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Smiling mad, he's so happy

BoB and the Mysterious Mannequins

Last week, BoB escaped the planet covered in burning ice, and got a piece of his old escape pod back. After sledding down a hill on it and taking off, he flew off, to the location of the next piece.

The column rose and fell, and BoB's escape pod started making its wheezing noise. The tunnel of blue energy faded in and out, being replaced with a field, covered in half dead grass. "Celliri, iz it safe too go out dare, or does BoB need da space suit again?" BoB asked. "Systems indicate it is 100% safe to go outside," said Celliri. "Good!" BoB said, and opened the door.

Outside, the sun was setting, and it was starting to get cold. BoB could see that there were ten small, worn out looking wooden houses not too far ahead, and other than that, there was nothing. In every direction, there was withered brown grass, and there wasn't even a tree in sight. BoB wandered towards the set of houses and saw that on the porch of one of the houses was a white plastic mannequin in a rocking chair. Instead of a normal head, the mannequin's neck pointed up into a cone. A small gust of wind blew, and the mannequin started rocking in its chair slowly. "Well, dat freaky," BoB said. 

BoB walked over to the house with the rocking mannequin, and looked around. The porch was old and rotting, with small holes where the wood wore through. Above the house numbers saying this was house 260, there was a letter H, and a number one behind it.  ""H 1 260? Celliri, what dat mean?" BoB asked. "Unknown. There is no apparent meaning behind these numbers," Celliri said. "Anybody home?" BoB yelled out, and rang the doorbell. Inside the house, a sound halfway between a doorbell and a dying cat warbled out, followed by a thump, and then a crash. BoB rammed the weak old door open, and saw the machine responsible for making the doorbell noise had crashed to the ground. 

The inside of the house didn't look much better than the outside, with the floor giving away in places. There was no carpeting in all of the house, yet where the living room must have once been, there was a couch, and an old TV. On the couch sat a mannequin, just like the one outside. BoB walked back outside, and went to the next house. He rang the doorbell, and when nobody answered, he opened the door. He went up the stairs, and saw a bedroom. Lying in the bed with a blanket around it was yet another mannequin. BoB walked out of the house, and noticed something odd about its numbers. Unlike the other house, this one had an H, followed by a 2. Under these, the house number was -130. 

BoB kept wandering from house to house, and noticed something about the numbers on the houses. They had no pattern at all. H3, +10, H4 -63, H5 -17, H6 -30, H7 -35, H8 +20, H9 -25, H10 +15. There was no pattern to the numbers at all, and inside every house, there was nothing, except a mannequin. Every house had a mannequin, all of them exactly the same. "Celliri, what should BoB do now?" BoB asked. "Have you explored everywhere?" Celliri asked. "BoB haz went in every house, but dare nothing dare. Da only thing BoB didn't do waz walk out of da group of houses and look around," BoB said. "That would seem to be the only option," Celliri said. "How ya no if a piece iz here anyway?" BoB asked. "Systems indicate it can not be more than 25 miles away from the location of materialization," Celliri said.

BoB set off walking, leaving the village behind. BoB walked for about 20 minutes, without seeing anything but grass all around him. Not even a single tree was there, not a single cloud in the darkening sky, and BoB hadn't heard any noise at all since he left the cluster of houses. BoB looked back for the first time since he wandered off, and he couldn't see the houses. BoB looked ahead again, wondering if he should journey farther, when he saw the back of his escape pod less than twenty feet ahead of him. "Celliri, did ya move?" BoB asked. When he looked ahead, he saw that the cluster of houses was also ahead, and he had somehow come back around in a circle. "Celliri, what happen? Did BoB walk in a circle?" BoB asked. "Data from your watch indicates you had traveled in a straight line, never moving off course," Celliri said. "Iz dis a really small planet or sumething?" BoB asked. "Systems indicate planetoid is small, but still large enough it should take days to walk its surface," said Celliri.

BoB looked at the houses, and suddenly one set of lights turned on. All the lights on the porches turned on automatically, because the sun had almost set.  BoB noticed something wrong with one of the porch lights. One of them lit up red. "Aha! Celliri, dat must be BoB'z light four da top!" BoB said, and ran over to it. Before BoB could reach it, everything shimmered, and the world dissolved into a swirling vortex of colors. Then everything stopped swirling, BoB was somewhere completely different. It looked like a mall, but unlike everything else he had seen so far, it looked new.

"Celliri, wat happen?" BoB asked. "It appears you are in the exact same place as you were before you disappeared, yet are in another dimension," Celliri said. BoB saw a map of the mall, and walked over to it. It looked perfectly normal, except there were no exits on the map. On the floor guide, it listed all the floors, with a star saying "you are here" for floor one. BoB noticed something about floor 3 on the map, and looked more closely at the map. For floor three it said "Floor 3: Your only chance of escape." "Well, dat friendly," BoB said, and ran up an unmoving escalator.

