Raiding the short bus

Before anyone jumps on me for being insensitive with the “short bus” reference, I literally rode the short bus to high school for two years until I got my own car. It was actually pretty fun, we played Hearts and Spades for the hour+ trip every day … but I digress, because while I ramble on, our intrepid road warrior “Freeway Warrior” (because that’s totally different) faced a decision as to which way to go. We gently nudged him in the direction of a bridge:

Knowing the bravery in our hearts, as well as our penchant for rushing into automotive mayhem, I made a command decision to go ahead and check out the vehicle.

Hey, “loot”! I don’t know anyone who’s not excited by the prospect of acquiring a new fan belt or spark plug. Why, how fondly I recall our own wonder-filled sojourns into the depths of the local dungeon in my D&D days, drooling over the prospect of finding The Distributor Cap of Vecna.

The good news is, we can take whatever we want. The bad news is, we are out of room in our backpack. Thus we have some deciding to do:

And decide which of these items you’d ditch:

Anything ranking above “none” in the “take” list goes in the backpack, with the corresponding highest vote-getter(s) in the “ditch” list going over the side. Choose wisely, my friends!

About Jeff Hebert

Jeff is a 44 year old city boy who has somehow found himself located in Colorado, fulfilling his lifetime dream of making a living drawing super-heroes all day.

26 Responses to Raiding the short bus

  1. I voted to ditch the altimeter–since we’re known as the “freeway” warrior, and not the “sky” warrior, I can’t really see much use for it. In its place, I picked the gas modifier, not knowing what it is, but hoping it’s similar to those things you can stick in a diesel engine to make it run on any flammable liquid instead of just gas…

  2. maybe somebody who knows something about car parts can tell me what parts are important ones and which not? i’m a complete idiot on that front.

  3. MisterDinoMan

    I also dropped the altimeter and picked up a fan belt in it’s place. Because you just know that our car’s engine is going to overheat because of a defective fan belt while we are under fire.

  4. The fan belt – in my humble experience – has tendency to break down when you don’t have a replacement with you. I say we take that and leave the altimeter. Or, on the second thought, maybe we could EAT a meal.

  5. Better not EAT before the book tells you to. Otherwise we’ll run out before the cleverly hidden resupply. ;)

  6. Good Point about the altimeter, Gero. I voted for the Solar Regulator for about the same reason that you picked the gas modifier, because even though I don’t know what it is, I’m hoping it’s some kind of thing that will either help the bus from overheating, or it’s some kind of fuel alternative that lets the bus run on solar power. I have a bad feeling though that since this came up as an option, our bus will be breaking down very soon.

  7. Now, let’s think about these items:

    - Solar Regulator, Condenser and Gas Modifier… Don’t remember these on any engine part list. So leave them.

    - Spark Plug… Even if one turns to dust, an engine can run without 1 spark plug (albeit not perfectly), and unless ALL our plugs came from the same defective batch, the chances of loosing more than 1 is slim to none (at least for the scope of this limited adventure), so leave them as well.

    - Distributor cap… Now, true that no engine will run without one, but if ours was anywhere close to failing the frikin’ engine would be sputtering 9 ways to Sunday by now. So leave it too.

    - Oil plug… If we loose this, it’s an easy fix (at least it should be for a band of road-savvy survivors). So no take.

    - Which leaves us with the fan belt… Probably the one useful item of the list (unless the 3 items I wrote off up top have some hidden/”magical” use on these post-apocalyptic engines).

    So what to throw away… I agree with my fellow commentators here in that I think we’re very unlikely to need to measure our altitude any time soon, so in the end, an easy switch. (unless, again, I’m wrong) ;) :D

  8. I have visions of the Solar Regulator being turned into some sort of death ray. Which, given the rich history of Choose Your Own Adventure, will instantly incinerate us, instead of our target.

  9. I also have visions of the fan belt being turned into some sort of Slingshot of DOOOOOOM! Which, given the rich history of Choose Your Own Adventure, will ricochet off a rock and kill us instantly instead of our target.

  10. Yeah, you’re right. And you know it would be because we didn’t pick up some other seemingly useless item that we would need to combine with it so that it doesn’t backfire, but it’s never explained until we’re already smouldering.

  11. ‘Course, if we ditch the altimeter, we’re might end up needing it later on in the adventure, and so we end up dying because we needed it for something.
    Then again, if we drop anything we might end up needing it later- then dying because we haven’t got it.
    So I’m just going to go with the majority.

  12. This is a strange world indeed, where an oil plug and a fan belt each take up the same amount of room in a backpack–an amount of room that could also accommodate a rad suit, or an altimeter.

    Oh, well. I’ll vote to lose the altimeter and pick up the fan belt, I guess, and just hope that Hebert’s wrong about us turning it into an auto-suicide slingshot.

    (I would’ve voted to drop the salt–is seasoning ever really going to be a matter of life or death?–but that might have given my brother a heart attack.)

  13. I should point out that the rad suit takes up TWO slots in the backpack, my apologies for not mentioning that earlier.

    I bet we put the rad suit on at some point, only to discover that it has a leak and we die, whereas if we left it out we’d have lived.

    I am also holding out hope for a “You get a vicious paper cut from turning to this section. Your adventure ends here” segment.

  14. my high school track team had short busses and my college shuttle bus was a short bus, and to make it worse it said “educational transport” on the side with a big smiley face on the door. Yeah, we got looks …

  15. Wait, wait. A rad suit takes up as much room as two sets of spark plugs?! Outrageous!

  16. Tough call. That’s a problem playing in a game world You’ve never worked with before. You never know how important the geegaws you never heard of are. In our world, Worf is right about the useability of the real parts, but does the author know that? I guess I’ll go along with the fan belt for the altimeter, since that seems the least lethal omission from the list.

  17. Damn. I wish I read the comments first. oh, well. I chose the sparplug and ditched one meal.

    Cool edit feature. Banana! You could just add anything afterwards.

  18. Spark plugs, fan belts and the rest can be scavenged elsewhere, but where you gonna find a Solar Regulator? Likewise, salt is cheap and easy to get, even after the apocolypse. Dump the salt, take the regulator.

  19. If my fairly rudimentary research is correct, I think the solar regulator is some kind of solar-powered battery charger. The condenser is also known as a capacitor, is part of the ignition coil. Still not sure about the gas modifier is yet.

    I really don’t know how to vote on this one. I’m pretty sure whatever we leave behind is what we’ll need in the future, while anything we take is going to be the wrong thing, and we’ll actually have needed something else.

  20. I vote for the gas modifier and drop the tube of salt.

  21. Could you enlighten us on WHAT THE HECK is a solar regulator????

  22. William A. Peterson

    I’m pretty sure a REAL Garage Mechanic would be baffled by many of these items! No way of telling what some of them do…

  23. William A. Peterson

    In OUR society, Salt is a cheap seasoning. In a post apocalyptic wasteland, it’s currency, seasoning, and a survival requirement! Can’t count on being able to go to the 7-11 for a Gatorade to replenish your electrolytes, after all..

  24. William A. Peterson

    Also, boys and girls, most Modern vehicles wouldn’t have Distributor Caps OR Spark Plugs…
    Methinks this adventure was written before those were replaced by Electronics!

  25. Remember we’re talking about an old school bus. I don’t think they even knew what electronics were when they built those suckers. :)

  26. spidercow2010

    I’m going to try to think like a limey and hazard the guess that a solar regulator is what we in the States call a sun visor. The gas modifier, on the other hand, still eludes me, no matter how much I Anglisise meself, so I choose to pretend that it either a.) converts petrol to diesel or nitro or something, or b.) filters farts.