Thursday, August 16, 2012

Blake's 7: Backlash (i)

[Space. Above the planet Langsuir is a scattered display of drifting space wrecks. The Phoenix swoops towards the planet, slowing to a crawl as it moves past the derelicts.]

[Phoenix flight deck. Gamren is at the controls. Lora, Avon and Vila are at their stations. Zanto is pacing, clearly more bothered than he wants to admit.]

Blake: Geostationary orbit will be achieved in eight minutes.

Zanto: Eight? Try and improve on that.

Blake: Sorry, Zanto, but the battle debris is proving much denser than anticipated.

[Another hulk drifts past on the main screen.]

Zanto: We’re going to be late.

Gamren: You’re the one that insisted we approach on this vector.

Zanto: I know. And given that Langsuir is twice the size of Earth, I would have thought the wreckage would have been spread far more thinly in orbit – it’s as though they fought the main battle here!

Gamren: How inconsiderate of them.

Vila: Less talking, more piloting, Gamren.

[Space. The Phoenix ducks around a seemingly-undamaged pursuit ship.]

[Phoenix flight deck.]

Lora: Er. Are we sure they’re all wrecks?

Vila: Must be. All the working ships would have been recalled down to the surface – trying to maintain a blockade around the planet’s a lost cause, Orac says.

Lora:  Orac says a lot of things.

Orac: Few of which are actually listened to by the occupants of this space craft! This planet was being suppressed by the Federation Pacification Police when the formula to the Pylene 50 antitoxin was released by the rebel alliance. Due to Langsuir’s climate and atmospheric content, much of the local vegetation and produce contain the primary chemical ingredients – the population therefore required only a small adjustment of their intake to become totally immune to the Federation pacification drugs. Approximately 30 per cent of the entire indigenous population were immunized overnight. With their drugs useless, the Federation had to rely on a small military force to engage the natives...

Avon: ...and the planet has been caught in a full-scale conflict ever since. Even the attempts to blockade the planet and trap the resisters on Langsuir have failed.

Vila: Which is why the Federation want to try out their brand new military computer programs for tactical warfare; their new defense network is to be tested here because even if it doesn’t work, they were going to lose control of Langsuir anyway. [to Avon] See? I can pay attention.

Avon: Pay attention to what?

Vila: [frowns] Not sure. Must have slipped my mind.

[Lora laughs at them, but sobers quickly.]

Lora: You sure about this, Zanto?

Zanto: Yeah, I know what I’m doing.

Avon: That must be a novel experience for you.

Zanto: This stratagem has worked before – it helped us reclaim Horizon from the Federation and even got us off Lubus right under their very noses. Thanks to Orac, I’ve got all the details required and I can infiltrate both the Magnetrix Terminal and the Kommisar’s Office in less than an hour.

Lora: It sounds very risky.

Zanto: Lora, the only other way to find out exactly what’s happening down there would be for Orac to tap the Federation computer systems – and those systems are shut down and being reprogrammed. When they get switched back on it will be too late for us to do anything about it, won’t it?

Lora: It doesn’t make it any less dangerous. Can’t one us go with you?

Avon: No. It is time our apprentice psychostrategist earned his status as a proper puppeteer.

Vila: And try saying that when you’re drunk.

Zanto: Oh, I have. I’ll head down on my own while the rest of you can head for the rendezvous with Rothon. Worst comes to the worst, I can always teleport back up here.

Gamren: As long as they don’t get your bracelet.

Zanto: Which is why, oh wondrous light of my life, I’m using this!

[He puts his booted foot up on the console and rolls up his trouser leg – tied around his ankle is a Scorpio teleport bracelet.]

Zanto: Assuming anyone down there is even aware of teleport bracelets, they’ll be more worried about the one on my wrist rather than my ankle. In fact, they probably won’t even look there.

Gamren: Knowing your luck, the entire security force will consist of foot fetishists.

Zanto: Just get us to the coordinates, Gamren. You’re no use to do anything else on this mission.

[Gamren looks at him outraged.]

Zanto: I’m sure by the time we’re finished down there, you’ll have thought up something witty to say.

Gamren: You been taking lessons from Avon in basic hostility?

Avon: I hold evening classes in the sub-hold. Blake – are we at the coordinates?

Blake: We’ll achieve them in another thirty-six seconds.

[Space. The Phoenix draws closer to the planet.]

[Phoenix flight deck.]

Avon: Well now, Zanto. Your big moment.

Gamren: You’re not taking a gun? You’re supposed to be fooling the Kommissar not committing suicide...

Zanto: A single gun isn’t going to do any good down there. It’ll just give them an excuse to shoot me. Besides, think of the psychological threat – a man who chooses to go without a gun is dangerous because it implies he doesn’t need a gun, a simple machine that might jam or malfunction...

Gamren: I ask again: are you actually trying to get yourself killed?

Zanto: Time will tell. Blake?

Blake: Coordinates achieved.

[Zanto crosses to the teleport.]

Lora: How late are we?

Blake: One minute eleven seconds.

Zanto: Could be worse... let’s just hope the patrols are still in that sector.

Vila: All right, Zanto, we’ll stay up here for the next four minutes – if things aren’t working by then, teleport straight back here anyway. Understood?

Zanto: Understood, sir. Ready and waiting.

Avon: Good luck.

Zanto: Oh, Avon. Luck’s for beginners.

[He casually smacks the activator on the side of the teleport bay and dematerializes.]

Vila: You know, if that boy’s ego gets any bigger you could start considering retirement, Avon.

Avon: And what a joyous day that will be. Blake, start the countdown. We move in four minutes.

Blake: Right.

[Museum. A small, dusty chamber that has clearly not been used in a while. Display cases show old-fashioned objects, cutlery, books, etc. Zanto cautiously emerges from behind an exotic-designed suit of armor and glances around.]

