The Original WSSQUID - All-In-One Edition
(One of Rogerís crewmates, Will (last name withheld), is advancing down one of the corridors of the ship. He pauses beside a small closet, leaning against the wall. He casually checks his watch, muttering to himself.)
Will: Yes... 10:00 hours... first shift over... (he starts to finger the keypad on the wall near the closed door)... should be... riiiiight... here.
(He punches the button and the closet door flies open. An avalanche of janitorial equipment, loosely installed shelves, and various other odds and ends rumbles out, bearing within their midst a rudely-awakened Roger Wilco.)
Roger: WHAT!? My breakís over already!? I didnít mean it! My clock must be wrong!
Will: Itís not over, Roger. I just had to brief you on an unforeseen assignment.
Roger (struggling to cram the supplies back into the closet before anyone else notices): A WHAT? Will, you know I hate things like that! Whatís the deal?
Will: Well, itís pretty hard to explain... but apparently some die-hard Space Quest fanatic somehow got a lift on a shuttle and is due here in ten minutes at the maximum. Come on, Roger. Weíd best get to the Shuttlebay Entrance now.
Roger: Oh, Cripes!! Why doesnít somebody TELL me these things!? Ah well. (kicking the remainder of the stuff back in the closet, closing the door and starting to walk down the corridor with Will) So... whatís the rundown? Whereís he from?
Will: She is from Earth, just like the other million or so fans of your games, Roger. Where else could the relay shuttles find a planet with above-average intelligence without using up more than the allowed amount of fuel? Those Two Guys you rescued sure drive a tough bargain, thatís for sure.
Roger: Okay. This... fan, I guess sheís harmless enough, Will? I wouldnít want to confront -- er -- conVERSE with this Earth person without knowing more about her -- ah -- appearance...
Will: Well, I know youíre not going to like this, Rog, but... sheís... (ponders for a moment)... kinda like Kielbasa.
Roger: Thatís it! Iím outta here, call me in sick; Iíll be in my quarters, working up some convincing auditory feedback!
Will: No, no, no! I didnít mean her personality was like Kielbasa! I meant her appearance was like Kielbasa! Get it?
Roger (calmer): Oh. So you mean she looks like...
Will: A big pussy-cat, right.
Roger: A pure Panthera Leo derivation?
Will: No, actually she looks more like an Acinonyx Jubatus.
Roger: Ah... come again?
Will: A cheetah. Golden with little black spots all over. Youíve seen them before.
Roger: Well... Iíve gotten this far. Whatís her name?
Will: From what the shipís pilot told me, I think her name was "Xandra..."
Roger: ZONDRA??? Do you mean Zondra?!? From ESTROS???
Will: No, no no, keep your shirt on, Roger! Itís Xandra, as in Alexandra, or Sandra with an Ďx.í You cool now?
Roger(still looking panicked): Sorry... there was a girl I ran into sometime back named Zondra... never really cared for her but... itís hard to care for someone who tries to put a spear gun through you...
Will: Just relax, Roger, the pilot told me that Xandra is perfectly harmless. He wouldíve told me more but Xandra was interfering with the communication signals in her efforts to get a good look out the viewscreen and he had to terminate the message.
Roger (sarcastic): Sounds great. (looks up and notices that theyíve reached the Shuttlebay Entrance. He and William stand in silence for several seconds) So... how many more minutes Ďtill...
(Roger is cut off by a loud, female voice coming from behind the doors.)
Voice: Honestly, you guys are so paranoid you canít even judge your own wristwatches! The last thing I need around here is a BODYGUARD! I know this place backwards and forwards! Yeah, I know you donít understand it, I meant it metaphorically! That good enough for ya? NO?!? Oh, heck, who cares? Just open the darn door!
Will: That must be your visitor. Iíll leave you with her. (turns and walks to the transport pad.)
Roger (looking helpless): Will?? But Will??? (Will vanishes into the tube. Roger glances around nervously, trying to look his best for the Ďvisitor,í whose voice continues to approach as the doors begin opening from the outside.)
Voice: Sheesh, canít all these stupid doors open at the same time!? All this high techerry up the wazoo and you canít even get a lot of doors to open at once?? If so, we got a problem. And stop LOOKING at me like that! Youíd think you donít trust me, the way youíre looking at me... how much longer??
(The doors finally open completely and a human-sized cheetah with long, blonde hair, and brown eyes wearing a green T-shirt and shorts with a solemn-looking pilot by her side step through. The cheetah-girl (obviously Xandra) immediately locks her gaze on Roger.)
