Here be Dragons: DSA of LDM Episode Seven

Deep Space Adventures of Laura's Demented Mind


Episode Seven


[The bridge of the Dragon Ship Peril. Alpha Draconi enters from her Ready Lair to see the dragons all gathered around Aerfen's work station. The Red Alert beacons are flashing.]

Alpha Draconi

What's going on?

Logicaavik

We're not sure.

Aerfen

The "You May or May Not Have Taken an Entity Aboard Your Space Craft Which May or May Not Contain Bio-Hazardous Lifeforms or Other Untold Dangers" warning button is flashing.

Alpha Draconi

We have such a warning button?

Logicaavik

It certainly appears that we do.

Alpha Draconi

That's demented.

[The dragons all SHUDDER and shake about in the ensuing turbulence. Alpha Draconi thinks for a moment, then rolls her eyes upwards, indicating the heavens (although, what she is actually looking towards is the lighting grid which hangs suspended over Deep Space Adventures' main bridge stage).]

Alpha Draconi

Our Writer must be back in town.

2nd Shift

Goody! I want to hear about her trip to Ottawa.

Alpha Draconi

You want to call on Our Writer this early in the episode?

2nd Shift

Why not?

Alpha Draconi

Things could get out of hand if we ask her to appear right away.

Logicaavik

Things around here always get "out of hand". Besides, Our Writer might be able to tell us what the deal is with the new warning button.

[Alpha Draconi eyes Logicaavik for a moment before speaking. She is still unsure of this new incarnation of her right-hand dragon and she is a bit loathed to admit that Logicaavik OneTwo has a good point.]

Alpha Draconi

All right. But ask for her nicely. She might not be so happy to be home from her little vacation, and we don't want to start this Episode off on the wrong foot.

Logicaavik [Calling.]

Our Writer!

2nd Shift

Our Writer! Are you there?

Humagon

We don't mean to be a nuisance, but we are wondering if we might have a word with you.

Voice of Laura

All right.

Alpha Draconi

You are back.

Voice of Laura

Yeah. [She sighs.] I had a blast, but all good things come to an end eventually.

Humagon

Not so good things come to an end eventually too.

Voice of Laura

Thank the Universe for that! So. What was it about which you wished to speak with me?

Logicaavik

Well, there's a new warning button on Aerfen's security console, and it's flashing.

Aerfen

I've certainly never seen that particular button before.

Logicaavik

We are hoping that you might be able to tell us what it means.

Alpha Draconi

It has occurred to me that it might be related to the fact that Speedy-Go recently brought an unidentified space capsule aboard the Peril - but that particular warning message... Well, it's not very useful, is it?

Voice of Laura

Oh, you mean the "You May or May Not Have Taken an Entity Aboard Your Space Craft Which May or May Not Contain Bio-Hazardous Lifeforms or Other Untold Dangers" warning button. That's just for show. You have no need to worry about the space capsule. It contains only the presents which I brought back for you from Ottawa.

2nd Shift

You brought us presents?

Psi Phile

What presents?

Voice of Laura

Go and see for yourselves.

[The dragons all lunge for the SSISTT, the doors of which, as usual, do not open in time for their arrival. Before a repeat of Episode Two's accident can occur however, Logicaavik flies in front of the other dragons and holds them back from the still-shiny replacement SSISTT doors. When the SSISTT pod does arrive, Logicaavik facilitates an orderly and safe entry into its interior.]

Voice of Laura [Aside to Alpha Draconi.]

You see how useful she is?

[Alpha gives no response other than a disgruntled snort.]

[Cut to the airlock. The dragons are all gathered around the back end of Speedy-Go, who is half-disappeared into the space capsule. As the Peril crew await with baited breath, Speedy-Go backs out of the capsule, holding three small plastic cases.]

Hippocrates

What are those?

Speedy-Go

Unknown.

Logicaavik

Look. They have those strange markings on them.

Humagon

Those markings are the written form of a human language. See? This one says, "Raw Voice".

Alpha Draconi

Raw as in uncooked?

Hippocrates

How would one go about cooking a voice?

Psi Phile

Anything is possible in the Deep Space of Laura's Demented [Shudder.] Mind.

Humagon

No, no, no. Human words mostly all have multiple meanings.

Logicaavik

Then how do they understand one another?

Humagon [Shrugging her massive shoulders.]

They are a rather strange lot.

2nd Shift

But what ARE these? [She picks up the plastic case with the blue paper insert.]

Voice of Laura

Those are the Wyrd Sisters recordings which I promised you.

Alpha Draconi

Hoo-rah!!!

[The dragons all cheer and dance about.]

2nd Shift

Come on Speeg! Let's go build a machine that will let us retrieve the information from these things! [2nd Shift jumps up and down in her excitement. She is even more thrilled than she was on the day she found out she had been cast on Deep Space Adventures.]

