Roger M. Wilcox                           Length = 14055 words
18550 Prairie St. # 10
 Northridge, CA 91324
  December 11, 1983

"Battlestar CRAP-tica"
Roger M. Wilcox

There are those who believe that life here began . . . out there -- far across the universe; with tribes of humans who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians, or the Toltecs, or the Myans; that they may have been the architects of the great pyramids, or the lost cities of Lemuria or Atlantis. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man who even now fight to survive somewhere beyond the heavens. . . . And then, there are those who don't believe any of that nonsense, and for them we present: ---Battlestar CRAP-tica--- (The ultimate "Galactica" put-down) IN THIS EPISODE: Captain Alpo uses a nail file. . . . [An alarm plays the main Dread theme of the show] ALARM: Wake up, Lieutennant Startrek! Time for you to go out on pylon patrol! [The pajama-clad figure in the sleep bay bed rises to consciousness groggily. He flops onto the floor, gets to his feet by mental telepathy, aims his right index finger at a red panel on the near wall, and utters a shrill tone. The door on the wall slides open, revealing a pink and purple bathroom] STARTREK [rubbing his eyes]: ? [The bathroom resolves into its usual blah-white self] STARTREK: That's it. No more Pyramids games that last until 0200 centars. I'd better get ready for my pylon patrol. [He enters the bathroom and yells at another red panel. A spigot crashes out of the mirror and fires a burst of mouthwash in his mouth. He gargles a bit and spits. A sink dashes forth and catches the green stuff in midair. After this, a toothbrush and comb materialize as corporeal projections from the new hole in the mirror and groom both sides of his actor-perfect head. [He walks out into his sleep bay again and stands in a little blue circle. He aims at a panel on the far wall with his left index finger] STARTREK [at a high pitch]: Oooooooo. . . . [He looks up. From out of a shaft in the ceiling, a pile driver crashes down on him, and when it rescinds, Startrek is dressed in a big blue suit with an "S" on its chest] STARTREK: Whoops! Wrong costume. [He utters a tone a perfect fifth lower, and this time the pile driver dresses him in a regulation Colognial uniform. The pile driver has also done everything that used to be handled by a bathtub and deodorant. [He gallantly drags himself into the hallway outside, a corridor dimly lit with the traditional white background that says they are not on alert. He stands over the foot-wide Red Circle in the floor, aims his finger at the wall panel, and after indicating for it to activate, says:] STARTREK: Here I go again. Another day, another cubiiiiiiiiiiit! [He falls through the hole in the floor, goes straight down for the length of a few imperial micrars, then banks sharply until the tunnel ends and plops him in the seat of his wiper fighter] CENTRAL CONTROL: Transferring luck systems to our side. Wiper 1, launch when ready. [Startrek pushes the "TURBO" joystick button with his thumb, and the wiper launches in a fury of cheap steam special effects] STARTREK: Yeeeow! Every time I launch, my head snaps back against the seat, and I get whiplash! I'm going to ask Dr. X to install a slower takeoff, rubber seats, or a rubber neck for me! [Startrek is off in the endless void of surrounding space, searching for the "deadly" (they're as harmful as a 72-year-old mouse) pylons. He looks down at his scanner] STARTREK: Ah, what a beautiful universe this is! Just look at this on the scanner; red giant stars, white dwarfs, black holes, intergalactic space crap, two hundred pylon raiders, beautiful -- TWO HUNDRED PYLON RAIDERS!?! [face takes on a look of "Oh, my god!"] Oh, my god! [turns on helmet-communicator] Calling the CRAP-tica! This is Lieutennent Startrek calling Battlestar CRAP-tica! Do you read me? OH-DAMMIT (commander of the CRAP-tica): This is Commander OhDammit here! Come in, Startrek. . . . STARTREK: I'd like to, but I'm several centons of travel away, and I'd have a little problem getting back with 200 pylon raiders on my tail anyway! Could you send some help? [Captain Alpo has been listening in all this time in his own sleep bay, not quite awake yet. He doesn't hesitate to interrupt the transmission] ALPO: I'll get 'em for ya, Startrek, ol' buddy! Hang in there! [He abruptly shuts off his homemade wiretapping device and gets up from his stainless steel bed. Having no time to comb his hair or wash his mouth, he runs to his door and presses the opening button (he lives in an old apartment block). He poises himself above the "Red Circle" outside, and is about to press its activator button when he discovers he is still not dressed. He runs back to the front door, opens it, positions himself below the Dressing Shaft, and pushes its button. The pile driver crashes down on him and leaves him sleepy but uniformed. [In a blinding flash, Captain Alpo manages to zip through his front door before it recloses, get above the circle, and push its button. He falls down as quickly as he can (not that he has much choice) and lands in the seat of his wiper fighter] CENTRAL CONTROL: Transferring systems to a far far better place. Wiper 2, launch when -- ALPO: Yeah, yeah, I know! [Without looking, he frantically brings his thumb down on whichever button is within his reach. Unfortunately, the button he presses is marked "IM", which stands for "I am," or "reverse thrust" in CRAP-tican] ALPO [falling against the dashboard]: Yaaaaaah! I think I pressed the wrong button! [He goes on a demolition course through the CRAP-tica in