Here be Dragons: Deep Space Adventures of Laura's Demented Mind - Episode Eight

Deep Space Adventures of Laura's Demented Mind


Episode Eight


[The BRIDGE of the DRAGON SHIP PERIL. ALPHA DRACONI lies sprawled in the Big Chair. The other DRAGONS are variously slumped over their work stations or laid out on the deck. They are close to expiring from boredom.]

AERFEN

[Sighing.]

When are we going to see some action?

ALPHA DRACONI

I don't know.

SPEEDY-GO DRAGON

It's been a REALLY long time since our last adventure.

ALPHA DRACONI

I know dragons. I know. Our Writer's been busy.

PSI PHILE

Yeah. Writing OTHER stuff. I hear she's editor-in-chief of that web zine now.

HIPPOCRATES

And following the Wyrd Sisters around. I hear she's been to 13 Wyrd Sisters gigs!

LOGICAAVIK

Twenty-two if you count each stage at folk festivals separately!

2ND SHIFT

Twenty-two Wyrd Sisters concerts, forty-four issues of The Outer Rim, and no time for us.

ALPHA DRACONI

She has been working too. Things got pretty busy at that ISP you know. And she's trying to break into film production work now.

PSI PHILE

She's forgotten her old friends the dragons.

[PSI PHILE sobs.]

HUMAGON

No. Our Writer would not forget us. I'm sure of that.

AERFEN

It's been three years 'Mags!

HUMAGON

She'll be back Aerfen. Have faith.

[AERFEN snorts a Huge Ball of Flame. She is unimpressed with HUMAGON's faith. The other DRAGONS seem similarly unconvinced. HUMAGON gets up and walks towards the forward view screen, staring out into space as if the internal view of LAURA's Demented Mind (Shudder) might provide some clues as to LAURA's whereabouts. AERFEN also rises to her feet but moves off in the opposite direction, pacing impatiently back and forth across the upper level of the BRIDGE. ALPHA DRACONI pushes herself up in her chair and scrolls through the data readouts on her console. She is puzzled by what she sees. Scrolls back. Reads it again.]

ALPHA DRACONI

Aerfen? Can you check the tactical displays please? My command console is indicating that 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 has been tripped.

[AERFEN races to her work station, and HUMAGON turns and slides into the seat at the Conn. The other DRAGONS all sit up at this news.]

AERFEN

You're right Alpha. 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 definitely on!

HUMAGON

The dorsal gamma airlock has been opened! Wait a minute. It's closing now. The lock is repressurizing.

[HUMAGON turns to face the others.]

HUMAGON

Something's in there.

[There is a flurry of activity as the DRAGONS all scramble to their posts, trying to gather what information they can concerning the contents of the PERIL's dorsal gamma airlock.]

ALPHA DRACONI

Anything organic?

SPEEDY-GO DRAGON

I'm detecting some wood products. Paper I think. Mostly plastics though, and some inks. I think they're data storage devices.

PSI PHILE

I'm sensing ... Dancing!

THE OTHERS

Dancing?

[PSI PHILE drops to her knees on the deck and takes up her Concentration Pose. After a few moments she nods her head.]

PSI PHILE

Definitely dancing.

VOICE OF LAURA

Speedy and Psi are both right. The airlock contains presents I brought you from Ottawa.

ALPHA DRACONI

Our Writer!

VOICE OF LAURA

Yes.

HUMAGON

You're back!

VOICE OF LAURA

With presents.

SPEEDY-GO DRAGON & PSI PHILE

Music!

VOICE OF LAURA

You got it.

2ND SHIFT

I'll go get them!

SPEEDY-GO DRAGON

I'll fetch the CD player.

[SPEEDY-GO DRAGON and 2ND SHIFT exit via the SSISTT.]

ALPHA DRACONI

So. You're back.

VOICE OF LAURA

Yes. And I'm sorry for the long absence. I have been busy. Life and all that.

HUMAGON

Of course. Happens to the best of us.

ALPHA DRACONI

And you returned to Ottawa. To the folk festival?

VOICE OF LAURA

Yes.

HIPPOCRATES

Did they have a mosh pit this year?

VOICE OF LAURA

No. Mr. Killjoy was lying about that. The festival was just as unfriendly towards dancers as ever.

ALPHA DRACONI

But you went back there anyway. The Wyrds were there, I take it.

VOICE OF LAURA

Yes. The Wyrd Sisters, and Susan Werner. The Wyrd Sisters hadn't been out our way in eighteen months, and I really needed a break from Milton, so I got myself a rental car, drove out to London to pick up Lili and Mandy, and we made the trek to the Ottawa Folk Festival.

HUMAGON

And? How was it?

VOICE OF LAURA

It was fabulous! I mean, the lack of suitable places in which to dance really sucked, but there were lots of wonderful performers there.

