Martians


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Episode 47 — Martians

     We're on the busy bridge of a Federation starship.  The
camera pans across the intent helmsman, the grave captain making
a log entry, up to the perimeter of the upper bridge where the
first officer paces supervising the junior officers at their
work.  The first officer offers some advice to the communications
officer, exchanges words with the science officer, then pauses
over a suspiciously inactive orange-clad ordinary crewman, folds
his hands behind his back, and mutters, "This must be the only
ship in Starfleet with a door monitoring station on the main
bridge."  He leans down and adds pointedly, "As soon as we get
two days at a starbase I'm going to transfer this station down to
Engineering if I have to tear it out and rewire it myself."
     The door tech gives a mild sarcastic smile.
     The camera rises over the first officer's shoulder toward
the flight information on the viewscreen.
     Captain: "Project parabolic course to avoid entering Neutral
Zone."
     The camera returns to its previous point of view between the
officer and the crewman.
     1st officer: "And just what is that in your ear?"
     Crewman: "This?  An ADMD."
     "What does that stand for?"
     "Audio door monitoring device."
     "Let me get this straight.  You're listening to the doors
all over the ship?"
     "That's right.  You should try to keep up on developments."
     "Let me listen to that."
     The first officer pulls the device from the crewman's ear,
goes to insert it into his own, stops, inspects the end for wax,
puts it in his ear, and jerks his head sideways at the sudden
volume of sound.
     Meanwhile:
     Communications officer: "I'm receiving a message on the
distress channel."
     Captain: "On speakers."
     Static-y British voice: *. . . imperative.  This is the
Kobayashi Maru, nineteen periods out of Altair Six.  We have
struck a gravitic mine, and have lost all power.  Our hull is
penetrated and we have sustained many casualties*  Static.
     The first officer takes out the ADMD.
     "That's Kool and the Gang.  You're on report, mister."
     Crewman: "No way.  Listen.  Somebody's standing next to a
door grooving on Kool and the Gang on Deck 14, and I'm picking it
up with this.  It's a very sensitive instrument."
     The first officer looks sceptical, but tries it again, this
time manipulating some of the controls of the console.
     Computer: *Subject vessel is third class neutronic fuel
carrier.  Crew of eighty one.  Three hundred passengers.*
     1st officer: "I don't know.  Now I'm getting some kind of -- 
Wait a minute, that's Funkadelic!  You hooked in to the music
library!  You're in deep, buddy.  It's the brig for you.  I'm
going to get a recording of this for the hearing."
     He punches up the commands, holding the ADMD in his ear with
one hand.
     Helmsman: "May I remind the Captain . . . ?"
     Captain: "I'm aware of my responsibilities, mister."
     Helmsman (shrugging): "Entering Neutral Zone."
     The first officer takes out the ADMD.
     DRG: "Look.  Didn't you ever see Hunt for Red October where
the sonar guy is broadcasting Pavarotti into the ocean to
