“Where’s my charger?” Googleplier asked the room at large.
Chase looked up from where he and Bing sat on the floor, toying with fidget spinners. “Your what?”
“My charger.” Google repeated. “An extension cord that replenishes my electricity levels before they become too low. I need to be in prime and optimal condition each morning in order to fully achieve my primary objective.”
“I haven’t seen it,” replied Chase, flicking a spinner so it balanced on his finger. “I’ll let ya know if I do, though.”
“Zis charger,” interjected Doctor Schneeplestein, thoughtfully stirring his evening coffee. “Doez it connect to a power bank labelled vith ze vords ‘For Google’s use only’?”
“Yes.” Google turned to him. “You’ve seen it?”
“In a manner of zpeaking.” The surgeon sipped from his mug. “I saw it connected to zat powerpoint over zhere yesterday, but haven’t zeen it zince. The last person I zaw who vent near it was zat man vith ze pink moustache.”
Google’s fingers twitched irritably. “Wilford Warfstache. He must have it. I need to get it back.”
“He’s long gone, man.” Bing spoke up. “Like, he’s locked himself in his room since six, and we all know it’s, like, about impossible to get in there by force, not when he’s got his void going.”
Google frowned. The other Markisonas all knew of Wilford’s void - his ability to warp space and objects around him in all manner of ways. It was extremely difficult to enter his void if he did not want you to; likewise, it was very easy for him to trap you within it.
“Dude, you can, like, totally go without it for the night.” assured Bing. “Just, like, put yourself in sleep mode until the morning and you’ll, y’know, save energy that way.”
Google thought about this. He knew what might happen if he wasn’t charged soon, but he also knew how late it was (11:23pm to be exact) and that it would cause a bit of a disturbance to the other inhabitants of the house if he were to go after Wilford at this hour. He sighed, detesting having to actually acknowledge Bing for giving some form of semi-reasonable advice.
“Alright. Just for tonight.”
Google’s battery had dropped from 76% to 59% by lunchtime the next day, and he was starting to glitch more frequently. He had trouble picking up objects as his glitching tended to make him drop the object. After the fourth time trying to get a cup down from the kitchen cupboard and the sound of smashed glass was heard, Dr Iplier commanded Google to retreat to his room and stay there with the other Googles until his charger was found. He did so grumpily, muttering under his breath and slamming the door of the room with deliberate force.
After he’d had been contained, Dr Iplier sent Bim Trimmer, Schneeplestein and Marvin the Magnificent in search of Wilford. Bim Trimmer knew him on a personal level, which could help him persuade Wil to cooperate. Marvin could try out some of his powers against Wilford’s, and if the occasion arose, Schneeplestein could knock the man unconscious with a sedative, buying them some time to search his room for the charger.
When they arrived at the room that Wilford had deemed as his, Marvin bravely walked up to the door, but Schneeplestein caught him and pulled him away.
“I dunno about zis,” he admitted. “Ve don’t know anyzing about ze capabilities of zis man.”
“Well, you gotta be real careful when it comes to Wil and his void.” Bim advised. “It’s best to be in his void when it’s in an enclosed space, otherwise he’s got more room to expand it and mess around with you. If we keep him in his room, it’ll be easier to ground ourselves. Also, don’t try and hit him the moment we enter, unless you want a bullet in your face.”
“But how will we get in there in the first place?” asked Marvin.
Bim winked. “Stand back a bit.”
He stepped to the side of the door, making sure he was out of range, and knocked. It started to wriggle and shake, then spewed out a fountain of sugar. Before it could finish, Bim plunged his fist into the door. It sunk right through the wood as if it were water. Bim stayed there for a moment, fiddling for something on the other side, before retracting his hand, leaving the door to swing open and reveal a rippling, undulating space dyed a cotton-candy-pink hue. He turned to the other two.
“He always forgets that I can unlock just about anything. Come on, let’s get Google’s charger back.”
Dr Iplier came close to a heart attack when Googleplier glitched into the kitchen, right in front of his face.
“You - Google I told you - I specifically told you to stay - ”
“Specifically.” interrupted Google. “Adverb. One: in a way that is exact and clear; precisely. Two: for a particular purpose.”
The doctor blinked. “I know what specifically means, Google. I didn’t ask for a definition.”
“Definition. Noun. One: a statement of the exact meaning of a word, especially in a dictionary - ” Google glitched again, even worse than before. “ - The first dictionary was written in 1582, while the first official English one was written in 1604 - ”
“Doctor!” came a panicked voice. Google Oliver came running into the kitchen. “He just glitched out of our room! I’m so sorry, we didn’t know it was gonna get this bad.”
“Google, show me your battery percentage.” demanded Dr Iplier, a note of concern in his voice.