Speedy-Go

But this one is different from the others.

Voice of Laura

Yeah. That's their pre-Lianne recording, but you kind of need to have a copy anyway, because The Faucet is on there.

Psi Phile

The Faucet?

Voice of Laura

Don't ask.

Alpha Draconi

That's the song we're not allowed to talk about in GeoCities.

Psi Phile

Why not?

Voice of Laura

Don't want to upset the cyber-cops.

Alpha Draconi

Or our more prudish fans.

Voice of Laura

Oh, I don't think we've many of them left!

Speedy-Go

Will this one play on the same machine as the others?

Voice of Laura

No.

Speedy-Go

I suppose you lot will want two new machines out of me in one day then?

Logicaavik

You can build two machines in one day Speedy. Come on. I'll help you.

Voice of Laura [Aside to Alpha Draconi.]

You see how helpful she is?

[Alpha Draconi grunts. Speedy-Go, Logicaavik and 2nd Shift all head for Speedy's lab to build the new machines.]

Alpha Draconi

So. Are you going to regale us with stories of Ottawa while we're waiting for Speedy-Go Dragon's new creations?

Voice of Laura

Sure.

Alpha Draconi

I take it that you got to hear the Wyrd Sisters perform?

Voice of Laura

Three times!

Alpha Draconi

And you refused to take us.

Voice of Laura

Look. I've already told you why you couldn't go to Ottawa.

Alpha Draconi

I know. But it's just so unfair.

Voice of Laura

Well, I'm sorry, but you'll just have to settle for living vicariously through me. Or, you could always visit the Wyrd Sisters in cyberspace. They have a website right here in GeoCities now.

Hippocrates

Here at Geo? Really?

Voice of Laura

Yeah. Just think, there's a Wyrd Sisters website on a server that's probably in the very same room as the server which houses your website. That makes you cyber-neighbours. Now, don't you feel special?

Alpha Draconi

Yes.

Psi Phile

Me too.

Hippocrates

I feel special.

[The dragons all variously nod and otherwise acknowledge their agreement.]

Humagon

So, go on with the story. The Wyrd Sisters performed three times...

Voice of Laura

...and they all signed their CD cover for me.

Alpha Draconi

You asked them to sign your CD cover?

Voice of Laura

Yeah.

Alpha Draconi

You're such a groupie!

Voice of Laura

So what? I bought a tent, and a cooler, and a weekend pass to the Ottawa Folk Festival. I took two days off work, camped out three nights in Nepean, rented a car, and drove seven hours to Ottawa to hear the Wyrd Sisters. I think I was entitled to behave, as you so eloquently put it, like a "groupie".

Alpha Draconi

Wow. Seven hours each way.

Voice of Laura

Well, it didn't exactly take me seven hours to drive home.

Alpha Draconi

How long did it take you then, to drive home?

Voice of Laura

I'd rather not incriminate myself by publishing that particular figure in cyberspace.

Alpha Draconi

You didn't chop more than an hour off of the journey?

Voice of Laura

No comment.

Alpha Draconi

Lead foot! You're a Wyrd Sisters groupie and a lead foot!

Voice of Laura

I've been called worse.

Humagon

So, she's a groupie and a lead foot. Go on with the story.

Voice of Laura

Okay. So, I arrived in Ottawa Freya's afternoon, but the Wyrd Sisters weren't scheduled to perform until Sulla's day.

Humagon

That must have been a long wait. How did you contain yourself?

Voice of Laura

It wasn't easy, and the whole thing was kind of strange, actually.

Alpha Draconi

How do you mean?

Voice of Laura

Well, it seemed like none of the people associated with the festival had any idea who the Wyrd Sisters were. All weekend, the hosts of the various concerts would go on at great length about the performers, both the ones who they were supposed to be introducing as well as acts which were coming later in the weekend. How great this group was, how many times that performer had been to Ottawa before, etc., etc.. Some of the performers seemed to get promoted just about every hour, all weekend, at every stage. Nobody talked about the Wyrd Sisters, however, and when they were mentioned, it was just in passing - almost as an afterthought. "Oh yeah, and the Wyrd Sisters will be here too - whoever they are." I felt like I should have been up there introducing them!

Psi Phile

Maybe you should have been.

Voice of Laura

Yeah, well, I survived two days of that anyhow, and Sulla's day finally arrived.

Alpha Draconi

You were no doubt at the festival site bright and early.

Voice of Laura

Yes. The Wyrd Sisters' first performance was on the main stage, so I had to go early to be assured of a good spot.

Aerfen

And...

Voice of Laura

And it was wonderful, of course. They performed a new song, which I had not heard before.

Alpha Draconi

What song was that?

[There is a long silence.]

