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Old 05-06-2018, 08:21 PM
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Turns of Events

Five-Minute "Turns of Events," by NAHTMMM, is brought to you by Jafar's Executive College. Our graduates are consistently described by their superiors as "trustworthy" and "indispensable" right up until they seize control of the entire organization! Jafar's Executive College: Where the power goes straight to your head!
If I’d known I’d be named as the author anyway, I’d have deleted my self-attribution here. I wrote it partly because I thought it paired with the sponsorship. I guess I had some idea of it serving in place of a radio station’s call letters or the corporation producing the show? Anyway, this bit was supposed to have sort of an old-timey serial feel and I don't know if it worked out in that regard. I still like calling out the "evil vizier" trope.

Amara: (over the comm) I've got five in the brig, sir.
Dovan: Good work. I'll come down soon to interrogate those rascally reptiles.
Amara: Wait, you wanted me to arrest the intruders?
I wrote the bulk of these as I listened through each episode the first time, and this was meant to serve as a jumping-off point for an Amara who was either incompetent or omnidirectionally violent. As it turned out, I never got the opportunity for either, but this bit did wind up sort of echoing Amara's frustration from Zeke's take on the prior episode.

Dovan: On a scale from "blindfold" to "Hubble Space Telescope", how technologically advanced are the Valandrians?
Adow: Picture a cheap pair of sunglasses with cute little stickers all over the lenses.
Dovan: So they won't notice if I sneak back into orbit on a stealthed flyer?
Adow: You personally would have no chance, sir. Even their sarcasm detectors could hear you from a light-year away.
I giggled quite a bit over the first two lines. I think I was trying for a slightly more formal voice with Adow, hence the verbosity in the last line. It didn't stick.

Lorhrok: Mister Hologram, you are under arrest for violating the Prime Directive.
Ensign Hunter: You have no right to do that! What if someone had taken the Babel fish away from your planet centuries ago?
Lorhrok: Huh?
Cortez: Or what if the Vulcans had removed the Monolith from Earth's moon before humans uncovered it?
Lorhrok: Are you just making things up?
Ensign Hunter: Or what if Christopher Columbus had convinced Goloca that the Yulus were too ugly to save?
Lorhrok: I'm leaving.
There was a Hitchhikers reference in the source material (the Great Prophet Zarquon), so I ran with it and kept going. Are they picking on Lorhrok, or did it all really happen in this universe? Whichever you think is funnier.

Oracle: You're in charge of the Excelsior? Man, this timeline is screwed up.
Cortez: I'm leaving.
Short and snappy after the last few scenes.

Now we're going to flash back to two years ago. Look at the pretty palace!
Betra-Na: Premier! Are you plotting what I'm plotting?
Sarka-Gee: I think so, Matriarch, but after we hijack the Excelsior, build a massive fleet, and annihilate the entire Federation, how will we get our daily "Jerry Springer" fix?
Betra-Na: ...Actually, I was just plotting to make a cup of coffee.
Sarga-Gee: Oh.
Betra-Na: Do you want some?
Sarga-Gee: No.
Pretty sure the coffee and lines afterward were Wowbagger's contributions. They really fill out the scene beautifully. Jerry Springer was kind of a random thing, but I was trying to channel Pinky without actually copying him, and Jerry Springer was the sort of thing he'd reference when he wasn't wondering what the point would be of switching Britney Spears's and Christina Aguilera's brains. The recording has Sarka-Gee instead wondering if prisoners have to be dead before she can drink wine from their skulls, which is certainly funnier.

Cortez: The minerals in these mountains have kept you from calling for rescue for six hundred years?
Oracle: Mountains do have a habit of sticking around for long periods of time, Captain.
That was my reaction to Cortez’s reaction.
Cortez: But what gives you the right to treat the Valandrians like pawns in some planetary game?
Oracle: After Crayak took the Kingdom of Hallona, I had little choice but to become the Oracle of Geldar.
Cortez: You just made another obscure-but-apt sci-fi reference, didn't you?
Oracle: Two, actually.
Both of them courtesy of Wowbagger. I don’t know either context (I think one's old-school Doctor Who) but it scans well to me.