Zanto: Nice to see the Federation showing their usual attitude to culture. Which means there should be a regular patrol in this area. Unless they’re all at the art gallery. What’s more dangerous? Art or history? [shrugs] They’ll destroy both the first chance they get...

[Zanto heads around a corner, past an Egyptian-style sarcophagus and out through a doorway.]

[Concourse. It is a bright, sunny day. There are lots of stone walls and archways, and the signs of recent battles – burns on the walls, graffiti, some Federation logos have been smashed. There is no one around. Zanto stands in the shade of an archway, looking around impatiently. Three masked Federation troopers approach down the end of the concourse, a fourth driving an open-topped transporter. Zanto grins and casually walks into the street towards them.]

Zanto: Morning!

[The troopers aim their guns at him. Unfussed, Zanto stops and raises his hands.]

Trooper 1: What are you doing out of the residential compounds?

Zanto: Just visiting the local museums. Is that a crime?

Trooper 1: It is. Central City is under military law. Where are your identification papers?

Zanto: I don’t need identification papers. This is a free planet. The Federation and everyone working for it are just too stupid to realize that.

[One of the troopers swings his rifle, to club Zanto, but he steps out of the way.]

Zanto: So predictable! And so sloppy – my report is not going to be favorable, gentlemen.

Trooper 2: Report?

Zanto: You’ve barely followed official procedure for dealing with insurgents, been easily riled with the most basic of provocation, and you haven’t even asked if I’m alone. No wonder the galaxy’s in such a state. Take me to the Magnetrix Terminal at once. Your superior officer is about to get a detailed review of your many failings.

[The trooper in the transporter raises his own gun.]

Trooper 4: Maybe you had an accident before I arrived.

Zanto: Are you seriously threatening me, trooper? That suggests you don’t have the Federation’s greatest interests at heart – which suggests you might actually be a rebel.

[The other three troopers exchange worried looks.]

Zanto: It confirms, however, you’re stupid enough to think this entire situation is not being monitored. Open fire if you like, trooper. It’s all going onto micro-tape.

[The trooper doesn’t lower his gun.]

Trooper 3: Don’t be a fool, Kell.

Trooper 4: The Federation needs all the troopers it can get. They won’t execute us.

Zanto: [nods] Unless you prove too great a liability. Like shooting an internal investigator. On tape.

Trooper 2: He’s right!

[The second trooper grabs the gun from the fourth. Zanto pats his tunic.]

Zanto: And this is blast proof anyway. [coldly] As I said. Predictable. Now, are you going to do yourself a favor and get yourselves onto my good side by giving me a lift to the Terminal? Or are you going to let an unidentified intruder make his own way there?

[The troopers exchange looks and then lower their guns. Zanto smiles and climbs onto the transporter.]

Zanto: [to himself] Ah, the military mind. So much fun to play with.

[The transporter glides off.]

[Cityscape. The Magnetrix Terminal is a skyscraper looming over the rest of the city, resembling a cross between a vertical stack of plates and a DNA helix.]

[Main computer room. Technicians are checking glowing fibre-optic connections between freestanding banks of machinery. Chief technician Quince is supervising two technicians sliding a tray of circuitry into the workings of a computer and wiring it up. The planet’s Kommisar, a stern-faced skinny woman, and her hulking aide Taine, watch on, unimpressed.]

Quince: There’s no point complaining about the schedule, Kommisar.

Kommisar: There is, however, a point in complaining how far behind it you have fallen, Quince.

Quince: This has never been attempted before, sir. There is no precedent – and we are hardly working in the most ideal of circumstances, are we?

Kommisar: [rolls eyes] If we were, we wouldn’t need a defense network to operate, would we?

Quince: [nods sadly] We live in an imperfect universe.

Taine: You won’t live in it much longer, Quince. How long until all this is fully operational?

Quince: Another two days, perhaps.

Kommisar: Two days? We can’t possibly wait that long – the resistors are already infiltrating central city. If they attack now, we’d be hard-pressed to hold them off. In two days? They’ll be strong enough to seize total control of Langsuir altogether...

Quince: I am well aware of that, Kommisar.

Taine: You could have fooled us!

Quince: While the Movella Program may not be fully active for two days, the Magnetrix link to the Federation should be back online by tomorrow morning. Our isolation will end.

[A trooper enters and crosses to Taine. They talk in the background.]

Quince: Then you can call in all the troops you like.

Kommisar: Much good it will do us, Quince, considering half the planet is blockaded with wreckage from the space battles. Even the dead have their part to play.

Quince: Kommisar?

Kommisar: Old tactics – use the corpses of both sides as barricades and insulation. The resistors have used the same principle on the space wrecks above us.

Quince: [grimaces] How... distasteful.

Kommisar: But efficient. We let them have eight tenths of Langsuir, concentrating all our forces here while you set up these wretched war computers, but they’re still not content. They will have the independence they crave very soon, and I can’t see any way we can stop them.

Quince: With respect, Kommisar, you are a planetary diplomat, not a soldier.

Kommisar: And the few generals still alive agree with my assessment.

Quince: We shall see what Movella has to say before giving up Langsuir for good.

Kommisar: Oh? Will we? I don’t care for your tone, technician...

Quince: [snorts] What are you going to do about it? Adapt me?

Kommisar: Very amusing, Quince. Get on with your jobs, all of you. While you’re still useful, we can’t afford the luxury of taking you out and shooting you through your ugly faces!

[Taine crosses to her.]

Taine: Kommisar?

Kommisar: Yes, Taine, what is it?

Taine: A prisoner’s been taken, in the cultural sector. Was caught breaking the curfew and demanded to be taken here to meet you.

Kommisar: What? Why didn’t they just put a plasma charge through his spine?

Taine: Gave the impression he’s some high-ranking inspector.

