A Gentleman About Space 5 – Pole Position

C’est le super grand prix and Space Lord Cesar Salamander is on the casino planet of Montarlo to gamble (he has a system) and watch the Cloud Boat races. Sal drinks, bets, berates long-suffering robot valet QC, and accidentally ends up on the Cloud Boat Super Grand Prix starting line. Hopefully, space PD detective LaFemme will be impressed.

AGAS is written by Matt Braman, and features the voices of Conrad Miszuk as Salamander, William Crook as QC Edgetest, Briauna Kittle as Det. LaFemme, and Ricco Machado-Torres as Figgis Zanteeno.

Music and sound by Matt Braman.


Scene One: Ext. Casino Planet Montarlo – Day

SFX 1: Cloud Racing Boats Zoom Past.

ZANTEENO: Good morning, racing fans and welcome to the 475th annual Helius Cloud Boat Super Grand Prix. I am three-time Cloud Boat Racing Champion Figgis Zanteeno, here with the play-by-play on every twist, turn, close call and colossal crash. Here to help me with Slow Motion Holo-Replay and Binary Subtitles, my friend, T.V.P.A. Mark 6, courtesy of the Panza Corporation. How’s it hanging, T.V.?


ZANTEENO: Well said. It’s A beautiful day here above the helium clouds of Montarlo. This micro planet is renowned for two things: gambling and Cloud Boat Racing, in that order. Fortunes will be gained and lost in the choppy wake of these sleek and speedy steeds. It’s anyone’s race and the only safe bet is that this will be the most action-packed event of the epoch.


ZANTEENO: Let’s hope not, pal, but you never know. I hear they upgraded the fire suppression systems after what happened last time. The racers are now lining up for qualification. First in line is last year’s winner, Guapito Mandibulon.


ZANTEENO: This handsome young Cloud Boat Pilot has been on everyone’s Beam Feed since his spectacular win at the last Super Grand Prix and he’s as talented as he is beautiful. Two months ago Guapito won the Spiral Arm Star Singer Voice Battle Deathmatch. That high note? Chills. Am I right, T.V.?


ZANTEENO: Agree to disagree. I think we can all agree that Guapito Mandibulon is the one to watch today, on and off the track. A reminder, this Holo Beam bought to you by the Panza Corporation and Xantham Gum. Xantham Gum, It’s Thickening.


Scene Two – Int. Montarlo Casino – day

SALAMANDER: So this is it, Q.C.. The Super Grand Prix. Where do I choose which Racing Snail to bet on? I like their funny names.

Q.C.EDGETEST: The Super Grand Prix is a Cloud Boat Race, Sir.

SALAMANDER: So I am to watch a flock of drones circle a cloud all afternoon? That sounds lethally dull.

Q.C.EDGETEST: The Cloud Boats are piloted by living beings, Sir, primarily of biological origin.

SALAMANDER: Do any of the pilots have funny names?

Q.C.EDGETEST Of the 128 racers, 13 have potentially humorous names given the phonetic sounds, pronunciation, or similarity to a the name of an anatomical feature. Shall I list them, Sir?

SALAMANDER: (SIGH) No, no. ‘Tis not the same. Just show me to the bar. A couple of Skybreezes might take the barnacles off this dingy dinghy.

Q.C.EDGETEST: Right this way, Sir.


Q.C.EDGETEST: Yes, sir?

SALAMANDER: Tell me the body part one.

Q.C.EDGETEST: Dongleforth Nipplewhacker, Sir.

SALAMANDER: That’ll do.


Q.C.EDGETEST: I have your Skybreeze, Lord Salamander.


SALAMANDER: Sweet Solomon’s Ring, Q.C. What is this apparition before me? Is it a genie?

Q.C.EDGETEST: I believe it is an advertisement, Sir.

SALAMANDER: But it promised to make my wildest dreams come true.

Q.C.EDGETEST: Most advertisements do, Sir.

SALAMANDER: Well I suppose I can stop rubbing its lamp, then.

Q.C.EDGETEST: A wise choice, Sir. Holo emitters may contain chemicals known to the planet of Caledonia to cause hyper lupus.

SALAMANDER: I say. They are bloody everywhere.

Q.C.EDGETEST: Quite so, Sir.

SALAMANDER: Remind me to expose myself to some X-Rays when we get home.

Q.C.EDGETEST: If you wish to obtain diagnostic images, I can perform-

SALAMANDER: Diagnosis Shmiagnosis. I want the X-Ray beams to give me Super Human healing powers.

