DSA of LDM Episode Four

Deep Space Adventures of Laura's Demented Mind


Episode Four


[The bridge of the Peril. Aerfen and Humagon enter from the SSISTT (riding in a pod, this time). Humagon holds the video tape. Both dragons are still trying to clean tomato sauce from their scales.]

Alpha Draconi

What happened down there?

Humagon

Don't ask.

Aerfen

This would have been a lot less messy if you'd allowed me to obliterate that Thing when it was still outside. It didn't contain anything interesting anyway.

Alpha Draconi

What did you find?

Humagon

Samples of 20th century, North American food.

Aerfen

You call that stuff food?

Humagon

I didn't say it was gourmet, but I do believe that some humans consume it.

Alpha Draconi

Exactly what are these samples?

Humagon

There was a piece of freeze-dried ice cream.

Alpha Draconi

Was?

Humagon

Well, when we opened the package to examine it, it started to melt, so, naturally, we had to eat it.

Alpha Draconi

Naturally. How did it taste?

Aerfen

It was warm ice cream! How do you think it tasted?

Humagon

It was pretty weird.

Alpha Draconi

What else?

Humagon

There was a blue box containing elbow noodles and a packet of orange powder.

Alpha Draconi

How did that taste?

Humagon

The noodles were a little dry and didn't taste like much at all.

Aerfen

The cardboard was easier to chew.

Alpha Draconi

And the orange powder?

[Humagon and Aerfen look at one another, then back to Alpha Draconi.]

Humagon

Neither of us was brave enough to try the orange powder.

Aerfen

It wasn't a question of bravery. I just don't think that part is meant to be eaten.

Humagon

Why else would it be there?

Aerfen

Maybe it's like those little packages of beads they put in shoe boxes.

2nd Shift

Why do they put those little packages of beads in shoe boxes?

Alpha Draconi

Never mind the little packages of beads. What else did you find?

Humagon

There was a half-moon shaped pastry shell which used to contain tomato sauce and pepperoni.

Alpha Draconi

Am I to judge from your appearances that the tomato sauce is no longer contained within the half-moon shaped pastry shell?

Humagon

That is a fair assumption, Alpha. [She licks a stray blob of tomato sauce off of her elbow.]

Alpha Draconi

What else was down there?

Humagon

Some printed materials.

Aerfen

But all of the text was obliterated by the exploding tomato sauce!

Psi Phile

That's disgusting.

Aerfen

It's a conspiracy, that's what it is!

Alpha Draconi

How so Aerfen?

Aerfen

Come on now! Can't you see it? It's classic! Just as the intrepid investigators are about to discover important documents, the evidence is conveniently destroyed.

The Others

By an exploding pastry shell?!

Aerfen

That's the genius of it! Who would suspect a seemingly inert little pastry shell of containing such a destructive force?

Logicaavik

Why would the humans send us those printed materials if they didn't want us to read them?

Aerfen

Perhaps they intend to drive us insane with curiosity.

Alpha Draconi

[Aside to Psi Phile.] Make sure you schedule a few sessions with Aerfen this week to address issues of paranoia.

Psi Phile

Oh yeah!

Alpha Draconi

Were you able to salvage anything?

Humagon

Just this. [She hands the video tape to Alpha Draconi.]

Alpha Draconi

What is it?

Humagon

I believe that the tape which you can see through that window contains audio and visual information.

Alpha Draconi

Information on what?

Humagon

Unknown. When we cleaned the tomato sauce off of the plastic casing, three characters were revealed. See? There, on the edge of the case.

Alpha Draconi

X:WP. X:WP? What does that mean?

Humagon

I'm not familiar with that acronym.

Alpha Draconi

Speedy-Go. See if you can find a way to retrieve the information stored on this tape. I want a full report by the end of your shift.

Speedy-Go

I'm on it. 2nd Shift, I could use your assistance.

[Speedy-Go and 2nd Shift exit into the SSISTT.]

Alpha Draconi

Aerfen and Humagon, I could use you back at your stations. We're approaching a planetary system.

Humagon

Any signs of sentient life?

Logicaavik

We haven't detected anything so far, but one of the inner planets does possess an atmosphere capable of supporting carbon-based life forms.

Humagon

And if we find life... will we be making contact?

Alpha Draconi

That's the plan.

Humagon

What if they don't have long range communications?

Alpha Draconi

Then we'll have to go right in there.

The Others

We're going planet-side?!