practice listening to unusual sounds in the watery medium?"
     "Yea-a-a-h."
     "This is just like that."
     "How?"
     "Well look.  Suppose someone's partying of Deck 7, they're
pumpin' the tunes, got the bass up, and I'm supposed to log an
entry on the door next door?  I have to be able to make out the
threshold event."
     "So you're simulating the party?"
     DRG holds up his hands in a gesture of misunderstood genius.
     The first officer makes a face, then puts the ADMD back in
his ear and listens again.
     Computer: *Klingons on attack course and closing.  Klingons
on attack course and closing.*
     Captain: "Helm, get us out of here!"
     Boom!  The helm blows up.
     1st officer: "What the --?" 
     Boom!  The communications console blows up.  Boom!  Boom! 
Boom!  The ship's doctor, science officer, and counsellor blow
up.  The chief engineer patches in just in time to pipe in the
sound of him blowing up.  The captain blows up.  The first
officer has time to give Door Repair Guy a really evil look
before he too blows up.  
     The bridge is a shambles.  DRG gets out of his chair and
moves through the wreckage to the smoking communications station,
surveys the mangled sparking circuitry, screws open the ADMD with
a twist, wires its innards into the comm system using a couple of
lengths of dangling optical cord, holds the device to his mouth
like a microphone, and shouts:
     "tlhIngan HoD.  Dejpu'bogh Hov rur qablIj."  ["Klingon
captain.  You face resembles a collapsed star."]
     Cut to Klingon ship.
     Klingon captain: "nuH?  DaH mutIchta''a' ghaH?  puqloD ngeb! 
DIvI' HoD!  Hab SoslI' Quch!"  ["What?  Did he just insult me? 
The bastard!  Federation captain!  Your mother has a smooth
forehead!"]
     DRG: "buD mIn be'nI'ra'."  ["Your sister has a lazy eye."]
     An appreciative grunt from Klingon bridge crew makes it
through the comm channel to the damaged Federation bridge.  Cut
to ST:TMP-vintage viewscreen view of three Klingon vessels
holding their position.  Dissolve to:
     DRG: "mangghom DaSmey tuQ SoSlI'."  ["Your mother wears army
boots."]
     Klingon captain: "Hahahahaha!!  bIboghpu'DI' SoSlI' qIpta'
Qel!"  ["Hahahahaha!!  When you were born the physician slapped
your mother!"]
     DRG: "bIboghpu'DI' vavlI' qipta' SoSlI'!"  ["When you were
born your mother slapped your father."]
     Klingon captain: "Hahahaha!  Hahahahaha!  jIHeghnIS.  HIbach
vay'.  bIboghpu'DI' vavlI' SoS qIpta' vavlI' vav."  ["Hahahaha! 
Hahahahaha!  I have to die.  Somebody shoot me.  When you were
born your paternal grandmother slapped your paternal
grandfather!"]
     DRG: "bIboghpu'DI' vavlI' SoS qIpta' vavwI' SoS."  ["When
you were born my paternal grandmother slapped your paternal
grandmother."]
     Klingon captain: "Hahahahaha!!  Hahaha!!!  Ha ha!!"
     Outside at the simulation monitoring console, two Special
Unit analysts glance at each other over an array of visual
readouts.
     "Four hours, twenty-one minutes.  That's a record."
     "I've never seen the Kobayshi Maru played out to a stalemate
before."
     "It's not chess!  Any minute now the Klingons have to
deliver on their threat."
     "Okay."
     "All right."
     Roar of Klingon laughter from the simulator.
     "Any minute now." 


