Who Says Space Quest Is Dead? (Page 4)
(Suddenly Commander Kielbasa rounds a corner and stands facing Roger and Xandra.)
Kielbasa: I see youíve met your young "admirer," Wilco. However, you are needed in the main hallway of Level 17. Some visitors spilled a large quantity of mucosium on the floor, and youíd better mop it up before it hardens. That is all I have to say. (turning around and starting to walk away.)
Xandra: Hold it, Commander! I didnít blast my butt through all those light years just to have Roger Wilco dragged away to mop up a hallway! Iím not going to sit here and let you tell him that!
Kielbasa: All right. Wilco! Get an extra mop for your friend and show her the way to Level 17. Iím sure you both have evened chores now. (Walks away.)
Xandra: Well, Iíll be a washed-up sea slug...
Roger: Yeah. Weíd better do what he says, though, Xandra. Come on.
(Roger gets two mops and some extra cleaning tools from a nearby closet and escorts Xandra to the main, circular hallway of Level 17. It is pretty bland except for a tall metal canister of some fluid substance and a large, square-shaped chamber.)
Xandra (sniffing around in excitement): Ohh... Whatís that? (gesturing to the chamber.)
Roger: Oh, thatís a new invention some civilization recommended to us. Itís a conversion chamber. Anything metal thatís chucked in there disintegrates in a microsecond or two. At the same time itís converted into a combination of oxygen and nitrogen.
Xandra: Cool. I wish our civilization had something like that. (Pointing at the metal canister) And that??
Roger: Thatís some kind of semi-liquid some mad scientist donated to the crew. Itís like liquid cartilage. Hardly any friction. Iíd call it "Lubricated lubricant," or something.
Xandra (sniffing the liquid): Hmmph. Looks like congealed milk to me. Speaking of which, I never really liked fast food. Do you?
Roger: Not since that pit stop I made back in Space Quest 3.
Xandra: It figures. And I never had the GI tract for that replicated whatnot, even if the majority is from a parallel dimension. Ah, well. So whereís that spill?
Xandra: The reason we got booted down here?
Roger: The wha -- Oh Cripes! The mucosium! It couldíve dried by now! Iíll never be able to clean it all up now...
Xandra: I didnít hear that. These SQ fans back on Earth canít form a complete sentence about your games without using "never." Space Quest will never come back; Itíll never be like it used to be; Weíll never hear from Roger again... Honestly, Astro-Boy, canít you convince me that you arenít what everyoneís saying you are? I want ACTION! (her last word makes Roger back up a step in surprise.)
Roger: Okay, I think I get your point! Now, letís find us that malignant misplacement of mucosium, shall we?
Xandra: How very alliterative of you, Roger (mounting her mop like a hobbyhorse)! Weíre off!
(Xandra and Roger start off on their janitorial mission. Over the course of 35 minutes, they make a near-complete circle of the elliptical Level 17 before Roger realizes that the spill was back near the pressure-sensitive transport pad, right where they started.
After hiking back which much less enthusiasm than before, Roger readies his materials and he and Xandra begin mopping together.)
Xandra (after several minutes of toil): Hey Roger? Did I ever show you this move?
(Roger watches with a skeptical eye as Xandra does a pirouetting, figure skater-style mop sweep. She then stands, awaiting his response.)
Roger: Well, Iíve never seen anyone show me their own mopping style, let alone you. And of course, weíve only been together a few minutes.
Xandra: I know, but -- (she is interrupted by a sudden blaring message coming from the ComPost. Kielbasaís face can barely be seen on the static-laden screen)
Kielbasa: Emergency! Full red alert! To arms!
Roger: What? Whatís happening?
Kielbasa: Those accursed aluminum droids we took in have formed a group mind and launched a full-scale rebellion! Theyíre attacking the main computers with such fiendish means that even our most skilled technicians canít do a thing about it!
Roger: What the heck could they be using?
Kielbasa: MAGNETS!!! Archaic refrigerator magnets, horseshoe magnets and bar magnets and who knows what else!
Roger: Where are -- wait a minute... How can we communicate with each other on a one-way message?
Kielbasa: I donít know!! Listen! Theyíre headed down to Level 17! If you happen to meet them on the way to the escape shuttles, I suggest... (the static increases and the message is cut off.)