the wrong direction. Worse, the IM button is stuck, and Alpo can't stop his reverse thrusters. He crashes through the wall in back of the launching chamber and keeps right on going toward the other side of the battlestar's port fighter bay. [Meanwhile, somewhere in the center of the port fighter bay:] PYRAMID PLAYER: Hah! Five Pyramids! I think I'm gonna win! MAN LISTENING AT THE BOUGHSIDE WALL WHO HEARS ALPO'S WIPER APPROACHING BUT CAN'T IDENTIFY THE NOISE: What the frak? CONFUSED MANIAC [barging into the room]: Wiper crossing! Use caution! Wiper ahead! [The players break into a confused babble just as the wiper crashes through the boughside wall] ALPO: Comin' through!! [The wiper plows through the room and out the sternside wall, killing two-and-a-half people on its way by] LANDING BAY PERSONNEL [receiving warning of the wiper's approach, and with a look of "Oh, my god!" on his face]: Oh, my god! I hope he doesn't crash though the -- [The wiper smashes through the end protector wall, heading out down the runway] LANDING BAY PERSONNEL: -- end barrier! [The wiper nears the last few meters of landing runway just as an exhausted wiper comes in for a landing. The pilot of the incoming wiper sees Captain Alpo just in time] OTHER WIPER PILOT: Yaaah! [He swerves just far enough to the right to miss Alpo's wiper and scrape his tail fin on the edge of the landing bay. [At last, Alpo is out in free space, and naturally the first thing he does is contact Startrek] ALPO: Startrek . . . you out there? STARTREK: If I'm not, I'm in big trouble! Glad you could make it, Alpo. ALPO: Actually, I have a problem. STARTREK: Don't look at me, I take the pill. ALPO [trying to ignore Startrek's last comment]: My I-M button is stuck in the on position, and I can't pry it loose! You got anything that would help? STARTREK: Don't you have a nail file? They'll work! ALPO: What do I look like, anyway?!? Only women carry nail files around with them! STARTREK: Well, then, you can use mine; I always carry one around with me. I'll send it to you via the on-board mini-teleporter. ALPO [with a look of "Oh, my god!" on his face]: Oh, my god! I've been wondering about you, Startrek! [the teleporter's RECEIVE end fills up] Aha, the file. Hey! What's this pill here? It's not a birth con-- STARTREK: No, it's a Certs; you have terrible morning breath! ALPO: I know, I know! [pops the Certs in his mouth] Say, didn't you say something about a hundred pylon raiders? STARTREK: Two hundred! Look at your scanner. ALPO: You're right, there they are . . . all 200 of them! And there are only 2 of us! STARTREK: That makes the odds 100-to-one! That's not fair! ALPO: Yeah. Poor pylons, they don't have a chance! [Alpo pries loose the I-M button, which pops out into his hand. 'They don't make buttons like they used to,' he thinks; but he hasn't time to worry about this now. He presses "TURBO" and sends his wiper flying toward the pylon hoard. Startrek does the same. [Soon, the pylons are within both visual and weapons' range. Alpo instinctively moves his thumb from the joystick's central "TURBO" button to its left, red "FIRE" button. Without even looking, he fires once in the general direction of the pylons. [The twin shots streak on into nothingness, appearing as if they'll miss altogether. Just as they're between two pylon raiders, they split off, each heading for one of the two pylons. Both enemy fighters explode simultaneously, leaving no trace of their existence. Alpo now utters his famous war cry:] ALPO: Whoooo! STARTREK: Big deal. Watch this! [He swerves his wiper until his crossfire lines up with four pylon raiders flying one-behind-the-other. He presses the firing button once, and watches the bolts leap toward their target(s). [(By the way, how are you supposed to see the laser bolts if they're travelling at the speed of light?) [The bolts hit, and the pylon raiders, one by one, down the line, vaporize into nothingness] STARTREK: How do you like that? ALPO: Not bad. But this'll blow your mind -- not to mention theirs. STARTREK: It'll blow the pylons' mind too, eh? ALPO: No, the audience's! They've been waiting a long time for some half-decent special effects! [He shoots a pylon raider chosen at random. The fighter, upon being hit (just a glancing blow, but that's more than enough to destroy any pylon raider), splits in half. Both halves go off in different directions and hit another pylon raider, destroying them and splitting them up, etc.. [When the whole chain-reaction is over, eleven pylons raiders have bitten the big one. One large flaming fragment (burning in airless space) still zips about. It almost hits another pylon, but is only a near miss. However, either from the heat of the fragment, the suicidal instincts of the pylon race, or cheap spaceship construction, the raider explodes anyway. [Suddenly, as unexpectedly as the near victory for the wipers (in other words not unexpectedly at all) a pylon raider maneuvers underneath Startrek's wiper and fires repeatedly] STARTREK: Alpo! I just took ten direct hits from underneath! ALPO: Check the damage report. What does it say? STARTREK: Hmmm . . . I think they scratched the paint! ALPO: Are you sure? STARTREK: You'd better believe it! [A display on his panel reads, "Hmmm . . . I think they scratched the paint!"] ALPO: Only ten direct hits? They did that much damage?!? STARTREK: Yeah, and now I'm really mad! A new paint job costs a whole quarter of a secton's pay! Now they're in for it!! [Startrek adds to the massacre with his newly acquired rage, and the "battle" continues onward. [Meanwhile, on the bridge of the CRAP-tica:] MOXIE: Grampa, what's happening