     "Crawlspace.  The final frontier.  These are the voyages of
The Door Repair Guy.  His mission: to install and maintain
proximity-activated entranceways, to stake out new rooms and new
service conduits -- to boldly go where no one with a pass key has
gone before."


                    Star Trek: Door Repair Guy


                              Starring 

                         Door Repair Guy as
                              Himself


                              Also Starring

                         Some Other Actors


[Commercial:
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     Baylis: "Frank takes Manhattan."
     Pembleton: "What was that."
     Baylis: "I was just saying . . ."
     Pembleton: "You spoiled the take."
     Baylis: "Well, I . . ."
     Pembleton: "Do you think I have all day to stand around here
and do promos?"
     Baylis: "Look."
     Pembleton: "Because I have other things to do."
     Baylis: "Frank . . ."
     Pembleton: "No way.  I'm gone.  Where's my hat?  Have you
got my hat?  So long.  I'm outta here."
     Baylis: "Frank . . ."]


     "Next file.  Special Operative (Maquis Unit) Trainee Door
Repair Guy.  Has completed 95 percent of the intensive course. 
Cumulative score to date: 50.4 percent."
     "Hm.  It's a pass."
     "90 percent is the usual requirement for graduation."
     "Usual?"
     "This file is flagged STREAM."
     "There was some political pressure, wasn't there?"
     "Affirmative.  It's a complex deal, many favours being paid
off.  Which is fine.  Starfleet occasionally sends through a dud
to confuse the Maquis intelligence people."
     "Surely an agent so ill-prepared stands a high chance of
mortality."
     "Virtually immediate."
     "I see.  How does this score break down?"
     "Galacticopolitic Analysis: 0.  Precision throwing: 100. 
Combined in-class test results: 0.  Rope-climbing: 100.  Alien
languages: 52."
     "52?"
     "Catches on quickly, but can't resist importing xenocultural
references.  Makes bilingual puns."
     "What about these zeroes?  Zero in GA?"
     "He believes in a race of subspace Swedish ski-instructors
who occasionally interfere in galactic events to rescue deserving
maintenance technicians.  Then there's the Chipmunk Universe.  He
wrote us forty pages on that."
     "I see.  What about the in-class test results?"
     "We caught him cheating."
     "We're spies.  Should we be punishing cheating?"
     "We're punishing getting caught."
     "Ah.  What's your recommendation?"
     "Proceed to alien saloon simulations."
     "Out of system?"
     "I recommend Mars.  We want to play this one close to home. 
Sector 001 is one of the few places no one has heard of Door
Repair Guy."
     "Very well.  Security Above All."
     "Well said, sir."
     Door chime.
     "Yes?  Who is it?"
     "Horticulturist."
     "Enter."
     The two security officers continue their review while the
green-overalled horticulturalist waters the aspidistra in the
corner, plucks a dried leaf off the plant and exits.  In the
corridor outside she holds the leaf over her mouth to cover a
smile and whispers into it, "Audio Plant Monitoring Device
retrieved.  Transmitting now."
     Shot of Vulcan trading vessel in earth orbit.  Cut to the
cockpit.  Two pointy-eared smugglers exchange satisfied glances. 
     "Transmission received."
     "Phototsynthetically-powered surveillance devices.  The Tal
Shiar have had them for eight years.  It must be true what they
say about Starfleet Security.  It really is all brawn and no
brain."
     "Complete idiots.  We Romulans shall rule here yet."
     "Ha ha ha.  How true.  Have you a cigarette?"
     "My pleasure."
     They light up, inhale deeply, then blow blue smoke.
     Both: "Ahh-h-h-h-h! *Cough* *Cough* *Cough*"


[Commercial:
     "Four kids, and he never changed a diaper.  And he has a new
hit movie.  Be there as Oprah joins forces with Regis and Kathie
Lee to get to the bottom of celebrity slacker dads."]


     View of a shuttlecraft cruising past at sublight speed.  Cut
to the interior.  Agents Baumgartner, McSorley, Braun and DRG are
aboard, dressed in civilian clothing.
     Braun (at helm): "Mars intercept in twelve minutes."
     McSorley (turning and looking DRG up and down): "So, ever
been to Mars before?"
     DRG: "Nope.  But I've always wanted to see the Old Country."
     Baumgartner: "Old Country?"
     "Nepean 2 was on Mars, like 150 years ago.  Pro'ly got
cousins there now."
     All three turn sharply.
     Braun: "Will anybody recognize you?"
     He thinks.  "Naw."  He thinks some more.  "Naw."
     McSorley: "Are you sure?"
     DRG: "Sure."
     McSorley: "You sure you're sure?"
     DRG: "Sure I'm sure I'm sure."
     Baumgartner: "He doesn't look Martian."
     McSorley: "Tsk, tsk."
     Baumgartner: "It's not racist."
     McSorley: "I disagree.  I think you dislike Martians."
     Baumgartner: "You're so full of it."
     McSorley: "And you're ugly.  You get it from your mother."
     Baumgartner: "You're uglier."
     McSorley: "Yeah maybe.  But not as ugly as a Martian."
     Baumgartner: "Ha."
     Braun: "Gentlemen.  Please try to remember you're
professionals."
     DRG: "The Martians are the pioneers of terraformation.  The
Fundamental Declarations of the Martian Colonies are one of the
great milestones in the progress of human rights."
     McSorley: "What is that?  Nepean 5 history, fourth grade?"
     "Fifth.  They do England in Grade 4."
     Baumgartner: "The English.  A handsome people."
     McSorley: "Ha."
     DRG: "It's not the fault of the Mars Colonists that they had
the Accident.  They were inventing terraforming.  Madame Curie
died of radiation poisoning.  There was nobody to warn her."
     McSorley: "Which the Martians might have taken into
account."
     DRG: "It takes a while to build up an ozone layer."
     "And until you do you wear your sunscreen."
     "It's not like they mutated or something."
     Throats are cleared.
     Agent Braun: "Well, actually, it is."
     DRG sits there, annoyed.
     Baumgartner: "And how about those voices?"
     DRG: "Hey!  The atmosphere does that."
     Braun: "Speaking of which."
     Shot of shuttlecraft entering Martian atmosphere.


