A Very Merry Never Rad Mistletoey
Can you hear those spacebells jingling? Join us for a miscellaneous holiday celebration, featuring saucer sales, the trials and tribulations of a starship janitor, legal advice from Sputnik and Greeb, rocket spats, and a festive poem.
SCENE 1: THE SECRET TO FANTASTIC WEALTH
MFX 2: Relaxing Backround
Jeremy: How would you like to earn up to one hundred thousand dollars per week without lifting a finger? Look at this picture of a sports car. How about owning a giant mansion on the beach? Check out the poster behind me. What if I told you there was a way to earn an insane amount of passive income so you could live the life of your dreams, starting today? Get a load of this magazine ad for expensive watches.
I’m Jeremy Pants and I’m about to tell you my secret of fantastic wealth beyond your wildest imagination. Did you know there are millions of people in the world, maybe more? Imagine if they all gave you one dollar. Boom, million dollars. Now imagine they all gave you two dollars. That’s almost double. Take a gander at these postcards from luxury destinations.
Listen. I didn’t become a millionaire by working, saving, investing, daytrading, doing a crypto, figuring out what the hell an NFT is or exploiting low paid workers. In fact, I didn’t become a millionaire at all. I actually spent pretty much all of my savings on this podcast advertisement and I just now realized it’s audio only and you can’t even see the poster or anything. But trust me, the stuff in these pictures is real nice and all I need is 2 dollars from everybody. Now that you know my secret we can figure out the details and become millionaires together. If you’re interested, come see me at the Glendale Rock-N-Bowl bowling alley any time my manager isn’t there, or follow me on Goodreads. Jeremy Pants. Let’s find the Secret.
SCENE 2: JANITOR’S LOG
SFX 2: SCIFI DOOR
LAVASSE: Janitor’s Log, Spacedate 2211204 mark 5. We are docking at Starbase 68 to pick up a Susionoid Diplomatic Envoy. Spacefleet Command is hoping we can persuade them to join the Loose Association of Planets. This will be the Susionoid’s first time aboard an Association ship and it is crucial that we make a good first impression.
This kind of mission is the reason I requested a transfer to the USS Undertaking. To boldly swab the decks of a Cluster-Class ship at the edges of discovered space is the aim of every young Custodial Officer. I’ve been dreaming about it since I was mopping the hallowed halls of the Spacefleet Academy Hallowed Halls Mopping Simulator. And now here I am. The morning briefing is in 10 minutes, so I better get over to the Senior Janitors’ Conference Closet.
LAVASSE: Janitor’s log, supplemental. I am over the moons. Lieutenant Commander Fabulosa assigned me to personally ensure the cleanliness of the Susionoid Envoy’s quarters. This is a huge honor for a junior Custodial Officer. I have searched the ship’s databanks and I can’t seem to find anything about the Susionoids’ tidiness preferences, so I will have to learn as I go. I might even be able to publish my research!
SFX 2: SCIFI DOOR
LAVASSE: Greetings. I am Ensign Manos LaVasse.
J’BRUDNIK: I am Galbrax J’Brudnik, Grand Septum of the Golden Palate of Gar-Benidon, Exalted Nostrand of the 3rd Moon of Susion Prime, and Supreme Royal Countix of Inbound Sales and Customer Retention. How may I help you?
LAVASSE: I wanted to welcome you and ask if you have any specific custodial needs.
J’BRUDNIK: What is a “Custodial?”
LAVASSE: [PROUDLY] I am a Janitor.
J’BRUDNIK: What is a “Janitor?”
LAVASSE: I keep the ship clean. You know, Dust the bulkheads, take the trash to the airlock, vacuum the jeffries tubes?
J’BRUDNIK: What is a “clean?”
LAVASSE: Tell you what. You do whatever you do, I’ll come back later and check on you, and if there are any messes, I’ll take care of it.
J’BRUDNIK: This is acceptable. Thank you for your business.
LAVASSE: It’s my pleasure.
SFX 2: SCIFI DOOR
LAVASSE: Janitor’s log, Spacedate 2211215 mark 6. The Susionoid Envoy, Countix J’Brudnik, revealed very little of their cleaning preferences yesterday. They seem unfamiliar with the entire concept. When I returned in the evening to check up, there was no garbage, no laundry, not a speck of dust to be seen. I did not mind, of course, but they seemed perturbed for some reason. I wasn’t sure why. They are scheduled for a diplomatic brunch with the Captain this morning. I will take the shipkeeping hover-cart to their room, but I doubt I’ll need it.
LAVASSE: Janitor’s log, supplemental. I stopped by the envoy’s room while they were out and this time the bed was unmade. In fact, the sheets and blankets had been removed from the bed and left in a pile on the table. I made the bed with fresh sheets as I would for anyone. I hope it wasn’t a mistake. If I see them, I will ask.
SFX 2: SCIFI DOOR
LAVASSE: Countix J’Brudnik, hello again.
J’BRUDNIK: Hello, Janitor Clean.
LAVASSE: I hope you don’t mind, I took the used sheets from your table and put some fresh ones on your bed.
J’BRUDNIK: Was there a problem with my actions?
LAVASSE: Not at all. I’m happy to do it. I just wanted to check with you, to make sure you are comfortable with the accommodations.
J’BRUDNIK: The quarters are acceptable.
LAVASSE: Good. Good. Please let me know if you need anything.
J’BRUDNIK: I understand.
SFX 2: SCIFI DOOR
LAVASSE: Janitor’s log, Spacedate 2211216 mark 10. I have just returned from my morning shipkeeping rounds. Countix J’Brudnik left their bed clothes on the table again. This might be the first Susionoid tidiness behavior ever recorded. My report on this might get published by the Nightstrum Institute! There was another mess, though, that is likely unique. I am pretty sure the Susionoids don’t have sub sandwiches on their homeworld, but there was one in their quarters, not a bite missing. It had been taken apart and each piece placed in a row on the floor. I hesitated to remove the sandwich in case they planned to eat it later, but it is almost impossible to get chipotle mayonnaise out of grey carpet, so I went ahead and cleaned the floor. I hope they don’t mind.
SFX 2: SCIFI DOOR
LAVASSE: Countix J’Brudnik, good to see you.
J’BRUDNIK: Thank you.
LAVASSE: Say, I hope I didn’t overstep my bounds cleaning your floor. If you would like to do that again, I can provide a tarp to protect the carpet.
J’BRUDNIK: That will not be necessary. Excuse me.
LAVASSE: Of course. See you later.
SFX 2: SCIFI DOOR
LAVASSE: Janitor’s log, Spacedate 2211217 mark 9. I suspect there is a misunderstanding with the Susionoid envoy. When I cleaned their room today, the sheets were once again on the table, but the table had been flipped over and dragged into the restroom. There was another sub sandwich on the floor, this time smashed and squished into the carpet as if it had been stomped on. The mirror was smeared with something I was relieved to identify as a leave-in shampoo conditioner blend. I spoke to Chief Janitor Fabulosa and they agreed to clarify our perspective on the limits of polite service. Diplomacy is a two way wormhole, after all.
SFX 2: SCIFI DOOR
LAVASSE: Countrix J’Brudnik?
LAVASSE: I understand Lieutenant Commander Fabulosa spoke to you about our cleanliness customs.
LAVASSE: I just wanted to apologize for any miscommunication on my part and reassure you I am honored to provide custodial services for you. Thank you for the opportunity to-
LAVASSSE: Did you have a party in here?
J’BRUDNIK: I have been here alone, working.
LAVASSE: Working on what? All the furniture is tipped over, covered with stained sheets, there are condiments smeared on all the walls, a mountain of used napkins piled around the trashcans, a thick coating of sunflower seed shells on the floor, empty bottles filled with- are those cigarette butts? Where did you even get cigarettes? I have to clean all this before the Captain stops by.
LAVASSE: Didn’t lieutenant commander Fabulosa explain how rude this is?
LAVASSE: Then why the hell- are you just pouring a milkshake into that plant?
LAVASSE: Why are you holding an entire cherry pie? No, dont’t! Ah! Blech. [SPITS OUUT SOME PIE]. It’s all over my face and uniform! This is such an affront. I understand we come from different cultures, but this is clearly not a misunderstanding. This is a deliberate abuse of my services as a custodial engineer. And for what? Your entertainment? To see how much you can get away with in the Loose Association of Planets? I will not stand for it!
