Modular, Dude

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Modular, Dude
Modular, Dude

The death ray completely subverts all of your previously held prejudices about death rays by self-destructing. Wait, did I say "subverts?" I meant, "confirms."

Just as you're about to explore the rest of the ship, a voice booms from the intercom overhead. "So, adventurer," it says, "have you been a good little <boy/girl> this year? Or are you on my naughty list? Maybe you should walk through that door over there and sit on my lap." A door you previously hadn't noticed slides noiselessly open to your left.

"Oh, I'm coming in there," you shout at the intercom, "but not to sit on your lap. I need information, and I'm going to pump you for it! I'm going to pump you until I'm satisfied!" You take a minute and reflect. "On second that, forget I just said that; it could have been phrased better!"

Get In There And Pump!

You walk through the door and see a massive Crimbo ornament, taller than you are, that takes up most of the room. The top half of it glides upward as you watch, to reveal a figure within, seated in shadow.

"Wait," you say, "I know this one. It's been done to death. You are my father, and if I search my feelings, I'll know it to be true. Whatever. Man, half the monsters in the Kingdom claim they're one of my parents."

"I am a father," the figure says, "but I'm not your father." He stands up and strides into the light. You see he's wearing a red rubber suit with white trim, he's got a broad face and a little round belly, and he has a white beard and a laser sight instead of one eye. "I'm Father Crimbo."

"Okay, woah," you say. "Can you give me a paragraph or so of exposition, please?"

"Certainly," he says. "The cyborg ship crash-landed directly into my gravesite. They exhumed my body, reanimated me, and gave me a new artificial heart. The only one they had was two sizes too small, but I don't mind much. Then they tried to assimilate me into their collective!" He shakes his head and laughs mirthlessly. "Me, Father Crimbo, at the time of year where the Crimbo magic is at its most powerful! Well, as you can see, I'm assimilating them, instead."

He leans closer to you, almost blinding you with his laser eye. "You have eliminated my 12 Days of Mayhem cyborgs, and that is most irritating, but it will do you no good. The elves have already been assimilated, and soon Uncle Crimbo and his ridiculous farce of a holiday will be no more. Nothing can stop me! Well, I suppose if somebody pulled that lever right over there and activated the ship's EMP, that would pretty much destroy me and everything else on the ship, but besides that, no one can stop me! Ho! Ho! Ho!"

"Great, thanks," you say, and reach for the lever.

"Ah," Father Crimbo says, "but why would you want to pull that lever? Are you some kind of born lever-puller or something? Think about it, adventurer. Every Crimbo my brother has opened Crimbo Town to adventurers, made toys for them, caused nothing but trouble. Everything he does is a disappointment! Nothing he will ever do is good enough! Wouldn't it be better to have Crimbo the way it used to be? No Crimbo Town, endless tired iterations of the same toys, no enemies to fight. Just a message from me with one present for every girl and boy in the Kingdom. That, my friend, is the true spirit of Crimbo. Nothing elaborate, nothing messy, and nothing labor-intensive." Crimbo pauses and takes a swig of eggnog from a nearby eggnog-infusion tube. "Besides," he adds, "my brother is a belligerent, combative, unprofessional pain in the neck."

You know, he's got a point, doesn't he? As Father Crimbo's laser eye begins to twirl hypnotically, you relax your grip on the lever.

Pull The Lever

"Hey, wait a minute," you say, shaking your head, "Uncle Crimbo may be a belligerent, combative, unprofessional pain in the neck, but he's our belligerent, combative, unprofessional pain in the neck. He's just an average guy doing the best that he can! And, now that I think about it, having some new stuff to do every Crimbo is way better than having nothing new. Sure, some of the things he does are disappointing, and he always could have done it better, but at least he tries -- that's something you never did. I think he knows what the true spirit of Crimbo is far better than you." You pause and catch your breath, then turn directly to the camera. "Because after all, Crimbo is about sharing, and we really should all quit complain --"

"Gag me with a candy cane!" Father Crimbo shouts. "Look, just pull the lever. I can't stand any more editorializing."

You grab the lever and pull it with all your might. It clicks over, and there's a loud hum, followed by an anticlimactic *poof.* Father Crimbo goes rigid and falls over, and the carols stop playing over the intercom. "Huh," you say, in the overwhelming silence, but then the sirens start, and a computerized voice says "self-destruct sequence enabled. Self-destruct in 10...."

Why does it always have to be self-destruction? You barely make it out of the ship before it explodes, taking Father Crimbo and his twisted plan with it. Congratulations! Labor-intensive, disappointing Crimbo has been saved, and it's been saved by you!

You stand and admire your victory candesence, but your admiration is cut short by a loud whistling noise, then a sharp pain in your skull. One of those damned General Assembly Modules must have been blown free from the wreckage and hit you in the head. You briefly consider suing Father Crimbo for damages, but figure there isn't much left to sue after, y'know, the explosion and stuff. And, hey -- free General Assembly Module!

Gam.gifYou acquire an item: General Assembly Module

Occurred at A Sinister Dodecahedron.


  • The title of the adventure refers to surfer lingo, specifically the phrase "tubular, dude."
  • All of the exposition about Crimbo being a disappointment, or somehow worse than it was before, for instance, "Everything he does is a disappointment! Nothing he will ever do is good enough! Wouldn't it be better to have Crimbo the way it used to be?" is a reference to Crimbo 2006, when Mr Skullhead became indignant when people in the forums had seemingly no end to complaints about the holiday content despite it being the most expansive and content-rich to date by a considerable margin.
  • The "victory candesence(sic)" mentioned refers to the video game Portal, where GlaDOS assures that "there is absolutely no chance of a dangerous equipment malfunction prior to your victory candescence" as a moving platform carries the player into a pit of fire.
  • Father Crimbo's heart being "two sizes too small" is a reference to How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, specifically how The Grinch's heart was two sizes too small.
  • The line about being a "born lever-puller" is a reference to the animated Beatles movie Yellow Submarine, where one of the characters claims to be incapable of not pulling a lever due to being a "born lever-puller," a pun on "born Liverpooler," the Beatles' town of origin.
  • The line, "And, hey -- free General..." is a reference to "Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey," a mid-90s Saturday Night Live vignette. One of the deep thoughts was: "If you ever fall off the Sears Tower, just go real limp, because maybe you'll look like a dummy and people will try to catch you because, hey, free dummy."
  • The reference to assimilating the cyborgs rather than the other way is similar to the plot in Terry Pratchett's book Carpe Jugulum in which Granny Weatherwax gets bitten by a vampire but instead of changing her, she changes them.
  • The reference to assimilating the cyborgs may also be a reference to an episode of Invader Zim, where Zim attempts to create a nanomolecular Santa suit to take over the world. The suit, however, infects Zim with Christmas Spirit, and turns him into Santa Claus.
  • The choices about the lever reference quotes from one of the comedy overdubs by Fensler Films of the G.I. Joe PSAs. These short public service segments appeared at the end of episodes of the G.I. Joe cartoon, in which the Joes would advise children on safety.