Here be Dragons: DSA of LDM Episode Six

Deep Space Adventures of Laura's Demented Mind


Episode Six


[The Peril's lounge and mess hall. 2nd Shift is tending bar. Alpha Draconi and Logicaavik share a secluded corner booth with a large port-hole, which displays a panoramic view of the vast and beautiful star scape which surrounds the Peril. (Actually, a black curtain with white specks painted on it hangs behind the glass of the port-hole.)]

Alpha Draconi

Our Writer still hasn't said anything about our recent trip?

Logicaavik

Not a word.

Alpha Draconi

Are you certain that she knows?

Logicaavik

She knows.

Alpha Draconi

I wish she would show herself. This silent treatment is more than a little unnerving.

Logicaavik

I know what you mean.

Alpha Draconi

What? Are you admitting a certain trepidation regarding an unknown quantity? Is my Logical One uneasy on account of a hunch?

Logicaavik

Contrary to popular opinion, I am not without feelings, as you well know. As for the source of my discomfort, I would hardly call it a hunch. Our Writer is normally forthcoming with her feelings. If she thinks we are messing up, she tells us. It is true that she doesn't reveal many plot secrets to us ahead of their time, but when she does speak, she tells it like it is. The last time I encountered Our Writer, she was not at all her usual self. There was something distinctly wrong with our conversation. Then, last episode, she didn't appear at all. That's the first episode she's missed in quite some time. All of these factors logically lead to the hypothesis that things may no longer be like that to which we have become accustomed.

Alpha Draconi

It is good to know that you are still your same, beautiful, logical self, my dear one, but not particularly comforting to hear that your logic agrees with my intuition on this count.

Logicaavik

The facts speak for themselves. I'm afraid that I cannot apologize for my conclusion.

Alpha Draconi

Nor would I ever ask you to. By the way, how is your ice cream?

Logicaavik

Actually, it tastes rather like poly-vinyl-chloride.

[Alpha Draconi reaches over to try a scoop of Logicaavik's ice cream sunday.]

Alpha Draconi

That is poly-vinyl-chloride! What's going on here? 2nd Shift! 2nd Shift, can you come here please.

2nd Shift

Something wrong Alpha?

Alpha Draconi

Logicaavik's sunday is made out of PVC!

2nd Shift

Yes, it is.

Alpha Draconi

Correct me if I'm wrong, sundays, after all, are not native to Dragon custom and diet, but shouldn't an ice cream sunday be made out of ice cream?

2nd Shift

Normally, that would be the case, Alpha. However, the last shipment of props to the mess hall contained no real ice-cream. Only PVC shaped into the form of an ice cream sunday.

Alpha Draconi

Did you not think to look into the matter?

2nd Shift

Of course I did.

Alpha Draconi

And?

2nd Shift

I was told that we could no longer have real ice cream due to budgetary constraints. I was afraid to make any further enquiries on the subject, given our current situation with regards to unresolved issues pertaining to the recent planet-side adventure.

Alpha Draconi

Probably a wise decision 2nd Shift.

2nd Shift

Thank-you Alpha.

Alpha Draconi

However, it would probably be wiser still to speak no more of that particular trip, at least until we find out where we stand.

2nd Shift

Understood.

[2nd Shift is about to move on to another table when Logicaavik calls her back.]

Logicaavik

2nd Shift? Do you think you could tell me (without any references to the reasons behind our current budgetary constraints, of course) how it is that PVC is meant to be a cheaper substitute for ice cream?

2nd Shift

Of course. Real ice cream has a relatively short shelf life. The PVC subsitute lasts forever and is reusable.

[As 2nd Shift moves on to fulfil yet another of her many and varied tasks aboard the Peril, Logicaavik gags on her recycled PVC sunday. Alpha Draconi pats Logicaavik on the back.]

Alpha Draconi

This reality gets stranger and stranger...