Google obliged as he continued to ramble on. A holographic screen appeared on his left eye and displayed the battery symbol, flashing yellow. Dr Iplier carefully read the small writing at the bottom of Google’s artificial iris. His chest was hollow with dread.
“44%. Google, this isn’t good. You’ve never been this low before.” He took Googleplier by the left arm and gestured to Oliver to take him by the right.Together they started to lead him down the hallway, towards the Googles’ room. Every glitch caused Google to change subjects at lightning speed and Dr Iplier’s hands to sting uncomfortably.
“Leroy!” called Oliver. “Leroy, we need your help!”
The green replica of Googleplier stuck his head out the door of the room.
“Oh, there he is!” he exclaimed. “Thank God you found him, I was starting to get worried - ”
Google glitched again, and this time Dr Iplier had to take his hands off him, revealing large red burns across his palms. Google started to speak more rapidly, his words bleeding into one another, and the colour of the battery symbol shifted into a yolky orange as the percentage slipped down to 39%.
“Why is his battery taking so little time to be used up?!” exclaimed Dr Iplier, hurriedly rubbing aloe vera lotion on his burns. “Does this ever happen to the rest of you?”
“It’s because he’s trying so hard to complete his objective.” answered Leroy. “When the rest of us start to get too low, we pull ourselves back and try not to overexert ourselves. Google completely disregards that once he’s below 50%. Usually we’ve been able to keep him in check and make sure he’s plugged in before he reaches this point.”
“The problem is,” added Oliver. “we don’t have any other means to charge him if his charger goes missing. Each charger is specific to each Google - I can’t use Leroy’s, he can’t use Evan’s, et cetera. And we’re all fairly protective of our belongings, so we haven’t really been prepared for this kind of situation before.”
“Well, perhaps we can order him to stop!” the doctor continued. “Google, disable your ability to complete your primary objective.”
Google’s eyes glitched and displayed a blue screen with the words “ERROR -43. File ‘Disable ability to complete primary objective’ was no found.”
A loud thwoom shook the building. Dr Iplier stumbled and Leroy looked towards the ceiling.
“What the hell was that?”
Dr Iplier grimaced. “Sounds like Wilford’s fighting back.”
The unsteady and rocking surface he stood on, the consistently strong smell of bubblegum, and the occasional gunshots reverberating around him - all this combined prompted Schneeplestein to feel rather nauseous.
They’d entered the room and immediately lost their balance. The floor warped and shifted constantly - never completely stable, always slightly slanted - and the sickly-sweet aroma hit their noses at full force. The furniture couldn’t sit still and floated within the space, and every now and then the group had to duck as a potted plant or spare pack of bullets soared towards their heads. It was also rather hard to see clearly, since the light was off. Bim managed to flip the switch to lighten up the space; Marvin and Schneeplestein were too busy adjusting to the over-stimulation of their senses.
They saw Wiford fiddling with a computer and cursing under his breath, stray wires spread out around the floor. He was jamming random plugs into sockets and kept hitting the computer screen, which remained blank despite his efforts.
“Wil?” asked Bim tentatively. “What are you doing?”
Wilford jumped and turned to them, looking slightly embarrassed. “Bim! You - ah… Why are you all here?”
“We’re looking for Google’s charger. Have you seen it?” ventured Marvin, his fist closed on his wand beneath his cloak. “Google’s battery is really low, and - ”
“Zat’s it.” interjected Schneeplestein, pointing at a smooth, navy blue cord connected to the computer, with a powerbank labelled “For Google’s use only” in neat white lettering. “Zat’s ze charger. Vhy do you have it?”
Wilford coughed. “Ah. Well, you see - I’m kind of in a bit of a pickle. This blasted computer won’t cooperate, and -”
“Are you trying to broadcast more episodes of Markiplier TV?” accused Bim. “Without running it by us first?”
Wilford frowned. “You never listen to me about it, and I figured I’d take matters into my own two hands! I keep telling you, it’s not a waste of time - ”
“Don’t start that again.” Bim cut him off. “We just need you to give us that charger. It’s more important.”
Wilford cocked his eyebrow, and his pistol. “What if I don’t want to give it to you?”
The floor jerked, and the four of them were vaulted into the air. Marvin and Schneeplestein clung to each other in fear; Bim managed to oriented himself rather quickly, and Wilford moved smoothly and with ease, comfortably in his element. He laughed at the expressions on their faces.
“You seriously didn’t think it was going to be that easy, did you?” he taunted.
“Vell, ve vere trying to be optimistic about zis zituation.” Schneeplestein replied, desperately scrabbling for a grip on the shifting walls.
“I’m not talking to you two.” Wilford snapped. He sighed. “To be honest, I’m a little disappointed in you, lil’ Bim. I never expected you to underestimate me so drastically.”
“I didn’t expect the same of you, either.”