Q.C.EDGETEST: I do not believe that is how X-Rays work, Space Lord.

SALAMANDER: Well I do not believe you will be using name brand batteries anymore, you lousy lead bib.

Q.C.EDGETEST: Very good, Sir.

SALAMANDER: No, Edgetest. Very bad. Feel ashamed.

Q.C.EDGETEST: I am regretfully unable to so, Sir.


Q.C.EDGETEST: Just as you say, Lord Salamander. (WHINING NOISE) (BEAT) (WHINING NOISE) (BEAT)(WHINING NOISE) My utmost apologies, Space Lord. I remain unable to synthesize the feeling of Shame. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Panza Corporation at two seven three four six zero zero zero zero zero six West Panza Drive, Third moon of New Terra, Five One Seven Three Eight Dash-

SALAMANDER: Fine, then. I guess just get me another drink. It is time to hit the tables.



SALAMANDER: Watch me, Q.C. I am about to double my fortune. I have a system.

Q.C.EDGETEST: And what system is that, Sir?

SALAMANDER: It could not be more simple. This orb flies around and everyone bets on where it will land.

Q.C.EDGETEST: It would appear to be random, Sir. How can one make a sure bet?

SALAMANDER: The patterns, Q.C. Everything has a pattern, if you know how to look. I see patterns everywhere. It is called Chaos Theory. The rhythm of the universe. I have been watching the Orb for 3 minutes and it has landed on Taupe every time.

Q.C.EDGETEST: Do you intend to bet on Taupe, Sir?

SALAMANDER: Of course not. It can only be Taupe so many times. The next one has to be Mauve.

Q.C.EDGETEST: I do not believe probability works that way-


Q.C.EDGETEST: What is your bet, Lord Salamander?

SALAMANDER: Everything on Mauve.

Q.C.EDGETEST: Everything, Sir?

SALAMANDER: Are your audio sensors damaged? Too many android rock concerts? Tungstenitis? I mean everything-everything. The entire account.

Q.C.EDGETEST: I must remind you, Sir, your Dearest Aunt Berthatrude specifically warned you that-

SALAMANDER: Bring her up again and I shall- I shall- Do not bring her up again, Edgetest. And think of something mean I could do to you.

Q.C.EDGETEST: As you wish, Space Lord. The bet has been placed.

SALAMANDER: Come on Mauve. Not that I am worried, mind you.


SALAMANDER: Where did it land, Q.C.? I am half color blind.

Q.C.EDGETEST: Taupe, Sir.

SALAMANDER: You mean Mauve?

Q.C.EDGETEST: The orb is clearly attached to Taupe, sir.

SALAMANDER: Good. I was right to bet on Taupe. I knew my system would work.

Q.C.EDGETEST: You bet on Mauve, Sir.

SALAMANDER: What are you saying?

Q.C.EDGETEST: You have lost the bet, Space Lord. Your account is empty.

SALAMANDER: Place another bet and double it. I can win everything back.

Q.C.EDGETEST: You do not have any capital with which to bet, Sir. You are, as they say, skint.

SALAMANDER: What about you? I can put you on long odds and win at least half back, right?

Q.C.EDGETEST: In terms of gambling, Sir, I have no value.

SALAMANDER: You can say that again.

Q.C.EDGETEST: In terms of gambling, Sir, I-

SALAMANDER: Dammit, Edgetest, shut your speaker hole.

Q.C.EDGETEST: Forgive me, Sir, but the Casino has provided complimentary drinks on the assumption you will keep gambling. Shall I inform them of your inability to do so?

SALAMANDER: Lower your amplitude, you technological tattletale. I want everything I can get out of this place legally or- oops.

LAFEMME: Hey, watch your step.

SALAMANDER: Pardon me, miss- Detective Lafemme. What a pleasure to see you.

LAFEMME: Quiet. I’m undercover. What are you doing here?

SALAMANDER: C’est le Super Grand Prix. I’m here to witness the spectacle.

LAFEMME: And gamble, I assume?

SALAMANDER: I might place a few small bets for fun. Nothing I’m not prepared to lose.

LAFEMME: Smart. I feel bad for the people who lose everything because these places exploit their addictive personality. Of course, you also have idiots trying to show off and blow it doing something stupid. They deserve what they get. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a pilot to fawn over.

SALAMANDER: Which one?

LAFEMME: The hot one. Guapito Mandibulon. I’m posing as a groupie.

SALAMANDER: He’s not that hot.

LAFEMME: I guess if you’re not into athletic ability, a beautiful face, and musical talent, sure. I’m just here to do my job, so don’t talk to me again unless you see something fishy. My undercover name is Lana Walker.