[Commercial:
     "Phoebe's dating Detective Sipowicz?  Find out on an all-new
Friends/NYPD Blue."]


     Shot of the planet Mars, say from 40 degrees north latiude
to the pole.  Terraforming and two centuries of colonization have
gone some distance in transforming the planet from the windswept
red desert we know -- but not that far.  Red is still the
predominant segment of the colour palette.  There are a hundred
variations of red-brown, brown-red, red-red-brown, brown-red-
brown, rust, ochre, terra cotta, salmon and jasper to be seen. 
But here and there we discern a spot of blue -- a crater become
lakebed.  And what's that reddish green swatch?  Lichen National
Park?  One of the planet's tenacious crabgrass plantations?  
Perhaps the scrubby coniferous forest, four feet tall at its
highest, knee-deep in drifting sand and every limb pointing the
direction of the prevailing wind which began life as the
greenbelt around Nepean 2.  And how about that silvery line
dissecting the landscape and glinting in the sun?  Could it be
one of the fabled canals of Mars, filled at long last with sun-
spangled mountain waters?  No, not really.  It's Interstate #6,
connecting New West Australia to the Rectangular Territory by way
of the Hecates Interchange.  Truly, humanity in its unending
march has left its mark upon the Bringer of War.  (Warbly loose-
sprochetted travelogue soundtrack music.)
     The shuttlecraft lands.
     McSorley turns in his chair and shares out sticks of gum.
     DRG (chewing): "Winterfresh.  They don't care for bad breath
on Mars?"
     McSorley: "Yeah.  That's right."
     Baumgartner: "You got it."
     Braun: "Keep chewing.  Ready doors."
     She reaches over and hits the door release.
     DRG: "WOW.  MY EARS JUST POPPED.  OH."
     Braun: "THE CONTACT SITE IS IN A BAR ON THE NEAR EDGE OF
THAT SETTLEMENT."
     DRG: "MAN OH MAN.  YOU SOUND LIKE A FOGHORN."
     McSorley: "YEAH?  CHECK THIS OUT.  DOH, TEE, LAW, SO."
     Baumgartner: "FAW, ME."
     Both: "RAY, DO-O-O-O-O-O-O-H."
     DRG: "DO-O-O-O-OH.  TIBETAN MONKS.  COOL."
     Braun: "COME ON, YOU CHOIRBOYS.  GRAB YOUR STUFF AND GO. 
IT'S HALF A KILOMETRE TO TOWN.  AND WATCH YOUR STEP.  THE
GRAVITY'S DIFFERENT OUTSIDE THE --"
     DRG (climbing out): "OW!"
     McSorley: "WHAT?"
     DRG: "I BIT MY TONGUE."


     A Romulan centurian appears on screen.
     *Report.*
     First smuggler: "We have learned from our sources that a
Federation prisoner named Door Repair Guy who was listed as
killed in a meteor shower three months ago has shown up in
Starfleet's anti-Maquis training programme and is on his way to
Mars now for final alien saloon simulations."
     *This is startling news.*
     Second smuggler: "We recommend that you order us to alert
our Maquis contact.  This information will greatly enhance our
standing with the insurgents and shift our tobacco marketing
campaign in the Cardassian border sales area into high gear."
     *Permission denied.  You have stumbled on a sensitive Tal
Shiar operation.  Under no circumstances are you to alert your
Maquis contact.  If the Maquis discover he is a Federation spy it
will be the worse for you.  Stand by for further orders. 
Transmission ended.*
     The smugglers sink back in their seats, crestfallen.  They
reach automatically for their smokes.
     Second smuggler: "Nobody respects the man in the field."
     First smuggler: "Sad but true."
     Close-up of index finger punching in the console cigarette
lighter.
     Cut to Tal Shiar headquarters on Romulus.  The centurian
turns from the viewscreen and remarks, "Your analysis was
correct."
     Cut to Subcommander T'Rul emerging from the shadows.
     "So it would seem."


