Who Says Space Quest Is Dead? (Page 3)

(They both walk towards the table.)

Xandra (picking something off the table): Well, what have we here?

Roger: Thatís the cigar stub I found in Space Quest 4... or was it really 10...

Xandra: I know that, but thatís not what I was asking about.

Roger: Whaddaya mean?

Xandra: Anyone whoís played Space Quest 4 knows that you tossed this butt before you entered the Supercomputer Complex. And DIDNíT pick it up!

Roger: Thatís very observant of you, Xandra, but...

Xandra (flourishing cigar stub): This is not just ME, Roger, this is the whole fan community weíre jaw-boniní about here! Iíve been meaning to get to you on this for ages!

Roger: But...

Xandra: And people say the paradoxes in the SQ1 remake are crazy! This thing redefines the whole dad-blasted word! Smoking IS bad for your mental health after all!

Roger: But... but...

Xandra: Iíve heard enough of your butt, MISter Wilco!

Roger: But Xandra, none of the game designers mentioned that I picked the stub up on the way back out of the complex with my son, did they?

Xandra (dropping stub on table): Well, I... I... I GUESS that wouldíve been possible... sorry, I just hate plot inconsistencies... and what about this AutoBucks card? Why the heck has it expired now, near the end of Space Quest 7??

Roger: Well... MY best guess is that things continue to age even when youíve brought them back from a time in the future, but the futureís kinda tied in with the present... so the present is also the future and the past is also...

Xandra: Aagh, forget I asked! I also thought it had something to do with the time travel thing, and perhaps the cardís expired in the SQ10 time sector, but I donít know about now.

(Xandra suddenly notices something new near the edge of the table. It looks almost like a ray gun or a phaser, but itís hard to tell.)

Xandra: Whatís that??

Roger: I... I canít tell you.

Xandra: Why?

Roger: You donít want to spoil it for the players, do you?

Xandra (realizing what he meant): Ohhh... I see. I can wait for the game... (puts hands on hips and sighs.) I never could figure out the right way to do this.

Roger: What do you mean?

Xandra: This hand-hip orientation. Are the thumbs supposed to face forward (turning her hands and placing them so) or backward (turning her hands backwards again)? I never knew the "proper" way.

Roger: Well, I like the first way, but...

Xandra: But I donít think it really matters for you since youíre all thumbs.

Roger: What?

Xandra: Drop it, Roger. (switching gears) This really is a nice place youíve got here. I never could keep my bed made. And my carpet looks a tad like this... (she walks toward the kitchen). Boy, I hope those bigwigs in charge of this ship get this replicator fixed. Bleahh. And what have we HERE! (she suddenly snatches up a cockroach from the floor.) Will we ever get rid of you guys! Why I oughta...

Roger: Uh... Xandra... donít squish it...

Xandra (looking falsely innocent): I wasnít gonna squish it... I was gonna SQUASH it!

Roger: Donít do either! Let it go.

Xandra (looking at Roger and back at the roach): Hooo-kay... (she drops the roach, which skitters under a cupboard. She looks at Roger curiously.) I didnít realize you were partial to insects. Why did y -- Ohhh, I remember now...

Roger (shrugging and looking away): Yeah... that transporter... glitch.

Xandra: I donít blame you. Well... Iíve absorbed all I could out of your room... waddaya say we head back to the main level?

Roger: Sure. No problem.

(They transport, one by one, back to the main level. Xandra lands fairly solidly and only sways a little bit as she walks with Roger back to their seats.

Suddenly, a small, cylindrical droid with a truncated cone-head rolls down the hallway, putting on the breaks beside Xandraís seat. She growls and eyes it angrily, her tail twitching, fur bristled.)

Xandra: Why you aluminum-alloy, nut-nostriled trash bucket...

Roger (trying to restrain her): Hey, ease up on the estrogen, Xandí! Itís just a droid!

Xandra (still growling): I... hate... rolling, rapidly-rotating, recyclable, run amuck ROBOTS!