[As she speaks, a boom catches on the star drop hanging outside the panoramic view-port and begins to drag it out of place, so that the star-scape, as seen through the view-port, shifts radically. Alpha Draconi and Logicaavik eventually notice this, and Alpha's speech is cut off. The star-scape jerks about violently, as the stage crew try in vain to liberate it from the boom.]

Alpha Draconi

Should we be experiencing turbulence?

Logicaavik

It wasn't in the script.

[Eventually, a member of the stage crew walks right in front of the curtain, between it and the view-port, and works at lifting if off of the boom, as...]

Off Stage Voices [Hiss.]

Other side! Other side!

[The stage hand looks about in confusion as he works at his task.]

Stage Hand

What?

Off Stage Voices [Yelling.]

OTHER SIDE!!!

[The stage hand succeeds in freeing the curtain and then turns to see that he is visible on the set. He grins sheepishly and scurries off. Alpha Draconi massages her temples, shaking her head in disbelief and frustration.]

Alpha Draconi

They won't air that, will they? Logicaavik dear, please tell me that they won't air that.

Logicaavik

You know how Our Writer is.

Alpha Draconi

You're right. She probably thinks that was funny. Whose bright idea was it to give Our Writer complete artistic control over this project anyway?!

Logicaavik

No one forced you to sign on for this mission.

Alpha Draconi

I didn't exactly have much of a choice! I couldn't very well leave the rest of you to fend for yourselves in the Deep Space of Laura's Demented [Shudder.] Mind, now, could I? [She sighs and shakes her head.] I suppose I should go and check in on things on the bridge. Make sure nothing too dreadful is happening up there.

Logicaavik

I'll go. You're exhausted.

Alpha Draconi [Nodding.]

Mental stress.

Logicaavik

Why don't you see if you can get 2nd Shift to fix you something to eat? There must still be SOME real food left around here.

[Logicaavik exits the mess hall, passing by the bar on her way out to ask 2nd Shift to fix Alpha Draconi a stiff drink. Alpha Draconi sits back and gazes out at the curtain with the white specks on it, passing for a star-scape, and contemplates her fate. She is alone with her thoughts only momentarily before Speedy-Go Dragon approaches and asks her to draw on her considerable wisdom and authority as the Peril's captain, in order to address yet another of the plentiful and frequently irksome minutiae which populate life within the Deep Space of Laura's Demented (Shudder.) Mind.]

Speedy-Go

A minute of your time, Alpha?

Alpha Draconi

Why not?

Speedy-Go

I've determined that we are about to cross paths with another space capsule of undetermined origin. May I have permission to bring it aboard?

Alpha Draconi

Yes.

Speedy-Go

Only thing is, our Multi-Purpose, Super-Penetrable, Trans-Dimensional Identification Devices aren't functioning within established specs. Do you still wish me to bring the space capsule aboard?

Alpha Draconi

Yes.

Speedy-Go

Even though I cannot scan it first?

Alpha Draconi

Yes.

Speedy-Go

Even though I have absolutely no way of determining whether or not this particular space capsule is hostile? Even though it may very well contain bio-hazardous material, explosives set to detonate upon contact or, worse, Spice Girls music videos set to repeat in a continuous play loop?

Alpha Draconi

Yes.

[Speedy-Go Dragon cocks her head to one side and regards Alpha Draconi suspiciously.]

Speedy-Go

Should I bring the space capsule directly into the main habitat-control plant, thus ensuring that whatever evils may lurk inside the thing will be instantaneously spread throughout the whole of the Peril via our air and water circulation systems?

Alpha Draconi

Yes.

Speedy-Go

And if my encounter with the space capsule doesn't immediately kill me, maybe I'll head for the nearest airlock and space myself.

Alpha Draconi

Good idea.

Speedy-Go

Well, at least you are aware of my syntax.

Alpha Draconi

What are you talking about?

Speedy-Go

This whole conversation. You haven't heard a word I've said.