Xandra: Roger Wilco! There you are! FINALLY! The way the guys back home are discussing you, Iíd think Iíd have to locate you in an Intensive Care Unit!! But here you are, alive and well! Boy, what they would give just to see you...
Roger: Ah... youíre the one called Xandra, right?
Xandra: Yes, Xandra. No relation to Zondra the Estrosian, just co-incy-dental, I guess. (chuckles to herself. The pilot, seeing that no one else is in need of his services, leaves through the doors.)
Xandra (looking Roger over): So this Roger Wilco, Douser of the Deltaur, Snuffer of the Sariens, Vholluper of Vohaul and Wooer of Wankmeister. Nice to meet you.
Xandra: Roger Wilco. Isnít "Roger" an odd name to have in this day and age?
Roger: I donít get it...
Xandra: I can just picture it (assuming a shuttle pilotís position): "Jameson, this place looks like itís worth checking out. Iím flying down there. Cover me, okay?" "Okay. Roger." "What?"
Roger: Oh, now I get it... I think.
Xandra: And your initials -- R. W. -- I seem to recall seeing those same initials in another famous-type name...
Roger: Which name?
Xandra: Well... You ever heard of Kingís Quest?
Roger: Maybe. Iím not sure.
Xandra: I figured. You wouldnít know her anyway. Letís get down to business, shall we, Rog?
Roger: Okay. Well... Youíve come a long way just to see me, Xandra.
Xandra: If the ships were more shipshape (no pun intended), thousands of us would, Roger. But with all this downright SLIME weíve been buried in... well, itís too much to launch into now... maybe I can ask you some questions about it later, hmm?
Roger: If this is an interview, Iím ready now, Xand...
Xandra: No, no, no, no, no, I didnít risk existence and epidermis just to interview you, Roger. I just thought Iíd try to... catch up on a few things. Letís sit, shall we?
(Xandra takes a seat on a nearby chair. Roger does a similar motion).
Roger: So why did you want to see me?
Xandra: Because I understand I... missed Space Quest 7, right?
Roger: Actually, I think you arrived just before the extro movie. Congratulations.
Gary Owens: Be careful, Roger! She may trying to get a part in it!
Xandra: Do you mean to tell me heís still around?
Roger: Oh, the narrator... Oh yeah... you hear him too?
Xandra: Roger, this kitty didnít just blast out of the junk freighter. I pick up things, little bits of info, you know? In fact, I donít really exist on the planet at all. My creator does, but I donít, at least, not physically.
Roger: Really? But how??
Xandra: Iím just a collection of things created by my creator mentally, thoughts, ideas, attitudes and such, all walloped together in this body.
Roger: Itís a nice body, but I donít get it.
Xandra: I knew you wouldnít. Even I donít get some of it. Most of space has already been conquered... in this dimension. But what about the higher dimensions, the places we dream about... the places other creatures dream about?
Roger: Iím still not getting most of this, but it sounds like it would be pretty hairy.
Xandra: Just the way you like it, right?
Roger: Ah... right.
(Suddenly a huge, muscular, male humanoid struts past them, flashing a mocking grin at Roger and a sly wink at Xandra. He glides over to the transport pad, punches in several numbers and gives his "audience" a last look and disappears into the tube top.)
Xandra: Yeeeeaewww! Did you see the biceps on that stud!? It looked like they were going to explode! I HATE overdeveloped muscles, especially ones made with those steroids!! Just the mention of an overmuscular creep like that makes me wanna... (she starts snorting, hacking and apparently gathering up material for either a hairball or a huge sputum projectile. Roger looks a little nervous as she reaches her final peak, but then she suddenly changes her mind and swallows.)
Xandra: Then again, maybe not. Save an undeserved cleanup for you.
Roger: Ah... right.
Xandra: Well, letís change the subject. You donít have any artificial parts in you, do you, Roger?
Roger: Not the last time I checked, but...
Xandra: Ah-ha! I saw a flash of metal in there! Got a few fillings in there, do you? No, no, donít bother opening your mouth for me. What are you trying to do, impersonate one of those aliens that lures you to look inside then bites your head off??Roger: I never met one of those.
Xandra: Oh well. (patting one side of her chest) Thatís the trouble with being female, Roger, you just canít have prominent pectorals, know what I mean? Even if we did... ah well. Men these days are all fretting about being overweight, and the skinny guys are trying to pump themselves up like blimps. But you... You donít need big muscles to be a space-hero-guy. Youíre just fine, Roger, just fine. Natural, suave and 100% organic. Well anyway, letís change the subject.