to my daddy? OH-DAMMIT: He's engaging a squadron of pylon raiders and will probably get blown to bits. MOXIE: That's nice. What are you going to do about the pylons when they come after you? OH-DAMMIT: Gee, I don't know, I hadn't thought about it. MOKIE: Well, why don't you ask my dangit for advice? OH-DAMMIT: Okay. Stuffit, what should we do next? STUFFIT: Bark! Bark! OH-DAMMIT: Brilliant! I would never have thought of that! Athinner and KaBoomer, get out there and aid Alpo and Startrek! JELLY: Wiper pilot Jelly reporting for duty, SIR! OH-DAMMIT: What are you doing here? JELLY: I want to fend off the pylon attack for the greater good as a Colognial warrior, SIR! OH-DAMMIT: Sorry. We're under attack by the pylons, and I'm only sending Real Pilots out there to handle them. JELLY: Thank you, I think, SIR! OH-DAMMIT [aside]: There are times when I wish he would just fall into a jar of his name! ATHINNER and KA-BOOMER [in their wipers, pressing "TURBO"]: Yeow! My neck! [When they arrive, there are only fifty -- no, wait! -- only 48 pylon raiders left] KA-BOOMER: Hey, man, like what's happ'nin'? ALPO: We've destroyed over 3/4 of the pylons! Tell ya what . . . you can grab some of the glory, too. . . . I'll take that twelve. KA-BOOMER: And I'll take that twelve. ATHINNER: And I'll take that twelve. STARTREK: Hey, I wanted that twelve! ATHINNER: Startrek . . . uh . . . if you let me kill that twelve I'll . . . uh . . . reconsider your offer of coming over to your sleep bay tonight . . . and . . . STARTREK: Uh, tell ya what. You can have all 24 remaining pylons! Now whadayasay? ATHINNER: A definite "maybe"! [Alpo makes the first move. With one quick blast, he destroys all twelve of his pylons; figure out how he did this yourself. Next is KaBoomer. He's a little less experienced at this sort of thing, and needs to fire twice to kill them all. [Then comes Athinner. Sexy, stupid Athinner. You know that scene where the pylon raider is right in the crossfire but the wiper has to fire five times to match the pylon's path anyway? Well, Athinner is responsible for that sequence! To destroy all 24 of her pylons, she has to fire twenty-five times! Gad, that's lame! [Athinner and KaBoomer have to return to the CRAP-tica; partly because they're running low on fuel in their older "gas guzzler" model wipers, partly because they've run out of firing power (actually only lame Athinner has), but mostly so they can send Startrek and Alpo out on their "adventure of the secton"! [Time passes . . . ] STARTREK: What time is it, Cap'n? ALPO: It's two abondanzas past a pastaroni. We're very late. STARTREK: Well, I just want to go a little bit farther. ALPO: Oh? How far? STARTREK: Far enough to find another planet to crash-land on. ALPO: We're crash-landing again? STARTREK: Not we, you! It's your turn this secton. ALPO: Look -- there's a nifty-looking planet down there. Well, here I go! [Captain Alpo abruptly presses "TURBO" and sends the wiper on a direct course for the planet "below." Startrek headed off in the same direction, but glided safely down through the atmosphere unlike a certain captain he had an acquaintence with. [Alpo thunders down through the atmosphere (which is 14.7 psi pressure at sea level, 80% nitrogen and 20% oxygen, of course). Within seconds, Captain Alpo, who is now travelling at maximum speed, smashes into the surface, obliterating his wiper and making a new crater. [Startrek lands near the crash site, unaware of exactly what has happened to Alpo, and walks in Captain Alpo's general direction] STARTREK: Alpo? Alpo! You here? This is no time to play games! Alp -- [sees the wreckage] -- oh. When I said "crash-land," I didn't mean CRASH-land! Say, on a scale of one to ten, I'd rate this landing as a nine! ALPO [amazingly crawling out of the wreckage]: Hey! I'm alive! Now what would you rate this landing as, a ten? STARTREK: Hmmm . . . well, now that I see you've survived, I'd rate the crash-landing as a three. ALPO: Oh, shut up. Say, I wonder if this planet is inhabited. STARTREK: They usually are. They might have a pylon munitions depot, or a pylon base, or a beautiful female alien, or a pylon -- ALPO: Startrek, LOOK! STARTREK: What, what is it?! A pylon raider? A troup of pylons on patrol? ALPO: No, a beautiful female alien! [Alpo draws his gun, resets a few controls, and fires directly at the alien. Startrek's ideas were one and the same] STARTREK: WHATD'JA DO THAT FOR?!? ALPO: That way, they won't show any resistance! STARTREK [with a look of "Oh, my god!" on his face]: Oh, my god! [But before Captain Alpo can get real dirty on network TV, Startrek points a rather interesting detail out to him] STARTREK: A PYLON! ALPO [resetting his hand laser]: All right! [kills the pylon before it has a chance to return fire] These are even more fun than dead female aliens! STARTREK [pulling the necromaniacal Alpo away from both corpses]: C'mon! If there are pylons on this planet, we have to destroy them! [The two head off in the direction the pylon came from. After a few centons of exploring, they come upon something astounding . . . ] ALPO: Do you see what I see? STARTREK: Only if you see a pylon ground base! How are we gonna destroy that??!? [Startrek's question has to remain unanswered for the moment, because a pylon on the rafters of the base has spied them and opened fire. Since pylons have terrible aim, Alpo and Startrek don't have to worry much about him. Alpo reaches out to the line of fire of one of the laser bolts and catches it in midair] ALPO [inspecting the blue glowing laser bolt]: There can't be more than 2 kilowatt-centars of energy in this bolt! The regulations