Kommisar: “Gave the impression”? You mean this man hasn’t even claimed to be an inspector, the troopers brought him here on a hunch? I don’t believe I’m hearing this. I’ll see him in my office.

[The Kommisar and her aide head out into the corridor.]

Taine: You don’t think it could be a genuine inspection?

Kommisar: [rolls eyes] Oh yes, Taine. In the middle of an experiment that revolutionize Federation warfare, on a planet encircled with space debris and smothered in revolting natives, they’ve decided on a spot check. It’s an imposter, of course it is, probably from Raynard’s unit.

Taine: Then why even speak to him?

Kommisar: Because I am bored rigid, Taine. And grinding that liar’s bones to powder inside his flesh will not only prove diverting it will be the undoubted highlight of my tour here.

[Taine smiles and follows her to the lift.]

[Kommisar’s Office. A windowless beige chamber with fibre-optics wires linking the console desk to the hastily-arranged junction on the wall. A technician is checking it over. Zanto stands between two troopers, his manner insolent, arms folded.]

Zanto: Good morning! You must be in charge here – being the Kommisar and everything.

[The Kommisar nods. Taine backhands Zanto.]

Zanto: [wincing] I’m sure you do a lot of hard work here too...

Kommisar: Address me in such familiar terms again and I shall have your spinal column liquefied.

Zanto: You got this job for your people skills, didn’t you, Kommisar?

[Taine rams his pistol into Zanto’s throat.]

Zanto: Temper.

[He gently forces the gun away from his throat.]

Kommisar: Who are you?

Zanto: Didn’t you put my face through the pattern recognition computers? Oh no. They’re all offline at the moment. It’s like being in the Stone Age these days, isn’t it?

Kommisar: Why don’t you have any identity papers?

Zanto: I know who I am, Kommisar, I don’t need a written reminder.

Kommisar: If you think you can wander out of the residential compound during curfew without reprisals, your memory is definitely compromised. Tell me who you are.

Zanto: You can call me Tarrant, Kommisar. Dekka Tarrant.

Kommisar: Oh, how imaginative.

Zanto: We do exist, you know. [confidentially] There’s even talk of a D. Tarrant Convention in Lypterium. All of us from across the galaxy, with our amazingly-nay-even-suspiciously-common names...

Kommisar: You won’t be attending.

Zanto: Won’t I, Kommisar?

Taine: Unlikely – given your life expectancy is less than the next ten minutes.

Zanto: Why? Do you know something about my health I don’t?

Kommisar: I know how to end all your health problems for good.

Zanto: You’re wasted in this place, you really are.

Kommisar: And you’re not as stupid as you’re pretending to be.

Zanto: What gave it away?

Kommisar: You’re treating this like a game. An ordinary resister with that attitude would have died long ago. So you think you know something that can stop me turning your cranium inside out with this gun. Tell me what it is or we’ll both regret it.

Zanto: Both?

Kommisar: Yes. The cleaning bills for mopping up prisoners’ brains are... truly exorbitant.

Zanto: So don’t shoot me.

[The Kommisar draws her own gun and aims it at Zanto’s head.]

Kommisar: [furious] SO GIVE ME A REASON NOT TO!

[A long beat. Zanto is unimpressed.]

Zanto: All right, Kommisar, to spare you any more sudden unhealthy surges of adrenaline. I strongly implied to your troops that I’m a high-ranking internal investigator from Federation High Command – and I did that for a very obvious reason.

Taine: To stop them blowing your kneecaps away?

Zanto: [thoughtful] Two very obvious reasons. Come now, Kommisar. You really thought you’d be left in charge of project, the redefinition of military combat, without someone from Federation Security to keep an eye on you?

[The Kommisar glances anxiously at Taine. Zanto, of course, notices.]

Kommisar: I am a loyal Federation officer.

Zanto: It’s amazing how often you hear that. Especially under torture. [smiles] Please, Kommisar, relax. You’re not squeaky-clean and perfect. Welcome to the human race. There’s not a single member of the Federation who hasn’t – how should I put it? – prioritized their own self-interest.

Taine: That sounds like a confession to me, Kommisar.

Kommisar: It does indeed, Taine.

Zanto: The difference between us is that I can say with confidence my crimes aren’t going to be found out. Can either of you say the same?

Kommisar: Langsuir is in chaos. The proper channels and procedures can’t always be followed.

Zanto: Oh, this is slightly more than misfiling stationary, isn’t it, Kommisar?

[They start to look more confident.]

Taine: You don’t know, do you?

Kommisar: And if you die in ignorance...

Zanto: will be joining me soon enough. Once that computer network links back to the Federation, the details of my mission here will be accessed, analyzed – and my suspicions of this entire outpost will be given over to the new military deterrent. I’ve more than enough to have you dubbed a threat. And if you don’t know what will happen to threats... then you’re definitely dying ignorant.

[The Kommisar curses and nods at Taine, who holsters his gun.]

Kommisar: Tell us what you know.

Zanto: It doesn’t sound any better coming from me, Kommisar. Maybe you should think about leaving in that little shuttle of yours while there’s still time.

Taine: [scandalized] What? How did you...

Zanto: [generously] Well, I didn’t know about it. It did seem very likely, though, that an independent woman such as yourself wouldn’t have some means of escape given this planet is on the knife edge of total anarchy. If the network doesn’t work, what would you do?

Kommisar: Stay here and die for the Federation.

Zanto: [impressed] Oh, such loyalty! That’s definitely going in my report. And, another thing, just before we go on, I dropped by one of the museums in the cultural sector...

[Taine looks very alarmed. Again, Zanto notices.]

Zanto: ...and it seems odd that they’re out of limits. Considering how crammed the residential compound is, you could easily have turned those excess buildings into spare accommodation...

Kommisar: Primitive intellectual expressionism like art and history are dangerous concepts.