Roger: Itís no big whoop, Xandra! Itís just one of a whole bevy of robots that Kielbasaís assigned to the ship. Says theyíre programmed to do any custodian-level work thatís in their range. They just prototypes, but if they are successful, I donít know what that will mean to me.

Xandra (relaxing): You mean these metal midgets are rolling loose on the ship?

Roger: Thatís right. But itís no big deal. We bought them from a presumably reliable company thatís been in the galaxy for at least a decade or two. No problem.

(The robot zips away down the hallway. Xandra changes gears with the droidís departure.)

Xandra: So tell me, Roger: What really happened on your end of the SQ7 project?

Roger: Well... from what I hear, the ships carrying the recorded events during SQ7 were.. detained. Unavoidably.

Xandra: You seem pretty indifferent about the whole spiel, Roger.

Roger: I guess I am.

Xandra: I canít believe it! You of all people! Back on Earth, the fans are going CRAZY! Some are mourning, some are fighting, some are trying to forget about it... itís an awful thing, whatís happened, Roger... (she hunches over, looking forlorn)

Roger: Gee, Xandra... I didnít know how much trouble that really caused. I would do something about it, but as you can see, Iím not exactly able to do that in my present ranking.

Xandra: And that Admiral Toolman... That pale-faced, titanium-skulled WIERDO! What was he thinking? If he was, which I doubt!

Roger: Xandra?

Xandra: Decommissioning the man who saved Xenon twice, maybe more, and then some! And those crazy offenses he was sliming the floor with! "Deviating from mission parameters!" There were no parameters to deviate from, for gosh sakes!

"Disintegrating a fellow crewmember?" Hardly a crewmember, more like the head of some disgusting conspiracy... and all that other spew he was accusing you of! What a drip! If I was there when you were being judged, Rog, Iíd just barge in with a hundred pages worth of our past histories and slap that stainless steel humanoid with all the facts until itís coming outta his auditory orifices!

Roger: Xandra?

Xandra: And not only that, but why, why, WHY did he say you returned the Eureka? Anything related to the Eureka you brought back would be memories or metal microparticles! That guy needs his corpus cullosum checked! His hemispheres might be drifting apart! Not that Iím blaming you. Either there was a misprint in the original files or one of the game designers tried to pull of a nasty prank! I HATE plot inconsistencies! DOI!!!

Roger: I appreciate your concerns, Xandra, but...

Xandra: And I saw what he did to you -- well, not everything --- And in the name of Tricia McMillan, if I ever got a chance to meet him face to deface, Iíd rip off his nose and reattach it upside-down!

Roger: Really?

Xandra: And if he tried anything naughty, Iíd pull down that metal collar of his until he can wear it as a skirt...

Roger: Oh, I wouldnít try that...

Xandra: And if he tries to tell me that another person already told him about your history after I tie his lips in a square knot, I think Iíll...

Will: ... Just stop talking, Xandra. (Will has apparently been eavesdropping on their conversation for the last several minutes from down the hall. He approaches them.)

Roger: Will, Iím sorry, Xandra never meant to...

Will (to Xandra): Keep all of your histories imprisoned in the fan dimension? Thatís all right, you guys donít converse with us much. And I guess that Admiral Toolman wasnít in his right mind when he did all that to you, Roger. Not many people listen to janitors when they speak up, even the only janitor on a ship like this. Iím telling Kielbasa about these misunderstandings as soon as I can, Wilco. Looks like things are going to start looking up for you. Later. (he walks off, down the hallway.)

Roger (staring at Xandra): Did you... Did I... You wouldnít... no...

Xandra: Not to spread rumors or anything Roger, no way. I just have these mood swings, you know? And before inertia starts to kick in, usually something interesting happens. Go figure.

Roger: You can say that again.

Gary Owens: Now Roger, weíve both repeated that mindless expression a more-than-finite number of times, this is no time to spread the virus!

Xandra: Will he ever shut up?

Roger: He will when you will, I guess. Thereís no escape.

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