Roger: You already did... at least twice.
Xandra: Well, three timeís the charm. Think we could go to your quarters?
Roger (getting up): Sure. The transportís over here...
Xandra: Canít we take the stairs?
Roger: This ship doesnít have any stairs, and if it did, I donít think Iíve been cleaning in all the places.
Roger (walking over to the ComPost): Well, I guess a fan like you knows how work these things. Ladies first.
Xandra: Iíve never been able to work out if that phrase was chivalrous or chauvinistic.
Xandra: You can go first. I promise I wonít look.
Roger (looking sheepish): Well, all right...
(Xandra turns her head away as Roger punches in the appropriate numbers and gets sucked up the tube. Roger lands safely in his room and starts walking towards the table, expecting Xandra to follow shortly. She does, preceded by a howl of terror that resonates through the transport system, she lands in a sprawled, unladylike position on her stomach, less-than-centered on the transport pad.)
Roger (thinking): And I thought I got transported awkwardly.
Xandra (slowly getting to her feet): Sorry, Rogerr... Never used these tranzzport thingies in real life... I guess...
Roger: You okay?
Xandra (walking his way): Yeah... (falls down)... Oops... sorry... (gets up and falls down again)... Oops. I think Iíve found it now... (coming to her senses) Well... this is a great place youíve got here! Iím sure youíve been in worse quarters.
Roger: Gaah, donít remind me!
Xandra: Okey-dokey. Can we take a look-see at your collection of... well...
Xandra: Close enough.
(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!
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.
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.
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
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!
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!
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!
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.
(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.
Xandra: Nooo problem. Now... how do you reckon we get outta here? (Roger notices that the slippery liquid has formed a wide barrier between them and the transport pad. He looks at Xandra with a perplexed expression.)
Roger: I... I... I have no idea.
Xandra: Well, I do (she suddenly shoves Roger forward). You first!
(Roger flails his arms around and dances frantically on the slippery surface to avoid losing what little balance his cerebellum retains. It looks like he is going to slip and fall in a few seconds, but amazingly, although all the odds are against him, he makes it to the other side unscathed.)
Xandra: Wow. Youíre even more luck -- ahem, agile than I thought you were. Yep, youíve got nerves of silk, Roger.
Xandra: Yeah, silk. Itís stronger than steel, didnít you know that? Now, I think Iíll just -- OOOOMPH (she casually steps onto the floor and immediately slips and crashes into it face-down. Roger is desperately trying not to laugh as she slowly looks up at him.)
Xandra: I guess your luck decided to change places with mine. Whoopie. (she slowly drags herself across the sticky floor to Roger, then rises to her feet and shakes herself off, splattering everything in the vicinity.)
Roger: Oh, Xandra!!
Xandra: I think we both needed that.
Roger: I have to clean this whole level now!
Xandra: No way. Someone who saves a spaceship is excused from doing janitor work.
Roger: I guess youíre right...
Xandra: Until Kielbasa finds out! Heh-heh-hehhh...
Roger (exasperated): Oh, Xandra...
Xandra: Oh Roger, could you just shut up for a minute? Letís go back to the main level, okay? Weíll talk. (She and Roger take the tube back to the main level, where they once again seat themselves in the flashy, slightly uncomfortable plastic chairs.)
Xandra: I shouldíve known... trying to replace the best janitor on the ship with a bunch of dumb droids! What a crazy idea!
Roger: Actually, Iím the only janitor...
Xandra: I know. But "best" sounds better than "only." No one and nothing could ever replace you. Thatís one thing Iím certain of. Youíve got style, youíve got a nice face, and your intellect...
Roger: ... is nonexistent, I know...
Xandra: No! Whoever told you that? By golly, youíre not stupid, Roger! (standing up on her chair and glaring at him menacingly) These days people can call other people whatever they want, and half of the time, they donít know this other person any better than themselves! Youíd think these so called "smart" people would just keep their big mouths shut, but NOOO! Itís just yakkety-yakkety-yak, non-stop round-the-clock JAW-BONING! Youíd think these zeebs who keep stabbing people with their opinions would just take their biased baloney and DROP IT!
(Xandra stamps her foot down on "drop it" and her shorts fall down. Several crewmembers standing nearby, attracted by the previous noise start snickering and turning away. Xandra sneers in fury.)
Xandra (growling as she pulls her shorts back up): Ooooh, I shouldíve worn a belt -- it would come in pretty handy now... rrrgh... When this "reversed luck trend" of ours is over, youíd better hold onto your pants, Roger.