Zanto: So destroy the exhibits, the buildings can still be used. But you didn’t. Why not? What’s in that sector you want to keep intact? And given these troopers weren’t expecting anyone to break curfew, let alone for me to be in a museum, what were they doing out there?

Taine: This is just guesswork.

Zanto: No. That is simple logic. You’re looting Langsuir Central City of its cultural treasures. Guesswork is me trying to work out just what’s so special that you’d risk staying on this hellhole for, right in the firing line and possibly ending up a target for both sides.

Kommisar: You want a cut, I suppose?

Zanto: Maybe. It all rather depends on whether it’s worth the risk. [frowns] Do you mind if I take a seat? I’ve been standing around for hours...

[The Kommisar nods. Zanto smiles and takes a chair, surreptitiously reaching down to pat the teleport bracelet hidden around his ankle.]

Zanto: Thank you. Much better. Well, Kommisar. What does Langsuir offer the discerning art thief?

[Phoenix flight deck. As before.]

Blake: We’re picking up a signal from Zanto’s communicator.

Gamren: What did I say? Begging for our help, is he?

Lora: He must want us to hear something. Blake, replay the signal.

[The conversation emerges from the communicators.]

Zanto: [vo] ...offer the discerning art thief?

Kommisar: [vo] Very little.

Gamren: [blinks] Well, that interrogation certainly sounds relaxed...

Kommisar: [vo] I have no interest in art per se.

Zanto: [vo] So why ransack all the galleries?

Kommisar: [vo] Do you know who Jan Rarvik was?

[Avon and Vila look up sharply and exchange looks.]

Zanto: [vo] I know the name.

Kommisar: [vo] The Rarvik Collection is here. On Langsuir.

Vila: [to Avon] This can’t be right. We’re never this lucky.

Avon: [nods] True, but there’s a first time for everything.

Gamren: [confused] Who’s Rarvik?

Avon: Quiet!

[Gamren glares at him.]

Kommisar: [vo] The transporter carrying them back to Earth was shot down in the war.

[Kommisar’s office.]

Kommisar: The paintings were recovered and the Langsuir Cultural Heritage Core, not realizing what they had, scattered them to art galleries across this planet. We have four of the portraits, collected from across the planet during the initial pacification phase. When the natives immunized themselves, all hell broke loose and the rest of the collection was hidden somewhere on the continent.

Zanto: [scoffs] And you think these righteous art-protectors hid them in museums?

Taine: If you want to hide a tree, put it in a forest.

Zanto: [nods] Clever. But even in these circumstances, you should have checked all the galleries and centres in Central City by now. And as you’re still here, you don’t have the entire collection.

Taine: We have four of them.

Zanto: Three to go, if I remember rightly. And Langsuir is very large place...

Kommisar: We have a pretty good idea where to look.

Zanto: Still haven’t found them, though, have you?

Kommisar: The natives tried to scatter the collection. Our evidence suggests two of them are in the city, while the final one has been secreted in a rebel stronghold out on the plateau.

Zanto: So you’re locating them by a process of elimination?

Kommisar: Exactly. There’s the possibility all three are at the stronghold. We dare not raid until we’re sure.

Zanto: Because the resistance are protecting it?

Taine: No, because the strike will reveal we have an agent in their ranks.

Zanto: [nods] Of course. Standard Pacification Police procedure – infiltrate the enemy ranks before the first shot is fired and then bring them down from within. Commissioner Sleer’s idea, isn’t it?

Taine: Before she went mad and started calling herself Servalan, yes.

Zanto: [cautious] You think she was lying?

Taine: It’s been months since that broadcast. She hasn’t done a thing. The word is she was totally delusional – probably got hit by pacification rays once too often.

Kommisar: She’s probably dead by now.

Zanto: Probably. Where is this “rebel stronghold” you mentioned?

Kommisar: It’s a small community village around some pre-atomic religious temple. It was a tourist destination before the war began. Now, I think we’ve told you enough.

Zanto: You really have. But don’t worry, you have my full support in this venture.

[Phoenix flight deck. Everyone is still listening.]

Zanto: [vo] But what do you intend to do once you have the entire collection? Sell it?

Taine: [vo] Something like that.

Kommisar: [vo] Assuming, of course, it isn’t worth more of us to keep it ourselves.

[Avon switches off the communicator.]

Avon: Orac, cross-check all the data we have on Langsuir. Identify the temple’s location and transmit the coordinates directly into the Blake computer.

Orac: [sighs] If I must.

Avon: Which you do. Blake, plot a course at best speed and check the terrain for a suitable and defendable landing site as close as possible to the coordinates.

Blake: Understood.

[Affronted, Gamren turns to Vila.]

Gamren: Aren’t you going say something?

Vila: [shrugs] Like what? Sounds like the best way to go about things if you ask me. [to Avon] You don’t want to risk using the teleport on the paintings then?

Avon: Do you?

Vila: No, but what if we can’t land close enough to this temple to physically cart them in?

Avon: We’ll worry about the details once we know what those details are.

Lora: [confused] I’m sorry, we’re trying to steal some paintings now?

Vila: You bet your life we are.

Gamren: How is that going to help anyone?

Avon: It could make us the richest individuals in this galaxy.

Lora: Aren’t we rich already? With all those crystals we got of that space station?

Avon: Not rich enough. Until one is rich enough to beyond the reach of the Federation, you’re poor. The only difference is what creature comforts are available in your imprisonment.

Lora: So, you’d be happy to live in a cave as long as you were free?

Avon: No. But with these artwork, at least I’d have something to decorate the cave with.

Gamren: What is so important about some crummy portraits anyway?

Vila: [incredulous] You’re joking, right?

Avon: [calm] You’ve never heard of Jan Rarvik?

Gamren: Of course I have. He was my father.

[A shocked pause.]

Lora: ...really?

Gamren: [rolls eyes] No, not really! So tell us who he was!

