care, dearest reader.
To be continued ... ???!?
Last edited by kjjcarpenter; 02-16-2017 at 09:10 PM..