always say "laser bolts must contain at least 3 KWC of energy at all times," and what do you do? You turn right around and operate your laser pistol below specifications! Those rules are there for a reason, centurian! PYLON: Sorry [Alpo hurls the bolt right back at the pylon, blowing him up as usual] ALPO: And I always thought lasers reflected off shiny surfaces, too. [Suddenly, another pylon appears, but this time Alpo is hit in the shoulder. Alarmed but not seriously injured, Alpo returns fire and the pylon falls to the ground at his feet] ALPO: I didn't know you guys could hit anything with a laser blast! How'd you manage to actually HIT me? PYLON: I-wasn't-aiming-for-you. I-was-aiming-for-that-grizzly- bear-behind-you! ALPO: Grizzly bear? WHAT grizzly -- [looks over his shoulder] -- BEAR!! [They dash away, leaving the pylon to "die," the grizzly bear lumbering close behind. They spin 180 degrees and begin running backwards across a dusty plain, keeping the bear in clean sight. Alpo draws his pistol, aims, and fires; the shot hits, but the bear is unaffected -- confused, maybe, but not affected] STARTREK: What happened? Why didn't it die? ALPO: Silly me, I had this gun on the wrong setting! Let's see [resets controls] . . . pylons . . . humans . . . 20-foot giants . . . flying maids . . . aha! Grizzly Bears! [Alpo blasts the big brown behemoth, and the grizzly bear is toast. Well done, Alpo! He holsters his gun] STARTREK [snapping his fingers]: I've got a plan on how we can destroy this pylon base! ALPO: You mean like that other plan of yours where I had to carry your detonator five hundred frisbees behind enemy lines, while you stayed back and "waited for my signal"? Not interested. STARTREK: No, no, this is even better! We get together a big squadron of X-wing and Y-wing fighters, fly down through the canyon, and at the last micron fire a proton torpedo down the exhaust port; then we get away quickly and watch the Death Star explode! ALPO: That's Star Wars! STARTREK: You know something, you're right! Okay, then, we get together a big squadron of wiper fighters, fly down near the surface, and at the last micron fire a laser torpedo at their atomic reactor; then we get away quickly and watch the pylon base explode! ALPO: Now you're thinking! STARTREK: Wait a centon, we don't even have to do that much! We have enough power in our wipers. We'll get 'em with the new weapon developed by Dr. X: the zucchini missile! It's so huge, only one will fit on a wiper. ALPO: Hey, hold on there! You're forgetting that my wiper was vaporized in the crash-landing! STARTREK: No, I remember that. But would I leave a higher- ranking-who-could-put-me-on-report buddy behind? Let's go! [Soon, the two of them are in Startrek's wiper. The wiper is only a one-man craft, you say? So it is -- unless you put Captain Alpo in the front hole on the wiper's nose! They launch] ALPO: So these are coach class wiper flights, eh? [Startrek keeps his thumb down on "TURBO" as he swerves the wiper in the direction of the pylon base's nuclear reactor. He'd never seen a pylon base before, and had never been told where the reactor was supposed to be, but that's where he was going] STARTREK: Now . . . here goes the zucchini missile lever! [Alpo glances over his shoulder into the wiper's nose, and sees a pair of weapons bay doors open, followed by the appearence of a green missile the same diameter as the nose shaft. In a sudden realization of where the missile launcher is located, Alpo clambers up to the top of the wipers nose. The missile launches 1/3 of a micron later. [The missile streaks toward the reactor as Startrek swoops the wiper upward] STARTREK [over his helmet communicator to Alpo's pocket-com]: We're headin' for space, buddy! We don't want to be within range of that A-bomb blast! ALPO [to himself]: Space? Oh-oh, there's no air in space (or so they tell me), and I'm riding in an open-air nose cone! I'd better get back in and pull down the built-in transparent airtight shield. [Alpo gets back in and pulls down the built-in transparent airtight shield. [In practically no time (on film, anyway) Startrek brings the wiper into the endless, star-specked void known to the producers as "space." He can almost see the big spotlight behind the black canvas. As he causes the wiper to spin 180 degrees and lurch backward ("IM" button, remember?), he and Alpo witness the entire pylon's destruction in a single atomic blast. Good thing Colognial warriors are immune to the intense radiation caused by the flash! [Meanwhile, aboard the CRAP-tica:] KERNEL DIE: Look, sir! OH-DAMMIT: What is it? KERNEL DIE: On the scanner -- a pylon base tar! OH-DAMMIT: So? KERNEL DIE: Good point. OH-DAMMIT: Well, I haven't had much excercise in a few days, so we might as well send out a destruction team. KERNEL DIE: Yes, but how are we going to destroy it? OH-DAMMIT: Hmmm . . . aha! We get together a big squadron of X- wing and Y-wing fighters, fly down through the canyon, and at the last micron fire a proton torpedo down the exhaust port; then we get away quickly and watch the Death Star explode! KERNEL DIE: That's Star Wars! OH-DAMMIT: So what's the difference? . . . okay, we get together a big squadron of wiper fighters, fly down near the base's surface, and at the last micron fire a laser torpedo at their atomic reactor; then we get away quickly and watch the base tar explode! KERNEL DIE: Genius at work. . . . Hold it! We probably won't even have to do that much! Look -- on the scanner! It's Startrek's wiper! OH-DAMMIT [on the spacecom]: This is Commander OhDammit of the CRAP-tica calling Lieutennant Startrek! Do you