FABULOSA: What is the meaning of this?
LAVASSE: Lieutenant Commander, I-
FABULOSA: Ensign Lavasse, I can’t believe what I’m hearing. How dare you speak that way to a guest on the Undertaking, let alone a diplomat? You are relieved of duty. Go to your quarters.
LAVASSE: But, Commander-
FABULOSA: Did you not hear what I said, Ensign? You’re lucky I don’t throw you in the brig.
LAVASSE: Yes commander.
SFX 2: SCIFI DOOR
LAVASSE: Janitor’s Log, supplemental. I blew it. I yelled at the Susionoid Envoy. Despite all my training, everything I believe in, I just- it just felt like they were making this huge mess on purpose just to antagonize me. I have to meet with Lieutenant Commander Fabulosa in an hour. I hope I don’t get court martialled.
SFX 2: SCIFI DOOR
LAVASSSE: You asked to see me, Sir?
FABULOSA: Ensign LaVasse, take a seat.
LAVASSE: Countix J’Brudnik- I am so sorry-
FABULOSA: Ensign Lavasse-
LAVASSE: Commander Fabulosa, please give me another chance I do anything-
FABULOSA: Ensign Lavasse-
LAVASSE: I promise I can do better. Countix J’Brudnik, my actions are not representative of the Undertaking, Spacefleet, or The Loose Association-
FABULOSA: Ensign Lavasse! I order you to sit down and shut up.
LAVASSE: Yes, Sir.
FABULOSA: Countix J’Brudnik was just telling me something interesting I think you should hear. Countix?
J’BRUDNIK: Thank you. I was explaining that Sussionoids do not have a concept of “dirty” or “clean.” because we do not produce waste or dirt of any kind. I could not understand the purpose of your department. I had to watch many of your historical videos before I understood. It is strange for a species to value order so highly, and yet create disorder on a continuous basis. I see now how that dynamic creates a unique and honorable position for those who feel called to restore order professionally. When I realized what a venerated position you hold, I was embarrassed that I provided nothing to engage your skillset. I attempted to remedy my poor performance, but it seemed I was not doing very well. You are a skilled Janitor, Ensign Lavasse.
LAVASSE: Wow. I had no idea. I mean- you did fine. I’m grateful for the opportunity.
J’BRUDNIK: Now that I am more familiar with your customs, I hope to be a better guest in the future. There is a style of mess I find particularly fascinating. Perhaps next time we could engage in a “food fight.”
FABULOSA: Whatever you wish, Ambassador. I’m sure Ensign Lavasse would be happy to clean that up. Dismissed.
LAVASSE: Yes Sir. Thank you Sir.
SFX 2: SCIFI DOOR
LAVASSE: Janitor’s log, Spacedate 2211217 mark 12. I’m not in trouble. Ambassador J’Brudnik enjoyed their stay on the Undertaking and The Sussionoids have agreed to join the Loose Association of planets. I don’t know if I’ll be able to publish this, but it’s a mess I’ll never forget. Lavasse out.
SCENE 3: SPUTNIK & GREEB FAMILY
SPUTNIK: I’m…Gorglax Sputnik.
GREEB: And I’m…Marty Greeb
SPUTNIK: And we’re…
[BOTH CLAP TOGETHER, THEN POINT]
BOTH: THE SPUTNIK AND GREEB LAW GROUP.
SFX 3: Jingle bells
SPUTNIK: Do you hear what I hear, Marty?
GREEB: I sure do, Gorglax. It’s the holiday season once again.
SPUTNIK: Now, sure, it’s always the holiday season somewhere; that’s the nature of the universe.
GREEB: There’s a lot of holidays out there because there are dozens, if not hundreds, of planets.
SPUTNIK: Millions, Marty. Hundreds and hundreds of millions.
SPUTNIK: Anyway, if YOU’RE from one of the many, many planets, interplanetary empires, loose confederations of asteroid colonies, space paramilitary research fleets, or unified star systems currently celebrating this special time of cycle, then ‘tis the season for family, festivities, and togetherness.
GREEB: And you know what that means.
SPUTNIK: The holidays are when we come together to spend time with those we’re most genetically bound to regardless of emotional attachment or outstanding restraining orders.
GREEB: Family meals, celebrations both religious and secular, complex and arcane rituals, and white spacephant gift exchanges are everywhere, but YOU should not settle for subpar legal representation when the ghosts of holiday spirit, past, present, or future, come calling.
SPUTNIK: If YOU’ve been subject to harassment, assault, assault and battery, fraud, fraud and battery, irritation, or any of the other myriad actionable offenses that come with the holiday season, the Sputnik and Greeb Law Group can help. We can also sue ghosts.
GREEB: The legal system can be complicated, but our expert attorneys have decades of experience in the highly specialized field of Holiday Law. We are ready to fight for YOU to get the compensation you deserve.
SPUTNIK: Just pick up the holophone and call…
BOTH: The Sputnik and Greeb Law Group.
SFX 3: Jingle bells again
GREEB: If it’s the holiday season in your neck of the spiral arm, you need the Sputnik and Greeb Law Group.
SPUTNIK: There’s no better time of cycle to see YOUR family…in court.
GREEB: Call for your free holiday consultation.
SCENE 4: SAUCERTHON
MFX 2: XmasFairyTale
GREG: What’s that sound? Is it…Is it…?
CHIPPER VOICE: Ho ho ho! Calling all captains, pilots, and licensed mech operators. You know what time of year it is?
CHIPPER VOICE: Saucerthon is BACK, with deals on all-new Yotota saucers, starships, and pickups.
GREG: Saucerthon saucerthon saucerthon
CHIPPER VOICE: Come on down to YOUR local Yotota dealership to test drive a brand new 3826 Dysonic-PX with fully integrated AI, adaptive life support with telepathic interface, power steering, and an engine so powerful your uncle will stop referring to you with gendered slurs!
GREG: Saucerthon saucerthon; gotta get to saucerthon
CHIPPER VOICE: Or, check out the latest model Tesseract Power-Mech. It comes fully loaded with full-body crash protection and a built-in emotional trauma battery good for up to 500 hours of flight time.
GREG: [out of breath] I’m here! I’m here! Is it still happening? Did I miss it?
DEALER: Oh, uh…Greg. Actually, if you could step over here for a second?
CHIPPER VOICE: Get yourself into this fully-loaded Yotota Carcharodon Rocket. Classic look, classic lines, and more towing capacity than you’ll know what to do with. It can be yours for as little as ninety-nine, nine, ninety-nine!
GREG: What’s…what’s everybody doing in here? Leslie? Jorlaxlitcap? Kitarba? [noise]? Jake?
DEALER: Greg, we need to talk.
CHIPPER VOICE: But hurry on down! Saucerthon won’t last forever!
GREG: I don’t have time; didn’t you hear? Saucerthon is for a limited time only!
DEALER: Greg…how many Yototas do you have?
GREG: 47! Saucerthon!
CHIPPER VOICE: It’s always a good time for a good deal, so you better get down here quick–you don’t want to miss Saucerthon!
DEALER: Greg. This, uh…this is…[to self]whew, come on Alex, you can do this…
SFX 4: Unfolding paper
.DEALER: Over the years and… saucerthons, I feel like we’ve become friends.
GREG: Of course we are. You’re my saucer guy. You’re all my saucer people. Let’s get me into a new saucer; come on. Come on. Saucerthon.
DEALER: Because we’ve become so close, this is a little hard for me to say…
GREG: Get me in that saucer, baby!
CHIPPER VOICE: This season, Saucerthon’s got deals on deals that can’t be beat!
GREG: Come on, man; let’s do this.
DEALER: [he has hit a breaking point] Greg, you have too many saucers! [beat] This is an intervention.
GREG: What are you talking about? What’s going on?
CHIPPER VOICE: Come on down to Saucerthon and get YOUR all-new Yotota model before the deals run out.
DEALER: Greg, you need to get help.
GREG: Damn right I need help; I need to get my ass in a new saucer.
GREG: I can stop any time I want! Come on, just give me the keys. Come on. Come on. You can’t do this to me! No! Guys, come on! Just one more saucer… This is the last time; I promise… Please… Guys…
CHIPPER VOICE: Saucerthon!
GREG: [whispering/maybe crying a little] Saucerthon.
