Who Says Space Quest Is Dead? (Page 6)

(Will suddenly appears from down the hallway.)

Will: Roger? Thereís a shuttle docking at Airlock B. I think someone wants to meet you there. I guess you are getting popular, Roger.

Roger (getting up): Okay. Come on, Xandra. Itís a long walk but I can handle it. This way. (Xandra gets up and starts to walk with Roger down the wide hallway.)

Xandra (after a few minutes): Who do you think it is, Roger?

Roger: Your guess is as good as mine.

Xandra: Think it could be... Stellar?

Roger: I seriously doubt that. Sheís been pretty occupied with her new position, so Iíve heard.

Xandra: Yeah... I know. Speaking of her... I hope you donít think me ignorant, Roger, but... sheís... not... human... is she?

Roger: No. Not a clean cut Homo Sapiens, if thatís what you mean. How did you figure that out?

Xandra: Itís a bit obvious. The lines in her forehead look vaguely alien... her eyes have an un-... well, un-Xenonly color... and when you were inside her body... I donít know if the designers scrapped the concept, but... did Stellarís stomach have a "j-shape?"

Roger: A what??

Xandra (tracing a "j" in the air with a finger): A j-shape, Roger, a "j!" You know, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, et cetera?

Roger: Oh, the letter "j." No... I canít say it did. It was hard to tell...

Xandra: It was a more oblong shape, wasnít it?

Roger: I guess so, Xandra, but why...

Xandra (barring his way with her arm): Roger, any schlemiel knows that a true Homo has a j-shaped stomach (thuds him lightly in his chest with her fist). So no "j"... (she punches him again on "j"), no human (punches him on the word "human."). Get it?

Roger (looking winded): Yes... youíre right, Xandra.

Xandra: In fact, did you know weíve got a bird back on Earth called a Stellerís jay? Say that name out loud and youíve got yourself a coincidental confuddled contradiction, cause this Stellar doesnít have a "j!" Get it???

Roger (after a long pause): Yeah.

Xandra (much calmer now): So she isnít...?

Roger: Yes. Her home planetís a few light months from Xenon...

Xandra: "Light months?"

Roger: Theyíre like light years, only theyíre 1/12 as long. Anyway... she came to Xenon when I was in the Academy... the first time, that is. She was the one who encouraged me to become what my father and mother became... and it did lead to something greater, but...

Xandra: I donít mean to sound heartless, but I think you should stick with females within your own species, Roger. Friendships are fine, but... (sheís cut off by a loud beeping noise and several flashing lights. Xandra screeches and crouches down on all fours.)

Xandra: Oh NO, not another INVASION!!!

Roger: Relax, Xandra! Itís just a warning that that shuttleís docking nearby. The airlockís just ahead.

Xandra: It is?? Letís go! I wanna see who this is! (she sprints down the corridor.)

Roger (taking off after her): Xandra, wait!!

(Xandra rounds a corner with Roger behind her. Suddenly there is a high-pitched scream. Roger rounds the corner and finds Xandra with a familiar, scorpion-like creature clinging to her face.)

Roger: Spike!! Is that you??

Xandra (trying to pull Spike off): I think it is, Roger, now can you just get him OFF me?!?

Roger: All right. Here boy! (Spike leaps off Xandraís face onto Rogerís shoulder). Spike, what are you doing here? I thought I left you with Beatrice! She promised sheíd keep an eye on you...

Xandra (looking further down the hallway): She wasnít kidding.

(Roger looks where Xandra is looking and sees a familiar person walking their way. He quickly walks down the hall, nearly running into Beatrice, who is standing casually beside the railing.)

Roger: Beatrice! Youíve come back...

Beatrice: I wanted to thank you for saving me from that Vohaul, Roger. I really felt I needed to see you again.

Roger: It was nothing, really.

Xandra: Nothing as far as Earth is concerned!

Beatrice: And who is this? Another friend, Roger?

Roger: A... a fan who managed to make her way to the ship just to see me. Maybe I am a bit more than everyone else thinks, huh?

Beatrice: Maybe.

(The two start walking down the hall; Xandra stays where she is, near the airlock.)

Roger (nudging Spike onto his left shoulder so he can walk closer to Bea): Thanks for bringing Spike with you. I havenít seen him in weeks... I see youíve been taking good care of him.

Beatrice: Itís no problem. Heís a good pet, once you get to know him.

Roger: Ah, right. (long pause as they continue walking) Uh... Beatrice?

Beatrice: What is it, Roger?

Roger: Itís... uh... itís just so hard already knowing what your future is and trying to live it all out. I told you all the messy details, didnít I, Bea?

Beatrice: Yes, you did.

Roger: I also have to tell you that I recently met an old friend... Corpsman Santiago. She was one of my colleagues before I was assigned to the Arcada. I kept thinking of choosing another career than the one I was studying for, but she always told me to stick to the path I was meant for, and now here I am, back where I started.

Beatrice: I know, Roger, but itís not what you are that matters. You know that, donít you?

Roger: Yeah. Whatever. Anyway, she comes back, and... I have to confess that we grew closer than I wanted to... but she saved my skin, and I had to do something in return...

Beatrice: I know that Roger.

Roger: You KNOW?? How could you have known??

Beatrice: I just got an anonymous document chronicling your reunion with your friend, as well as the numerous inner conflicts, and I realized you had a reason for saving Stellarís life. It wouldnít be like you not to do it.

Roger: Well, Iím glad you see how we feel... for a while I was afraid youíd... (he is interrupted as the roar of a shuttle comes through the wall beside them.) Xandra! Could you look out the viewport next to you and see who that is??

Xandra (yelling from hallway): Okay!!

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