Between the Decks Part 1

The long-running space soap opera returns with romantic entanglements, mysterious strangers, and step-twins.

Scene 2A: DUMBHEART Pt. 1

NARRATOR:    Last time on Between the Decks, Lieutenant Yelani Gorsht was sent on an away mission to the planet Burmfurkegyrpt. Things went sour.

GORSHT:    The giant spider-scorpion-wasp-wolverines are attacking! AHHHHHHHHHHH!

SFX 1:    An explosion.

NARRATOR:    Meanwhile, back on the starship The USSSSSS Icarus, an X-Class Research and/or Destroy vessel, Science Officer Cormelia Synz awaited her love’s return.

CORMELIA:    Come back to me, my precious Yelani. I never knew life until I knew you. Every away mission you go on, my heart breaks. I wait at the window of the X-Class Research and/or Destroy Vessel USSSSSS Icarus hoping for any news. I know one of these missions will be your last, and I will just die.

NARRATOR:    But what happens when Gorsht doesn’t return from the mission? Tonight on… BETWEEN THE DECKS.

MFX 1:    Synth Brass fanfare.

SFX 2:    Starship background hum. Someone in another room coughing up a lung.

CORMELIA:    Oh, my dear, precious Yelani! How could they return without you! You were my one true love. I am beside myself with pain and sadness. I fear that I will have to drive this science mechanism into my heart to stop the pain. Science mechanisms can be awfully sharp, you know. Of course, that would mean abandoning my coworkers studying the Telmuthian Crystals found on the planet below and their possibly life changing properties. Oh, I just don’t know what to do.

GORSHT:    Cormelia!

CORMELIA:    Oh, Gorsht. My love! They told me you died down on the planet. I didn’t see you when the shuttle docked. What happened? How are you still alive?

GORSHT:    Well, that’s just the thing, Cormelia. I’m not Yelani. I’m Yelani’s identical twin sibling, Zelani. Yes, we look alike and sound alike. Some people tell us we even make love alike, though I wouldn’t know, even though we’re step-twins and it’s not technically against Space Law or Space God’s Law. Of course, we also love alike.

CORMELIA:    I don’t think I understand. Yelani never mentioned having a twin.

GORSHT:    Well, Yelani has always been embarrassed by me. Despite being alike in every way, I was far more alike than Yelani. The intensity of my alikeness was often too much for Yelani to handle. But the important thing is that, just like Yelani, I love you, Cormelia.

CORMELIA:    Zelani, I don’t know what to say. You look exactly like Yelani, and you sound exactly like Yelani. From the swagger in your walk and the length of your fingernails, I imagine you make love exactly the same as well. But I love Yelani, and you are not Yelani.

GORSHT:    We are more alike than you might realize.

CORMELIA:    Identical step-twins. I think I’m caught up.

GORSHT:    Ever since Yelani fell in love with you, I have loved you. Perhaps it has been from afar. Perhaps it has been from the other side of the mess hall. Perhaps it has been from the air vent above your bed.

CORMELIA:    No one can fit in air vents. Can we stop with that trope already?

GORSHT:    I have memorized every interaction you have ever had with my sibling. It is as if I am actually Yelani as well. And now that Yelani is gone, I can’t let you feel this pain. I will be Yelani. For you, Cormelia.

CORMELIA:    This all sounds very romantic, and very hot, but I just don’t know. You are a different person after all.

GORSHT:    Only in barely measurable ways.

CORMELIA:    But different is different.

GORSHT:    Come now, Cormelia. Are you the same person you were when you woke up this morning?

CORMELIA:    Well, probably yes.

GORSHT:    Are you the same person you were ten years ago?

CORMELIA:    Well, not exactly.

GORSHT:    My beloved, stop trying to intellectualize everything. Try to think with your stupid heart and your dumb sex organs.

CORMELIA:    Oh, I don’t know. It’s true that I am a brilliant thinker, truly renowned in my field of space crystal-ology. It is also true that my heart and sex organs are very stupid.

