Hot Pod Part 3
Drama is brewing among the Podtestants, and we hear from some more of our lovely (fake) advertisers.
MFX 1: Return from commercial music
HOSTBEING: Welcome back to HotPod. Jahn and C’Thad have been planning a rager for the surviving HotPod podtestants, but not everyone is on board. Capt. Hedley, in direct violation of his employment contract for surviving the initial crash, has taken refuge in the pod’s only bathroom facility.
MFX 2: Confessionals music cue
NERF: Hello, this is captain Nerfleton Hedley, formerly captain of the Hot Yacht, where the cast of Hot Yacht would create drama for themselves and I would get to sit back, ignore the rest of the Universe and eat a dozen donuts a week and a gallon of ice cream. When I was in high school, I worked at an ice cream company and it’s nostalgic for me.
I don’t want any drama. I want to be left alone. That’s why I became a large vessel captain. I tell the crew to leave me alone, and then they do their jobs and everything is great and everyone is happy with me. It’s perfect.
I started to feel like people might not be happy with me on account of the Sean Bean Class Hot Yacht becoming a cloud of super heated vapor just past the surface of Alpha Phallus, the sex star, with its heavier elements likely sinking toward the star’s core. I learned a little bit about public relations in my colonization protocols classes, and I knew I would need to control the narrative.
So I just told everyone it wasn’t my fault and that they should leave me alone. Then I went and sat in the corner looking out of a window and refused to make eye contact with anyone. I was hoping that they would feel sorry for me. It’s always worked to deflect blame in the past. People just need to realize that I’m doing my best, okay? I also ate quite a bit of the emergency ice cream. They were upset with me for that, but I really needed it.
I’ve been told I need to talk about the rest of the crew. Only Jahn Smythe has shown me any real human compassion, commenting on how my human face was drooping, and saying ‘there there’. I am placing my full trust in Jahn Smythe. I hope we can build an alliance. But really I just want to be left alone, the ability to do whatever I want, and everyone to be happy with me. Is that so much to ask?
Cthad keeps leaving a trail all over the pod. It’s not very big, so the pod is mostly snail trail now. I just try to section off a corner as my space, but the minute I find myself floating outside in the one space suit to give my confessional in privacy, I can see that he’s sitting in my spot. It looks like… yeah, he vibin’. All over my corner.
The Contessa is okay, I guess. I like computers that only say what they have to and do what I say. The Contessa is a lot meaner. It must suck to be digitized by accident like that, but let the rest of us live our meat lives alone without any scrutiny. We’re doing the best we can, okay?
HOSTBEING: While the Captain hides out, the rest of the podtestants are keeping busy.
C’THAD: So, like, where are you from, bro?
JAHN: Me? Jahn Smythe?
C’THAD: Totally! This gelly’s ready to make friends, you know? Boom, catchphrase!
JAHN: I am just a normal human from the planet where the most normal humans come from.
C’THAD: Aw yeah, you mean Mars?
JAHN: Yes! Mars! Mars is the name of the planet where I was hatched!
C’THAD: You mean born?
JAHN: Yes, that one, of course. That was a human joke, one of many human jokes that I tell frequently using my human vocal flaps, in order to elicit amusement from my friends. Ha ha!
C’THAD: You think we’re friends, bro?
C’THAD: Bro, I am so honored! Bump it!
SFX: A wet smacking sound
C’THAD: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO All right, my dude!
JAHN: Everything is correct, my being!
C’THAD: Seriously: boom. Catchphrase. Epic.
MFX: Confessionals music cue
C’THAD: I gotta say, this pod is pretty tight. Like, literally tight. I dig it. I don’t mean to brag, but I can squeeze into some real small spaces. It’s kind of my thing. Like one time, in college, I squeezed into my roommates air vent to block it up so the carbon monoxide from our water heater would like, totally fill the room. He started acting all weird and leaving notes for himself and stuff. Then he almost died and I popped out of the vent and was like, “What up, Bromigo!” Hilarious, right? I don’t really understand what most of these people are saying, like, the fancy lady ghost seems kind of uptight, so I will legit need to come up with a hilarious way to prank her. The captain guy is hella weird and insecure, so, like, prime prankability, and that other dude, the Smythe guy, seems pretty chill, like, just a regular dude, so maybe he’s down to party and help me prank some peeps. I gotta say, I’m stoked.
JAHN SMYTHE: Hello there! It’s me, Jahn Smythe. You may remember me from being human and extremely normal. I maintain my normal human state while trapped in this pod with my new future friends, although there have been some close calls. I need a lot of personal space because I have the introvert personality type, meaning all of my sensitive organs are housed inside my skin body, NOT outside. Nobody is stepping on any of my unseen tentacles or viscera in these tight spaces. I am a human named Jahn Smythe. I just don’t like when people approach me or are near me. It makes me nervous.