copy, Startrek? STARTREK: No, I don't copy -- but I do some great typesetting! What's up? OH-DAMMIT: Where's my son? STARTREK: You mean Captain Alpo? He's in the nose of my wiper. OH-DAMMIT: Startrek, we're faced with a threat more serious than a pyramid game played with marked cards. STARTREK: That can only be . . . Sire Urine! He's back! OH-DAMMIT: No, not THAT bad. We've just sighted a pylon base tar in the vicinity of the CRAP-tica. ALPO [on his pocket-com]: So? Me and Startrek -- OH-DAMMIT: -- Startrek and I. ALPO: Oh? You fought the pylon ground base too? OH-DAMMIT: No, just correcting your grammar. I won't have any son of mine using bad Colognese! Anyway, have you used up your zucchini missile? STARTREK: Yeah. On the ground base. ALPO: And almost on me, too! OH-DAMMIT: Okay, then, I'll send out a new wiper # 2 for Alpo. Catch! [Commander OhDammit presses a button sending a wiper out in the general direction of Alpo and Startrek. Fortunately, he's left the cockpit open, so when Alpo makes a leap for the wiper he'll have a better chance of catching it and getting in before he asphyxiates or freezes or explodes or something. [The wiper 2 roars onward toward Startrek's wiper # 1. Inside the nose cone, Alpo is inhaling and exhaling like he's just sprinted six frisbees; he's getting ready to go into space. The wiper # 2 zooms up as close to Startrek's wiper as it'll come, and Startrek makes a frontal pass at it (though he's more used to doing that with girls). [At the last imaginable millimicron, Alpo throws open the built- in transparent airtight shield and leaps out for the other wiper, shouting his famous war cry:] ALPO: ! [(there is no sound in space)] [He stretches his arms out and grabs the wiper by its port laser turret. Tumbling up and over, he flings himself toward the cockpit and catches it with his lower legs. He pulls himself up into the cockpit, fighting the pain of his lungs' carbide buildup, and with his last strength yanks down the canopy. [Breatheable air floods the cabin at last, and Alpo is safe. [Frak] ALPO: Whew! I'm glad that's over. Say, didn't OhDammit say something about a pylon base tar? STARTREK: I think so. I know so! Take a gander out at nine o'clock. ALPO: Uh, where's that? STARTREK: Same bearing as 1800 centars. ALPO: Oh, goody! It doesn't even look scratched. Now I get to try out my zucchini missile! STARTREK: Speaking of missiles, I gotta get back to the CRAP-tica. ALPO: But why? You'll miss all the fun! STARTREK: Well, for one thing, I'm low on fuel; for another, I've used up my zucchini missile; but mostly, if you remember, I have to get a new paint job where the pylons scratched it! ALPO: Okay, I'll get the base tar, you get the paint job and hurry back; er, how long will it take? STARTREK: Paint jobs are rumored to take sectons. So long! [heads off] ALPO: Sionara. Hmmm . . . that base tar sure looks closer to the CRAP-tica than it was a few centons ago. . . . [Meanwhile, on board the base tar] BALDSTAR: I can't stand this light shining up into my face to make me look evil! Somebody, shut it off! LUCITE: I am afraid that is impossible, oh inferior leader. The light comes with the command chair. BALDSTAR: Well, then YOU command this dump for a while! My eyes need a rest. LUCITE: But I don't command base tars! I'm just a servant! Besides, do you realize that by your stepping down you are giving up command? B.S.: Yes, I realize that; I read the pylon base tar handbook. Now, leave me alone while I join forces with the CRAP-tica or something! LUCITE: But last show, you were captured, sir. You told me how bad it was aboard the CRAP-tica, and I assume you really don't want to go back there! B.S. [confused]: I wasn't captured last show. LUCITE: You weren't captured on the last show we filmed. You were captured on the rerun that was shown on TV last week. You had terrible living conditions, the place was infested with veeblefitzers, and everybody around you was a criminal! And then they took you to the BRIG . . . B.S.: I don't care about the living conditions! LUCITE: They also put their illumination on the floor. B.S.: Well, er, you may be right. They ARE terrible living conditions. But I'd still like a vacation. I think I'll go to Carrion for a secton or ten. Look over the store while I'm gone, Lucy! Bye! [exeunt] LUCITE: Back to the colonies? How odd. Now then, up to the command chair. [climbs the stairs to the high chair, sits down] Hmmm . . . I see what Baldstar means about the light! I'm glad I have my automatic sunglasses turned on. PYLON [entering]: By-your-command. LUCITE: Oh, how I've longed to hear that! Er, speak, centurian. PYLON: There-is-a-colognial-wiper-approaching. LUCITE: OH, NO!!! LAUNCH ALL FIGHTERS! READY ALL WEAPONS! PREPARE FOR ANNIHILATION! DON'T LET HIM GET TOO CLOSE!!!!! [At the same time, simultaneously:] ALPO: This is Captain Alpo calling Battlestar CRAP-tica. Do you read, Commander OhDammit? OH-DAMMIT: Yes I read; I passed my literacy test just last secton. What's happening out there, Alpo? ALPO: I have this strange suspicion that the base tar is after you. OH-DAMMIT: Why do you suspect that? ALPO: Because they're on infrared alert and have all their major weapons targeted on your battlestar. OH-DAMMIT: Hmmm . . . you may be right. You'd better blow them up first. Commander OhDammit, over and out. [The death of the base tar is now in Alpo's hands. Before he can make any death-dealing moves, though, the launching bay of the base tar opens wide and begins pouring out pylon raiders. [Alpo doesn't want to waste time playing war games, so he fires one shot down the launching bay that destroys all 200 pylon