Xandra (dropping her mop and backing away from Roger slowly, on all fours): Well... I.. ah... I think weíd better blow this joint before those auto-rolling rapscallions get here. Ladies first! (she turns around and lunges towards the transport pad, but she is stopped by a droid which crashes onto it.)
Xandra: AAAAAHH!!! (she skids to a stop and starts backing up again as Roger gapes in stupefied shock. Droids start flooding in from out of the transport tube and from either end of the hallway. Apparently these droids mean business as they approach our heroes. Roger and Xandra start backing against each other. Xandra picks up her fallen mop and clutches it to her chest, wildly glancing about)
Roger: Theyíre closing in from all sides, Xandra! Thereís no way out! I think weíre in trouble now!
Xandra: What do you mean, "WE," Humanoid?
(Xandra drops her mop, bounds across the room and scuttles under a nearby chair.)
Xandra: Iím just gonna lay low under here until things cool down. Those droids canít get under here.
Roger: But what about me??
Xandra: Sorry, thereís no room for you to squeeze in. Youíll just have to sit ti-EEEEEE! (a nearby droid clamps onto Xandraís tail with a newly-developed pincher. Xandra shoots out of her hiding place and hugs one of Rogerís legs.)
Xandra: On second thought, maybe I help, yes, yes... (glancing around, grinning frantically) The mop!!
Roger: The mop? Which one?
Xandra: The one youíre holding, dadraddit!! Make like a space hero and DO something with it! Geez!!
(Roger aims a well-aimed swing at one of the droids and misses. He does the same thing with another one and misses. He tries to take out a group of three and misses again.)
Xandra (frustrated): All RIGHT! I think you can drop the mop thing!!
Roger (confused): Well... okay. (he drops the mop head in the water bucket. Xandra is wringing her fists and hissing under her breath, muttering inaudible curses, pausing to swat off incoming droids every now and then. Roger suddenly seems to make a connection.)
Roger: Hey! The bucket!
Roger: I can tie the bucket to the mop head and use it as one of those ball-and-chain things, you know? It might work!
Xandra (swatting a droid to the side, looking calmer): Yeah? Well either DO something with the darn mop or SHUT UP!!
Gary Owens: Watch it, Fluff-cakes, you nearly scared off a less-than-inactive brain product from olí Roger there!
Xandra: And you can shut up too!
(Roger ties the bucket to his mop while Xandra fends off the droids. Roger takes a swing at a droid and sends it flying.)
Xandra: Wahoo! Keep it up, Wilco!
(Roger continues sending the druids flying into walls or across the floor. But they keep uprighting themselves and rolling back towards him and Xandra, who is still crouched on the sticky floor.)
Roger: This isnít getting us anywhere!
Xandra: Oh, you just figured that out?
Xandra: Great! Now what? (Roger keeps whacking the droids away, his brow furrowed in thought, or something like it.)
Roger: If we could just get them into that incinerator...
Xandra: Conversion chamber...!
Roger (swatting away as he talks): Whatever... Theyíd be toast... But theyíre too... darn... unstoppable! Those rollers of theirs...
Xandra (snatching up her mop): Could us a heavy dose of friction reduction! (she clubs a droid and kicks it aside, then swears under her breath and begins hopping on her injured foot as she keeps flailing her weapon.)
Roger: You mean that liquid... cartilage... whatever?
Xandra: Righto! I gotta spill that canister! That oughta lubricate those droids good! Clear me a path, Roger! Iím going in!
(When a large enough channel is formed, Xandra sprints through and upsets the canister with a lash of her tail. The opaque white slime spills out over the floor. Several of the droids fall over, unable to upright themselves with the slippery floor.)
Xandra: GET ĎEM, ROGER!! KNOCK ĎEM DEAD!!! EAT IT, DROID DREGS!!!
(Roger quickly whacks over the remaining droids that still stand, then nearly all but sweeps the metal malignancies into the incinerator. He gingerly steps over to the machineís control panel and punches the Door Control Button just as Xandra glides across the near-frictionless floor and hits the Activate Button.
There is a brief flash through the doorís view port, then the chamber is vacant, leaving only the faint odor of freshly created oxygen-nitrogen compounds.)
Roger: We did it!
Xandra: No, Roger, you did!
Xandra: Thereís no way Iím going to even get credit for saving the Deepship! Youíre the space hero. The creditís yours.
Roger: Gee, thanks.
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