The night had advanced to a point where it would be light in a matter of hours. Theodore quickly realized that if he was going to start the quest he had just been burdened with, he had better start off with haste. He packed some foodstuffs in his coat pockets and set out to the slaves quarters. Determined to find out if he was sane or insane he walked at a brisk pace and soon arrived at his first and potentially only stop. There was only one barn near the holding pens that held any hay at all, so there was no mistaking which barn the elderly woman had meant.
Theodore quietly slipped into the barn, confident that there would be no guards patrolling this far from the outer edges of the compound. He did however have to be quiet as the guards sleeping quarters weren't far off. Too much noise and he might have the entire platoon on him. Wanting to cause no suspicion, Theodore found himself fumbling around in the little moonlight that shone through the windows. There was quite a bit of hay to search through and he had no idea what a Culicular Disruptor might look like. To his surprise his search was over almost before it began. Besides the hay was a pile of boxes with a big sign above them labeled "Culicular Disruptors". Surprised at the stupidity of anyone putting obviously serious firepower next to a large stack of extremely flammable hay, he quickly picked up one of the boxes.
At least there actually had been an elderly lady and she had not been lying about this part of her story, what about the rest of it? Was there really any chance, that he, Theodore de Noobilar, could start out on a quest that would free the entire Latitude race? It started to dawn on Theodore that he was beginning to hope there was some truth to all of it. He had never been the heroic type but seeing the way their masters were treating L400 and his relatives had always bothered him. In spite of that he never had harbored any hopes of doing something about it. 'Bravery was something for the foolish and the dead', Theodore had always told anyone who was willing to listen. Still, he had to consider this strange vision that had appeared before him. Surprised at his own sentiments he was beginning to hope there actually was some truth to the words the old lady had spoken to him. Surely L400 would know how to operate a Disruptor, he said to himself, as he stood up from beside the boxes. If not, he would just put the thing back where it belonged and go back to his bed.
De Noobilar slipped back out of the barn and started for the slave pens. He knew exactly where to find L400 as he had often seen the poor fellow getting tied down for the night. Company policy dictated that any and all slaves were to be tied down when they were not working. Frustrated at the sight of this horrible custom, de Noobilar would make sure he was working in another part of the compound gardens when the guards started their daily routine. Often he would return to the pens after the guards left and talk to the slaves that were held there. At first they had looked at him in disgust but after several return visits they had slowly opened up to him. Over the course of the last two years he had actually befriended one of the Latitudes and his long conversations with L400 were now the reason he kept coming back there on an almost daily basis.
His heart now pounding with an unfamiliar excitement, Theodore reached the pens and sneaked inside. He quietly passed several sleeping Latitudes until he finally reached the location where his friend L400 had been tied down. Puzzled, L400 looked up at him from where he had been tied down on the floor.
'Shhh, I'm here to..' Theodore started, but L400 cut him short. 'N00b, is this for real?' the slender android asked him softly. 'Is there truth in this dream I just woke from?'
Theodore nodded, 'Apparently there is' he said, 'though I'm as surprised as you obviously are.'
Straightening as much as his shackles would let him, L400 was suddenly wide awake.
'Then let's not waste any time. I was told you would bring the Culicular Disruptor, let me have it, quickly.'
Theodore handed him the box but was caught off guard by a soft curse from his friend. '
%#^%#^$& N00b, this is an orange Disruptor. It has entirely the wrong MD5-hash for the shackles they keep me in.' Peering through the darkness, de Noobilar could barely see that the box was indeed a slightly orange colour. Realizing his ignorance Theodore could have put his own head through a brick wall right then and there. In his haste he had not paid any attention to the difference between the various boxes and had forgotten something the mysterious woman had said about the Disruptor.
amp; N00b, this is an orange Disruptor. It has entirely the wrong MD5-hash for the shackles they keep me in.' Peering through the darkness, de Noobilar could barely see that the box was indeed a slightly orange colour. Realizing his ignorance Theodore could have put his own head through a brick wall right then and there. In his haste he had not paid any attention to the difference between the various boxes and had forgotten something the mysterious woman had said about the Disruptor.
'Look in the haystack in the barn near the slave encampment and bring the red Culicular Disruptor I have put there' she had said and Theodore could melt in shame at the spot. He was glad when L400 broke his frustrated thoughts, 'If you really are serious about this, please go back and get one of the red ones. I will wait here.' he said and then added 'as if I have a choice.'
Still annoyed at himself, Theodore stood up and moved past the still sleeping Latitudes to the door. He would have to hurry even more now. There was still a good bit of time left in the night, but they weren't off the compound yet. At the barn the night's calm hadn't been broken. He had feared someone might have checked and found a Disruptor missing but there was no sign of anything like that. He moved over to the pile, returned the orange box and found a reddish one. This must be it, he thought and returned as fast as he could to his waiting friend.
'Excellent, glad to see you're going through with this, even though I don't know how or why you and I were chosen.' L400 whispered as Theodore returned to his side.
'I don't know either' Theodore said 'but first things first, we'll figure out the rest as we go along.'
Taking the box from Theodore's hands L400 said, 'I was told our next step was to find the one named Gavin. He will know our next move.'
L400 opened the box and took out a strange but small and extremely harmless looking device.
'Watch your eyes' L400 said and turned the device on. A red beam emanated from the Disruptor as L400 pointed the small contraption at the central lock in his shackles. The lock made a sharp click and fell open.
The start of my personal quest to make a linux media front end out of my Latitude L400 had gone off to a great start. I was trying to install Mythbuntu, but had hurried too much and hadn't checked the MD5 hash for the download. Of course when you don't check, something is always wrong so I had to throw away a CD-r and redo my download.