Omigosh, you guys! This is Episode TEN! Can you believe it? I hope you enjoyed the movie review. Now, we celebrate with…
Space Traipse: the Musical!
Oh, yes, I did. You may want to pull up The Phantom of the Opera, Little Mermaid, and West Side Story, just to mentally prepare yourselves. Who am I kidding? I don’t know if anyone can prepare themselves for what’s coming. Certainly, the crew didn’t! While I hope this is less of a dumpster fire than Cats, I will take complete responsibility for any lame lyrics that don’t scan. However, if you don’t like the singing, you’ll have to blame yourself because it’s totally in your head. I did toy with the idea of having some talented (and classically trained!) friends sing, but alas, I’m liticaphobic.
Captain’s Log, Intergalactic date 8675309-ee-ine. No, no, that’s wrong. Computer, put the right date in, ‘kay? Thanks.
We thought we’d managed to escape our disastrous run-in with the Cybers, but it seems we’re out of the frying pan and into the fire. The Impulsive has been infected with some crazy virus that’s forcing the ship to re-engineer daily operations as if we were in a musical. Even worse, the virus has somehow affected the brain waves of everyone on the ship – even Minion Gel O’Tin. It has been chaos. There are 245 people on this ship – we can’t all be the leads!
We lost navigation control and almost flew into a nova because the computer had turned all its processing power reconciling the conflicting harmonies and storylines of a Major-Key Broadway musical in Engineering and a Minor-Key Hortician grunge rap in Waste Management. Never has a clogged toilet been so dangerous.
With navigation untrustworthy at warp and the impulse drives, as Commander Deary put it, “down the crapper,” we are at a dead stop light-years outside Union Space.
The Union is sending a team of expert programmers that it believes can rid us this tiresome – if catchy – predicament.
In the meantime, the ship seems to have tapped into our continuing grief over Loreli, our lost Xenobiologist and Ship’s Sexy, and is focusing on that theme.
Throughout the ship, you can hear the grand brass tones of an orchestra. The crewmembers of the Impulsive don’t so much walk as strut as they go about their duties. Where four or more are gathered, they spontaneously break into song. Meanwhile, Teleporter Chief Dolfrick Dour is back in the teleporter room, in uniform rather than ceremonial robes, yet still going over the logs of Loreli’s accident. Chief of Security Enigo LaFuentes is in Sickbay, singing to the frail sprig of a Botanical that they managed to salvage from the transporter accident and which the Emergency Photonic Medical Interface and new Ship’s Sexy is trying to grow back into their fallen comrade.
Cue music: Masquerade from Phantom of the Opera.
Loreli! We’re still grieving Loreli
Loreli – and salads make us so sad.
Loreli! How we miss you, Loreli
Loreli – And what’s worse, we’re singing ballads
Loreli! I’m so sorry Loreli.
Loreli, that my mistress had to fry you.
Dolfrick taps some buttons on the teleporter console and steps onto the pad. As it zaps him to another part of the ship, he says a silent prayer that the new him will have a different insight.
Loreli! I’ll avenge you, Loreli.
Loreli! If I only had a target.
FIRST OFFICER SMYTHE
When the programmers come
This nightmare will be done
I feel punched in the gut
And I hurt in my butt
CHIEF ENGINEER DEARY
What’s that you’re saaaaying sair?
From the Keptarian prayers
Because we squeeze our glutes
CHIEF ENGINEER DEARY
But giving Doall this task
Responsibility so vast?
She’s an ensign, you know
And she’s still reeling so.
But she is our best bet
If we’re to save the ship.
Loreli! You’re just plant bits, Loreli.
We’re so sad. What will we do without you?
Loreli! I so miss you, Loreli.
Loreli, and I’m sorry that I failed you.
As the Captain, First Officer and Chief Engineer discussed the upcoming software updates to the ship, Operations Officer Ellie Doall waited outside the shuttle bay to meet the programmers’ shuttle, but she is thinking about her friend’s death and how she could have prevented it. If only…
A few steps away, Janbot waits, pretending to be cleaning the crosshatches of the cover to a Jefferies tube. Half the crew was in and out of tunnels making repairs, so all the covers were full of sweaty fingerprints. The only reason the screws weren’t stripped out was because Commander Deary had replaced all the fasteners with Velcro, with fake screws to confuse any invaders. So, Ellie didn’t pay any mind to Janbot, but he certainly noticed her.
JANBOT (To the Tune of “Think of Me” from Phantom of the Opera):
Notice me. Notice me, Ellie.
Look! I am right here.
And you’re so sad, it makes me sad, Ellie.
I wish that I could cheer
You and make you smile
If for a little while.
And make you feel so light and free.
Then you would see past my gyros
And you’d notice me.
Janbot tucked away its cleaning rag and rolled up to her. He tugged at her pants leg, and when she looked down, he handed her a small bottle. She smiled sadly, and thanked him, patting him on the sensor. He chirped happily, making her snicker despite her sadness.
Loreli, now it’s time to dry my eyes.
Loreli – I will do my best for our crew.
Doall leaned back and put eye drops in each eye. Fortified with .00001% imposazine, the eye drops relieved the redness and dried her tears. Doctor Sorcha had been handing out the droppers like candy the first few days after Loreli’s death. Ellie vowed this would be her last bottle. She had a job to do, and nothing would distract her.
Janbot cooed happily. With the help of the Cyber-deranged ship, Janbot had added some nanobots to the mix. Soon, soon he and Ellie would be together.
The shuttle bay operator announced in a breathy falsetto that the shuttle had landed and the bay was pressurized. Ellie gave him a thumbs-up rather than try to harmonize with his off-key rendition and stepped into the bay, back straight, expression cool and professional.
The doors opened, and the five programmers stepped out. Ellie blanched when she recognized the lead two: a pinch-face woman and a handsome man with wild curls and the kindest eyes she’d ever gazed into.
Doall’s iron will broke.