Chronicles of Internet Earth - Chapter 1

A Problem with Anomalies, Rifts, and Paradoxes

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Author: Foenix

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“Ratchet, would you please do me a favor and get to the primary reflux coil?” A small robot with bright green optics looked down at his furry friend.
“Which one is it?” the golden Lombax called back.
“Look up, then right,” Clank replied. Ratchet did as instructed, and found his objective thirty feet above him.
“Found it,” he said. “But, um…Clank? How am I going to get up there?”
Clank, who had moved to the next panel, looked back down at his companion. “Climb, of course.” He spoke as if it were the simplest thing in the cosmos. Before Ratchet could say anything in reply, Clank continued. “There are plenty of places you can grab onto to get up there. I am sure you are able.” With that, Clank returned to his work.
For a moment, Ratchet simply stared at his friend. Then he looked up at his target. Sighing in exasperation, he began feeling along the wall for a decent place to start climbing.
By now, you’re probably wondering why Ratchet and Clank are at the Great Clock after over two years of exploring the universe and having more of their big adventures. It’s quite simple really. Sigmund had been having problems, and requested Clank’s assistance. Ratchet, being the way he is, went with Clank to help. Clank had accepted, grateful to have his friend’s mechanical skills handy.
Finally, Ratchet found a good place to start, and climbed up towards his target. It took him a few moments, but after dealing with a few incidents of nearly falling or slipping over the edge, he made it. “So…what do I do with it?” Ratchet called.
“Make sure it’s nice and tight on there, Ratchet,” Sigmund called from the ground. “Then make sure it stays on there while I test the primary functions.”
Ratchet shrugged to himself. “Okay. Easy enough.” He raised his wrench, ready to do as told, but Sigmund shouted at him to stop.
“Don’t do that!” the robot called frantically. “The Primary Reflux Coil is really, extremely delicate, okay? So you can’t use your wrench, or you might break it.”
“Then how do you expect me tighten it?” Ratchet asked.
Sigmund scratched his head a moment before replying. “Um…you have hands, don’t you?”
“That works,” Ratchet said. Setting his wrench down, he carefully placed his hands around both ends of the “coil” and twisted them gently to the right. After a few seconds, he couldn’t turn it any further, so he released it. “All right, Clank,” he called. “It’s done.”
“Excellent.” Clank jumped down from where he was, indicating that Ratchet should do the same. Once the Lombax was on the floor again, he moved over to a control panel. “Now,” he began. “Time for us to figure out what our problem is.” Both he and Sigmund tapped at the keys.
“So, why exactly do we need to find the source of the problems again?” Ratchet asked.
“Because the planet on which the source is,” Clank explained. “Is not one of the planets in any of our three galaxies. Therefore, I do not have the planet here at the Clock to fix. In order to get this done properly, I must travel to the source and fix it manually.”
“Well, no matter where you go, I’m going with you.”
“I expect nothing less, Ratchet.”
For a while, they are silent, and the tapping of keys is the only noise in the room.
“Ah!” Sigmund finally exclaimed. “I found it, sir!”
Clank glanced at the data on the screen. “Well done, Sigmund. Very well done. Thank you very much.”
“Of course, sir,” Sigmund replied with a hint of pride in his voice.
Ratchet looked curiously at the screen, attempting to make sense of the Zoni characters. “So…” he finally said. “What’s it say?”
“According to this, paradoxes have been overlapping in an area in the far reaches of the universe,” Clank explained. “The source is on a planet in an unnamed galaxy.”
“Unnamed?”
“Yes, there has been little exploration done in this quadrant of the universe.” Clank typed a few more keys, and a holo-map appeared. Turning to it showed a blue and green planet. “The planet is approximately 71.11% water, and it continues to rise. Landmasses include several small islands and seven or eight larger territories. Climates include Tundra, Taiga, Temperate Grassland, Temperate Deciduous Forest, Desert, Tropical Rainforest, Mountain Ranges, and many others beside.”
“Wow,” Ratchet responded. “That’s a lot of climates.”
“Indeed,” Clank replied. “Let’s see. Inhabitants include many types of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, etcetera. The dominant and most intelligent species seems to be…hmmm…interesting…”
Ratchet’s ears perked, surprised by Clank’s pause. “What is it?”
“The dominant species seems to be humans.”
“Humans?!” Sigmund exclaimed, falling over in his astonishment.
“Are you sure, buddy?” Ratchet asked. “Humans haven’t been seen for years. I thought they were supposed to be extinct.”
“Quite,” Clank said, slightly shocked by the new information. He shook his head, his antenna waving about slightly, and focused once more on the holo-projection. “The closest point I can find for the source of our rift problem is here.” He pointed at the location. He moved back to the control panel, muttering to himself about seeing if he could connect to any of the planet’s electronic systems to gain more information about it. After a few near-silent minutes, he made a sound, seeming pleased.
“What did you find out, sir?” Sigmund asked.
“According to this, Sigmund, the planet is known as X-9-4-2-9-8, but I can get nothing from them with this equipment. I will have to do the research with other materials.”
“But,” Ratchet mused. “You can’t just find the problem from here?”
“No. We must travel to this planet and find the source on our own.”
“Well,” Ratchet sighed. “I guess that means another adventure for us, pal.”



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