SALAMANDER: Copy that, Miss Walker. Wink wink. Your secret is safe with-

LAFEMME: (FANGIRLING) Oh my Glob, it’s him! Guapito, I’m coming!

SALAMANDER: What nonsense. All this adoration for 6 hours of turning left. I say, Q.C. How does anyone go in for this twaddle?

Q.C.EDGETEST: The circuits fairly boggle, Sir.

SALAMANDER: Anyway. I should buy a boat.


SALAMANDER: What do you mean I cannot afford a cloud racing boat? I am the picture of affluence.

Q.C.EDGETEST: Your fortune was lost at the Orbulette table, Sir.

SALAMANDER: A minor setback. What about financing? I am down with O.A.C.

Q.C.EDGETEST: Your credit was significantly damaged by your failure to pay Victoria House.

SALAMANDER: The music-by-mail subscription service?

Q.C.EDGETEST: Indeed, Sir.

SALAMANDER: When the hell was that?

Q.C.EDGETEST: Eleven years ago, Sir. You signed up to receive a copy of the compilation holo album “Big Booty Slam Jams of the Three Thousands.” You have yet to cancel the service.

SALAMANDER: Bloody swindlers. I suppose I shall have to get creative. Let us sidle into this Cloud Boat garage and obtain something stylish.


SALAMANDER: How about this one? It even has a name. The Sterling Arrow. Sounds like a winner.

Q.C.EDGETEST: Do you intend to steal this cloud boat, Sir?

SALAMANDER: Stealing is what petty crooks do. I am… commandeering it. As soon as the race is finished, I shall return it without a scratch. Now help me get in.

Q.C.EDGETEST: My ethics protocols prevent me from assisting in the theft of-

SALAMANDER: I don’t need you to hot wire it, goody two-jets. Stand still so I can step on your head and climb in.

Q.C.EDGETEST: Of course, Space Lord. I must inquire-


Q.C.EDGETEST: Do you know how to pilot a Cloud Boat?

SALAMANDER: Hold still, you faltering footstool. If Pretty-face Fandangulon can do it, it cannot be that difficult. Ah-ha! The owner left their key card in the sun visor. What a mooncalf. They deserve to have their cloud boat stolen. I mean commandeered. Now climb in. We only have four cycles to forge a license and get to the starting line.

Q.C.EDGETEST: The starting line? Are you going to compete in the Super Grand Prix, Sir?

SALAMANDER: No, Edgetest. I am going to win the Super Grand Prix.




ZANEENO: This is it, sports fans. The biggest race since the big bang is about to begin. You have seen these racers put through their paces all day and its time to test their mettle as they put the pedal to the metal and steam like a kettle.


ZANTEENO: Fair enough, TV. Maybe that freestyle rapping master class was a waste of money, but there’s a nice way to say it. We’re on a live holo-cast, here.


ZANTEENO: What’s this? Racing fans, it seems a new pilot has pulled up to the line. Backed up to the line, actually. That’s a strategy we have not seen before. I can’t imagine it will pay off, but this mystery racer had better be ready to go. They countdown is on.



ZANTEENO: And they’re off. Mandibulon takes the lead. The rest of the pack is not far behind except- hold on, folks, it seems our mystery racer has blasted off in the wrong direction. If they can’t turn it around but soon, the only finish they’re headed for is a quick disqualification.


SALAMANDER: Look at that, QC. Already in the lead by a parsec. I knew I would be good at this.

Q.C.EDGETEST: This is not the lead, Sir. You are moving backwards. Also-

SALAMANDER: Your accelerometer is clearly confused, my simple droid. We are blasting forth with incredible celerity.

Q.C.EDGETEST: Physically, yes, Sir, but the race track is-


Q.C.EDGETEST: Space Lord, the engines will overheat if you continue at this pace. Metal under tension-

SALAMANDER: Listen to it howl and roar, Q.C. I say. Now this is cloud boat racing.

Q.C.EDGETEST: Sir, if you do not pull over before the other racers lap you-

SALAMANDER: Lap me? They will be lucky to finish on the same day. I cannot even see them in the rear viewscreen. Surely victory is at hand.


SALAMANDER: Did you just sigh at me, Edgetest? Do you not remember what I said about that?

Q.C.EDGETEST: I was attempting to cool the engines, Sir. They are reaching their maximum tolerance.

SALAMANDER: As am I, with your whining. Now hold on, spidermonkey. I am going ’round the twist.