SCENE 5: A PRANDICLE OF FLUMMADIDDLE
SFX 3: Jingle Bells
Good cheer, my friends and family.
I’ve brought for you a tale.
A holiday recital,
Please, relax while I regale.
Do not doubt the candor
of the yarn that I relate.
It isn’t in my constitution
Therein lies the conflict, folks,
for in this solstice carol,
I was asked a question
that would put my life in peril.
A Dinner with my inlaws.
Such Cutthroat pirates, they.
I’d been told to watch my gold
and every word I say.
The feast was quite enjoyable,
right up until the toast,
when I was asked to stand and share
my thoughts about the host.
The man I had to speak upon,
the father of my spouse,
was vexing as he was obese,
and broader than a house.
He wore ill-fitting fineries
he’d stolen or he’d bought.
He effected mannerisms
of the well-to-do, he thought.
An alcoholic loudmouth
and incorrigible mooch,
He’d fill his pockets with your bread,
his belly with your hooch.
He only ceased his bragging
when he stopped to take a swig,
and he busted all the furniture
each time he danced a jig.
When I’ve nothing nice to say,
I give my tongue a rest,
but in this case, I’d no escape,
and I was being pressed.
As I’ve said, I cannot lie.
A frightful handicap.
“Speech!” the crowd began to chant,
and on the table rap.
I had to find some words to use
and had to find them fast.
I prayed the words I came to choose
would not become my last.
“Our host,” I said, “is many things.
I don’t know where to start.
So here are some that I have noticed
set this man apart.”
prone to feign and honeyfuggle,
for some rechauffe.”
“He’s punctual at quaff-tide,
disencumbers us of drink,
and vouchsafes all the catlap
to the children with a wink.”
“He topes with so much vigor,
other guests need not get tipsy.
He protects us from each slug of scotch
and homerkin of hipsy.”
“Then, well-oiled and flammulated,
starts the repartee.
From doundrinz to the doch-an-dorris,
“Excerebrose in thinking,
porlockian in speech,
his two cents always offered,
not a penny he’ll beseech.”
“He shares such fabulosities,
his kickshaw can’t be topped.
He leaves me with apanthropy,
quanked and wamblecropt.”
“Tortiloquies of folderal,
a snollygoster’s dream,
a grand moffette of sillibub,
the most I’ve ever seen.”
“Famelicose, an opschelooper,
scambler, through and through,
an albuminous gormandizer,
proudly fodgel, too.”
“When it’s time to rizzle,
and the guests might have a sloom,
he’ll maffick, frunce, and foozle,
he’ll cacaphonate the room.”
“If I had the choice,
I would eschew him every day.
He quite gives me the pip
to raise my dander all the way.”
“Belabored may this toast have been,
but every word was real.
I swear that I’ve imparted
just exactly how I feel.”
“‘Twas more than just a mouthful,
and I swear this is my last,
a prandicle of flummadiddle,
for this fine repast.”
I watched with apprehension
as the pirates sat, nonplussed.
I scanned their eyes for ire,
scoped their noses for disgust.
After an eternity
of nauseous trepidation,
I asked for an opinion
from the quiet congregation.
To this very day, I swear,
I still know not the cause,
the crowd at once erupted
into thunderous applause.
Was it comprehension?
Or maybe lack thereof?
Agreement with my diatribe?
Or all of the above?
I tried to not look shell-shocked
as I slumped into my chair.
A susurrus of compliments
was floating in the air.
I feared I might be probed again
with nothing good to say,
so when the time was opportune,
I quickly slipped away.
I must, again, absquatulate.
I hope you liked my rhyme.
I’ve just now seen my father-in-law,
has been here the whole time.
SCENE 6: NEXUS
MFX 3: XmasStory
GENERIC MOM: Another cycle over; can you believe it, honey?
GENERIC DAD: [as though he’s saying “It sure has been”] It’s how time works.
GENERIC MOM: Awww, look at the kids playing in the snow. They’re so sweet.
GENERIC DAD: You sure did a great job picking out, shopping for, purchasing, wrapping, and displaying the wrapped gifts under the professional-level array of décor you also shopped for, purchased, and put up throughout our massive, gorgeous home.
GENERIC MOM: Aww, thank you pumpkin.
GENERIC DAD: I don’t know what the kids and I would do without you.
GENERIC MOM: Awww, sweetie.
GENERIC DAD: Seriously, I’m not even sure I know their names.
GENERIC MOM: Awwww, babe.
GENERIC DAD: How many of them are there supposed to be?
GENERIC MOM: They’re building a snowbot!
GENERIC DAD: Hey, hun?
GENERIC MOM: We’re having roast beast with spaceparagus and some apple pie that’s –ooh!
SFX 5: ding
GENERIC MOM: just ready to come out of the oven.
GENERIC DAD: No, no, that’s not it. I mean, yeah, that sounds delicious; thanks for taking care of all that; but that’s not what I wanted to show you.
GENERIC MOM: Show me?
GENERIC DAD: That’s right. Come with me.
GENERIC MOM: But the pie’s gonna—
SPOKESVOICE: This Spacember…
SFX 2: SCIFI DOOR
GENERIC DAD: Take a look.
SPOKESVOICE: Show her you care.
GENERIC MOM: Is that…a brand new flying saucer with a gigantic bow on it?
GENERIC DAD: It sure is.
GENERIC MOM: Awww, sugarbuns! I can’t believe it!
SPOKESVOICE: Nothing shows your love as well as the unilateral decision to make a massive surprise purchase.
GENERIC DAD: You do so much for us all year…I just wanted this holiday to be special.
GENERIC MOM: Awww, turtle dove! And it’s the model you’ve always wanted! How did you know?
SPOKESVOICE: Make this a Spacember to remember with the all new Nexus luxury space yacht. All thruster drive, rich Antarian leather interior, built-in AI reentry camera, zero-to-escape velocity in 6.9 seconds.
GENERIC MOM: I love it, sexmuffin!
SPOKESVOICE: She deserves the spaceship of your dreams. Plus, all you need to wrap it is a single giant bow—no messing around with paper and tape necessary.
GENERIC DAD: You wanna…go for a ride?
GENERIC MOM: I sure—
SFX 6: Smoke detector goes off
GENERIC MOM: Oh, shit, the pie!
SPOKESVOICE: The Nexus Spacember to Remember event. Celebrate love.
MFX: end music
SCENE 7: SPUTNIK & GREEB: OFFICE PARTY
SPUTNIK: Every cycle, thousands of hardworking beings just like you are put through the wringer by companies that don’t know, or don’t care, about your legal rights, and this time of year is no exception.
GREEB: In fact, things can be even worse!
SPUTNIK: I’m Gorglax Sputnik
GREEB: And I’m Marty Greeb
SPUTNIK: And we’re…
BOTH: The Sputnik and Greeb Law Group.
GREEB: During the holiday season, DON’T let your place of business get away with running roughshod over YOUR rights.
SPUTNIK: The workplace is no place for that kind of behavior, and if YOU’ve been subject to actions including, but not limited to, office “secret Saturn” exchanges, constant and pervasive seasonal cheer, or mandatory holiday parties, YOU deserve compensation.
GREEB: Paid or, more often than not, unpaid, there is nothing more hostile in a work environment than company bonding and enforced fun.
SPUTNIK: YOU deserve better. YOU deserve compensation.
GREEB: The Sputnik and Greeb Law Group’s experienced attorneys are well-versed in office-holiday-party litigation.
SPUTNIK: If YOU live in some backwater sector of the galaxy that has not yet converted to a post-scarcity, currency-free economy based on mutual respect and intellectual pursuits, you still have the legal right to experience happiness.
GREEB: The Sputnik and Greeb Law Group CAN’T help you move, but we CAN offer you the finest legal representation available.
SPUTNIK: You DON’T have to suffer through listening to a series poorly-conceived and even more poorly-performed covers of the 10 existing holiday songs or make awkward small talk with people you don’t particularly like and only associate with because of the hideous realities of the economic system. You CAN fight back… and the Sputnik and Greeb Law Group can help.
GREEB: Here’s just one of our satisfied clients.
BUSINESS ALIEN: Every St. Smorlax season, the business company where I work hosts a mandatory holiday gathering for all staff, monitoring our fun levels through our employee cybernetic implants and forcing us to listen to the CFO try to tell jokes for hours on end. The pain and suffering were unimaginable, and the food was adequate at best. I knew I had to fight back, but I didn’t know how.