Lorhrok: We have armed Valandrians incoming! Good thing there's a Klingon armory in this wreck.
Betra-Na: Relax. These people are loyal to me. They won't kill you until I tell them to.
Sorid-Gee: Actually, they're loyal to me.
Betra-Na: Good thing there's a Klingon armory in this wreck.
"They won't kill you at all" versus ". . . unless I say so" versus ". . . until I say so". Also, random Klingon armory.

Amara: I've been meaning to ask you, Lt. Rol, what is with those dreams of yours?
Rol: My dreams? You mean the ones about the Yorktown disast--
Amara: Quiet, Rol, before you spoil the next three seasons of cryptic secrecy!
I had no idea about what happened past the third episode, so you can guess who wrote the last two lines. Whatever I had there instead was lame, I remember that.

Betra-Na: I should have known Sorid-Gee would betray me.
Cortez: Yes, she did seem to take her dying sister seriously in that flashback.
Betra-Na: Well, that was one hint. But her Master's degree from Jafar's Executive College really should have tipped me off.
Payoff from the intro.

Rol: Well, now that you know about the dreams, I have to kill you.
Rol's voice actor has a great delivery of this line. Just saying.
Amara: Too late! Talaxian Brain Scuzz! GAK!
Rol: Wow! A major character just got killed off! I'll bet the writers won't do that again for a long time.
Narrator: Not for the rest of the season, anyway.
James Heaney: Well, the rest of this episode.
Narrator: At least the rest of this scene.
Go ahead, shout “Talaxian Brain Scuzz!” It’s fun! And the last four lines are Wowbagger again.

Dovan: Call me Ishmael. Some years ago -- never mind how long precisely -- having little or no money in my purse...
Sharp: If you're that convinced of the futility of this mission, why did you order it?
Dovan: I didn't think I'd have to come along on it!
I pictured Dovan sullenly muttering his way through Moby Dick until someone finally called him on it.

Rol: Sneaking down to the planet to rescue the away team is a lot less fun than I thought it would be.
Dovan: Do you mean to say they're on the planet? Well, gee, thanks for telling me which way to point the flyer!
Sharp: We've been spotted! The defense satellites must have detected your outburst, Commander. At least we still have a technological advantage.
Rol: All of the ship's systems just failed! We're going to crash!
Dovan: Don't worry, I'll aim for a soft target. Like that horde of Valandrians attacking our away team.
I would have liked to trim Sharp’s line. I could have cut her second sentence, but wasn't confident people would have caught the cause-and-effect.

Sharp: She might be dead, Alex! Here, pump the captain full of drugs and make sure.
Dovan: Make sure of what?
Sharp: That she lives. Or possibly that she dies. I'm not picky.
Dovan: Right. Hey, Lorhrok! Ready to go back to the ship?
Lorhrok: Hang on a minute -- I need to go into this cave and arrest a hologram from the future.
Dovan: Exactly how hard did you hit your head during that fight?
Sharp showing Amara’s enthusiasm for accuracy in the execution of her duties.

Rol: That sure was a thrilling escape from the Valandrians!
Sharp: It's not over yet. More crewmembers have come down with Talaxian Brain Scuzz and the captain is in grave condition. We need to get to a starbase, fast.
Dovan: Wait! Do you realize what this means?
Sharp: That you're going to get the ship destroyed, just like the last three times you took command?
Dovan: Besides that. It means we have to go back.
Lorhrok: Are you serious? The Valandrians tore us apart, and you want us to go back there? For spast's sake, WHY?
Dovan: Because... I forgot to get my mother a souvenir snow globe.
Lorhrok: That almost sounded badass, sir.
In my mind, the first line is a little perverse. There’s a whole tactical dogfight in the actual episode, and instead of showing any of it here, Rol just informs us that it happened and it was awesome! If I wanted the joke to be plainer, I guess I could have ended the previous scene with someone saying, “And now, for a thrilling escape from the Valandrians!” But that would have blunted Dovan’s last line in that scene. Eh. It all works well enough, although in retrospect Dovan's line of reasoning is hard to follow. The last line in the fiver is Wowbagger’s. I wrote the snow globe line not knowing if I would pick it up at all in the following fiver, but trusting bravely that I would not screw everything up completely.
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“There must have been a point in early human history when it was actually advantageous to, when confronted with a difficult task, drop it altogether and go do something more fun, because I do that way too often for it to be anything but instinct.” -- Isto Combs
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