LOGICAAVIK

What is that with folk festivals without dancing?

VOICE OF LAURA

I have no idea. Ottawa has no room to dance at the main stage, two of the daytime stages are on concrete, and one of the late night stages is on pavement. At one of the stages at which I did manage to find myself a small bit of body-friendly space in which to dance, I was told to cease and desist - twice!

LOGICAAVIK

That's outrageous!

VOICE OF LAURA

You're telling me.

SPEEDY-GO DRAGON

[Who has just returned with her CD player.]

I heard you were table dancing.

VOICE OF LAURA

Who told you that?

SPEEDY-GO DRAGON

I have my sources.

VOICE OF LAURA

Hmph! Well, as it so happens, you're correct. I was dancing on a table. But it was an outdoor picnic table. It was plenty stable enough for dancing, and it had seen plenty worse than my feet. Besides, I had checked with festival security, and they had said it was no problem, I could dance there. Then some other official type came along and told me no, I had to get down.

HIPPOCRATES

What did you do?

VOICE OF LAURA

Well, I moved down onto the bench of the table and I danced without lifting my feet very far. That way, I figured I could pretend that I wasn't really dancing, I just wasn't too good at standing still.

HUMAGON

You're so bad!

VOICE OF LAURA

It was a folk festival! And you know me; when my soul calls me to dance, I have to dance - and the music at that concert was surely calling me to dance, let me tell you!

ALPHA DRACONI

So. Did you get away with dancing on the bench?

VOICE OF LAURA

Such as it was, yes. I consoled myself with the knowledge that the rest of the workshops which I planned to attend that day were on grass. Surely I would be able to find adequate dancing real estate there, but even that was problematic.

LOGICAAVIK

How so?

VOICE OF LAURA

Well, these Ottawa types really have no idea. About dancing, I mean. I was at one of Susan's sets, and it was pretty crowded, but I needed to dance so I moved to the back of the crowd so that I wouldn't be in anyone's way.

HUMAGON

That was kind of you.

VOICE OF LAURA

I thought so. Anyway, there I was dancing at the back of the audience when two people came and sat down right behind me. There was plenty of space beside me, but no, they sat down directly behind me.

LOGICAAVIK

How strange.

VOICE OF LAURA

I thought so too, but they did arrive between songs, and I wasn't dancing at the time, just standing there. Dancing is such a foreign concept at that festival, I think that this couple perhaps assumed that I would sit down or move on once the next song began. I, of course, had no intention of doing either, so I moved sideways a few paces, so that I would no longer be in front of them.

HIPPOCRATES

And that worked out?

VOICE OF LAURA

For about half a song. Then two more people came and sat down directly behind my new position!

LOGICAAVIK

So you moved again?

VOICE OF LAURA

Well, at that point, another move sideways would have put me behind speakers and tent poles, so that I could not see the stage at all, and the couple who had first sat down behind me had not bothered to move up into the space which I had vacated, so there was lots of room in front of them, and I would have had to move considerably further back to get behind them.

ALPHA DRACONI

So what did you do?

VOICE OF LAURA

At the end of the next song, I asked the first couple if they would like to move up so that I could dance behind them and not block their view of the stage.

HUMAGON

And did they move?

VOICE OF LAURA

No. They just stared at me as if I had three heads. They looked a little frightened actually, as if being addressed by the crazy dancer person was a little bit too much for them. Buddy who'd sat down behind me last wasn't afraid to speak to me, however. "Why don't you go dance over there?" he grumped, and pointed to the field to the side of the stage, halfway over towards the next stage! "People came here to see the performers, not you!"

AERFEN

Did you deck him?

VOICE OF LAURA

No.

AERFEN

I would have decked him.

VOICE OF LAURA

Yes, I expect you would have, but physical altercations are somewhat contrary to the spirit of a folk festival.

AERFEN

So, what did you do about Mr. Nasty then?

VOICE OF LAURA

I tried to ignore him as best I could. The stage crew opened up the wall on the far side of the stage soon after that, so I moved far away from Mr. Nasty and tried to forget about him. He'd left a bitter taste in my mouth though. I didn't feel much like dancing anymore.

HUMAGON

That really sucks.

AERFEN

I still say you should have decked him. Who was he to ruin your whole festival like that?

VOICE OF LAURA

Oh, he didn't ruin my whole festival.

HUMAGON

No?

VOICE OF LAURA

No. After that set, Susan signed her CD liner "to the interpretive dancer of the Ottawa Folk Festival" for me, and I felt better after that.

HUMAGON

That's good.

AERFEN

I'll bet Mr. Nasty did't feel any better though.

VOICE OF LAURA

I wouldn't know. He really wasn't my problem anymore, was he?