I think I like C’Thad the most. Unlike my normal human body, C’Thad is completely transparent. I wish I could be transparent and seen for what –- I mean –- who I am on the inside.
Mostly, there have been signs of frustration that I definitely recognize. The lifeforms have been raising voices about spending their Circadian cycle. There is not a lot of room as I said before, but I am confused. There is enough room for everyone to sleep, but they all choose the floor. I have taken up a nest in the top right corner of the ship. This is what human can do, yes? I have heard many humans say they can sleep anywhere. Why do they fight for the floor? I do not understand.
I mentioned this to the Captain, and he told me ships crash all the time and I should leave him alone. He is very humorous. I respect his relaxed nature at destroying human life.
HOSTBEING: How is the Contessa coping? What will happen when C’Thad’s pranks get out of control? Find out next, on HotPod.
Colony – Luxville #3
GARY: Hi, there. Gary Name, here, lighthouse keeper for Lux Prima Station and Mayor of Luxville. I’ve been doing some Googolplexing online and I’ve discovered a concept known as opposition research. Looks like you’ve got a lot of choices when it comes to picking a colony to live on in space, especially if you’re running from some sort of law enforcement agency or if you’ve got a lot of extra feet. But Luxville is the best.
Lavender Town, or whatever that nonsense is? Sure, it’s a mystery. It’s spooky. I read the copypasta. You might come face to face with some very exciting danger. And it’s got music or whatever. But at Luxville, there’s no one else here but me, so you can create whatever kind of culture you want. You want no socks Fridays? I’m on board! You want everyone to spike their hair? Sure. I mean I don’t have any hair, not even eyebrows or eyelashes, but I’ll give you my blessing as mayor. You want to listen to loud music? I already have the sound system to drown out my wailing and moaning.
And if you’re thinking about Drosera? That’s not a place I’d go. Think about all that water just there to freak you out. What’s in there? Who needs it? My recycled fluids on the station are just fine for me. And if you want things to smoke, Lux Prima Station is DEFINITELY NOT a major stop on black market drug smuggling routes. Just saying. And probably most important of all, I already have a Ninstation X Console here. With the newest games! I got the punchy fighty one. I bought it with my totally legal stipend from the OmniGov Directorate. I even have two controllers! One of them has never been used!
I gotta admit there’s nothing I love more than a blazing hot sexy desert, but Calaxia is not where you want to move, okay? First off, they have an HOA. Here, we’ve got Gary, and Gary’s a cool guy who wants you to be happy here with him. And a roller coaster does sound really nice, but we do have the lovely public transit rail here that can be made up to 13% faster for added excitement. And best of all, we can ride it together!
And, I’ve been saving this update for last, but Luxville now has guns. I know what you’re thinking, guns on a space station? That’s dangerous. But hear me out. We put on some space suits, magnetize ourselves to the surface of the station, and we shoot at debris. There’s never a lack of debris around here with all of the gang warfare NOT AT ALL related to the black market drug trade. If you’ve never shot at a corpse floating in microgravity, friend you are not living.
Come hang out with Gary and shoot some floating frozen dead gangsters in space. Or, like a piece of a ship or whatever.
Space Meds (Wormhole Syndrome)
MFX: Generic music
BRAXON ROO: Hi, there. I’m Celebrity ChefTM and food advocate Braxon Roo.
SFX 1: Flames
SFX 2: Pans clonking
BRAXON ROO: [voice sounds slightly different—slightly faster and farther away] All right, we got two beef Neptunes comin’ up; a Tritonian lobster hold the aioli; a side of tentacle jelly; move, move, move!
KITCHEN PEONS: Yes, chef!
BRAXON ROO: You may know me from my 17 bestselling cookbooks, my bestselling memoir Grilling the Nebula, my hit cooking shows 273°: Kelvin Kitchen, Quantum Oven with Braxon Roo, and Braxon Roo’s 2001: A Meat Odyssey, or my line of soylent pasta products.
But what you might not know is that, just like millions of beings just like you, I suffer from Wormhole Syndrome. From the temporal dislocation, unstable dimensional equilibrium, and constant weird buzzing noise. But I’ve found the answer: Portavermis [PORT-uh-VERM-iss].
Portavermis is different from other Wormhole Syndrome treatments. Instead of targeting the symptoms, Portavermis works to stabilize and repair the event horizon immunoreceptors damaged by Wormhole Syndrome.
NARRATOR: Patients taking Portavermis may experience side effects. Talk to your doctor if you experience insomnia, dizziness, Milton Keynes, nausea, new or worsening space madness, bleeding from the eyeballs, or death. Do not take Portavermis if you are allergic to Portavermis or any of its ingredients. Stop taking Portavermis immediately if you experience sudden loss of gravitational orientation.