Voice of Laura

You know, I honestly cannot remember what it is called.

Alpha Draconi

You can't remember?!

Voice of Laura

Sorry. It was a good song, though.

Alpha Draconi

What kind of a groupie are you? You can't even remember the name of the Wyrd Sisters' new song!

Voice of Laura

I'm sorry! I've never done this groupie thing before. I guess I just don't have the act down perfectly yet.

Alpha Draconi

No kidding. Make sure you get it right next time.

Humagon

Shhh! Let her get on with the story. The Wyrd Sisters must have performed Sulla's evening as well.

Voice of Laura

Yes. That was fabulous! And I managed to eke out a tiny corner in which to dance, despite the fact that the place was really crowded, and the killjoy host kept asking the dancers to sit down.

Psi Phile

The host asked you not to dance?

Voice of Laura

Yeah. All weekend, between just about every set. Most of the performers were encouraging people to get up and dance, and a few people would. Then Mr. Killjoy would come back out and tell them all to go and sit down again. As if! I mean, who ever heard of a folk festival where the people are forbidden to dance?!

Alpha Draconi [Making no attempt to hide the sarcasm behind her words.]

I don't know - never having had the opportunity to attend a folk festival.

Voice of Laura

Would you quit harping on that?!

Humagon

Be quiet Alpha, I want to hear the story.

Voice of Laura

Thank-you, Humagon. Anyway, as I was saying, I danced anyway, despite the fact that it was officially forbidden.

Aerfen

You're so bad!

Voice of Laura

Yeah, well, I wasn't going to drive all the way to Ottawa to hear the Wyrd Sisters and then not dance. I mean, you know that there are certain Wyrd Sisters songs, and one in particular, to which I am actually physically incapable of not dancing.

Humagon

And did they play the dancing song?

Voice of Laura

Not during their evening set. Which was probably a good thing, actually. I mean, I say that I danced, but I was really wedged into a pretty small space. There wasn't room for the dancing song.

Humagon

But you mentioned that the Wyrd Sisters performed three times.

Voice of Laura

Yes. They also performed at a workshop, Sulla's afternoon.

Humagon

What was that like?

Voice of Laura

Well... you know that I love everything that I have ever heard the Wyrd Sisters perform.

Alpha Draconi

Even the song whose name you cannot remember.

Voice of Laura

Even the song whose name I cannot remember. But of all of their music, my absolute favourite song, out of everything I have ever heard in my whole entire life, is Rain Dance.

Alpha Draconi

Your favourite song from everything you ever heard in all of your past lives too, I think.

Voice of Laura

Well, I've never done a past lives regression or anything like that but, judging by my soul's response to that song, I would have to say that you are probably right.

Psi Phile

Would you like to do one?

Voice of Laura

What?

Psi Phile

A past lives regression. We dragons are adept at facilitating such journeys you know.

Voice of Laura

I don't know. I think that I have enough to deal with in this life. Thanks for the offer though.

Psi Phile

Any time.

Humagon

Tell us about the workshop.

Voice of Laura

Okay. The deal with these workshops is that there is usually four or five bands (in this case, three bands and two story-tellers) and everyone performs pieces related to a certain theme. The sessions are only an hour long, which means that each group usually only performs twice during the workshop. Well, the theme of this particular workshop was "The Great Outdoors", and the Wyrd Sisters don't have many songs which relate too closely to that theme. However, my absolute, all-time, favourite song in the whole world -

Aerfen

Rain Dance

Voice of Laura

- is certainly one of the more obvious choices.

Hippocrates

So, did they play Rain Dance?

Voice of Laura

Let me tell the story.

Hippocrates

Sorry.

Voice of Laura

Okay. So... I showed up at the workshop stage good and early, and I was ready to dance. I laid out my blanket well in front of everyone else's. I took off my shoes. I staked out some prime dancing turf. And I waited. Pretty soon, the Wyrd Sisters showed up with their instruments, and Lianne got out her guitar and started tuning it.

Alpha Draconi

I thought that Lianne played the keyboards.

Voice of Laura

Normally, that's true, but she plays the guitar for -

Hippocrates

Rain Dance.

Voice of Laura

Exactly. So, I watched Lianne tune her guitar and I thought, "This can only be a good sign." I took out my water bottle, to make sure that I was good and hydrated, and I adjusted my new sun-glasses, trying to determine whether or not I was going to be able to wear them to dance.

Humagon

Never mind the sun-glasses. What happened next?

Voice of Laura

Well, eventually, the performers got all of their stuff assembled on the stage, and the Wyrd Sisters put out their guitar stand, with Nancy's guitar on one side and Lianne's guitar right there beside it, and I was psyched. The host introduced the workshop, and the Wyrd Sisters performed first.

Psi Phile

And they sang Rain Dance.