Alpha Draconi

I'm about ready to get off this ship. Are the rest of you up for it?

[There is much hooting and hollering, cheering and jumping for joy amongst the bridge crew.]

Alpha Draconi

All right then, settle down. We need to plan our approach.

Humagon

Our Writer has really cleared us for a planet-side episode?

Alpha Draconi

That which Our Writer doesn't know, won't hurt us.

The Others

Woa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Humagon

Wait a minute...

Logicaavik

You mean Our Writer is unaware of your plans?

Aerfen

Don't you think this could be dangerous?

Alpha Draconi

Our Writer is out of town all day, shooting a piece for the TV station. She doesn't ever need to know.

Psi Phile

If you honestly believe she won't find out, you must be suffering from some pretty serious delusions Alpha.

Alpha Draconi

So she'll find out. What is she going to do about it, after the fact? Probably thank us when the change of scenery causes a massive boost in our ratings.

Logicaavik

And if we don't get increased ratings?

Alpha Draconi

We're not going to gain anything without some risk. You babies can sit around here on the bridge all day, waiting for the Peril to hit something, if you like, but I'm going planetside. Now... who's with me?

[The dragons look around at one another. Finally, Aerfen steps forward.]

Aerfen

I am ready to serve!

Humagon

If Aerfen's going, I guess I'm in too. Someone's got to keep her in line.

[Aerfen snorts, emitting an HBOF. Humagon snorts right back at her, and the two HBOF's collide in mid air, creating a glorious display of fireworks.]

Hippocrates

You should have medical personnel with you on any away team.

Psi Phile

Especially the likes of this one. I'm in too.

Alpha Draconi

[Rolling her eyes, aside to Logicaavik.] This ought to be interesting.

Logicaavik

[Aside to Alpha Draconi.] You asked for volunteers. [Aloud.] I guess I'm staying behind to hold down the fort.

Alpha Draconi

I know I can count on you to keep the Peril in one piece in my absence, Logicaavik.

Logicaavik

I just hope I can count on you lot not to get yourselves killed down there.

Aerfen

Have no fears! I will take care of everything!

Logicaavik

That's what I'm afraid of.

Alpha Draconi

All right then. Enough chit-chat. Away-team, how long will it take you to assemble on the launch pad with all of your gear?

Aerfen

I'll need to make a trip to the weapons locker. I, of course, am fully armed at all times...

Logicaavik

At ALL times?!

Humagon

[Nodding her head, knowingly.] At ALL times.

Aerfen

[Ignoring the interuption.] ...but I need to pick up some gear for the rest of you.

Hippocrates

I should put together a medical kit ... assuming I can figure out what to bring.

Psi Phile

I'll help you pack.

Humagon

I'd say we're looking at a good half hour here, Alpha.

Alpha Draconi

Be there in five minutes.

[Alpha Draconi exits into the SSISTT. The other away team members look to one another, variously sighing and shrugging their shoulders. They exit after Alpha Draconi.]

Logicaavik

Aah! Peace at last.

[Logicaavik gets up and paces across the deck a couple of times. She makes a tour of the bridge, inspecting the various workstations in turn. When she arrives at the Operations console, she tentatively reaches out and taps a control. The Ops console emits a beep, and the bridge lights dim slightly. Logicaavik jumps back, startled, but, when nothing more happens, she becomes bold and punches a few more controls. The console emits a different note each time. Intrigued, Logicaavik sits down at the Ops station. She continues to hit random controls. Intent on her musical composition by this point, she is oblivious to the flashing lights, moving bulkheads, and other effects which her actions are having on the Peril's operations. The music builds into a grand crescendo, until Logicaavik, with much flourish, slams her foreclaw into the console one last time. Fully expecting a loud cymbal crash, Logicaavik is instead greeted by a fizzling whine, as the lights, along with every workstation on the bridge, shut down. Logicaavik looks around sheepishly and slowly backs away from Ops. She backs right into the Command Centre of the bridge and bumps into Alpha Draconi's chair. Turning and seeing the captain's chair, Logicaavik remembers that she is in charge now, and she ceremoniously takes up her position. She shifts around a bit, trying to get comfortable. Then she decides that she likes this chair. She reclines against the back rest, stretches out to her full length, and begins to preen her talons.]

Voice of Laura

Enjoying the big chair, Logicaavik?

Logicaavik

[Sitting up, startled.] Our Writer!