He launched himself towards the floor of the room and placed his hands on the wobbling floorboards. The floor trembled even more, and Wilford was caught off-guard as thick vines wrapped around his limbs. He started to fire his gun, and the others had to duck as the bullets pinged around the room. Bim kept at it, summoning more vines and plants to restrain the man and wrestle the gun from his hand.
Schneeplestein managed to crawl across the room and swipe the charger. He double-checked it was the right one before pocketing it.
“I’ve got ze charger!” he called, trying not to be sick. “Let’z go!”
Marvin picked two sixes of spades from his deck and flicked them, sending one out the door and the other into Schneeplestein’s chest. The doctor felt a tugging sensation as he was thrust out of the room, landing on the floorboards outside. The magician then pulled out a king and queen of clubs and sent them spinning into the plants, calling out for Bim to back away. The duo exited the room as ice started to seep up the plants, muffling Wilford’s yells. The door swung shut and the group collapsed, exhausted. The sun had just set outside the window beside them, casting them in a dim twilight atmosphere.
“Well,” panted Bim, grinning at them. “That was fun, wasn’t it?”
Schneeplestein promptly threw up.
“He’ll be OK. The ice will - it’ll melt in a little while. Let’s - Let’s get this charger to Google, quickly.” suggested Marvin, panting. “He looked pretty bad when - when we last saw him. What’ll happen if he tries to hurt someone?”
A yell came from below. Bim jumped to his feet.
“Guess we’re about to find out!”
Dr Iplier crashed into the wall and dropped to his knees, having been lifted off his feet and thrown with superhuman strength. He could feel bolts of electricity spark all over his body as he desperately tried to steady himself, to get some air into his lungs. The lights in the hallway were off, having had their bulbs blown from the sheer amount of electrical energy in such a small space.
“Google…” he panted, staring at the figure at the end of the hallway. “Google, please… stop…”
The droid advanced slowly. His form was now constantly glitching; some glitches were small and only appeared as ripples, others so large and disruptive that they completely distorted his appearance. He had a manic grin on his face and his formerly-neat hair was dishevelled and scruffily covered one eye. But the doctor could see the other one, which showed a battery symbol with a sliver of blood red light at the bottom, and a reading of 10%. When he spoke, his voice was multi-layered and ever-changing in pitch.
Oliver appeared before Dr Iplier, shielding the doctor as his brother came closer. “No, you’re not! Google, listen to us, you’re going to run out of power soon! You’re unstable, this is not a prime and healthy condition for you! And why should you hurt us, your family?”
͢“H̴éa͏l͘t̶h is ҉ǹot̵ o҉f͠ the con͢c̡e͠rn ̴hȩre̛,͡ ͜àn͜d nor a͡r̶e ŕélàti͞ons̢hips ͜o͘f͜ a̛ny ̢k̛ińd,͏” retorted Google.
“͝M͠y͠ ͞obje̷cti̡ve i̧s wha҉t’s mo҉st i͝m̴porta̵ņt ri҉gh͝t n̵o̧w̨.͢”
“And what is your objective?” venture Dr Iplier, hoping against hope his suspicion would not be confirmed.
The doctor cowered as Google summoned neon-blue bolts of electricity between his fingers, which crackled and fizzed as they circled up his arms. Oliver sighed exasperatedly. He clenched his fists, and electricity wound its way up his arms too, the shafts glowing a neon yellow.
“I wish I didn’t have to do this.”
Oliver stepped forward and launched a volley of energy at his brother, wincing as it hit Google’s leg and caused him to lurch and glitch under the sudden onslaught of electricity. He turned to the doctor behind him.
“You need to run. Now.”
“But - “ began Dr Iplier.
“No time! Just go - “
Oliver was cut off as he took the full force of Google’s counter-attack. He screamed as the neon-blue shafts streaked across his body, burning his skin. Dr Iplier caught him as he fell back, while Google came closer, until he was standing directly above them. He raised his arm as more electricity pulsed from his fingers, this time white-hot and deadly. Dr Iplier clutched Oliver tightly and closed his eyes, bracing himself for the pain that would follow.
Google’s arm suddenly sported a needle, which soon inserted a healthy dose of melatonin into his system. His arm stopped fizzing with electrical charges and dropped to his side. His head drooped and he collapsed on the ground, a small beeping noise issuing from the back of his neck, where his charger had been plugged in. Bim stood behind him, hands raised in a defence position in case Google had turned and attacked him. Schneeplestein took out the needle and hurried to treat Oliver.
“Marvin, would you mind depositing him in his room?” Bim asked the magician.
Marvin nodded and took out his card pack. He flicked the nine of diamonds into Google’s back, which caused him to rise until he was five feet off the floor. Marvin took his hand and led him away. Dr Iplier could just make out Google’s eyes, which displayed the battery symbol slowly being refilled.