Vila: The youth of today. Doesn’t anyone take an interest in recreational larceny any more?

Orac: Coordinates established and laid in.

Blake: New course heading programmed.

Avon: We can discuss it on the way. Get us moving, Blake.

[Space. The Phoenix spins around and heads off through the debris and hulks.]

- to be continued...

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Lost Stories of Brian Hayles

Inspired by the recent expose in Nothing At The End Of The Lane magazine (followed by Big Finish snapping up the rights for their Lost Stories, natch) that the bloke who created Ice Warriors had pitched half a dozen stories to the production teams over the years - and that they weren't crap ideas either...


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Raving Lunatic Of The Year 2012 Reprised

As a blog owner myself, I know the frustrating feeling one has of weightless digitial real estate going to waste. The urge to blog can almost replace the need to think at times, and starting off a blog simply to slag off an individual (or an entire subcultural phenomenon like Ben Chatham) feels monumentally petty - especially if there's only one actual entry on the blog. This is why Noryk Ttellam, proud owner of Noryk's Blog of the Specifically Relevant - aka - the Maturity of Australia - has decided such burning originality cannot be allowed to stagnate. A mere five months after the first post, a new entry has been put up for the benefits of the world.

Tragically, however, it seems that Noryk's freedom of speech has been compromised by a nefarious and sinister force against which he is borderline powerless. What dark malevolence could possibly overshadow the power and the passion of an intellectual powerhouse like Noryk? I refer to this entity, for the terms of clarity, as the Wife of Noryk (cue thunder and lightning).

The Wife of Noryk was displeased with what it saw and ravaged the blog like Typhoid Mary on a double date with Charlie Sheen. Nothing was spared. Look at how Noryk's blogger prolife went from

43 years + 21 years of marriage + three degrees + 2 children = me.


The less you know the better...!

practically overnight!

Oh, gentle kinsmen, if only it ended there!

The actual text of the mighty post The Generation X Manifesto (known in some uncouth circles as A Note to Baby Boomers, Generation Y and Generation I) was also corrupted to an unnaceptable degree! Like Stalin, Hilter and Murdoch, the foundations of human history are being turned into pro-regime propaganda at the whim of the unspeakable forces operating behind the scenes that not even Noryk can resist.

Take this example of his well-balanced and informative analysis of generational interrelationships:

You aren't our generation. I already had a degree and was fucking my wife everynight before any of you reached your teens.

In this papered-over, revisionist version?

You aren't our generation. I personally already had a degree and was married before the oldest of you even reached your teens. So sit down, shut up and listen.

And even Noryk's desperate morale-booster to those "unkindly referred to as Generation Z" is corrupted!

Don't worry guys, by the time you all finish growing up, the Boomers will be mostly all dribbling in a home and we will have things in good order. We'll take care of generation 'why' for you. Count on it.

This message of hope, glory and jingoistic self-aggrandisement is distorted to an unheard of degree!

Don't worry guys, by the time you all finish growing up, the Boomers will be mostly all dribbling in a home and we'll have generation 'why' whipped into shape.
Oh, the shame and ignomy, seeing a once-gigantic powerhouse of reason and passion reduced to a fawning troglodyte of cowardice and appeasement! I blame the wife! Never let your wife read what you blog to insult everyone you know - oh, how often have we made that mistake!

At least Noryk maintains his personal standard, smuggling out this nugget of wisdom for all those born between 1980 and 1995 (which, charmingly, includes his own children).

The new Doctor Who series was shit specifically because of you. It was thought that you did not have a sufficient attention span to handle both special effects and plot.

Noryk, we salute thee!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Dr. Who & The Kleptomaniac Fish People Of Doom (2)

Thain: Look out, the Kleptons are back... yet again... run for cover!

Dr. Who: No, there's only one - I don't think he's come to fight... Though, given how you're all such helpless pussies, they might fire anyway.

Klepton: Thains - I bring a message from my leader! Surrender or we will utterly destroy your city! Oh, and how do you like the new subwoofer? Pretty sweet, eh?

Valda: Tell your leader this, Klepton: the Thains will not give in! We shall fight and we shall win! By the hair of my chinny-chin-chin!

John: That's the spirit, Valda! You'll give them something to worry about, now!

Gillian: Yeah! The Kleptons might laugh themselves to death!

(The Klepton saucer flies off.)

Dr. Who: He's off! Now's our chance to find out where they come from! I'll follow him!

Gillian: And we're coming with you, grandfather!

Dr. Who: Oh, that's quite all right. You kids stay put.

John: No, grandfather, we can help you.

Dr. Who: Now, now, listen to me. I need you to stay and... and... and guard the, um, the lettuce and all that shit.

John: The fields are fine, grandfather! We can help! We can...

Dr. Who: LOOK!! I am trying to go into town and pick up a couple of hookers with my social security check while I'm out there, OK? OK?!? THAT'S WHY YOUR BRAT ASSES AIN'T GOING, OKAY! GODDAMN!

(They follow him into the saucer.)

Dr. Who: I give up.

(Dr. Who powers up the saucer and it takes off. A creeper pulls a building down towards them.)

Dr. Who: The controls seem sluggish - I can't get any height!

Gillian: Couldn't you, I dunno, go ROUND the building?

Dr. Who: Oh. Yeah. Sorry.

Valda: Run for cover! The time travellers are doom-ed!

Thain: No way! I want to watch little John be smashed to smithereens...

(The saucer avoids the collapsing building.)

John: Why can't we just walk like everyone else, grandfather?

Dr. Who: Shut up, John. Now, I've got the hang of this flying bubble. Let's get after that Klpeton - he must be heading for their secret hideout!

Gillian: But grandfather, the Kleptons command a massive invading alien army of immensely superior firepower. Why would they need a secret hideout?

Dr. Who: ...smartarse.

(The Thains watch the saucer fly away and wave.)