Voice of Laura

Yes? Lights!

[The bridge lights snap back on.]

Logicaavik

What are you doing here?

Voice of Laura

What do you mean, what am I doing here? This is my demented mind. [Logicaavik shudders.] I live here.

Logicaavik

Yes. Of course. I only meant that... I'd heard you were out of town today.

Voice of Laura

I was. Just got back. So... where are the others?

Logicaavik

The Others?

Voice of Laura

Yes. You know, Alpha Draconi, Aerfen,... your crewmates.

Logicaavik

Oh. Them.

[The SSISTT doors open. (Yes, they've been inexplicably repaired by this point in the story. It's just YATI.) and Speedy-Go and 2nd Shift enter, wheeling a cart which houses their new contraption.]

Speedy-Go

Logicaavik. 2nd Shift and I have devised a means of extracting the information contained in the cassette from the space capsule. Are the others...

Logicaavik

Ahem!

Speedy-Go

Are the others b-...

Logicaavik

Ahem! Ahem! [Logicaavik jerks her head towards the ceiling.]

2nd Shift

Something caught in your throat Logicaavik? I am trained in the arts of providing assistance to choking dragons.

Voice of Laura

She's fine 2nd Shift.

2nd Shift and Speedy-Go

Our Writer!

Voice of Laura

Hello dragons. Interesting looking machine you have there.

Speedy-Go

Thank-you.

Voice of Laura

Now. Where did you say the others are?

[Logicaavik looks to Speedy-Go, who looks to 2nd Shift, who looks back to Logicaavik.]

Logicaavik

They're busy.

Voice of Laura

Busy where?

Logicaavik

Well... I can't exactly say where.

Voice of Laura

Can't? Or won't?

Logicaavik

I don't exactly know where they are... exactly.

Voice of Laura

I see.

Logicaavik

You do?

Voice of Laura

Sure. If you don't know where the others are, then you don't know where they are. Exactly.

Logicaavik

Exactly!

Voice of Laura

Exactly.

Logicaavik

So, um... how was your shoot?

Voice of Laura

It was long.

Logicaavik

What were you shooting?

Voice of Laura

A day in the life of a touring stage show.

Logicaavik

That sounds interesting. Did you get to see the show?

Voice of Laura

Oh, yeah.

Logicaavik

How was it?

Voice of Laura

It was... it was cute.

Logicaavik

[Aside to Speedy-Go and 2nd Shift.] She wasn't impressed.

Voice of Laura

Well, it was a fun show, a feel-good show.

Speedy-Go

[To 2nd Shift.] She wasn't impressed.

Voice of Laura

It was a valiant effort. I would like to have the opportunity to manage a show of that magnitude.

2nd Shift

But you weren't impressed.

Voice of Laura

You know me.

Logicaavik

You don't impress easily.

Voice of Laura

It's difficult, when you've worked with some of the talents with whom I've worked, to settle for less.

Logicaavik

You're too young to be so jaded.

Voice of Laura

[Sighing.] I know.

[Logicaavik has run out of questions. She looks to Speedy-Go and 2nd Shift for contributions, but they are no help. Just before the lull in the conversation becomes dangerous, the SSISTT doors open, and Alpha Draconi and the rest of the gang spill out onto the bridge, looking somewhat the worse for wear.]

Voice of Laura

Well. I see that you lot have been busy.

Alpha Draconi

Our Writer!

Voice of Laura

Yes.

Alpha Draconi

You're back!

Voice of Laura

Yes.

Alpha Draconi

Good. Well,... you're right. We have been busy. Very busy.

Voice of Laura

Glad to hear it dragons. Well, I shall leave you to your video. Enjoy.

[The dragons all pause, waiting to see if Our Writer is really gone. Alpha Draconi turns to Logicaavik.]

Alpha Draconi

Does she know?

[Logicaavik looks to Speedy-Go and 2nd Shift. Speedy-Go and 2nd Shift look back to Logicaavik. All three turn to Alpha Draconi, contorting their faces as they are unsure how to respond.]

Alpha Draconi

She knows.

Logicaavik

I fear that she does.

Alpha Draconi

Why didn't she say anything?

Logicaavik

Unknown.

Alpha Draconi

Well, there's no use in just sitting here, waiting for the axe to fall. Let's see what Speedy-Go and 2nd Shift have cooked up for us here.

[The dragons all gather around Speedy-Go's contraption, as we dissolve to inane commercials.]


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