When he got to floor 3, he saw a piece of paper lying on the floor, with a couple of drawings on it. BoB picked it up, and saw it had little rectangles on it, all with an H, followed by a number after it. Under the drawing, thee was a line, saying "Code: H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6, H7, H8, H9, H10" BoB looked behind him, only to see the escalator that brought him up here was gone, and replaced by a solid wall. BoB looked ahead again, and saw that in front of him were six different doors, all having the same logo on top. The only difference was that each door had a different number on it, from 1 to 6.

"BoB, don't move," Celliri said. "If you pick the wrong one of those doors, you will die." "Well what can BoB do?" BoB asked. "That piece of paper says code on it. Maybe there's a code you can put in somewhere?" Celliri suggested. BoB looked at the paper again, and got an idea. "AHA! Celliri, calculate 260-130+10-63-17-30-35+20-25+15!" BoB said. "Why?" Celliri asked. "Da paper here say H1, H2, H3 blahblahblah, and da houses have da letter H and den a number. So, if ya take da house numbers and put dem in den not one big string without da letter H and numberz, ya get da math problem BoB told ya. Now, wat iz da answer?" BoB asked. "The answer to the math problem is five," Celliri said. "Good!" BoB said, and opened door number five.

Inside, it looked just like an average clothing store, but the mannequins were all the same kind he saw back near the houses. BoB saw a large screen on one wall, and went over to it. It had lots of buttons on the frame around it, so BoB pressed one. A commercial started playing on the TV screen, and BoB looked for the home button. When he pressed it, the ad ended, and was replaced by a black screen with yellow lettering on it. It read; "This Store is the best place to buy clothes, discount toys or home goods. (Please tap the screen to continue reading." The word home was circled and underlined, which seemed suspicious to BoB. BoB looked around, and saw the section marked Home, with a strange circle around the word. BoB decided he should take a picture of these strange mannequins that were all over the place, so he took a picture:

BoB ran to the home section, and saw a button. He pressed it, and suddenly everything started dissolving again, and it was all just a swirling blur of color. When BoB felt ground under him again, he immediately started running towards the red porch light. The sun had set completely, leaving it very dark out, yet the little light there was seemed to shine off the mannequins. BoB grabbed the red light, and unscrewed it. It was burning hot, so he put it in his smaller-on-the-outside pockets. BoB suddenly noticed something seemed off. "Celliri, has there been any wind since BoB was teleported?" BoB asked. "No, there hasn't. Why would you ask?" said Celiri. "Because the rocking chair mannequin stopped rocking before BoB wuz gone... so then why can BoB still hear rocking?" BoB asked, and whipped around. The rocking chair was empty, with no mannequin in sight.  BoB turned back around, and heard a creak. He spun back around, and saw there were now mannequins looking out the doors of the homes. He spun back around, and saw that there was one with the door partially open in front of him. He backed away, and kept his eyes on all of them at once.

"HA! BoB saw dis on TV once! De quantun locked, or sumethin like dat! Dey can't move while ya look at dem!" BoB said. Suddenly, one of the ones further from BoB moved its arm up slowly. Another stepped forward. A couple more moved, and started running towards BoB "Ohkay den, maybe not," BoB said, and started to run. "DA TV LIED TO BOB! HOW COULD IT DO DAT?!" BoB yelled as he ran as fast as he could back to his escape pod.

Suddenly, the air in front of him started to swirl, and a couple more mannequins appeared in front of him. "Doze must be from da department store!" BoB yelled, and dodged to one side. BoB could see his escape pod up ahead, and ran even faster. Suddenly, a fist from one of the mannequins shot past BoB on his left, and hit the ground. Where it hit, the ground immediately got covered in shiny white plastic. 

BoB was almost to his escape pod now, and mannequin fists kept flying past him. "Celliri, open da door!" BoB yelled, and the door swung open. BoB ran right inside, and the door shut behind him. He ran to the control panel, and pulled the dematerialization handle. He looked out the glass door, and saw the mannequins fists were coating the outside in plastic. "Wait a minute, why dare no wheezing going on?" BoB asked. "You have to set a destination, BoB," Celliri said. "Oh, right!" BoB said. "We're going to get the next piece of da old escape pod," BoB said. "You have to be more specific than that, BoB," Celliri said. "Fine, Jupiter or sumethin, just get out of here!" BoB said, and the wheezing noise started. The indentations in the wall started glowing and fading in sync with the rising an falling of the column, and the outside started to fade in and out, being replaced by the tunnel of blue energy. 

Outside, on the planet of the mannequins, the plastic coated box started to make a strange sound, and started glowing from within. The glow and sound faded in sync with each other, until the sound faded out completely. All that was left on the planet were the mannequins, and hollow plastic in the shape of a phone box.

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