A tale of the creation of Woodman.
From the Woodyman Archives
The Ballad of Woodman
By g1 Woodyman
It wasn’t a dark and stormy night. In fact, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, but there should have been. I grew up watching Boris Karloff and monsters of similar sort rise from the operating table as a bolt of lightning strikes in the background. I guess I’m not enough of a monster to warrant a simple flash of light, but what can you do?
I guess I should backtrack a little bit. My name is… well my name as of this moment is Alan Zimmerman. If you did a little research into the meaning behind my name, I guess you’d find it ironic. Personally, I think of it as a sign. Before today, I was a simple man. I wouldn’t consider myself a farmer, especially not today, but I worked the land and lived off it. I had a small house I built by myself in a rural section of Maine. While you may think I’m some sort of hick or redneck, this is not the case. I had a computer and cable, and in my younger days, I received a doctorate in Biology. I just enjoyed living off the land and the sense of becoming one with nature.
I guess that is why I signed up for this experiment… to become a part of the natural world, rather than an intrusion in it. Ha-ha… now that I think about it, I’ve become the exact opposite of what I wanted. There is your irony. It’s too late now to change my mind. Hahahaha… as I type this I can hear the annoying beep of machinery all around me, and I’m sure my legs… my real legs are now rotting in a dumpster somewhere. All right, back to the experiment… I cannot be sidetracked so easily. I saw an advertisement in the local paper. The ad said ‘New research! Become one with nature! Apply by calling 555-WILY.’ I was excited. My dream was finally coming true. It was five in the morning when I called. The phone barely rung once, when a man with a heavy German accent answered. It was almost as if he was waiting for me.
My appointment with Dr. Wily was bright and early the next day. I remember walking into a brightly lit office and then nothingness. When I awoke, I was on the same operating table I am on right now and a laptop was placed on the floor. I woke up screaming from the intense agony, and the shock that my legs were missing.
I don’t know how long it has been since my last entry. The seconds run into hours, and the hours run into years. All I see everyday is this damn computer and a bunch of machinery that constantly beeps. I have huge gaps in my memory. I think the oh-so-great doctor is putting me to sleep before he works on my body. My arms and legs have been replaced with robotic replacements. There is a large scar running down my chest and I fear my internal organs have also been replaced. I have no way of proving this but I haven’t eaten or taken a leak for God knows how long. So much for becoming one with nature… ha. I don’t know what kind of monster I’m being turned into, I just wish I was back home.
I woke up this morning in an entirely new setting. I’m surrounded by trees and all sorts of creatures, from a quick glance they even look like real animals. I see a pink bunny, an ostrich, some bats, and even a gorilla. Have I done it? Am I finally one with nature? Sadly, the answer is no. All the fuzzy animals around me are covered in steel. I’ve been fooled by Dr. Wily once again. When I first woke up, I believe… no I hope I’ve died and gone to heaven. However, this place isn’t heaven; it’s a false paradise and my own personal prison. My own body is nothing like its former self. I still have the robotic arms and legs, but now I am sure my entire body has been replaced. I hear a grinding noise every time I try to burp and I feel a tingling sensation in my brain. Upon further exploration, I find that my entire body is covered in armor made of wood. I even have a wooden helmet on my head. I see a plaque over a door that reads ‘Woodman.’ While the name seems entirely uninspired, and why would anyone make a robot out of wood is beyond me, I feel like I must go through this door… as if it’s my destiny.
The door slams shut and I am trapped. I wait and wait for a sign or help, but nothing comes. Time passes and I sit and wait for my savior. Someone to wake me up from this nightmare. All of a sudden, I hear a commotion going on beyond my door. A series of explosions go off and I feel an intense pain in my head. I know what is going on. Someone is killing my robotic animal friends and soon that person will come for me. The door flies open and some sort of cyborg in blue comes charging at me. I raise my hands to show I am unarmed and scream in fear but he doesn’t seem to care. All of a sudden, my programming takes control and a shield of leaves form around my body, while more leaves fall from the sky to attack the blue cyborg. My body moves on its own and I find myself attacking the cyborg. Then the cyborg turns from blue to red and shoots a giant fireball in my face. As my wooden armor and the remnants of my former self begin to burn, I come to the realization that my self-destruct protocol has been activated. Right before my life or should I say programming ends, I have one last thought. ‘Who in their right mind makes a robot out of wood?’
Alan (Woodman) Zimmerman
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