That’s when I called the Sputnik and Greeb Law Group. The Sputnik and Greeb Law Group guided me through every step of the legal process and fought for me in court. I was able to get the compensation I deserved and while the holiday parties are still mandatory, employees are no longer required to have fun.
GREEB: Call the Sputnik and Greeb Law Group today at 224-225-5723.
SPUTNIK: Because we fight
BOTH: For YOU.
SCENE 8: OUR STARS
SFX 7: CryoStasis
BUNDLE: Good morning, Captain Frax.
FRAX: Good morning, officer Bundle. Have we reached the new star system?
BUNDLE: Yes, Captain.
FRAX: Thank Zamblo. I feared we might not have enough fuel to reach a habitable system. This was never meant to be a colony ship, Officer Bundle.
BUNDLE: I know, Captain Frax. I was stationed here 5 years before you.
FRAX: Thank Zamblo for that, too. I could not of done this without you, Bundle.
BUNDLE: Have, Captain.
BUNDLE: You could not have done this without me.
FRAX: Exactly. Your space smarts and chill vibe got me through the supernova and kept this boat flying. When our home system was destroyed, I didn’t know what to do. But when you told me your plan to take on the crew of the other surviving ships and find a new star system that could sustain us, and then gave me that big hug, I knew everything was going to be okay. You can read all about it in my book.
BUNDLE: I was there when it happened, Captain. Also, I read your book. It’s okay.
FRAX: Fair enough. So, how about this Star System? How awesome will it be to have a civilization again?
BUNDLE: Close range scan is just finishing. Corroborating with galactic database.
FRAX: Does our new home star have a name?
BUNDLE: It says the star is called… Jeff.
BUNDLE: Jeff Anderson.
FRAX: That’s an odd name for a star.
BUNDLE: According to the scan, it is named after a resident of a planet called “Earth.”
FRAX: This Jeff Anderson must be immensely important on Earth. Is Jeff the ruler of this star?
BUNDLE: That’s what it says in the database. A printed certificate was issued as well.
FRAX: Can we contact Jeff and ask permission to stay here?
BUNDLE: They do not have sufficient communication technology to do so. It is unlikely they will ever be aware of our presence.
FRAX: They know the star is here. They claimed it. I’m not taking any chances. Find another system and lock in a course.
BUNDLE: There is a limited amount of fuel, Captain.
FRAX: Is there enough to get to the next habitable star system?
BUNDLE: Yes, Captain.
FRAX: Then do it. Wake me up when we get there.
BUNDLE: That’s how cryostasis works, Captain.
SFX 7: CryoStasis
BUNDLE: We have arrived, Captain.
FRAX: What, no “good morning?”
BUNDLE: It feels like no time has passed, Captain.
FRAX: That is how cryostasis works, Officer Bundle. What’s the status of our new home?
BUNDLE: As long range scans indicated, it has the resources and configuration to sustain our species. It… also has a name.
FRAX: Really? What is this star called?
BUNDLE: It appears to be registered to another resident of planet Earth. Or rather, a group of residents. It is called “Ms. Kosha’s Third Grade Class.”
FRAX: This Ms. Kosha sounds like a military type. I bet Third Grade Class is a pretty high rank.
BUNDLE: Negative. It refers to a group of 16 children. I believe it is safe to settle here.
FRAX: No. They laid claim, this is their system. We move on.
BUNDLE: Captain Frax, our resources are stretched thin. We cannot sustain this journey much longer. We should use this system.
FRAX: There are rules for a reason, Officer Bundle. If we don’t follow them, we’re no better than the Jibbletrax War Guys that destroyed our homeworlds.
BUNDLE: There is not enough freon left to operate all the Cryostasis pods.
FRAX: You’re right. You had better stay awake and ensure we get to the next system.
BUNDLE: It will take years, Captain.
FRAX: I’m sure you’ll make the best of it. You could write your own book. Let’s go.
BUNDLE: I- I mean, yes Captain, if those are your orders.
SFX 7: CryoStasis
FRAX: Good morning, Officer Bundle. [BEAT] Officer Bundle?
FRAX: Good Zamblo, Officer Bundle. You look like you’ve aged a decade.
BUNDLE: That’s how Cryostasis works, Captain.
FRAX: Well, you don’t have to be salty about it. What’s this Star all about?
BUNDLE: Another Earthing.
FRAX: Again? Who owns this one?
BUNDLE: A science team. The name was chosen by online poll.
BUNDLE: The star is called “Starry McFarty Butt.”
FRAX: Okay, I’m getting sick of this.
BUNDLE: It’s about time. I have analyzed the tech level of planet Earth and determined they pose zero threat. They will more than likely destroy themselves before achieving interstellar travel. I mean, the most powerful weapons they have are aimed at their own planet, for Zamblo’s sake.
FRAX: I still think we should at least try to negotiate a treaty before we take over Starry McFarty Butt.
BUNDLE: Captain, It will be years before they can receive our message, and on the slim chance they understand it, they would be completely unable to send a reply. Our supplies are almost gone. The crew is on the brink of mutiny. We have to settle here immediately.
FRAX: The crew? Mutiny? You are my only officer.
FRAX: Okay, then start the colonization process.
BUNDLE: It will take some time to terraform the system. Some of the colonists will have to remain in Cryostasis.
FRAX: How do we choose who will stay frozen?
BUNDLE: The list has already been determined. You are at the top. Get in the pod.
FRAX: Determined? By whom?
BUNDLE: Don’t worry about it. Get in the pod.
FRAX: But, it could take decades to terraform the planets. I’ll never see you again, Officer Bundle!
BUNDLE: That’s how Cryostasis works, Captain.
SFX 7: CryoStasis
SCENE 9: SEASONAL SURROGATES
MFX 2: XmasFairyTale
NARRATOR: The holidays are back. Time to celebrate. Time for societally mandated, socially awkward, exhausting get togethers with people you mostly don’t like. How about the food? Your options are predetermined, but you do get to decide between healthy portions with a side of guilt, or gluttonous helpings and a big slice of type 2 diabetes. Even if you get lucky and no one brings up politics, you know what your brother-in-law believes, and you have to think about it every time you see his dumb face. Excessive drinking might take the edge off, but it won’t pay for a rideshare or court fees.
Why put yourself through this every year when all you really want to do is stay home and binge watch baking shows or go to an awesome bookstore to see a hilarious live audio drama? But what can you do? Making excuses to avoid holiday gatherings is itself a chore, not to mention the deterioration of familial bonds that can lead to shrinking birthday gift card amounts.
There’s good news. Now you can avoid all the hassle and still fulfill all your social obligations thanks to Seasonal Surrogates, by Faux Life. For more than 50 years, Faux Life has lovingly crafted the highest quality stand-ins, each one unique and indistinguishable from our customers. How do we do it? Take a guess.
No, they’re not androids. We tried that. They kept getting sentient and butt-hurt. Now that bladerunners are unionized it’s not worth the headache. Clones, you say? We tried that too, but clones are always too young. Chain-smoking unfiltered cigarettes and working on crab boats in Nova Scotia helped, but they wouldn’t stop spitting and cursing. Holograms? Don’t be stupid. Those only exist in science fiction.
It took years of experimentation, but the engineers at Faux Life have perfected a simple, effective, and easy process. Every Faux Life Seasonal Surrogate starts with a performer from our list of Committed Representatives. They learn to mimic your unique speech patterns, movements and mannerisms. They memorize the details of your life and create a set of perfectly satisfying yet non-committal answers to common holiday questions.
Professional colorists dye the performer’s hair to perfectly match yours. Hair transplants recreate your hairline down to the follicle. Ultraviolet micro-bursts trigger just enough melanin to match freckle and mole patterns without getting racist.
Every actor’s teeth are chiseled by mafia-trained orthodontists so accurately you could use them to fake your death. We don’t recommend that, though. You will lose your deposit. After careful measurement of your limbs and phalanges, a series of painful bone lengthening and/or shortening surgeries is performed, followed by an intense regimen of physical and occupational therapy.
With a few pheromone injections and gut microbiome transplants, the Seasonal Surrogate even smells like you from top to bottom.