[Commercial:
     "Shaquille, Olajuwon, Al Bundy.  It's a Married . . . With
Children/NBA All-Star extravangza."]


     The four agents tred along a dust-blown country road.   High
above them ruddy plumes of windborne dust arc across the blue sky
sprinkling fine streamers of grit on the red hills.  The agents
already look like they've been walking for days and sleeping in
their clothes, which is not bad for their cover because they're
supposed to be travelling disciples of Sybok, the laughing
Vulcan, proselytizing the Martian backcountry.
     DRG pushes his tongue around the inside of his mouth, trying
to get out the sand, leans sideways and spits.  By coincidence
the other three let fly at the same moment. 
     McSorley (glancing up again): "LOOK!  RABBIT!"
     He draws and fires.  A hundred metres away a rabbit flips in
the wind.  McSorley runs out, stoops, and saunters back with the
partly baked bunny.
     Baumgarnter: "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU."
     McSorley: "THERE'S A BOUNTY."
     Braun: "WE'RE SUPPOSED TO BE DEVOTEES OF SYBOK.  WOULD
DEVOTEES OF SYBOK TAKE TARGET PRACTICE ON THE LOCAL WILDLIFE?"
     McSorley holds the rabbit up and contemplates it.
     "I FEEL YOUR PAIN."
     DRG: "SOMEWHERE RABBITS ARE SHOOTING AT HUMANS."
     Braun: "SEE?  HE KNOWS THE COVER."
     DRG: "NO, IT'S TRUE."
     Baumgartner: "YEAH, RIGHT."
     McSorley: "GOT IT, HAREBRAIN."
     Braun: "GIVE IT A REST, WILL YOU?  WE'RE NEARLY IN TOWN."
     They come up to a roadsign.  It reads: 

                    Molybdenum Mines.  
          If You Lived Here You'd Be Home Now!  
                    Population 545.
               Kiwanas.  Elks.  Odd Fellows.

     Long crane shot of the quartet entering the dusty town.


[Commercial:
     "It's a North Dakota primary like none you've ever seen
before.  Bob Dole and Ozone Boy on the same ticket.  Don't miss
it."]


     The four agents pace along the cracked concrete sidewalk of
Main Street, Molydbenum Mines.  DRG stops suddenly outside the
general store and points to a packaged isolinear chip in a
holosuite simulation rack.
     "_LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PLANUM_.  COOL."
     Agent Baumgartner peers over DRG's shoulder.
     "_OUT OF ORDER: THE DOOR REPAIR GUY TRIAL_, BY SAMUEL T.
COGLEY IV."
     Braun: "LET'S HOPE IT SOLD AS POORLY HERE AS IT DID
EVERYWHERE ELSE."
     Baumgartner glancess around and turns the package back-to-
front in the display rack.
     A girl comes out of the store and stops to stare at them. 
She has the classic Martian look: carrot-red hair, bags under the
eyes, no nose to speak of, Habsburg lip.  She chews on an already
dusty Bajoran jumja and scratches her leg.
     Braun: "LITTLE GIRL.  IS THERE A RESTAURANT IN TOWN?"
     "WHAT'S THAT?"
     McSorley: "A TAVERN, A BAR, A DINER, A BRASSERIE, A KITCHEN
OF SOME KIND?"
     The kid points.
     "THE DIVE."
     They turn and look, then start across the road.
     Kid: "HEY!"
     They turn.
     "GOOD SHOOTIN'."
     McSorley holds up the rabbit and puts on a smile.
     Kid: "THEM OLD RABBITS ARE A MENACE.  SHOOTIN'S TOO GOOD FOR
'EM."
     They smile some more and carry on across the road.
     DRG: "YOU KNOW, I THINK THE SYBOKIANS WOULD DO ALL RIGHT
HERE."
     They enter the saloon.