Valda: Good luck, time travelers!

Thain 1: Find the Kleptons - root the monsters out!

Thain 2: Have fun storming the Klepton stronghold!

Thain 1: Our future depends on you!

Thain 2: Don't forget my cheez wiz, boy!

(Long pause.)

Thain 1: Suckers.

Thain 2: Yeah. Fuck them.

Thain 1: Let's go see what's on Cartoon Network.

Valda: My people! Everything rests on the time travelers winning through! If they are captured, nothing can stop the Kleptons smashing our city to the ground and turning us all into slaves?

Thain 1: So... an 87-year-old man and two kids show up from nowhere. And you put our fate in their hands. Why are you leader again?

Valda: Good question, I must say.

(The flying saucer moves through the sky.)

John: Lost him! There's no sign of the Klepton, grandfather! He had too big a lead!

Dr. Who: I'm not turning back now! We must find their headquarters!

Gillian: I could not be any less interested in what's happening right now.

(The saucer swoops down towards the ocean.)

John: We must be off-course, grandfather! The Klepton's hideout can't be around here!

Dr. Who: Yeah. Giant fish-creatures couldn't POSSIBLY be living underwater?

(In the Klepton palace, Kleptons do Kleptony things as is their want.)

Klepton: Mission completed, Klepton One. I delivered your message, but the Thains refuse to surrender.

Klepton Leader: Fools! They will be completely crushed!

Klepton 2: Klepton One! Come quickly! The scanner has picked up a flying machine in the area - but all our machines are now in base AND ALL OUR BASE BELONG TO US!! No... wait...

Klepton Leader: Oh, just switch on the long-range viewer. We'll soon see who these intruders are.

Klepton: It's the strangers who are helping the Thains! They must have repairs a shot-down machine they damaged with a went-boom canon and are searching for us!

Klepton Leader: They are a danger to my incredibly-well-thought-out plans! Turn on the magnetic beam! Bring them in! They must not escape, which seems to be a theme with those three, escaping...

(The saucer hurtles out of the sky.)

Dr. Who: What's happening? I can't control the machine! We're losing height! Soon my trousers won't fit! Quick, children, get on my lap!

Gillian: Oh, no, we're not falling for THAT again...

John: Grandfather, pull the machine up! We're going to smash into the sea!

Dr. Who: I can't! We're caught by some stranger power! We're in the grip of the Kleptons!

Gillian: Well, that's ONE excuse for your pathetic piloting...

(The saucer goes underwater.)

Dr. Who: We're still in one piece and we're starting to level out! I think these bubbles are meant to fly underwater...

Gillian: Can you really "fly" underwater?

Dr. Who: Maybe they're meant to "swim" through the air. Did you think about that? Huh?!?!

(The saucer approaches an underwater city.)

John: Grandfather! Look out! We're going to crash into that building!

Dr. Who: I can't stop the flying machine!

Gillian: Shouldn't we call it a swimming machine now?

Dr. Who: It's out of my control! Quickly, grandson, open the hatch and escape into the crushing ocean depths! Please!

(A hatch opens and the saucer enters the city.)

Dr. Who: We're in a huge chamber! There are dozens of other bubble machines in here!

Gillian: Thanks for telling me all this. I was confused as to our whereabouts.

(The water drains out and the trio emerge into the landing bay.)

Dr. Who: The air is a bit thin, but we can breathe it all right. We can breathe our own air, the Thain's air and the Klepton's air, but if the Kleptons breathe the Thain's air, they die... this is most confusing.

John: Never mind the details, Grandfather...

(The Doctor slaps him in the face.)


John: What do we do now? The odds against us are tremendous!

Dr. Who: Well, I WAS going to tell you how, you little shit, but you don't want to hear the details! So, you just go... that way!

(John is sent to a corner. There, a door opens and three Kleptons advance.)

John: Look out! The Kleptons!

Dr. Who: Don't shoot! I am known as the Doctor! And that is my grandson, Captain Obvious.

Klepton: You are our prisoners! Don't try to escape or we'll blast you to atoms!

Dr. Who: Don't try anything, you two. These ugly customers are just itching to let fly with their guns!

Klepton: Hey, I didn't insult the way YOU look, Doctor! No need to be so personal...

(They enter the throne room.)

Klepton: Here are the prisoners, Klepton One.

Dr. Who: I demand that you release us immediately!

Klepton Leader: Silence! Demands of freedom do not work in warlike, totalitarian societies!

Dr. Who: Don't they? Shit! Can I at least work up to an appeal?

Klepton Leader: NO! You have tried to wreck my truly-intricate-and-overly-detailed plans! You will not leave my city! No one shall stand in my way!!!

Dr. Who: Well, perhaps you can tell me what you're up to so I can avoid standing in the way? Why are you smashing the Thain's City and taking their people prisoner?

Klepton Leader: The Kleptons must survive. Our planet moved close to the sun - millions were killed! We escaped to build this underwater city and soon we will control the Thains' land and they will be our slaves!

Dr. Who: You could have just asked them politely!

Klepton Leader: What? "I say, I know this will seem terribly forward, but would you all mind being our slaves? Oh, and we're going to need all your land too, if that's not too much of a bother."?

Gillian: The Thains are stupid enough to have said yes.

Klepton Leader: Hmmm. Point. See!

(The Klepton leader presses a button and a wall panel slides back to show a huge yard with a machine in the middle of it buzzing away. Thains are wandering around under guard.)

Klepton Leader: Behold the giant cookie jar of doom! The great reactor that provides power for our flying machine and heat and light for our city! When we consquer the Thains it will produce energy for our slave factories and war machines!

Gillian: And this is our problem HOW, again?

Klepton Leader: I will now detail exactly how the reactor can be dismantled!

John: You're using the captured Thains as slave labour in your reactor!

Gillian: Yes, John. That's been established.