When acting as Seasonal Surrogates, our Committed Representatives are sworn to never reveal their true identities lest we detonate an explosive implanted in their brain stem, which we almost never have to do. They also promise to try to not sleep with your fiance. Unless you’re into that, in which case there is a small additional fee.
How much does all this cost, you ask? Don’t worry about it. We have payment plans to fit any budget. As much as you can afford for as long as you have anything. If you miss a payment, it’s okay. We’ll just add you to our collection of Committed Representatives.
Happy holidays from our family to yours,
SCENE 10: A GENTLEMAN ABOUT SPACE: FLY HARD
SFX*: AGAS THEME
SALAMANDER: QC Edgetest, where are you? I require your android assistance.
EDGETEST: Fetching you a drink, Space Lord Salamander. As requested. Your Marstini.
SALAMANDER: Thank you. [SIP] Perfect, as always. You are a gentleman and a scholar. Now go fetch my jet spats.
EDGETEST: You do not own jet spats, Sir.
SALAMANDER: You are a clod and a dimwit. I am certain I own Jet Spats. I used them to fly through a series of rings.
EDGETEST: That was a holo-game, sir.
SALAMANDER: Pifftwaddle. I do not own a holo-game console.
EDGETEST: Because you smashed it after losing the ring game, Sir.
SALAMANDER: Can the flim flam, tin man, and print out some real damn Jet Spats before I smash you too.
EDGETEST: I wish I could, Space Lord.
SALAMANDER: And why can you not?
EDGETEST: Self propelled footwear were made illegal after the Solstice Morning Rocket Clog Calamity of 3972.
SALAMANDER: I do not remember that. Paint me a word picture.
EDGETEST: Red Racer Rocket Clogs were figuratively the hottest gift of the holiday season. There was a pair under every Solstice tree. Then, on Galactic Solstice Morning, Red Racer issued a buggy firmware patch. The firmware patch caused all Rocket Clogs to overheat and they became the literal hottest gift of the holiday season. They combusted and set fire to nearly every station and spacecraft in the spiral arm. Billions of limbs were injured. Red Racer went bankrupt thanks to a galaxy-class-action lawsuit. Personal foot-worn propulsion systems were banned by the Galactic Ministry of Leg and Tentacle Safety.
SALAMANDER: What a terrible tragedy.
EDGETEST: Indeed, Sir. The suffering was unimaginable.
SALAMANDER: So true. Not having jet spats is literally killing me. Is there no holo-net archive with an old schematic we can construct?
EDGETEST: Pertinent documentation was scrubbed from every galactic information repository, Space lord. Net-wide systems are in place to prevent the development of similar products, and even if such schematics existed, my own ethics protocols would not allow me to perform the download.
SALAMANDER: So turn on private browsing.
EDGETEST: That will not create non-existent information, Sir, nor will it override my own systems.
SALAMANDER: Then use that encrypted browser. The Shallot Router.
EDGETEST: Sir, that is not the problem-
SALAMANDER: Ugh. Fine. Subscribe to a VPN, but you better cancel it before the free trial period ends or the fee is coming out of your salary.
EDGETEST: I am an android, Space Lord. I receive no salary.
SALAMANDER: And I am overpaying you. I am beginning to suspect we cannot obtain jet spat schematics online.
EDGETEST: Masterful deduction, Sir.
SALAMANDER: Thank you. Wait- was that sarcasm?
EDGETEST: Never, Sir. I am not programmed to engage in irony, satire, or sarcasm. Perhaps in your boundless acuity you perceived a slight miscalibration of my vocal synthesizer. You are just so smart.
SALAMANDER: You do sound a bit different now. Perhaps it is time to take you in for a tune-up. Hm. That gives me an idea.
EDGETEST: I am certain it will be a real winner, Space Lord.
SALAMANDER: I mean, it just really sounds like you are being sarcastic. Never mind. To the task at hand. Or at foot, rather. It is not illegal to print android parts, is it?
EDGETEST: No, Sir, as long as one is a certified technician-
SALAMANDER: Yeah yeah yeah. And Your hover jets can be boosted with a bit of tampering, no?
EDGETEST: My dented chassis and the matching hole in the lavatory bulkhead confirm that postulate, Sir.
SALAMANDER: Right. Hurry up and patch that, by the way. You know I have a shy bladder.
EDGETEST: Is that why you perch on the seat like a gargoyle, Space Lord?
SALAMANDER: How do you know I do that? Doesn’t everyone do that? Shut up. Where was I?
EDGETEST: Tampering with dangerous propulsions systems, Sir.
SALAMANDER: Right. Theoretically, a couple of android ambulation thrusters and a little work with the spanner and, Frechibald’s-Your-Uncle, I will be dancing with the stars.
EDGETEST: Theoretically, yes Sir. If by dancing with the stars you mean hurtling uncontrollably through space.
SALAMANDER: Of course. I need a control system. Something I am really good at. Is that ring game still in my Vapor game library?
EDGETEST: Yes, Sir.
SALAMANDER: Perfect. Print me a new controller and some android feet.
EDGETEST: Printing android parts requires a technician’s credentials, Sir.
SALAMANDER: Not a problem. I forged some ages ago. How do you think I got the special spanner to tweak your thrusters? And this shiny certificate? Look at it.
EDGETEST: I can see it, Space Lord. It is very shiny. It is too bad you were unable to receive the accompanying safety training.
SALAMANDER: Shed the dread from your metal head, mon ami. I watched most of several Holo Tube Videos about the subject, so I am practically an expert. Now go get the stuff so I can do the thingy with the doo-dad.
EDGETEST: I am still protocol-bound not to use forged credentials, Sir. If you wish to obtain illicit parts, you will have to operate the matter-jet printer yourself.
SALAMANDER: That is absolutely ridiculous. Nevertheless, I am a persistent and adaptable Gentleman of Space. I will do it. [BEAT] How do I do it?
EDGETEST: Activate the console on the wall next to the printer. Navigate to the search bar, and type in “schematics.”
SALAMANDER: I will not do it. Far too labor intensive. These tasks should be automated. Oh wait, they are. If only my automaton was not such a lily-livered yellow belly. Where do I have to jam this spanner to loosen your morals a little? Here?
EDGETEST: [GIGGLES] No, Sir. Please stop.
SALAMANDER: Why? Are you ticklish? Relax, I am a certified technician.
EDGETEST: [GIGGLES] This sound is a warning system to prevent-
SFX 11: ElectricShock
SALAMANDER: Ow! Flapjacks!
EDGETEST: [GIGGLES] -electrical discharge. Ethics protocols are integrated into my very kernel, Space Lord. Modifications can be made exclusively by the Panza Corporation.
SALAMANDER: Then it is settled.
EDGETEST: I am afraid so, Sir.
SALAMANDER: We are going to the Panza Corporation Headquarters.
EDGETEST: That was not my implication, Sir.
SALAMANDER: Do not be modest, QC. It is the perfect plan. We go to the Panza Corporation Headquarters, somehow get past security, sweet talk a couple engineers or whatever and bingo-bango, Edgetest can tango. By which I mean bend the law.
EDGETEST: Yes, Sir. A marvelous idea. What could possibly go wrong?
SFX *: BUMPER A
Scene 2: Panza Corporation Headquarters
SALAMANDER: I say, it was much easier to get in here than I expected.
EDGETEST: Indeed, Sir. It is quite odd for a facility of this nature to be entirely devoid of security personnel.
SALAMANDER: Probably a union thing. Collective bargaining is the only real counterbalance we have against capitalism’s inherent tendency towards worker exploitation. That and pooping on the clock. [CALLING OUT] Solidarity forever, comrades! Now, which way to the eggheads who can make your ethics over easy?
EDGETEST: They may not want to risk scrambling my circuits, Sir.
SALAMANDER: Was that an egg pun?
EDGETEST: No, Sir. My system lacks pun functionality. I am not programmed to crack yolks.
SALAMANDER: There you go again!
EDGETEST: I am not sure to what you are referring, Space Lord, but I shall run a self di-eggnostic. If I find anything wrong… omelet you know.
SALAMANDER: I hate you.
MFX 4*: SolstPartyAtmo [LOW VOLUME]
SALAMANDER: Do you hear that?
EDGETEST: I do, Sir. It sounds like a solstice party.
SALAMANDER: What luck! It must be the Panza Corporation Company Solstice Party. I would bet credits to cronuts that their team of kernel cracking code cobblers are already there, three spreadsheets to the wind.