GORSHT:    Perhaps then, just a kiss will tell us all we need to know.

CORMELIA:    My lips are also quite foolish at times. Yes, I think I will base this decision on that!

SFX 3:    A kiss.

CORMELIA:    That settles it! You are Yelani!

GORSHT:    Yes! Mostly.

CORMELIA:    It’s like my sorrow has completely lifted.

GORSHT:    How wonderful.

SFX 4:    Spaceship door opens.

GORSHT (Y):    Wonderful? What is happening here? What is the meaning of this?

CORMELIA:    Another step-twin? A step-triplet!

GORSHT (Y):    No, it is I, Yelani!

CORMELIA:    But how?

GORSHT (Y):    My companions on the planet surface thought that I was gone for good, so they left me there, but I was able to befriend the giant spider-scorpion-wasp-wolverines on Burmfurkegyrpt. I learned their ways. I talked my way out of trouble. And I built a makeshift space shuttle out of scattered debris with my amazing science brain. And I return to find you here, locking foolish lips with none other than Zelani, my Evil step-twin.

CORMELIA:    Evil?

GORSHT (Z):    Dear sibling, you know that I cannot be an Evil step-twin, for we are too alike for that.

CORMELIA:    I am confused.

GORSHT (Y):    I love you, my dear. I fought through hell to be reunited with you. Please, step away from my Evil Step-Twin.

CORMELIA:    Yes I will do that.

GORSHT (Z):    But be careful, my love. Now that you are standing an equal distance from myself and my step-twin, can you tell us apart any longer?

CORMELIA:    Oh dear. I Cannot.

GORSHT (Y):     But my clothing is in tatters. I smell as though I spent a week on an uninhabitable planet. My step-twin is fresh and neatly dressed.

CORMELIA:    Yes, but which one of you was lost on the planet again? It would appear that my eyes have grown quite unintelligent.

GORSHT (Y):    It was me on the planet!

CORMELIA:    Right. And the one I love is…

GORSHT (Y):    ME!

GORSHT (Z):    US!

GORSHT (Y):    Us?

CORMELIA:    I remember there being only one of you.

GORSHT (Z):    Dear sibling, might I suggest that the simplest way to resolve our current predicament is to both date Cormelia.

GORSHT (Y):    A love triangle?

GORSHT (Z):    No, step-twin. A complete triad, for you and I can also date. Space law does not prohibit it on account of us being step-twins and the current interpretation of Space God’s Law is mostly okay with it as long as we tithe.

CORMELIA:    How exactly does that work, by the way. If you’re identical–

GORSHT (Y):    That matters not, my love. My sibling makes perhaps a decent argument. We could all date.

CORMELIA:    I must admit that I feel my sexual organs becoming dumber by the second, but… I don’t know. I’m sorry to both of you. I will need some time to think!

MFX 5:    Transition Cue


MFX 1:    Some fuckin’ music

NARRATOR:     Also previously on Between the Decks… Lt. Red MacGoughin returned from an away mission to the planet Mnemonis.

BRANTIX:    Captain tells me you got a bit of a bump on the head, Lieutenant?

RED:    That’s right. At least…

MFX 2:    Dramatic cue

RED:    I think that’s what happened.

BRANTIX:    Well, go ahead and take a seat up on the examination grid here and we’ll see what we can see.

RED:     All right.

SFX 1:    Laser scanning sounds

SFX 2:     Beeping

BRANTIX:    Hmmmm

RED:    What? What is it? Am I…am I going to be okay?

BRANTIX:    We’re going to have to take some more scans before I can be certain.

RED:    Be certain of what, Doctor?

BRANTIX:    Lieutenant, this might come as a shock, but…

MFX 3:    Dramatic cue

BRANTIX:    You appear to be suffering from translobal equilibriatizing polymnemniosis. We need to run some more tests right away.