HUMAGON

But, other than the problems with dancing, it was a good festival?

VOICE OF LAURA

It was fabulous!

[2ND SHIFT returns with the CDs.]

2ND SHIFT

Here they are!

[ALPHA DRACONI takes the CDs.]

ALPHA DRACONI

Six, no, this one's got two in it. Seven CDs!

SPEEDY-GO DRAGON

Two in one! That's the coolest!

VOICE OF LAURA

Those are the coolest! Those are Darlene's.

ALPHA DRACONI

Who's Darlene?

VOICE OF LAURA

Only my find of the festival. She was awesome! She sings jazz and blues and Gypsy tunes.

LOGICAAVIK

Gypsy tunes?

VOICE OF LAURA

Hmm-mmm! She has some traditional stuff from all over, and lots of her own songs which are all fabulous and she plays guitar and drums and (not at the festival, but on her recordings) she plays didgeridoo.

HIPPOCRATES

Oh! I love didgeridoo!

2ND SHIFT

Me too!

SPEEDY-GO DRAGON

Didg is the coolest.

HUMAGON

Ya gotta' love a woman who plays didgeridoo!

VOICE OF LAURA

That's what I thought. And you know that I'm spiritually related to the Gypsies.

LOGICAAVIK

You found youself heading over to the CD tent in a big hurry, I bet.

VOICE OF LAURA

I did.

ALPHA DRACONI

Seven CDs! The goddess of money has been smiling on you!

VOICE OF LAURA

She hasn't actually. I spent way more money in Ottawa than I should have done! The car rental was pretty pricey too, because the rental agency in Milton has really short hours and they don't allow after-hours drop offs, so I had to have the car for five days! That was a bit of an ouch on my wallet, so I steeled myself to face the fact that I wouldn't be able to buy anyone's CD at the festival unless the performer really blew me away.

ALPHA DRACONI

And Darlene blew you away?

VOICE OF LAURA

Oh yes! And when I got to the music tent, Darlene had two CDs there, and I couldn't possibly decide which one not to get.

LOGICAAVIK

So you got both.

VOICE OF LAURA

Yeah. I pretty much gave up on the idea of walking away from Ottawa with any money left at that point and decided that I was in such a good mood that everyone was getting two-fors.

LOGICAAVIK

But, there are four Susan Werner CDs here. Were there two Susan Werners at the festival?

VOICE OF LAURA

Oh, no. Susan's one of a kind, but I owed her because I saw her perform at Hillside last summer and really wanted to buy her CDs then but was too broke.

ALPHA DRACONI

And this one? Kiva? Who's that?

VOICE OF LAURA

The Wyrds' new soprano.

HUMAGON

Oh! This was your first Wyrd Sisters' gig without Lianne!

VOICE OF LAURA

Yes.

HUMAGON

And?

VOICE OF LAURA

I managed not to cry.

ALPHA DRACONI

That was big of you.

VOICE OF LAURA

Well, I am trying to be mature about that whole thing.

ALPHA DRACONI

And you even bought the new sister's CD.

VOICE OF LAURA

I bought Kiva's CD because I think she is talented. That had nothing to do with the Wyrd Sisters.

ALPHA DRACONI

But you only bought one Kiva CD.

VOICE OF LAURA

I think she only had one CD there.

ALPHA DRACONI

You think?

VOICE OF LAURA

Yes. When I got to the CD tent, Kiva had already cashed out. One of the volunteers had already pulled Susan's and Darlene's CDs for me, and there was a huge line up at the cash register, and there I was standing with a big pile of CDs I had yet to pay for but no Kiva CD, and the Wyrds had finished their last set of the festival, and I knew they were leaving right away.

ALPHA DRACONI

So how did you get this CD?

VOICE OF LAURA

Ah, well. I had accomplices in Ottawa with me this time, didn't I? I gave Mandy and Lili my cash and sent them to the Green Room in search of Kiva while I waited to pay for the other CDs with credit.

LOGICAAVIK

The girls were successful, I take it?

VOICE OF LAURA

I didn't know immediately. When I made it through the line up in the music tent, there was no sign of Lili or Mandy, so I headed off to the Green Room in search of them. Couldn't find them there either, or Kiva, but I did see Murray Pulver, who was at the festival playing guitar for the Wyrds, so I called him over and asked him if he had seen the girls.

HUMAGON

Had he?

VOICE OF LAURA

No. Poor Murray. I think he thought that I had lost them. I said, "No, no, no. I sent them out this way in search of Kiva, because I want to buy her CD." Well, Murray didn't know where Kiva was either, so I went back outside and headed back towards the main stage area, where I found the girls, triumphantly waving the Kiva CD in the air.

AERFEN

A successful mission!

VOICE OF LAURA

Of course! They are my protégés, after all!

