Episode 6: Everybody Dies
Captain Flash Buckstar and Harmonica were preparing for the moonbase’s upcoming Fantasy Enchantment Parade. This had to be the biggest event of the season, outdoing even the Sandy Hawkins Dance on Uranus. As they discussed the plans, they found that they could no longer hide their feelings for one another, and they decided to meet later that night…privately.
In the shuttle, Gortex was carrying a passenger to the base: Blake Cherish, former kickboxing champion turned corporate surveyor for Peck Calhoun’s oil company. Blake explained that, now that Calhoun had bought the moon’s oil supply from the Hawk-People, he’d been sent to observe and evaluate the moonbase personnel. Gortex was more interested in Blake’s martial-arts prowess, and challenged him to unarmed combat.
While preparing the drinks for the big event, Prince Schmultan told Altair-9000 how much he respected Altair for his memory and abilities. Altair replied that nobody had ever expressed appreciation for him…they were usually too busy giving him orders and reprogramming him to kill. Schmultan offered him a Restraint Restrainer to stop him from being reprogrammed again, but told him he had to decide for himself whether to install it.
Harmonica greeted Johnny Forever, the entertainer hired for the Fantasy Enchantment Parade. She told him that he’d be sharing the bill with Altair, who would be showing off his pop-and-lock dance moves. Johnny exclaimed that he’d been looking for a pop-and-lock dancer for his own act.
Flash Buckstar was at the console when Blake Cherish entered for Buckstar’s evaluation. Blake observed that Buckstar had been stripped of command several times and was never actually reappointed. However, he offered Buckstar a chance to make himself useful in the parade by sitting in a cage while kids throw wet sausages at him. Buckstar liked the idea of the cage and wet sausages, but suggested that they get drunk women instead of kids. They could make a video of it, and throw in a robot with no restraints…a Robot Gone Wild.
Johnny Forever asked Altair to dance in his shown. Altair agreed, but warned that he didn’t dare do his signature backspin move…the last time he tried it, he spun so fast that he accidentally cut off the legs of several kids. Johnny revealed that he knew all about the Backspin Massacre of Topeka…in fact, he had gone on Celebrity Jeopardy to raise money to get those kids new legs, so everything was all right now.
Schmultan and Gortex were putting the finishing touches on their parade float. Schmultan complimented Gortex on his floral arrangements and cherubs. Gortex first tried to maintain his macho Klingon image (“It’s the Flying Baby of Death!”), but finally confessed that Klingons are passionate in all things…not just war, but also decorating, baking and macramé. Johnny Forever came by and awarded their float the blue ribbon. Schmultan and Gortex hugged each other in celebration, then agreed never to mention it again.
Later, Johnny Forever ran into Gortex in the casino. Johnny reminisced about his last tour of the Klingon system, where he scored with 5 Klingon women. Gortex asked if he was sure about that, explaining that Klingons have five genders. (“Male, female, shemale, emale, and centidomingo.”) Unfazed by this revelation, Johnny offered Gortex a spot in the show: Gortex would demonstrate his talent by killing a random audience member with an empty can of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Flash Buckstar and Harmonica went out for a picnic, flirting over peanut butter. As they held each other passionately, Flash suddenly began choking on the peanut butter. Thinking quickly, Harmonica turned their embrace into the Heimlich maneuver.
Prince Schmultan was manning the festival’s blood-drive tent when Blake Cherish came by to evaluate him. After donating a pint, Blake informed Schmultan that the Hawk-People were standing in the way of corporate progress, then ordered Schmultan to clip his wings. A fight broke out. When Schmultan accidentally got his head stuck in a bucket, Blake seized the opportunity by stripping off his jacket and strangling Schmultan with it.
After setting up a camera for his “Robots Gone Wild” video, Flash Buckstar called Altair to the bridge and offered him a beer. Buckstar asked Altair if he’d ever been in a video, then asked him to shake his stuff for the camera. Altair reluctantly opened his chest panel, then sobbed that he felt dirty. In the interest of fairness, Buckstar opened his shirt for Altair.
In the bar, Johnny Forever asked Blake Cherish to join his show. (“I admire a man in a Mary Lou Retton jacket.”) Blake offered to demonstrate his kickboxing skills by fighting Gortex to the death. Johnny replied that Gortex already had a spot in the show, and suggested that he battle Buckstar instead.
Harmonica ran into the casino and told Gortex that she feared for Buckstar’s safety. Gortex realized that he could finally repay his blood-debt by saving Buckstar’s life. Suddenly, Gortex heard a distress signal, and rushed off to find Schmultan’s still form. Gortex performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation…and continued the mouth-to-mouth even after Schmultan recovered.
Finally, the time came for Johnny Forever’s Spectacular. Johnny started off the show by singing to a girl from the audience. Johnny then pulled a man from the audience, and Gortex killed him by pressing a PBR can against his throat. Suddenly, Schmultan burst in and demanded vengeance against Blake Cherish. Johnny announced that the deathmatch between Blake and Buckstar would now be a three-way battle. The terrible struggle began. In the course of the melee, Schmultan accidentally impaled Harmonica with his sword-staff…several times. Schmultan slashed Blake, but Blake seized the sword-staff and struck Schmultan and Buckstar before collapsing himself. Gortex rushed to Schmultan’s side for more mouth-to-mouth. Buckstar staggered to his feet and announced that he was all right…just before Altair’s backspin knocked his legs out from under him.
TO BE CONTINUED…