     "So, you believe this Federation agent can be turned against
his superiors?"
     "He is beyond their control.  They simply do not realize it
yet."
     "And what would be the advantage to us of a double agent on
the Cardassian border?  That is far beyond the Romulan sphere of
influence."
     "The universe is our sphere of influence."
     "Well said, Subcommander.  But there are practical
considerations.  Since the debacle in the Gamma Quadrant we lack
the resources to pursue every avenue of investigation."
     "All the more reason to recruit among the foreigners.  There
are millions of aliens out there with axes to grind.  It is a
tremendous untapped resource."
     "Perhaps.  But what makes you think you can get to this
particular Human?"
     Subcommander T'Rul: "I am carrying his child."


[Commercial:
     "Canadian actors living in LA cost the Canadian Government
six billion dollars last year in fraudulent Medicare claims, many
of them stemming from elective plastic surgery.  Eric Malling and
Paul Gross join forces in a special Due South/W5."]


     The four agents push through the swinging doors of The Dive,
DRG holding back to fool with the doors a minute.  Agent Braun
comes and takes him by the arm.
     DRG: "RECIPROCATING HINGES."
     Agent Baumgartner saunters over to the bar.
     Bartender: "WHAT'S YOUR HEAVY METAL?"
     Baumgartner: "PATERA WATER."
     Patron further down the bar: "OH, GREAT.  SYBOKIANS."
     Bartender: "YOU SHUT UP.  DON'T PAY ATTENTION TO HIM.  HE'S
A GOOD-FOR-NOTHING DRUNK."
     Patron: "OH, THANKS A LOT.  I ONLY FINANCE THIS PLACE."
     Bartender: "OH, COME BACK ON CUSTOMER APPRECIATION DAY."
     Baumgartner (taking the water): "I COULDN'T HELP BUT NOTICE
YOUR PAIN."
     DRG comes up to the bar.
     "WHAT'S A GOOD MARTIAN BEER?"
     "ELYSIUM MUD."
     "ALL RIGHT!"
     The bartender draws a grass of beer and sets it on the bar. 
Shot of DRG bending to look through the beer.
     "KINDA LIGHT FOR A MUD BEER, DONCHA THINK?"
     "I AIN'T DONE YET."
     The bartender lifts a large tin can onto the bar, scoops out
three heaping spoonfuls of red dirt, and stirs them into the
beer.
     DRG: "WHOA!"
     He takes the dirt beer and returns to the table occupied by
the other three agent.
     McSorley: "SO, SPOTTED THE CONTACT YET?"
     DRG looks around.  Nine Martians are distributed around the
room, either drinking alone or in pairs.  Everyone appears to be
absorbed in a couple of cribbage games going on in the centre of
the room.  Everyone looks typically Martian, i.e. possessed of
mutated dominant genes resulting in big lip, small nose, baggy
eye and red hair -- all except the Vulcan primly sipping a double
espresso in the corner.
     "WELL, OBVIOUSLY IT'S HIM."
     "WHY?"
     "BECAUSE HE DOESN'T BELONG."
     "MAYBE HE WORKS AT PLANITIA UTOPIA.  IT'S ONLY A HUNDRED AND
FIFTY KILOMETRES FROM HERE."
     "STILL, COME ON."
     "WELL, GO TALK TO HIM."
     "AND DON'T FORGET TO USE THE MAGIC WORD."
     They watch DRG walk over and introduce himself.  They
observe as he spins out his tale about the need for greater
Vulcan spirituality throughout the Federation.  They follow as he
steers the conversation toward the troubles on the Cardassian
border.  They lean forward as he drops the word "Maquis".  And
they sit back in surprise when the Vulcan shakes DRG by the hand
and the two of them disappear in a transporter effect.
     One of the cribbage players stands up and looks at them.
     "I THOUGHT I WAS THE CONTACT!"
     Braun (looking at the other two): "SO DID WE."


------------
Written by Douglas A. McLeod, ai919@freenet.carleton.ca
------------

Episode 47 — Martians

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