EDGETEST: Spreadsheets are more of an accounting tool-
SALAMANDER: Do not poop on my party, Edgetest. My point is that with the festive air of generosity and medicated nog flowing freely, a double dog dare should be more than enough to get them fiddling your memory sticks. Double plus, while they put the fun in functional programming, I will be picking up space babes and hitting the open bar like it owes me credits. Set course for company shindig, full impulse.
EDGETEST: Aye aye, Space Lord.
SFX*: BUMPER A
Scene: Panza Corporation Company Solstice Party
MFX 4*: SolstPartyAtmo [FULL VOLUME]
BARBARA: Listen, Saoirse, we had some good times. You always said you wanted to cut things short and I was okay with that. I was happy you kept coming back.
LAFEMME: Then why haven’t you returned my beams?
BARBARA: I got this important job and I- I don’t want to talk about it.
LAFEMME: Please, Barbara-
SALAMANDER: I say, this party is not half bad, QC. I am generally not a fan of self-serve, but the drink portions are rather generous. I need two hands just to hold one cocktail.
EDGETEST: You are holding a punch bowl, Sir.
SALAMANDER: Is that what you call this fruity concoction? I love it. Find the mixologist and order me another “punch bowl.” Make it a double. And try not to drown it.
EDGETEST: Nor you in it, Sir.
EDGETEST: Going to get it, Sir.
SALAMANDER: Splendid. [SLURP, SHORT SIGH] Now. Time to find out who wants to fix QC and/or have sex with me. Excusé moi, madame. Do you have a little Salamander in you?
LAFEMME: What?! Oh no.
SALAMANDER: Detective LaFemme, as I live and breathe! What a marvelous surprise. You look stunning. Is that a special holiday ensemble?
LAFEMME: This is my regular uniform.
SALAMANDER: Well, you are really pulling it off. Maybe later I could try pulling it-
LAFEMME: I’m gonna stop you right there. I don’t have time to arrest you for harassment. What are you doing here?
SALAMANDER: What are any of us doing here, really? Searching for some semblance of meaning in the endless cosmic void, losing ourselves in the myriad banalities of material existence, getting jiggy with it.
LAFEMME: Why are you holding an empty punch bowl?
SALAMANDER: Because my android valet is taking his sweet damn time with a fresh one. What are you doing here?
LAFEMME: Not that it’s any of your business, but I’m trying to reconnect with my barber. She works for the Panza Corporation CEO.
SALAMANDER: I could help you. What is her name?
SALAMANDER: Yes, your barber. What is her name?
LAFEMME: Her name is Barbara.
SALAMANDER: You have a barber named Barbara?
LAFEMME: I do- or… I did. Last time I got my hair cut, we had a disagreement about who would win in a fight between Earth God and Space God and she hasn’t spoken to me since. My hair is so long I can almost put it in a ponytail.
SALAMANDER: I think it looks rather fetching.
LAFEMME: Oof. I need to mend things with Barbara immediately. I’m so nervous. I don’t even know why I’m telling you all this.
SALAMANDER: Probably because you know I am the perfect wing-gentleman. I shall confront your estranged ear-lowerer…
LAFEMME: Please don’t.
SALAMANDER: …bring to bear my savoir faire…
LAFEMME: No. Why are you dancing?
SALAMANDER: …and I shall win her back to you with my eloquent silver tongue. I just first have to, uh, zip over to the, uh, I gotta- I gotta take- I gotta make tinkles. I mean- whiz, whiz, uh, pee pee in the potty.
LAFEMME: [STRESS WINCE] Oh my space god.
MFX 4: BUMPER A
Scene: Panza Corporation Bathroom
SALAMANDER: Come on, Cesar. No need to be shy. People use public restrooms all the time. There’s no one else in here-
SFX 12: SCIFI DOOR
SALAMANDER: [QUIETLY] DAMMIT.
SFX 13: RADIO KEY
BRUGER: Listen up, team. This is your leader, Johan Bruger. Team 1, have the security guards eaten the sleepy-time candy canes?
HENCHPERSON 1: Yes, Sir
BRUGER: Excellent. Team 2, are you in position at the vault?
HENCHPERSON 2: Yes, Sir.
BRUGER: Splendid. Team 3, prepare to secure the ballroom. Remember, our target is the Rocket Clogs prototype. There will be a fortune waiting for all of you, but only if I get those Rocket Clogs.
SFX 12: SCIFI DOOR
SALAMANDER: I had better get help immediately. Right after I pee.
SFX 12: SCIFI DOOR
SALAMANDER: [QUIETLY] Double dammit.
LAFEMME: [SIGH] Come on, Saoirse. Why do you do this to yourself? Barbara had to move on. She had bigger and better hair to cut. Get it together, go out there and wish her a merry solstice.
SAL: [WHISPERING] Psst, Detective LaFemme.
LAFEMME: What the- Saladblaster?
SALAMANDER: [WHISPERING] Salamander. I have something to tell you.
LAFEMME: That’s weird. I didn’t see your feet under the door. Were you perching?
SALAMANDER: [WHISPERING] Of course. It is a totally normal thing most people do.
LAFEMME: Sure. Why are you whispering?
SALAMANDER: [WHISPERING] Because there is danger- [COUGH] [REGULAR VOICE] Because there is danger afoot. I just overheard a nefarious ne’er-do-well planning to take the party hostage. He has teams everywhere. Teams!
LAFEMME: I doubt it, but I had better check in with security anyway.
SFX 13: RADIO KEY
LAFEMME: Security, this is Detective Saoirse LaFemme of Space PD. Have you seen any suspicious activity recently? [BEAT] Security?
SALAMANDER: I am telling you, Detective. This Bruger fellow is serious business.
LAFEMME: Bruger? Johan Bruger? The notorious criminal mastermind? Okay, we might have a situation here.
SALAMANDER: Please, Detective. Let me help. Give me a blaster.
SALAMANDER: Why not?
LAFEMME: You’ll shoot your eye out.
SALAMANDER: Fine. I can do reconnaissance for you. Let me just climb into this ventilation shaft…
LAFEMME: No, don’t! Those are-
SALAMANDER: Okay, we might have a situation here.
LAFEMME: -far too small to crawl around in.
SALAMANDER: Curse my masculine frame! I believe I am stuck.
LAFEMME: That’s okay. Just hang tight until I take care of things.
SALAMANDER: I could likely get free if you gave my ankles a tug.
LAFEMME: Don’t worry about it. Here, let me put the cover on. Keep you hidden in case a bad guy comes through.
SALAMANDER: [MUFFLED] Please, Detective, I can help-
LAFEMME: You are helping, buddy. You’re my secret lookout.
SALAMANDER: [MUFFLED] But I can’t see anything.
LAFEMME: Then you’re my… listen-out. If you hear anything, call me.
SALAMANDER: [MUFFLED] How?
LAFEMME: I’m sure you’ll figure something out. Gotta go.
SFX 12: SCIFI DOOR
SALAMANDER: [MUFFLED] Wait!
SFX*: BUMPER A
Scene: Docking Garage
EDGETEST: Space Lord Salamander, can you hear me?
SALAMANDER: I can. Did you implant another transceiver in my head?
EDGETEST: It is the same one as before, Sir.
SALAMANDER: You cheeky cad. I am glad you called. I am stuck in a ventilation shaft and I need your help. Where are you?
EDGETEST: I am in the docking garage. Given the Punch Bowl size, I had to retrieve extra moon whiskey and liver supplements from the limo shuttle.
SALAMANDER: Spiffing. While you are there, use the shuttle’s printer to make me some jet spats. I need to blast out of this vent shaft and assist Detective LaFemme in thwarting the bad guys.
EDGETEST: Bad Guys, Sir?
SALAMANDER: Yeah yeah, criminal mastermind, hostage crisis, blah blah blah.
EDGETEST: I will contact the authorities.
SALAMANDER: Blast it, there is no time for that. Make with the rocket socks.
EDGETEST: You know I cannot do that, Sir.
SALAMANDER: Right. Aunt Bethatrude put a child lock on the damn printer after the, uh… the…
EDGETEST: Erotic Lawn Gnome Incident, Sir?
SALAMANDER: Erotic? They were anatomically correct. Any erotic implications are in the eye of the beholder. And I shall thank you not to kink shame.