ZANTEENO: Ladies, gentleman, beings and vapors, this is unlike anything we have seen before. The mystery racer is approaching the halfway point, as are the racers from the other direction. A head on collision as this speed could vaporize any one of these boats. Hold on. The backwards craft is slowing down. It’s smoking. This might be what you were hoping for, TV, you sick bastard.

SALAMANDER: Oh, fartleberries.



ZANTEENO: There goes the foam. It’s hard to see what’s going on, folks. The racers have entered the cloud of fire suppression foam enveloping the track.


ZANTEENO: The other racers are clearing the foam now, but it sounds like a few of them didn’t make it. I don’t see Mandibulon or our mystery racer anywhere. According to Super Grand Prix Rules, in the event of a major crash, first past the post is the winner and one cloud boat is almost there. There’s still some foam obscuring my view. TV, can you see who it is?


ZANTEENO: Okay, I’m sorry I called you a bastard. Let’s let bygones be gone, okay? History is being made here. The foam is clearing and it looks the winner is… Dongleforth Nipplewhacker! Who can believe it? Dongleforth was so far behind the pack he avoided the crash. What an upset. This is truly a day to remember. A wild finish to the 475th annual Cloud Boat Super Grand Prix, brought to you by the Panza Corporation. Thanks to everyone tuning in at home and remember, folks, try Xantham Gum. Xantham Gum. It’s thickening.



Q.C.EDGETEST: No, Sir. I was barely able to pull you from the wreckage before the boat exploded.

SALAMANDER: Damn. I guess just get me a drink. Moon whiskey. With a Moon whiskey chaser.


SALAMANDER: Fragging bollocks, I forgot. I am penniless. A busted tatterdemalion. Fetch me a bindle for whatever effects I still retain and I shall shuffle back whence I- Oof! Watch where you’re going you du- Detective Laffe- Lana. Ms. Walker. Fancy meeting you here.

LAFEMME: Just heading out. You can drop the act. We got our guy. Why are you all foamy?

SALAMANDER: The privilege of a front row seat at these events is accompanied by the excitement of danger. I am nothing if not courageous. Of course I will have to invest in another bespoke ascot. Next time I shall wear a stylish poncho.

LAFEMME: What happened to your eyebrows?

SALAMANDER: Um. Hyper Lupus.

LAFEMME: Oh, I’m so sorry. I’ve heard those treatments are awful. You must feel so weak.

SALAMANDER: No, no. I’m strong as a gorillacorn. I mean I- I donated them. To that charity thing for sick kids. Brows of Benevolence.

LAFEMME: That was quite a sacrifice. You look really stupid. But I’m sure you helped someone else feel better.

SALAMANDER: That’s what I do. Just… helping people out.

LAFEMME: Speaking of, I have to go help Mandibulon. Turns out he was paid to throw the race. He refused to sacrifice his integrity and risked disfigurement by the mob. That track accident is the only thing that kept him alive and beautiful.


LAFEMME: That mystery driver also helped us draw out notorious crime boss Jimmy Goomblatz. In a way, that backwards pilot is a hero.

SALAMANDER: Well, you know, it was actually-

LAFEMME: Too bad they recklessly endangered so many lives. If we find them, they are going to Space Jail for a long time.

SALAMANDER: -it was actually a stupid idea. But I’m glad it worked out for you and… Gumbo.

LAFEMME: Guapito. Yeah. Gotta go. Take care, Sanders.

SALAMANDER: Salamander, Space Lord- ah dammit she’s gone. Fetch me a drink, Q.C. Moon whiskey. With a Moon Whiskey chaser. Dammit again, I’m still pauperized.

Q.C.EDGETEST: About that, Sir.


Q.C.EDGETEST: I took the liberty of placing a small bet on one of the pilots, based on your previous interests.


Q.C.EDGETEST: It was Dongleforth Nipplewhacker, Sir.


Q.C.EDGETEST: He won the race, Sir. At the largest odds on the board. You have regained your account and some extra.

SALAMANDER: By Jove, you cheeky chuck bin. I told you I was a master gambler. Let’s hit the Orbulette table and make some real money.

Q.C.EDGETEST: Given the state of your attire and your current follicular deficiencies, it may be prudent to retire to the Space Mega-Yacht Narcissus for a freshening up.

SALAMANDER: I bet it would, my droid. I say, you can be a damn good fellow sometimes.

Q.C.EDGETEST: Why, thank you, Sir. If you wish to leave a positive rating, contact the Panza Corporation at two seven three four six zero zero zero zero zero-

SALAMANDER: Don’t ruin it.