ALPHA DRACONI

So, you got all of the CDs that you wanted.

VOICE OF LAURA

No, but I got all that I could afford.

ALPHA DRACONI

And you got to hear the Wyrd Sisters.

VOICE OF LAURA

And lots of other great performers too! In fact, there were so many wonderful musicians at Ottawa this year, it was impossible to keep up with them all.

ALPHA DRACONI

Meaning?

VOICE OF LAURA

Meaning ... well ... oh, dear. I guess I might as well tell you this now, because you're sure to find out sooner or later, and I know that I'll never live this down, but...

THE DRAGONS

But what?!?!?!?

VOICE OF LAURA

Sulla's afternoon.

AERFEN

Yes?

VOICE OF LAURA

I was at Darlene's concert.

SPEEDY-GO DRAGON

And?

VOICE OF LAURA

And the Wyrd Sisters were scheduled to perform immediately afterwards, but on a different stage.

HUMAGON

Okay. And?

VOICE OF LAURA

And Darlene's set ran over.

ALPHA DRACONI

You didn't.

VOICE OF LAURA

I did.

2ND SHIFT

You did what?

VOICE OF LAURA

I missed one of the Wyrd Sisters' songs.

[There is a collective gasp amongst the DRAGONS.]

PSI PHILE

You - you - you - you what?!?!?!?

VOICE OF LAURA

I missed the Wyrds' first song.

SPEEDY-GO DRAGON

But - but - but - but - but -

2ND SHIFT

But you're their biggest fan!

VOICE OF LAURA

I know.

2ND SHIFT

You've travelled hundreds of miles to see them!

VOICE OF LAURA

I know.

2ND SHIFT

On multiple occassions!

VOICE OF LAURA

I know.

2ND SHIFT

But, you can't ... How could you?

VOICE OF LAURA

Look. 2nd. Dragons. I'm sorry, but it couldn't be helped.

LOGICAAVIK

What do you mean, "it couldn't be helped"?! Did you not know that the Wyrd Sisters were performing next?

VOICE OF LAURA

I knew.

LOGICAAVIK

Did you know that Darlene's set was running overtime?

VOICE OF LAURA

Yes.

LOGICAAVIK

Then I don't see ...

VOICE OF LAURA

Darlene blew me away like the Wyrd Sisters blew me away the first time I heard them.

LOGICAAVIK

Wow!

VOICE OF LAURA

I couldn't walk out on her set early.

LOGICAAVIK

No. I guess not.

[ALPHA DRACONI, who has been examining the CDs from Ottawa, clears her throat.]

VOICE OF LAURA

Yes?

ALPHA DRACONI

Speaking of the Wyrd Sisters.

VOICE OF LAURA

Yes?

ALPHA DRACONI

Didn't they release a new CD this summer?

[There is a chorus of "Yeah. Is that out yet? It's about time! Oh yeah, I've been waiting on that one!" etc.]

VOICE OF LAURA

Ah, yes. They did.

ALPHA DRACONI

But you didn't buy that in Ottawa?

VOICE OF LAURA

Didn't have to. I already had one, courtesy of Kim.

ALPHA DRACONI

Well?

VOICE OF LAURA

Well what?

ALPHA DRACONI

Where is it?

VOICE OF LAURA

Sheesh! I bring you seven CDs from Ottawa! Seven! And all excellent CDs at that! But no, that's not good enough for you. You have to have the Wyrd Sisters' CD too.

ALPHA DRACONI

It's alright for you, speeding down the highway in your little rental car, following the Wyrd Sisters and now it seems other musicians as well around the province, but we never get to leave your Demented [Shudder.] Mind. Most of the time, we don't even get to leave this ship. We don't have any music except for what you share with us.

VOICE OF LAURA

Oh, all right!

[The Wyrds "Sin and Other Salvations" CD floats down from the lighting grid above the BRIDGE set.]

VOICE OF LAURA

I had to travel all the way to London in a casket delivery truck to get that one, so don't loose it. Come to think of it, don't loose any of the CDs. I'm rather fond of them and not in much of a position to be able to replace any of them easily.

HIPPOCRATES

You rode to London in a casket delivery truck?

VOICE OF LAURA

Yes.

HIPPOCRATES

Caskets as in coffins?

VOICE OF LAURA

Yes.

HIPPOCRATES

With dead people in them?

VOICE OF LAURA

No, no, no. Empty caskets.

HIPPOCRATES

How did that come to pass?

VOICE OF LAURA

Oh, that's a story for another day.

[The DRAGONS try to question OUR WRITER more, but she is gone. As the credits start to roll, SPEEDY-GO DRAGON pops the "Motel Darlene" CD into her CD player, and the DRAGONS are soon all up and dancing around the BRIDGE.]


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