John: You inhuman monster!

Klepton Leader: Why thank you. I take that as a great compliment. What with being inhuman and all.

Dr. Who: You won't get away with this! We won't let you get away with this! The point I am trying to make here is that you are not going to get away with this!

Klepton Leader: Don't waste empty cliches on me! What can you do stop us? The Kleptons will crush you all! Guards, take them away and lock them up! I will deal with them at my liesure! And bring me more krill!

Klepton: At one, Klepton Once.

(Dr. Who, John and Gillian are locked in a cell.)

Dr. Who: The Kleptons have outsmarted us by this cunningly-locked door! We must get out of this cell!

Gillian: How?

John: We're not beaten yet! I've got one of the heat guns the Thains gave! I'd forgotten I had it until now, but this will help us turn the tables on the Kleptons.

Dr. Who: How very convenient.

(John fries the door.)

Dr. Who: Remember, children, don't try setting fire to styrofoam walls at home!

(They emerge from the door and face two Klepton guards.)

Dr. Who: Ooops.

Klepton: Blast them down!

Gillian: I am mildly surprised at the thought of being executed.

(John punches them in the face until they collapse.)

John: Take this, you alien poopy-head jerk!

Klepton: Beaten by an old geezer and some kids! THE SHAME!

Gillian: That's dealt with that ugly customer!

Dr. Who: Is that even a sentence? Learn proper grammar, god dammit!

John: Quick! Back to the airlock! We'll get away in a flying machine!

Gillian: Swimming machine!

Dr. Who: No - much as I relish the thought of shoving you out an airlock, that's the first place the Kleptons will search for us. We must make for the reactor and contact the Thains who are held prisoner there!

(They rush out into the yard and up to the fence around the reactor.)

Dr. Who: Thains! We need your help!

Thain: Careful friend, this wire cage is electrified.

Dr. Who: Really? John, go touch it.

(John does so. Nothing happens.)

Thain: AW! Those evil Kleptons totally pwned us!

(Our heroes easily get through the very stretchy bendy net.)

Klepton: You haven't seen any of your escaping friends, have you?

Thain: Here? No, not a sign of them. You should try the airlock - they'll attempt to leave the city.

Klepton: Right.

(They shoot the Thain.)


(The Kleptons lumber off.)

Klepton Leader: (over PA) The workday is over, Thains! Return to your sleeping quarters immediately! Only three guards will stay in the compound - the rest will join the search for the escaped prisoners!

Klepton: (over PA) Oh, that's it, broadcast the weaknesses of our defenses to the prisoners. That'll end well.

Klepton Leader: (over PA) SHUT UP!

(The Doctor addresses the Thains as they return to their cells.)

Dr. Who: My friends, the Kleptons are making an all-out drive... to give you great savings on Fords, Chryslers and Subarus! TO KLEPTON MOTORS!

Gillian: Grandfather, have you been drinking again?

Dr. Who: Yes. I do apologize. I meant to say... the Kleptons are making an all-out drive to smash your city and enslave your people. You must go from pacificism to all out warmongery right now!

Thain: Yes! We must destroy the reactor with gives the Kleptons power!

Dr. Who: You're right, but first we must search the city and find out more about these Kleptons - it's always more satisfying to know something about a culture before you destroy it...

(The guards return to the throne room.)

Klepton: There is no sign of the escaped prisoners, Klepton One! Gimme a high five!

Klepton Leader: Dolts! No high-fives until the prisoners are recaptured! Keep up the search, you useless imbeciles!

Klepton: (sad) You know, you'd get a lot more out of us if you used constructive criticism...

Klepton Leader: Switch on the scanners! Search every corner of the city! The prisoners must be caught before they ruin all my ball-bogglingly-awesomely-cool plans!

Klepton: Yes, Klepton One! Gee, what would we do without you? Searching for prisoners we're trying to find! That's first class leadership right there!

Klepton Leader: And bring me more algae tabs!

(In the compound, John and two redshirts sneak out of the cell.)

John: I like violence. Let us shoot all three guards and make them die horribly!

Thain: Make sure your aim is true, time traveller.

John: ...what? You saying my aim LIES, bitch?

(John starts shooting randomly, killing lots of Thains and Kleptons. He laughs insanely.)


(The prisoners escape, all armed with Klepton guns.)

Dr. Who: We're armed and ready for action! Let's turn this place upside down - find out what makes the Kleptons tick!

John: Let's be be quick about it! The Kleptons will be hot on our trail soon!

Gillian: (yawns) Pity the Kleptons.

(They suddenly notice a huge bell jar full of creepers that's been right next to them the whole time.)

John: Wow! Look at that!

Gillian: What can it be?

Dr. Who: Good grief - the Kleptons are producing these giant creepers that smash their way up to the Thains' city and wreck their buildings... on the other side of the planet... even though these creepers could be used to do the work the slaves are needed for... That's the stupidest plan I have ever heard! And I've heard some really stupid plans! THIS IS FUCKING RIDICULOUS!!!

(Two Kleptons happen to be passing by.)

Klepton 3: Yeah, like I was saying, soon as old Klepton One turns his back, I'm out of here and off to Mexico. You wanna toke up?

Klepton 2: Sure thing, compadre. I could use a... Holy crap! The aliens! And they're armed!

Klepton 3: Run!

John: The Kleptons have found us!

Dr. Who: Take over and open fire! Fight for your lives!

Klepton 2: The escaped prisoners! Grab them! Blast them down!

Klepton 3: Wait. Do you want us to grab them OR blast them down? You can't do two things at once, Carl. THIS is why never get promoted past shift manager...

Dr. Who: John, quickly, while the rest of us take cover behind the creeper machine, you can stand directly in front of them and get blasted to atoms!

Gillian: Creeper... machine??! What the fuck are dealing with here?!?