Alpha Draconi

Of course I've heard you. You want to bring a foreign object aboard the Peril. You are concerned that it might pose a threat to us, since you are unable to scan it before capture. Well, I doubt that your faulty equipment will be repaired this episode, given the fact that we seem to be a little short on the preferred currency of the day, so you'll just have to do the best you can with what you've got. Go ahead and bring the space capsule aboard. After everything we've been through, I'm certain that we will be able to withstand exposure to the Spice Girls. Now, if the space capsule forces us to listen for any extended period of time to that annoying Hanson boppy song, we might be in trouble, but we'll just have to take our chances on that count. As for spacing yourself, I say go for it. I'd be the first one out of the airlock if my duties as captain didn't tie me down to this place. I'm sure you are aware that dragons can survive for extended periods of time without oxygen, and your metallic exoskeleton will protect you from depressurization. Have a nice trip.

[Speedy-Go regards Alpha for a moment, then makes the decision to sit down across from her, taking the seat previously occupied by Logicaavik.]

Speedy-Go

What's wrong Alpha?

Alpha Draconi

Oh, I'm just a little worn down by all of the insanities of this particular reality, is all. Our Writer still hasn't said a peep about our little visit with Wildgal, but she obviously knows about it. Godesses know what she may be up to.

[2nd Shift approaches with a large bowl, full of PWPCP.]

2nd Shift

Sorry, but this appears to be the only authentic food substance we have left.

Alpha Draconi

That's alright 2nd. Here, why don't you join us?

[Speedy-Go shifts to make room for 2nd Shift in the booth.]

2nd Shift

Thanks.

Alpa Draconi

So 2nd, Speedy-Go tells me that she's planning a little vacation. Why don't you go with her? I'm sure you could use a break from all of this. [She indicates the Peril at large.] Don't know what the rest of us would do without you, however, in the face of all of the other cutbacks around here.

Speedy-Go

Alpha, you know I was only joking about spacing myself. 2nd Shift and I would never desert you in your hour of need. Besides, how would 2nd survive the journey? She hasn't got my metallic exoskeleton.

Alpha Draconi

We flesh-and-blood dragons aren't entirely useless you know. Our scales are strong enough to protect us from the worst ravages of the harsh environment of deep space.

Speedy-Go

You know that I have the utmost respect for true dragons.

[Speedy-Go examines her cybernetic prison and sighs.]

2nd Shift

Aww, Speeg. You're special in your own right.

[Alpha Draconi nods in agreement.]

Alpha Draconi

No one aboard the Peril would ever deny that you are a True Dragon, in the most profound sense of being.

[Speedy-Go Dragon would probably blush at this point, if cyborg dragons were capable of such an action.]

Speedy-Go

Thanks Alpha. It has been an honour and a pleasure to live and work with you all aboard the Peril.

Alpha Draconi

We have had some good times aboard this ship, haven't we?

[The three dragons begin to reminisce about their past adventures together, and everyone's spirits are generally lifted. Until Logicaavik returns.]

Logicaavik

Everything is fine on the bridge. It's hard to believe, but Hippocrates actually has everything under control up there.

[Logicaavik slides into the booth beside Alpha Draconi. The other dragons all stare at her in confusion.]

Logicaavik

What?

Alpha Draconi

Who are you?

[Logicaavik reaches over to scratch the spines on the back of Alpha Draconi's head.]

Logicaavik

Darling! I know that you've been under a lot of pressure lately, but surely you have not forgotten your partner in life and love of the past 3000 years in the space of only a few minutes!

Alpha Draconi

Who are you?

Logicaavik

Alpha, honey it's me, Logicaavik.

Alpha Draconi

You are not my Logicaavik.

Logicaavik

I am your Logicaavik.

Alpha Draconi

That's ridiculous! You don't look like Logicaavik. You don't sound like Logicaavik. You don't smell like Logicaavik. You don't even act like Logicaavik. You cannot possibly BE Logiccavik.

Logicaavik [Smiling.]

Ah, now I see the source of your confusion. You were expecting Logicaavik One. She is gone. I am Logicaavik OneTwo. I fulfill the role of Logicaavik now.

Alpha Draconi

Not if I have any say in the matter.