SFX 3: Kitchen noises
KITCHEN PEON: Bartruvian whale steak coming up, Chef!
BRAXON ROO: Talk to your doctor about Portavermis; I’m glad I did. [voice changes as he addresses the KITCHEN PEONS] All right, let’s get a move on with those people, scallops!
NARRATOR: Portavermis. Find your stable dimension.
MFX 2: End music
Colony – Lavendartown
NAME: Okay, this should be the only recording left. If you see any other files you haven’t listened to, don’t. If you have listened, well, it’s too late. I figured I should leave this warning in case anyone else happens upon this cursed place. Oh, by the way, my name is Lavender. I’m not exactly sure why I survived, but I’m not too keen on trying to figure it out. There are some things you can’t un-know.
There was no malicious intent, as far as I can tell. The Founders did their best to leave us a community capable of flourishing for centuries to come. A place that would nourish the physical and cultural needs of every generation. The problem, I think, is that they chose too well.
They could not have known how we would react. It seemed to make so much sense when the First Ruling Council initiated cultural rationing. After all, there was only so much content to consume. If we binged it all before our own artisans could produce a body of work, they feared a burn-out would set in and damage colony morale. They failed to account for the curiosity and determination of young minds.
The First Ruling Council were trained by the Founders on how to use the Great Computer. It was more advanced than anything they had ever seen, but in time they learned to operate it with the necessary aptitude for colony maintenance. The Second Ruling Council began using the Great Computer at such a young age they took to it quickly and understood its operations better than their predecessors ever could. Actually, no. They didn’t understand it. They just knew how to make it do things. More things, different things, much faster than the First Ruling Council. They faithfully used this fluency to carry out the rules and regulations prescribed by the Founders and the First Ruling Council. They began to experiment with new possibilities in a strictly theoretical capacity.
The institution of the Third Ruling Council was fraught with internal conflict. A faction of traditionalists wished to continue the exact steps of the prior councils, while another group pushed to expand the cultural output of the Great Computer, citing a growing boredom amongst the colonists as a threat to colony morale. A few artists among the population had begun to produce original work, but it was mostly banal and derivative, suitable only for dental waiting rooms and accountant’s lobbies.
No one knows who broke into the system the night of the Incident, but at this point it doesn’t matter. There’s no one left to point the finger at and no fingers left to do the pointing. No judges. No juries. Just me.
I suppose the hacker thought themselves something of a people’s champion. A Robin Hood or Prometheus. Raiding the data banks of the Great Computer to provide the colony with entertainment. Something new to bring joy to their hum drum existence. What they didn’t count on, what none of us could have predicted, was how the colonists would react to… I hate to even say the word.
What happened when everyone heard it. The Drop.
The rising rhythmic swell that caught everyone’s attention was distracting enough to stop work in every industry. But the Drop, that’s when things got buck fucking wild. There was screaming, thrashing, people tearing their clothes off, smashing windows, starting fires. It touched something primal and started a wave of destruction that could not be stopped.
I was hiding inside a dumpster until the power cells went out, either from lack of fuel or someone cutting the lines in a berzerk frenzy. When I came out, everyone was dead. There was enough emergency power for me to boot up the console, delete the files and record this message. I guess I retained whatever sanity you could call this because, well, I guess I’m just not that into music. I get why other people like it, but like, I don’t know. Smooth jazz is okay, but I’m never like, “hey, let’s get some music up in here.” Especially not now. I’m going to try to set up a life support system for myself now. I’m not sure how long I’ll last or if anyone will ever hear this. I’m sure as shit not turning the big sound system back on. I hope you can learn from our mistakes. Condition your people to receive whatever culture they must. And never under estimate… The Drop.
Colony – Kalaxia #2
SPOKESBEING: If you’re in the market for a new space-house, Kalaxsia Realty can get you into your dream home in the blink of a parsec. As on other space colonies, Kalaxsia is the name of the planet, the planet’s only major settlement, the major export commodity, the people who live here, and the language they speak. And the master planned community colony of Kalaxsia is hoping you’ll consider calling our little corner of the galaxy home.
From miles and miles of sun-baked golden sand dunes to heavily guarded HOA surveillance bunkers to our fully armed and operational Castles ’n’ Coasters to both of our plants, Kalaxsia’s got it all. Other colonies may claim to be free of annoying insects, or to have low taxes, or to look pretty much exactly like Canada but with spray paint on some of the trees, but Kalaxsia has so much more to offer.
Call Kalaxsia Realty today to take advantage of the chance of a lifetime—your lifetime.