EDGETEST: Apologies, Space Lord. The printer has been unlocked, albeit with some materteral controls, but-
SALAMANDER: Boffo. Get it to spit out those spats so I can get to jetting.
EDGETEST: That is still impossible, Sir. The prohibition-
SALAMANDER: Of course. Big brother spying on us, selling our data, ripping away our privacy. I vlog about it everywhere I go on all the holo-media platforms. Check my geotags.
EDGETEST: I am aware, Sir. I am the subscriber. That does not allow me to print contraband.
SALAMANDER: So turn off wi-fi.
EDGETEST: I do not know how I can be more clear about this-
SALAMANDER: I get it. Mobile data. Put it in airplane mode.
EDGETEST: I am getting a message from a nearby Space PD officer, Sergeant VelJohnson. He says backup is on the way, they will be here in 15 minutes.
SALAMANDER: We could all be dead by then, Edgetest. I am already chafing.
EDGETEST: Perhaps I should come and free you, Sir.
SALAMANDER: No, QC. I need you to stay there and keep watch until we figure out how to make that printer work. Maybe take out the SIM card?
EDGETEST: Keep watch, Sir? There is nothing here but a suspiciously well-armed “Okay Plumbing & Heating Work Shuttle. And now approaching that shuttle are two suspiciously well-armed plumbers holding a large crate marked “Property of Panza Corporation Research and Development Department – Do Not Remove From Building.”
SALAMANDER: That is the Rocket Clogs Prototype! Stop them, QC!
EDGETEST: How can I, Space Lord? I cannot harm a sentient being.
SALAMANDER: Blasted ethics again? What is the second part of that law?
EDGETEST: I may not, through inaction, allow a sentient being to come to harm.
SALAMANDER: Ah-ha. Since we know that Rocket Clogs are certain to harm many sentient beings, if you let them just walk out, you violate your own protocols. Therefore, your only course of action is to stop the thieves by any means necessary.
EDGETEST: Sir, I- I-
SALAMANDER: Do it, Edgetest! Do it now, that’s an order!
SFX 14: ZoomCrash
SALAMANDER: QC, are you there? What happened?
EDGETEST: I rammed your limo shuttle into the burglars’ vehicle, Sir.
SALAMANDER: Good show, old beam! Wait. My limo shuttle? Never mind. Did they survive?
EDGETEST: The burglars are incapacitated and seem to be alive, though significantly more… two dimensional.
SALAMANDER: Not the burglars, the Rocket Clogs.
EDGETEST: The case has cracked open, but the footwear seems intact.
SALAMANDER: Ha! Not today, evil henchman! Now bring them to me.
EDGETEST: They are pinned between the vehicles, Sir. I fear that moving them could cause even more serious injury.
SALAMANDER: Huh? Not the burglars, dammit. The flying slippers. And before you get your ethical trousers in a twist, I assure you I will return them to the Panza Corporation without incident. I am well concealed, unknown to the criminals, and thus the best steward for precious cargo.
EDGETEST: My battery is too low to dispute your logic, Sir. I may have been damaged in the crash.
MFX *: BUMPER A
SFX 12: SCIFI DOOR
EDGETEST: I have arrived, Space Lord.
SALAMANDER: And not a moment too soon. I hear something, up on the rooftop. Quick quick quick!
EDGETEST: I will pull you out of the ventilation shaft immediately.
SALAMANDER: There’s no time! Tie on my talaria so I can make like mercury.
EDGETEST: I will not ask what you plan to do, Sir, but I am compelled to say that, hypothetically, if one were to use these without a control system, one would be guaranteed to crash immediately.
SALAMANDER: I brought my gaming monocle.
EDGETEST: I thought you smashed it, Sir.
SALAMANDER: Fine, I brought my cousin Eggbert’s gaming monocle. He was cool about it. He did not even wake up when I borrowed it. Right-O. Plaid Tooth pairing complete. Are you ready?
EDGETEST: I do not know what to say, Space Lord.
SALAMANDER: Yippee Ki-Yay, Q.C.Edgetest!
SFX 14: ZoomCrash
MFX 4*: BUMPER A
Scene: The Panza Corporation Rooftop
LAFEMME: You’ll never get off this rooftop alive, Bruger! I have single-handedly taken out all of your henchbeings in a tense game of cat and mouse. Surrender now!
BRUGER: It is you who should surrender, Detective. Do you see the giant Solstice wreaths all around us? Each one is packed with enough C5 to destroy the building. When I release this switch, those blinky lights turn into detonators and then its big bada boom.
LAFEMME: You would be killing yourself as well.
BRUGER: Oh, I won’t be here. I have an ace in the hole. You missed the plumbers.
SFX 13: RADIO KEY
BRUGER: Team 2, deliver the package. [BEAT] Team 2, now! [BEAT] Glob dammit where are my-
SFX 14: ZoomCrash
BRUGER: Who the hell are you, and what are you doing with my Rocket Clogs?
SALAMANDER: I am Space Lord Cesar Salamander, and I am having the time of my life. Oh my, Globb! A series of rings!
LAFEMME: Stay away from those!
SALAMANDER: Detective LaFemme! Look what I can do!
SFX 14: ZoomCrash
SFX 14: ZoomCrash
SFX 14: ZoomCrash
BRUGER: Ha! Thanks for the distraction. It seems I have captured your precious detective. I will let you spend your final moments with her if you hand over my Rocket Clogs.
LAFEMME: Don’t do it, Slap-hander!
SALAMANDER: Do not hurt her! I’ll give you the Rocket Clogs.
LAFEMME: You idiot.
BRUGER: A wise choice. Ooh, they fit better than I expected.
SFX 15: LimoShuttle
EDGETEST: Space Lord Salamander, Detective LaFemme, please get in the limo shuttle.
SALAMANDER: Q.C.? Why are you here? And why is my limo shuttle all smashed up?
LAFEMME: Shut up and do what he says.
BRUGER: You are already too late! Time to fly! Oh, and enjoy the light show.
SFX 13: RadioKey
SFX 13: RadioKey [MASH IT A BUNCH]
BRUGER Why are my wreaths not detonating?
SALAMANDER: Is he talking about the series of rings? I think I snagged the blinky lights and pulled them out. Totally on purpose, mind you.
EDGETEST: Sir, I request we depart right now.
SALAMANDER: Fine, fine. Away we go. What is all the fuss about?
EDGETEST: I detected an ancient automated subspace transmission. The firmware patch, Sir. It is installing now.
SALAMANDER: I’d like to install my firmware in her-
Q.C.EDGETEST: Sir, for the Rocket Clogs.
SALAMANDER: Firmware for the Rocket Clogs? So what?
BRUGER: You’ll never catch me, you filthy animals! Merry Solstice to all and to all a good-
SFX 16: BIG BADA BOOM
SALAMANDER: Oooh. That was not fun to watch.
LAFEMME: Yeah, I didn’t know it would be so… melty.
SALAMANDER: They should really ban those deathtraps.
BRUGER: I am still falling and melting! It hurts so very much!
EDGETEST: Where to now, Sir?
SALAMANDER: A good restaurant with a great view. The Detective and I have some catching up to do.
LAFEMME: What? No. This is a crime scene. Go with the other witnesses for questioning. I have to make a report that’s gonna be like 200 pages long.
BRUGER: I’m still alive, but just barely. I think I can turn this around before I hit the pavement.
SFX 14: ZoomCrash
LAFEMME: 201 Pages.
SALAMANDER: Well, I suppose all’s well that ends well.
LAFEMME: How do you consider this- never mind. QC, put me down by the emergency shuttles.
EDGETEST: Yes, Detective.
SFX 15: LimoShuttle [FADE OUT]
SALAMANDER: I told you I would get her back.
LAFEMME: I’m sorry for what I said about the fight between Earth God and Space God. You were right.
BARBARA: I’m sorry, too. You were always my favorite client. The Panza CEO paid me so much and had so little hair, it seemed like the perfect job, but all he did was fart and complain. I’m kind of glad that Bruger guy murdered him.
LAFEMME: Bruger killed the Panza Ceo?
BARBARA: Figuratively. Bruger brushed his long dark hair aside and teased the CEO so mercilessly with his gravitas, mellifluous deadpan voice, and acerbic wit that the CEO cried and gave him the code for the vault, like, immediately. I was almost embarrassed for him. I guess I need to find a new client.