[Cut to Alpha Draconi's Ready Lair where the dragon is pacing up and down, snorting out HBOFs of contempt and disgust.]

Voice of Laura

You don't have any say in the matter, Alpha.

Alpha Draconi

Why not? I'm supposed to be the captain. Now, I do know how you feel about rank, but shouldn't I have some say in who does and does not serve as crew aboard the Peril?

Voice of Laura

Of course you have a say there. You hand-picked Logicaavik yourself.

Alpha Draconi

Not THAT Logicaavik.

Voice of Laura

Logicaavik OneTwo IS Logicaavik now. Get used to it.

Alpha Draconi

You're trying to punish me.

Voice of Laura

What are you talking about?

Alpha Draconi

I know that you know about my little trip down to Wildgal's planet. I was faced with an opportunity to potentially boost our ratings, and you weren't around to ask for permission, so I had to make a decision on my own. I'm sorry if you and the studio feel that it was the wrong decision. There. I've apologized. Can I please have MY Logicaavik back now?

Voice of Laura

No.

Alpha Draconi

Why not?

Voice of Laura

Of course I knew about your little planet-side adventure. I knew all along. Wildgal is, afterall, a good friend of mine. However, no one is trying to punish you Alpha. You simply have to accept the fact that your actions have consequences. Deal with it.

Alpha Draconi

But I don't understand...

Voice of Laura [Sighs.]

Logicaavik One's contract was up for renewal. Because we had just completed a very expensive episode, we didn't have the money which her agent was demanding. Logicaavik One had to be replaced. Logicaavik OneTwo performs the part now. At least try to act like you're okay with this. Our audience will never accept the switch if they feel that you don't accept it.

Alpha Draconi

You've taken away my lover of the past 3000 years and you're asking me to be okay with that?!

Voice of Laura

I merely asked you to act as if you were okay with it. Look Alpha, I really don't have time for this. I'm leaving for Ottawa in a couple of weeks, and I've a lot of work to get done between now and then.

Alpha Draconi

You're moving to Ottawa?

Voice of Laura

No. Just going on a little road trip. The Wyrd Sisters are performing at the Folk Festival there, so I thought I'd rent a car and drive up to see them. Camp out for a few nights. Get out of London. I need the vacation!

Alpha Draconi

Take me with you?

Voice of Laura

Absolutely not.

Alpha Draconi

You're so cruel.

Voice of Laura

Cruel? That's quite an accusation.

Alpha Draconi

You're going to see the Wyrd Sisters in concert, AGAIN and you refuse to take your old pal Alpha Draconi. You know how much I've been longing to hear their music, and I need a vacation too!

Voice of Laura

Look Alpha, I'm sorry, but I simply cannot take you to the Ottawa Folk Festival. There will be thousands of people there, milling all over the place. People who will no doubt have been influenced by Western society's fear and hatred of dragons. I don't want to cause a panic in a crowd that size.

[Alpha Draconi pouts.]

Voice of Laura

I'll tell you what. I'll try to arrange to get a copy of some of the Wyrd Sisters' recordings into that space capsule which Speedy-Go is attempting to bring aboard the Peril.

Alpha Draconi

It won't be the same as seeing them live.

Voice of Laura

No. But it will still be pretty good.

Alpha Draconi

Will you at least come back and tell us about your trip to Ottawa?

Voice of Laura

Of course.

Alpha Draconi

You won't just disappear for months, like you did last time?

Voice of Laura

I'll come back and tell you all about my adventures in Ottawa, just as soon as I get my sections of the September issue of The Outer Rim uploaded.

Alpha Draconi

You're taking a vacation right before a TOR publication deadline?!

Voice of Laura

Yep. Return home the evening we publish, in fact. It's also the evening I will be launching my own webzine, Ouroborus.

Alpha Draconi

You're insane!

Voice of Laura

Guilty as charged. Now, will you go out there and welcome your newest crew member?

Alpha Draconi

All right.

Voice of Laura

Everything will be all right. I promise.


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