Voice of Laura

No. They sang Farewell to Clayoquot Sound. Which is an excellent song, but Lianne's guitar was still sitting there, untouched, and I knew that the Wyrd Sisters would perform again before the workshop was over. So I waited. I tried to be patient and to contain my excitement through everyone else's performances. It seemed like an eternity, but, eventually, it was the Wyrd Sisters' turn to perform again.

Aerfen

And they sang Rain Dance.

Voice of Laura

No. They sang The River. And I started to get just a wee bit anxious. I mean, don't get me wrong. The River is a fine song in its own right. I love The River. It's an excellent song. But, normally, everyone only gets to perform two pieces at these workshop sessions, and Lianne's guitar was still sitting there, untouched, and I wanted to hear Rain Dance.

Humagon

So, what happened next?

Voice of Laura

Well, I looked at my watch, and I saw that the session wasn't yet half over. This workshop was progressing more quickly than the others I had attended had done, and it seemed likely that someone was going to get to perform three pieces.

Alpha Draconi

And Lianne's guitar was still sitting there, untouched.

Voice of Laura

Lianne's guitar was sitting there, untouched, and surely she wouldn't have brought it out for nothing.

Humagon

And then what?

Voice of Laura

Well, I tried to enjoy everyone else's performances, but I mostly just sat and stared at the minutes rolling over on my watch, and I worried that we would run out of time. Eventually, however, everyone on stage had performed twice, and there was still almost ten minutes left in the hour. Someone was obviously going to perform a third piece, and Lianne's guitar was still sitting there, untouched.

Alpha Draconi

And she wouldn't have brought it out for nothing.

Voice of Laura

Exactly. So I took off my hat and my shades, I stripped down to my shorts and tank top, and I poised myself, ready to spring up and claim my dancing turf. Well, the host went up to the microphone, and she started talking. She went on and on, at great length, about last winter's ice storms in eastern Ontario and Quebec, and the minutes were ticking away. I looked at Lianne's guitar, and then over to the spot I had picked out for dancing, then down to my watch, then back up at Lianne's guitar. Still the host was talking, and I, more than a little bit anxious by this point, began willing her to shut up. Then the host made a request of the Wyrd Sisters that they sing a song about trees.

Humagon

But they had already sung their song about trees!

Voice of Laura

Which Lianne said, but the host ignored her. Then Kim got up and started conferring with the members of the other bands, and I was terrified that one of them would have a song about trees and that they would perform instead of the Wyrd Sisters.

Hippocrates

But Lianne's guitar was still sitting there, untouched.

Psi Phile

And surely she wouldn't have brought it out for nothing.

Voice of Laura

Exactly. This could just not be allowed to happen.

Aerfen

Why didn't you say anything?

Voice of Laura

Actually, I very nearly did. The host was still going on and on about the trees, and I was so wired by that point that I was seconds away from running up to the stage, grabbing the host by the throat and throttling her, and screaming, "You don't understand! THE WYRD SISTERS ARE GOING TO PERFORM RAIN DANCE NOW! THIS IS NOT AN OPTION!"

Alpha Draconi

But you restrained yourself?

Voice of Laura

Only because the host finally stopped talking, and then Kim said that they didn't have another song about trees but that they did have one about -

the Dragons

RAIN!

Voice of Laura

At which point, I started cheering and applauding as loudly as I possibly could.

Alpha Draconi

And the Wyrd Sisters sang Rain Dance.

Voice of Laura

Yeah.

Alpha Draconi

And did you dance?

Voice of Laura

Of course I did. It was wonderful!

[Our Writer sighs, in such a way that the dragons all know, (even though they have never seen her, because she only ever appears in voice-overs) that she must have a big, goofy grin on her face.]

Alpha Draconi

So, I suppose you'll be going back next year?

Voice of Laura

I don't know.

Alpha Draconi

What do you mean, you don't know?!

Voice of Laura

Well, I have to write to Mr. Killjoy and ask him if he was serious about allowing a mosh pit for next year.

Alpha Draconi

As if! If the Wyrd Sisters return to Ottawa next summer, you'll go. And mosh pit or no mosh pit, you'll dance, just like you did this year.

Voice of Laura

Maybe. But I am hoping that the Wyrd Sisters might perform a little closer to London next summer. We have a perfectly good folk festival right here in town.

Aerfen

Yeah, right.

Voice of Laura

What's that supposed to mean?

Humagon

You didn't even go to Home County this year!

Voice of Laura

You dragons know that I try to support local events, but I was busy that weekend.

Hippocrates

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Voice of Laura

I was hosting a dinner party! I spent half the weekend in the kitchen...

Alpha Draconi

Excuses, excuses.

[As Our Writer and the Dragons squabble off into the sunset, we cut to a much-needed commercial break.]


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