Episode 7: Before a Live Studio Audience
Stephan Fechet stopped by Dr. Gaye Hoelikker’s lab to apologize for his failure to make the world a better place…and his failure to destroy it. They got sidetracked into a discussion of the origin of the phrase “Close but no cigar.”
Gortex the Klingon had just finished putting up some bunting for Altair’s surprise birthday party when Prince Schmultan stopped by to discuss their awkward encounters last week. Gortex insisted that he had simply been performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, with the characteristic Klingon passion and intensity.
Altair-9000 was taking some temperature readings when he was surprised by Babs Gage, host of “Wild On,” accompanied by her live studio audience. She began interviewing Altair about his work on the moonbase, but when she brought up his past as the head of the giant robot Valtair, he cut the interview short and stormed out.
Slightly scarred from the scorching of the Earth, Tamborina returned to the moonbase and apologized to Schmultan for leaving. She explained that she left because her feelings for him were too intense, and she needed to get her head together. Schmultan confessed that he may or may not have started a relationship with Gortex…and that he accidentally killed Tamborina’s sister Harmonica.
Gaye Hoelikker and Gortex were manning a bake sale and discussing her pregnancy. Gortex asked if she’d chosen a father figure for her child, and she replied that she was thinking of going it alone. Gortex warned her that she had a hard road ahead of her; she’d lived all 17 years of her life as a genius child prodigy, and now must leave childhood behind her. Not wanting to give up her immaturity, she suggested that she could be like those “babies having babies” from all the news stories.
Stephan Fechet was cleaning up when Babs Gage came by. Stunned to see his former wife, Stephan apologized for losing her and their child in a bet many years ago. Their reunion was made even more awkward by the presence of the live studio audience. They exchanged apologies by breaking into song.
After doing a soft-shoe number as a birthday present to Altair, Tamborina asked him how her burns looked. (“On a scale from passable to hideous, you look okay.”) Tamborina confessed that, as an entertainer, she’d relied on her looks all her life. Altair replied that he cared, not about her outward appearance, but about the heart beneath that scarred exterior.
Schmultan asked Gaye for assistance in applying sparkles to a robot cozy for Altair’s birthday. Gaye was startled by Schmultan’s interest in crafts, since she’d always thought of him as being so strong and masculine. (“If I weren’t so strong, I wouldn’t be secure enough to decorate with teddy bears playing volleyball.”)
Gortex was skipping stones in the lunar canals when Babs Gage arrived. Gortex was stunned and honored to meet her, explaining that the Klingon government was modeled after broadcasts of “Wild On.” Babs asked Gortex about his hidden talents, and he demonstrated by singing a love song to a woman from the live studio audience.
Later on, Babs and Stephan were enjoying a walk on the moon, catching up on old times. Suddenly, Dr. Gaye Hoelikker arrived, and was shocked to see Stephan with another woman (not to mention the live studio audience). Pointing out that Stephan had asked her to be his Queen of Evil, Gaye angrily asked how he could have led her on like that. Babs was appalled that Stephan would do such a thing to a 17-year-old girl, but Stephan tried to explain that he wasn’t the father of Gaye’s child.
Gortex and Schmultan were out for a swim, gazing up at the Earth. As Gortex reminisced about his harsh life on the Klingon homeworld, Tamborina swam by and told Schmultan that she couldn’t forgive him for killing her sister…not to mention sleeping with a Klingon. Schmultan tried to assure her that it was all very innocent and manly.
Moping that nobody besides Tamborina had remembered his birthday, Altair was at the moonbase’s racetrack when Gaye stopped by. After apologizing for programming him to kill, Gaye asked why she hadn’t been invited to his birthday party. Overjoyed to learn that the others were planning a birthday party for him, Altair told her that he’d be happy to invite her, but he had no say in the matter. He suggested that she could sneak into the party by putting on a burlap sack and disguising herself as a bag of potatoes.
Babs Gage and Tamborina did an elaborate dance routine for “Wild On.” Afterwards, Babs asked Tamborina for a favor…she wanted Tamborina to kill Dr. Hoelikker, the woman who stood between Babs and her husband. When Tamborina pointed out that Stephan was the one who had singed the Earth and scarred Tamborina’s face, Babs agreed that Stephan and Gaye should both die.
Gortex and Stephan were having fruity daiquiris (though Gortex, maintaining his macho image, explained that it was “frozen blood whiskey”) and discussing the opposite sex…or, in the case of Klingons, any one of the other four sexes. Stunned, Stephan asked who wears the pants in Klingon society. (“Two of the genders wear pants, one wears a skirt, one a kilt, and one is a large amorphous blob.”) Gortex confessed that he’d developed great respect for Gaye Hoelikker, and swore he’d kill anyone who stood between them. Stephan attempted to calm Gortex down by giving him a neckrub.
Altair had just arrived in his quarters when Gortex, Schmultan, Tamborina and Stephan jumped out and yelled “Surprise!” Touched by the party, Altair’s emotional functions began working as never before, and he found himself crying. Altair pondered this unfamiliar phenomenon of fluid leaking from his optics, but before he could figure it out, the tears suddenly began short-circuiting him. Blindly running amok, Altair knocked Stephan to the ground before finally collapsing.
Ending her broadcast, Babs Gage was signing off when she was interrupted by a potato sack shouting “Happy Birthday!”
TO BE CONTINUED…