Roger (looking off into the distance): Iím not looking... Iím not looking...
Xandra: I know something else youíre not doing, Blondie. (cooling down) Ahh, what am I saying... now where were we? Oh yeah:
Youíre not stupid, Rog. You just... take time to think before you act... you carefully work your moves out in your head... that takes time.
Roger: And usually a lot of dumb luck.
Xandra: No arguments there, Roger. (she leans back and sighs quietly.) Sooo... Roger? What would you say the ten most essential rules for being a space hero are, eh? Ever think up a list?
Roger: I have, actually, but Iíve never worked it all out.
Xandra: Ohhh, tell me! I can help you work it out!
Roger: Okay... (Ahem)... Number One: Never press buttons labeled "Donít Touch"...
Roger: Number Two: Always buckle up, unless there arenít any seat belts...
Roger: Number Three: Always help people, creatures, and anything else along the line...
Xandra: Number Four: If you follow the previous rule with a wounded Orat and lose all four of your limbs, forget all the previous rules.
Roger: Number Five: No. Number Six: Pick up anything that isnít nailed down...
Xandra: Thank you, Roberta Williams.
Roger: Seven: Never discuss your ways of life with a felinoid...
Roger: Number Eight:...
Xandra: "If you canít say something nice, shut your trap?"
Roger: Close. Number Eight: Always look before you leap...
Roger: Number Nine: Always remember that dirty underwear is better than no underwear... and Number Ten:... NEVER suck face with an alien unless youíre sure of its species and/or hormone level.
Xandra (sitting in a seductive pose): Hmm... sounds like you put a lot of thought into that last rule, Roger.
Roger: I know. I did.
Xandra: And youíve never done that, have you?
Roger: No way! Any alien that tried to kiss me Iíd have licking dirt before -- MMMMPH!!! (as Roger talks, Xandra suddenly leaps to her feet, clamps her arms around Rogerís neck and gives him a very amateur, over-moistened smooch on the lips. During the few seconds she holds her muzzle against his, Rogerís muffled screams and struggles can be seen and heard. Finally, Xandra releases her lip-lock and returns to her seat.)
(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?
(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!!
Beatrice: As I was saying, I think Iíd like to meet Stellar. Iím sure we could work out our problems face-to-face.
Roger: I hope you donít mean that literally, Beatrice, because if you intend to...
Xandra (catcalling): Oh Mister Wiiiiiil-cooooh!
Roger: What is it, Xandra?
Xandra: I think itís Steeell-aaarrrr!!
Roger: Stellar! Yikes, how many more unscheduled arrivals before this is over??
Beatrice: Canít be many, I hear that Kielbasa is a stickler for organization.
Roger: Thatís for sure.
(Xandra comes bounding down the hallway.)
Xandra: Oh my, oh my, itís her! Itís Stellar Santiago! Sheís comiiiing...
Xandra: T-minus 20 seconds max!
Roger: Well... whatever you say. Beatrice?
Beatrice: Donít worry, Roger. I wonít say anything...
Roger: Xandra, be quiet.
Xandra (sitting down on an elevated part of the hallway): Hey, I didnít say anything!
(After a few seconds, Stellar comes down the hallway. Roger walks toward her. Xandra looks up at both at them from her position.)
Stellar: Hello, Roger.
Roger: Hi Stellar. I didnít know you were coming...
Stellar: I know you didnít. I just came here to... straighten out things with you. (Xandra mutters "Uh-oh" under her breath, Roger gives her a hard nudge in the side with his boot.)
Roger: What do you mean?
Stellar: Well... this is hard to explain... but a few weeks ago I got an anonymous message which had nearly all your past endeavors listed. I donít know why I got this, but I do know that my friendship with you could be the makings of an impromptu time paradox, and I realize that you and Beatrice Wankmeister are eventually going to wind up together. Destiny is a weird thing, isnít it?
Also, the other reason I came is because I understand that a group of so-called Cleaning Droids were sold to Kielbasa. It was a scam, Roger.
Roger: So thatís why those prototypes went berserk. Who made them? I never got the name.
Stellar: They never told Kielbasa. It was ScumDead, Inc.
Xandra: Egad! Those two gargantuan media-giants did merge after all! Geez, Iíve missed a lot!
Stellar: I think the reason is you, Roger. They were taking a stab at revenge. But judging by your (and the shipís) intactness, I guess they failed.