raiders at once. Now he heads for the nuclear reactor at the bottom center of the base tar. Swiftly, he snaps down the lever that takes control from the laser turrets and gives it to the zucchini missile launcher via the same button. As he passes as close to the reactor as he deems possible, he pushes "FIRE," instantly followed by "IM" so that he can see the A-bomb blast while still staying clear. [The missile streaks toward the bottom conter of the base tar, spewing out cheap chemical exhaust. Although Alpo is too far away to see the actual impact, he knows it has probably happened because the base tar evaporates in a split-micron with a flash of blue light] WRITER: That does it! I can't take this crap any more! Next time, I'm giving these wiper jockeys a real challenge! [BUT . . . just before the base tar turns into a pyrotechnic slag heap, Alpo catches a glimpse of a shuttelcraft zipping out of its rear exit. The shuttle has a label on the side which reads, "Baldstar's private shuttle"] ALPO: I think that might have been Baldstar's private shuttle. Maybe I should check it out. . . . Naah. I'm out a zucchini missile. I might as well return to the CRAP-tica; it's only a few centons away. [Meanwhile, on board the CRAP-tica:] OH-DAMMIT: That scratch on your wiper is too unsightly, Startrek. I'm afraid I'm going to have to assign you a new one. STARTREK: But you can't, sir! You just can't! I've had that wiper since I was three-and-a-half yarons old! OH-DAMMIT: You've had that wiper since your last crash-landing, three sectons ago! STARTREK: Oh yeah. Okay then, what's my new assignment? OH-DAMMIT: I'm assigning you to pylon patrol in the reconnaisance wiper. STARTREK: You mean that Dr. X marvel that doesn't even have laser guns? OH-DAMMIT: That's the one. I know you're just dying to meet Antagonice again. STARTREK: Oh, sure. I've always wanted a hot date with a computer! OH-DAMMIT: Look, Startrek, ever since the destruction of the colonies at Carrion, we've only had odds against the pylons at 100-to-one in our favor, tops! And since you go around with Alpo and wreck a wiper every secton or so, we're running low on our supply! The Recon wiper in the only one available! STARTREK: Well, okay; but could you calm down Antagonice a bit? I don't like computers that are all over me. I mean, they're just machines. OH-DAMMIT: Startrek, have you seen "Tron"? STARTREK: No. OH-DAMMIT: Neither have I. And I'm sorry, but I can't calm her down. That's Dr. X's territory; the only thing I know how to do is feed my Alpo dogs. ALPO [via helmet-com]: You called, sir? OH-DAMMIT: No, no, never mind. Anyway, Dr. X doesn't usually go around doing menial tasks like taking out the afrodisiac circuits in a computer. He invents things. STARTREK: I know. I loved the zucchini missile, and I loved the iniolator ray even more -- although he could brush up on his spelling, since he spelled "annihilator" phonetically. And now, I understand he's working on a zucchini missile revolver. But FRAK! I want a decent computer! OH-DAMMIT: Sorry, Startrek, but I'm not going to do it. STARTREK: Felger carb! NEONLITE (one of the control personnel): Sir, our extra extra long long long range scanner has picked up something! OH-DAMMIT: What is it? NEONLITE: It's a dust particle a few hundred light-yarons outside of the galaxy. OH-DAMMIT: How many times do I have to tell you, never put the magnification up that high! Bring it down to extra long range, and then see what you get. . . . Startrek, where are you going? STARTREK: Over to Dr. X. If you won't get him to tone down Antagonice, then I have to. OH-DAMMIT: Well, good luck -- you're gonna need it! [A little later, in Dr. X's lab:] STARTREK: Dr. X, I presume. [A four-foot high bald-headed man turns around. His true age is eight yarons, but his features (and his demeanor) make him to be fifty] DR. X: You've seen my picture displayed hundreds of times, and you presume I'm Dr. X?!? You have less intellect than I suspected. STARTREK: Can the funny stuff, that's my department. Your department is making Antagonice less of a "woman," if you get my drift. DR. X: Certainly. Why don't you find out what's wrong for yourself! [presses a button on his armchair] [A shaft of light springs from the projector below the buttons on Dr. X's chair arm, casting the image of Antagonice's circuitry right on Startrek's retinae] STARTREK: Wow . . . she's sure got a great set of dip shunts! Oh, here's the problem: you didn't put in enough resistors. DR. X: Should've known. STARTREK: Well, are you going to fix her, or what? DR. X: I'm going to what. I don't want to leave my zucchini missile revolver hanging just to add a few resistors to an overaffectionate computer. In the mean time, goodbye! [pushes another button on his armchair which whisks Startrek out of the room at about 90 frisbees per centar] STARTREK: Well, he's sure in a nice mood today! I think I'll go out and greet Alpo. [He crosses the battlestar, enters his wiper, presses "TURBO" to launch, gets the usual whiplash, and exits the launching bay. However, being used to holding down "TURBO," he is suddenly aware of just how fast he's going] STARTREK: The stars! They're falling away from me like mad! What's happening? ANTAGONICE: You're approaching the speed of light, sexy-bod! STARTREK: Oh, yeah. [buries his face in his hands] Hi, Antagonice. ANTAGONICE: Honey, I suggest we go back. Captain Alpo is that way. STARTREK: Huh? Oh, sure, sure. Take me back. ANTAGONICE: I've been waiting for you to say that, tiger! [The wiper comes around in a long, sweeping arc, sidling up right behind Alpo. The supercharged turbos then shut