RED:    But Doctor—

BRANTIX:    Now! Get in the MRI chamber! Move it, move it, move it!

RED:    Okay, okay; I’m going.

SFX 3:    MRI machine and/or avant garde dubstep

RED:    [muffled] Um, Doctor?

BRANTIX:    Quiet, Lt. MacGoughin! This is a very delicate machine.

RED:    Sorry doctor.

BRANTIX:    Now, Lieutenant, I’m going to ask you some questions.

RED:    All right. I’m ready, Doctor. 

BRANTIX:    Good, good. Now, can you tell me where you are?

RED:    In an MRI machine.

BRANTIX:    Good. What’s the captain’s name?

RED:    It’s…it’s…oh, my head

BRANTIX:    It’s Captain Ahmayad, but that’s close enough. What year is it? What’s your name?

RED:    My…my name? I…I…I…

MFX 4:    Dramatic cue

RED:    I’m not sure…

MFX 5:    Different dramatic cue

BRANTIX:    It’s just as I feared

RED:    Who said that?

BRANTIX:    Lt. MacGoughin, I’m not sure how to tell you this, but…you appear to be suffering…from…amnesia.

RED:    What?


RED:    No!

MFX 6:     Transition cue.


NARRATOR:     Even more last time… on Between the Decks… 

SMYTHE:     Hi. I’m Smythe Jahn. I’m… new. 

VIOLET:     You’re so… rugged. 

SMYTHE:     I am. And I’m in love with you, Violet Lovestrong. 


SMYTHE:     Run away with me, Violet. With me, Smythe Jahn. I love you with a love that cannot stay confined between these decks. 

VIOLET:     No, we can’t. 

SMYTHE:     Why shouldn’t we? 

VIOLET:     Oh Smythe. 

SMYTHE:     Yes. That is my name. My… normal human name. 

VIOLET:     We can’t be together.

SMYTHE:     Is it because we met no longer than two space minutes ago? Is it because the light doesn’t reflect in my human eyes? Is it because I don’t eat, sleep, or breathe? Is it because the sound of my approach mimics the slap of octopus tentacles on bare tile, popping and squelching with disparate regularity? Or am I just… too handsome? 

VIOLET:     It’s because… I’m not Violet Lovestrong! 


VIOLET:     I’m actually Olivet Stronglove, Princess of Planet Acacia and Heiress to the throne. 

SMYTHE:     Princess of Acacia?? On the USSSSSS Icarus.

VIOLET:     Yes, it is true. Oh, hold me, Smythe. Your embrace is so comforting, like… 

SMYTHE:     Indescribable, isn’t it? 

VIOLET:     No, it’s perfectly describable. You make me feel whole, Smythe. 

SMYTHE:    Oh, Violet. Or should I say Olivet? 

VIOLET:     Please, call me Violet. Not a soul knows I’m here except for you.

SMYTHE:     Tell me everything. 

VIOLET:     I shouldn’t. 

SMYTHE:     Okay. 

VIOLET:     I was set to be married to a Lord Runcible. He was a horrible beast of a man, not like you, Smythe Jahn, no matter how cold or lifeless the touch of your skin may be. Runcible, he… he’s only marrying me for my money. And title. And my power. 

SMYTHE:     You mean… like a standard marriage between royalty? 

VIOLET:     I couldn’t marry him, so I ran and joined the crew here. I’m still a junior science officer in training, but I don’t intend to return home to Acacia. I’m making a name for myself here on the USSSSSS Icarus, no matter the consequences. But that’s why I can’t be with you. I’m a liar and a fake. You deserve better than that, Smythe Jahn. 

SMYTHE:     Violet, I… 

VIOLET:     You’re ashamed of me, I know. You, who has no need to hide your identity, nothing to lie about. You are who you say you are and I… I am nothing but a monster in human skin! I… I’m sorry Smythe! 


SMYTHE:     Olivet… we are not so different. We are simply… normal human beings.