Beatrice: Thatís incredible. You must be brave to drive off a barrage of avenging robots. And... I think I know what you mean about that message, Stellar. I think I got the same document you described, believe it or leave it, and Iím also clueless.
Roger: Why... who could have sent both of you the same thing? What was the... (Xandra starts rocking back and forth in her seat, whistling "Greensleeves." Roger glares at her, but Stellar suddenly grabs his shoulder, making him turn his head.)
Stellar: Now, you know I like you, Roger. I know Beatrice does too. Under normal circumstances I would probably fight with her over you, but these circumstances are anything but normal. I understand your feelings for Bea, and Iím not going to object now that you have a reason, Roger.
Xandra: Yeah. Youíre all right, Stellar. All right.
Stellar (looking at Xandra with interest): So youíre another of Rogerís admirers?
Xandra: Hardly. I just like him for what he is, you know? Iím just another fan.
Stellar (raising her hand to Xandraís right ear): Well... do you mind if I scratch you here?
Xandra: Be my guest... oooooh... (she purrs in ecstasy as Stellar scratches her ear, almost falling off her perch.) Yeah, Roger. You and Bea were destined to meet... but Stellarís still part of your life. You canít say no to that. But you can still be friends? (Roger looks startled at hearing almost the exact same words he heard on Estros coming from Xandra. Then he looks nervous.)
Stellar: Yes. Iím sure we can. And Roger? When your son is born and you have no one to watch him when you two are away... Iíll be glad to offer my help.
Xandra: Yeah, Roger. Stellar gives great ear scratches... REALLY great... but it just wasnít meant to be... (she gently pushes Stellarís hand away.)
Roger: Are you sure you arenít Zondra the Estrosian?
Xandra: I told you Iím not, Roger. Now, about Stellarís offer...
Beatrice: Wait, wait... before we talk about babysitting, we should talk about this matrimonial dilemma first. (she turns to Roger.) So, Roger... youíve got a wide range of skills, and so have I. Iíd like to have you as a husband, but Iíve got just one little question before we do anything else... (Roger looks very nervous.) Can you... cook?
Roger: Well... I know how to tell if something is cooked long enough in a microwave...
Beatrice: I think Iíll marry you anyway.
Xandra: Well, youíve done it again, Roger! Donít worry, itís just the way things happen, you know? And guys like you never change, even if theyíre married. Believe me.
Gary Owens: Iíve noticed that, Xandra. Not only with Roger, but especially with... letís say... organisms like you.
Xandra (silently fuming in anger): Hey Gary? Did you know that only one fourth of the human eye is visible when in its socket?
Gary Owens: No, I did not know that.
Xandra (getting up and reaching up and above the camera view): Then you will let me yank yours out so I can get a good look at the REST of it, you impudent...
Roger (pulling her back down): Hey, watch it, Xandra!! This is a family fan-fic!
Xandra: All right. Well... I think Iíve spent more than enough time with you, Roger... all of you, I mean. Iíll be jack --- I mean --- catching the next shuttle back to Earth.
Roger: Okay. And Iíll think about that problem with those SQ7 essentials.
Xandra: Sure. Go ahead. "Thinking Allowed."
Roger: Well. This has got to be the longest conversation Iíve had with any fan of Space Quest without him bringing up... (Xandra yanks him down to her level by the front of his shirt.)
Xandra (whispering through her teeth): Rog, the phrase "Thinking Allowed" means you are permitted to contemplate things freely in your head, not to do it aloud.
Roger (whispering back): Whoops.
Xandra: Itís something personal, isnít it?
Xandra: No wonder weíre whispering. (pause) What is it?
Roger: Well... itís... ah... um...
Xandra: Donít tell me. That dress deal in SQ4-slash-10, correct?
Roger: Ah... yeah.
Xandra: Look, Roger: I wear dresses about as often as a Labion Terror Beast does the hula, and I am perfectly comfortable wearing clothes that look like a guyís.
Roger: Sorry I canít say the same thing -- Oops, I mean...
Xandra: Just shut up and tell us youíre going to do something for a change?
Roger: Okay. (Xandra releases her grip and Roger nearly goes sprawling backwards.)
Beatrice: Donít worry, I didnít catch any of that, Roger. Well... it was nice to meet you, Xandra. Have a safe journey back.
Roger (holding Beaís hand): And Iíll try to get all those SQ7 files transported to your planet as soon as I can. Itíll take a bit of time, but itíll get there. (pause) So youíre really leaving now, Xandra?
Xandra: Well... on second thought... I think Iíll wait around for the end of Space Quest 7. So... have you heard about any Astro Chicken 3?
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