off] STARTREK: We're going too fast, Antagonice. Can't you slow me down? ANTAGONICE: We're idling right now! STARTREK: I know, but our idle is faster than any ship in the fleet normally moves. Hey, let's show Captain Alpo what we can do! ANTAGONICE: You got it! [The turbos engage, and leave Alpo's wiper in the space dust] STARTREK: Hey, Alpo, how's it going? ALPO: Startrek? Where are you? STARTREK: Right here! ALPO: Glad to hear it. STARTREK: Going very near the speed of light! ALPO: Whoa, that's heavy. STARTREK: Yep, that's right! That's one of the side-effects of going near lightspeed, along with blue shift, time dilation, Lorentz contraction, lack of simultaneit-- ALPO: Thank you for quoting Dr. X, but I don't think I really care for a lecture on special relativity right now. STARTREK [deturboing]: Say, did you hear the one about the two pylons who go into a pyramid game room? ALPO: No. STARTREK: Oh, darn! I've always wanted to hear that one. ALPO [with a look of "Oh, my god!" on his face]: Oh, my god! This is going to be a long space opera. Let's go home. STARTREK: You mean back to Carrion? ALPO: No, I mean -- STARTREK: Hey, I can go there, too. Antagonice, take me to Carrion! ANTAGONICE: You bet your sweet buns, earth-mover! ALPO: Startrek, you have the Recon wiper? STARTREK: No! I just brought Antagonice along for my health! ALPO: Oh, well that's all right. See ya! STARTREK: So long, sucker! [He pushes "TURBO" as soon as Antagonice has him aimed at Carrion. The stars flash by, and the wiper is gone] ALPO: You know something, I believe he really did have the Reconnaisance wiper! [He maneuvers his wiper back to the landing bay, and lands (how about that!). He gets out and leaps up through his transport hole to the area near his sleep bay, then goes through a second hole which deposits him on the bridge of the CRAP-tica] ALPO: OOOOOF!! OH-DAMMIT: That reminds me, I meant to put that mattress back where I found it. ALPO: Thanks a lot, Commander! OH-DAMMIT: You're welcome. Say, have you heard anything from Startrek? You know how he doesn't get along with the Recon wiper. ALPO: Well, he did say something about the planet Carrion. OH-DAMMIT: The colonies? Don't tell me he used the Recon wiper to take a vacation on that old hunk of ash! ALPO: Okay, I won't tell you, but that's probably what he did. OH-DAMMIT: Oh, dammit! He was our comedy relief! ALPO: He never really did care for Antagonice, so don't worry, he'll be back. OH-DAMMIT: How soon? ALPO: Before the show is over. OH-DAMMIT: Goody! Then we have less than half a centar to wait. Why don't you get back to your quarters for now. ALPO: Sure thing. [With that, he leaps up to the hole in the ceiling and is whooshed back to the quarters level. Unfortunately, he forgot to close the hole in the Red Circle, so he continues on past the quarters level back into his awaiting wiper] ALPO: Well, as long as I'm in my wiper, I might as well go out on patrol. Transferring all the control to me. CENTRAL CONTROL: Wiper two, do not launch when ready. Your daddy is very angry with you. ALPO: Oh, forget OhDammit the wonderfrak. He's just an old guy who doesn't know anything about the modern generation of pylons! OH-DAMMIT [occupying the launch bay in front of Alpo's wiper]: Oh I don't, do I? Well, I know enough to tell you that if they catch you, you'll be stripped of your paint in nothing flat. ALPO: Aw, c'mon daddy, pylons can't hit worth frak! OH-DAMMIT: Watch your mouth, son, or I'll wash it out with lye- treated glyceryl! ALPO: Glad to see you're a member of the new generation, dad! So-long! OH-DAMMIT: You wouldn't launch out over your own father, would you? [Alpo closes the hatch, presses "TURBO," and launches out over his own father] OH-DAMMIT: You know, I believe he would. [faints in a pile of black ash] ALPO: Ah, what a beautiful universe this is. Look at this on the scanner: red stars, white dwarfs, black holes, intergalactic space crap -- oh no! Not THIS time! There's no squadron of two hundred pylon raiders. After all, base tars are supposed to carry three hundred pylon raiders! I saw that a few sectons ago on Sixty Centons. STARTREK: Hey, Alpo, how're you doing out there? ALPO: Startrek? Where are you? STARTREK: I'm on the planet Carrion. Believe me, the pylons did more good than harm when they attacked this planet. It's lush and tropical all over its surface. Reminds me of Florida. ALPO: What's a Florida? STARTREK: Well, I don't know about Florida, because I haven't seen Earth yet. I also don't know about the United States, or Russia, or air pollution, or Albert Einstein, or -- ALPO: Yeah, yeah, we don't know about any of that stuff either. Say, Carrion is hundreds of light-yarons away from here. How can you communicate with me over that distance? STARTREK: Easy. I just run a string between two tin cans, and give one of them to you. When the string is pulled taut, it can transfer sound waves. ALPO: But Startrek, I don't have one of those cans. STARTREK: Oh, well then forget everything I've said because this conversation evidently didn't take place. So-long! [puts down his tin can] Ah, this is the life. Palm trees, warm starshine, female aliens (who happen to be human compatible), rolling hills, Baldstar, cool -- BALDSTAR?!? BALDSTAR: You were expecting maybe Peter Pun? STARTREK: What are you doing here? B.S.: Same as you. I'm taking a vacation. STARTREK: It ain't a vacation so long as a Colognial warrior and a pylon sympathizer are in the same place! B.S.: Okay, if that's the way you feel . . . [One big fight later . . .] B.S.: Waaaah! You hit me when I wasn't looking! STARTREK: Oh, shut up! I didn't ruin any of your