(The Kleptons open fire and smash the bell-jar, causing creepers to burst out and go wild.)

Klepton: Move in for the kill now! They are heavily outnumbered!

Dr. Who: The wheel that controls the creepers! I must reach the wheel that controls the creepers! It's our only hope! If we fail, the Thains will be enslaved and their city will be smashed! You know that, right? I should probably repeat it just to be on the safe side...

(Dr. Who spins the wheel and the vines attack the Kleptons.)

Klepton 2: The creepers! Look out!

Klepton 3: We'll all be crushed to death!

Klepton 4: Why did we think it was good idea to grow this thing?

Klepton 5: *stands in silent awe of the green botanical fury*

(The obvious-stating Kleptons are slaughtered.)

John: Great work, Grandfather! You saved the day!

Dr. Who: Save the congratulations till we're safely away from this terrible place! I have one last job to do...

Gillian: (hopeful) Like dropping John and me back in our own time?

Dr. Who:

Gillian: Damn.

Dr. Who: I will use the Kleptons' own weapons to defeat them! These creepers nearly destroyed the Thains' city - now I'll make them smash the Kleptons' evil plans!

Gillian: Great, smash the underwater city while we're still inside it. Brilliant.

Dr. Who: If I do not do this, the Thains will be enslaved...

Gillian: ...and their city destroyed! WE KNOW! WE GET IT!!!

(The Klepton Leader watches this on his screens.)

Klepton Leader: My guards are routed! The prisoners have the whip hand!

Klepton: This sounds disturbingly kinky.

Klepton Leader: Blast them down - they must not escape!


(The prisoners are escaping. As they do.)

John: Time is short! We must get away before the Kleptons have a chance to recover!

Gillian: But where's grandfather? John, we can't leave without him and we can't leave him here!

John: Why not? That son of a bitch let us walk out in some strange world without any kind of protection; I was put in a choke hold by a garden weed and you almost became a tropical fish's sex slave!

Gillian: ...good point. Fuck him.

(The Doctor arrives.)

John & Gillian: Damn.

Dr. Who: Make for the airlock as fast as you can! The creepers are heading for the giant reactor! There will be a terrible explosion at any moment! We must get away!

Gillian: You know, "follow me" would probably have worked just as well.

Dr. Who: Shut up.

Gillian: AND given us an extra thirty seconds to get away...

Dr. Who: SHUT UP!!

(The Klepton Leader grabs a microphone.)

Klepton Leader: The city will be destroyed
The creepers must be stopped
Call out all the guards
I want the prisoners caught
Dead or alive!

Audience Members: Your freestyle skills suck! Never ever try to rap again! Ever!

(The prisoners enter the flying saucers and pepare to leave.)

Dr. Who: Quickly, into the air lock! Climb into the flying machines! Keep breathing in and out!

Gillian: Are they really THAT stupid they need instructions on how to breathe?

Dr. Who: ...yes, Gillian, they are.

(The Kleptons appear in the closing doorway. John aims a gun at them.)

John: Back, you villains!

Dr. Who: John, don't waste your time! The door's starting to shut and no more guards can get in but as soon as the inner door closes the outer one opens and water will come flooding in - and that's good. Apparently.

John: ...I could have blasted twelve of them in the time it took to tell me that, old man!

(They get inside the saucer and take off.)

(A waterspout rises from the ocean.)

John: Jeepers! Look at that explosion! We got clear just in time!

Dr. Who: That's the end of the Kleptons and their evil plans!

Gillian: Did we just wipe out the only remnants of an intelligent species?

Dr. Who: ...why do you ask?

Gillian: No reason.

(The saucers return to the city. One lands and Dr. Who, John and Gillian emerge to find Valda waiting.)

Dr. Who: Greetings, Valda. The Kleptons have been beaten and their city destroyed.

Valda: My dear friends, how can we ever thank you? But for you, my people would have been enslaved. Now... they're almost all dead. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

Gillian: This is awkward...

Dr. Who: Time to leave!

(Dr. Who hurries over to the TARDIS.)

Valda: Stay a little longer! There is much to be done and your wisdom would be valuable...

Dr. Who: Thank you, but the time has come for us to continue our journey.

Valda: But our planet will collapse into anarchy!

Dr. Who: I'm sorry, but I'm just a Time Lord - what you need is a fashion designer...

(Dr. Who and the children enter the TARDIS. Dr. Who closes the doors and starts setting controls.)

Dr. Who: Well, I suppose I'd better try to get you children back to the twentieth century...

John: I don't care what century we arrive in - I'm sure we'll have loads of adventures anyway!

(The Doctor stares at him.)

Dr. Who: ...shut the fuck up, John.

(He starts up the TARDIS again. Gillian looks out the porthole at the shimmering lights.)

Gillian: Look at the stars whirling and flashing round us, John!

John: It's because of the fantastic speed we're moving at!

Dr. Who: (under his breath) "It's because of the fantastic speed we're moving at! Meee meee mee mee meee..."

John: Did you say something, grandfather?

Dr. Who: Not a thing, dear boy. Now... where is that airlock release button? (yelps) Stand by for an emergency! The controls have jammed - the TARDIS is going to reappear too soon! We could be anywhere in space! We might even appear in my own shorts! My, but that would be strange, wouldn't it? But, most likely, we'll just appear in a quarry...

(The spinning TARDIS appears above a barren rocky planet and hurtles towards it.)

Dr. Who: We're right above a small planet! We'll crash down on it!

Gillian: And there's a meteorite rushing towards us! Look out!

Dr. Who: "Look out!" How does saying that help when we're in the path of a meteor?!

(The planet surface rushes up through the porthole.)

Dr. Who: Hold on! We'll smash into the planet at any moment now. Any moment now... wait for it... Grab hold of something sharp! Now, I will be protected by my Time Lord ability to regenerate, but you two will be killed in a vicious inferno. Bad luck.