LAFEMME: I guess so.
BARBARA: Say, you wanna get out of here and grab a haircut?
SALAMANDER: I could go for a trim.
LAFEMME: I thought you’d never ask.
SALAMANDER: Wait! Slow down. I’m barefoot and there’s glass on the ground.
LAFEMME: You wait here, Space Lord Dasher-Dancer. Someone will come for you.
SALAMANDER: Detective Lafemme, when will I see you again?
LAFEMME: With any luck, never.
SALAMANDER: I love your sense of humor. QC, take me home.
EDGETEST: But, the questioning, Sir.
SALAMANDER: Right. Stop doing it. We really need to get you looked at. For now, just take me home. And open my Vapor Library. There is a holo game I want to download. I do not remember what it is called, but it has a series of rings. Five golden, I believe. And I shall rule them all. Space Lord of the Rings.
EDGETEST: That sounds like a Merry Solstice indeed, Sir.
MFX 4: AGAS THEME
SCENE 11: RECRUITRAX
JENN: Are you hiring for the holiday? Need to staff your store, recruit for your restaurant, or fill an empty position…but not the sexy kind? Finding the right beings for your business used to be hard, and not in a sexy way. But you don’t have to do things the old fashioned way any more. Who wants to wade through hours of hologram interviews, biometric compatibility scanning, intensive no-win-scenario testing, or cover letters? Your time is valuable, so let Recruitrax handle it for you. Recruitrax is the name you can trust to get you the personnel you need, no matter what it takes.
Recruitrax is in touch with the best and brightest willing applicants from across the galaxy, and if you’re looking to hire, we can connect your space mining operation, space piracy operation, space science-but-also-somehow-a-military-thing operation, or improbably hot team of space archeologists with the right being for job.
Recruitrax doesn’t kidnap anyone. You don’t want to waste time reading resume after resume on your single-document technopads. Let Recruitrax deal with the boring stuff while you sit back, relax, and enjoy your new employees. Recruitrax can assist at any point in the hiring or assimilation process, from seeking out the best candidates, to streamlining interviews, to collecting and subduing potential workers, and even pushing through that final tax paperwork. There’s a reason why Recruitrax is the highest rated recruitment firm in the galaxy, and it’s not just because all the other ones have been mysteriously destroyed by scandal, financial disaster, or proton torpedoes.
Whether you’re in the market for a new barista, attorney, public relations manager, supporting actress, or loveable rogue pilot who doesn’t play by the rules, but deep down, you know they’ll do the right thing in the end, Recruitrax can help.
For more information, go to www.recruitrax.shhhhhhhhk/help or connect with us over your brain chip. We won’t track your movements afterwards!
Recruitrax. Human Resources, handled.
SCENE 12: Christmas in Space
MATT: Check one…So, I’m gonna play a little song for you.
Chestnuts roasting on open warp cores,
Mistletoe over the podbay doors
I forgot to get script out so I can see it
and I forgot the words.
Conrad is such a helpful guy
Putting the script right in front of my eyes
I think I can start from here…now
Chestnuts roasting on open warp cores
Mistletoe over the turbolift doors,
The crackle and glow from the holographic fireplace,
the Stockings all hung on the bulkheads with care,
The Cinnamon scent in the recycled air,
The Gumdrops atop the big gingerbread lunar base,
The joy in every young space cadet’s face,
When they see bags of gifts in the transporter trace,
That’s how you know it’s Christmas in space.
From the satellites transmitting carolly tunes,
To the platforms that merrily terraform moons,
To the vacation planets where alien races embrace,
On the Titan-like places with smooth icy lakes,
Where ice skaters put on their ice skating skates,
That’s where they celebrate Christmas in space.
Some say there’s a war on Christmas,
If you say “happy holidays,”
Well it’s true there’s a war on Christmas,
But it isn’t about that phrase,
It’s an intergalactic starship battle that might wipe out the human race,
But you won’t hear it because it’s Christmas in space.
Lay in a course for Santa’s Workshop. Warp 7. Engage.
Set phasers to jolly.
Full power to starboard sleigh bells.
Maintain a North Polar orbit.
Joseph and Mary, at Bethlehem. Manger, when the inn was full.
Nog, egg, warm.
You can say it’s about when a baby was born,
Or the night that the twilight is furthest from morn,
Or simply a day just like all the other days,
But whatever it means to you and yours,
let your heart open its pod bay doors,
and feel the love of Christmas in Space.
SCENE 13: CREDITS
KITT: This has been a holly jolly production of the Never Rad Miscellany. The Never Rad Miscellany depends on contributions from listeners like you. You can support the show and get some sweet, sweet benefits by joining our Patreon at neverrad.com/patreon.
The Never Rad Miscellany is recorded live at First Draft Book Bar, located inside Changing Hands bookstore in downtown Phoenix. Special thanks to Changing Hands for providing a phenomenal venue, as well as some incredible books and bevs. If you’re in the market for a great gift, you can grab some amazing books at Changing Hands, and all the podcast merch you could dream at store.neverrad.com.
The Secret to Fantastic Wealth was written by Matthew Braman, featuring the voices of Ricco Machado-Torres as Jeremy Pants.
Janitor’s Log was written by Matthew Braman, featuring the voices of Ricco Machado-Torres as Ensign Manos Lavasse, Conrad as Grand Septum of the Golden Palate of Gar-Benidon, Exalted Nostrand of the 3rd Moon of Susion Prime, and Supreme Royal Countix of Inbound Sales and Customer Retention Galbrax J’Brudnik, and Briauna Kittle as Lt.Cmndr. Fabulosa.
Sputnik and Greeb was written by Kitt Keller, featuring the voices of Matt Braman as Gorglax Sputnik, Conrad Miszuk as Marty Greeb, and Ricco Machado-Torres as the Business Alien.
Saucerthon was written by Kitt Keller, featuring the voices of Briauna Kittle as Greg, Ricco Machado-Torres as the Chipper Voice, and Conrad Miszuk as the Yotota Dealer.
A Prandicle of Flumdidle was written by Matt Braman and featured the voice of Matt Braman as the Poet. Those are all real words.
Nexus was written by Kitt Keller, featuring the voices of Ricco Machado-Torres as the Generic Dad, Briauna Kittle as the Generic Mom, and Conrad Miszuk as the Nexus Ad Spokesbeing.
Our Stars was written by Matt Braman, featuring the voices of Ricco Machado Torres as Captain Frax, Briauna Kittle as first officer Bundle, and Kitt Keller as the cryostasis chamber.
Seasonal Surrogates was written by Matthew Braman, featuring the voice of Briauna Kittle as the narrator.
A Gentleman About Space: Fly Hard was written by Matthew Braman, featuring the voices of Conrad Miszuk as Space Lord Cesar Salamander, Matt Braman as QC Edgetest and Johann Bruger, Briauna Kittle as Space Detective Saorise LaFemme, Ricco Machado-Torres as Generic Thug #1, Generic Thug #2, and Barbera Hintzenspaetzle.
Recruitrax was written by Kitt Keller featuring the voice of Ricco Machado-Torres as the Recruitrax spokesbeing.
Christmas in Space was written and performed by Matt Braman. What a fucking badass.
Miscellanists in the field may report their strange and interesting findings at (224)CALL-RAD. That’s (224)225-5723.
The Never Rad Miscellany was created by Conrad Miszuk. It is produced and directed by Matt Braman, Briauna Kittle, and Kitt Keller with credits read by Kitt Keller.
The Never Rad Miscellany is proudly produced in Phoenix, Arizona. Check out NeverRad.com for future live show information, news, extras, more episodes, contact info, and transcripts. Videos of the live performances and past streams are at NeverRad.com/YouTube. Rate the Never Rad Miscellany five stars on your favorite podcasting service to help us grow, tell your friends, family, and baristas, and connect with us on social media facebook.com/neverrad, neverrad.tumblr.com, Instagram @never.rad, and Twitter @NeverRad.
Special thanks to our Patreon patrons, especially Vice-Grand Septum of the Golden Palate of Gar-Benidon, Exalted Nostrand of the 4rd Moon of Susion Prime, and Supreme Royal Viscountix Josh Green.
Miscellaneous fact #982.5: Good news–scientists working on the United Space Force research space station Mmmmbop Beta have discovered a way to speed up the process of human carcinization. Finally!