major organs; just your heart, lungs, and brain! You'll heal. B.S.: But you skinned my knee! STARTREK: Oh, all right, so I did damage one of your major organs. But you deserved it! You're just helping the pylons destroy the human race so that they'll kill you last! Why don't you join our side? B.S.: Because your lights are on the floor! STARTREK: You have a point there. PYLON: Freeze-runners! B.S.: Where did you come from? PYLON: Shut-up-human! B.S.: But I am your leader! STARTREK: Forget it, Baldy. He doesn't know you; he thinks you're just another human he has to destroy. PYLON: I-am-not-a-he. I-am-a-she. STARTREK: Didn't know it made any difference. B.S.: Can't you do something? STARTREK: Well . . . okay, but just this once. Hey, pylon! PYLON: What-do-you-want? STARTREK: Your hand is purple! PYLON: No-it-is-not. I-checked-it-this-morning-and-it-was-not- purple-then. STARTREK: Well, it's purple now! PYLON: What-are-you-talking-about? [bends down to inspect her hand] [As the pylon lowers his her head, Startrek gives her a good swift kick in the breadbasket. She falls back onto her rear end] PYLON: Ouch! [She begins to draw her gun, but Starbuff is quicker. She explodes in the standard unshielded-pylon-battery spark shower] STARTREK [blowing the smoke from his laser]: Well, that polishes her off! I have to be leaving now, so take care of your tin slot machines while I'm gone. B.S.: Hey, Startrek, your wiper helmet makes you look like King Tut! STARTREK [hesitating]: No . . . actually it makes me look more like Cleopatra. [He enters his wiper, closes the hatch, and engages a myriad of controls on his instrument panel] STARTREK: Why do we need all these controls just to scan, go backward, go forward, and fire? I'd think the computers'd take care of all the picky details. ANTAGONICE: Sorry sugar, but we can't be everyplace. STARTREK: Yeah, I know. I guess. Now then, Antey, on to the CRAP-tica! ANTAGONICE: By your command. [launches] STARTREK: Arrrrrgh! Antagonice, could you cut down the engines a bit? The human body can only take five or six gravities of acceleration before unconsciousness! ANTAGONICE: Oh, I'm sorry! I thought you could take ten. I'll decelerate immediately. STARTREK: Too late -- ANTAGONICE: Startrek? Startrek! Oh well, he's more affectionate now, anyway. [The ship sails into interstellar space, approaching its cruising speed just below the speed of light. At that rate, it should only take two or three hundred yarons for it to catch up with the CRAP-tica. [Meanwhile . . .] ALPO: Hum de dum. Doo doo doo doo doo. Hmm hmm -- hey, what's that? [His scanner displays a blip with the label "Something Big" under it and an arrow pointing to it] ALPO: Commander . . . OH-DAMMIT: Yeah, whadaya want. ALPO: My scanners just picked up Something Big. OH-DAMMIT: Hmmm . . . probably just another flock of chaff geese. ALPO: What are they? OH-DAMMIT: Interstellar metal geese whose wingspan is exactly half the wavelength of our subspace radar. You wouldn't believe how much interference they can cause! ALPO: But do chaff geese normally fly in isoceles triangles with a multi-level cone construction? OH-DAMMIT: No. . . . Uh oh. ALPO: I'm coming in closer . . . No doubt, it's a ship! On it's side there's one word in small block letters: "PYLON" [with a look of "Oh, my god!" on his face] Oh, my god! I've heard about these things -- that's a Pylon Starc Ruiser! OH-DAMMIT: Hey -- did you see how the word "PYLON" was just spelled? ALPO: Yeah. . . . Yeah! OH-DAMMIT: Capitalized! We're in trouble now! Startrek, get out there and aid Alpo! NEONLITE: But Lieutennant Startrek is still on Carrion, sir. OH-DAMMIT [with a look of "Oh, my god" on his face]: Oh, no! [Bet you thought he was going to say "Oh, my god!", didn't you?] OH-DAMMIT: Oh, my god! [Well, you were right!] OH-DAMMIT: Athinner, KaBoomer, Jelly -- get out there and defend us! ATHINNER, KA-BOOMER, and JELLY: Right! KERNEL DIE: But four wipers can't take on an entire Starc Ruiser! OH-DAMMIT: Maybe not, but those are the only regulars we have on the show. You wouldn't want me to send out any extras, would you? CENTRAL CONTROL: Wipers 3, 4, and 5, launch when ready. ALL THREE [pushing "TURBO"]: Yeow! My neck! [Three tiny figures launch from one side of the CRAP-tica in time with the background music. Three trails of steam follow the craft from behind, the useless remnants of once-powerful fuel. Naturally, the exhaust doesn't spread out in a big fan, because that's what it's supposed to do in space! But what can you expect from people who fight space battles like World War II dogfights?] [Meanwhile, Alpo has decided to start an attack on the gigantic Pylon Starc Ruiser. Alpo gets on-target with the ship's control center and fires. The shots hit, make two little red glows, and fade out] ALPO [with a look of you-know-what on his face]: Oh, my god! I fired at a Pylon creation once, and it DIDN'T explode into nothingness! I think I'm in trouble. [Meanwhile, in transit:] KA-BOOMER: Hey, Jelly, what's the point of sending all these little fighters out when we're fighting a Starc Ruiser? JELLY: So we can engage when they send out all their little fighters! KA-BOOMER: We don't even worry about attacking the ship? Fighter versus fighter combat's the only reason? JELLY: That, and for making some great special effects! KA-BOOMER: It sounds so pointless to me. JELLY: Now you're catching on. KA-BOOMER: It's fun, though. ATHINNER: Okay, wake up, you guys! We're nearing the Starc Ruiser. JELLY: And now it's Miller time. KA-BOOMER: Not quite -- it's 1600 centars: tea time! ATHINNER: This is no time to play golf! ALPO: You said it! ATHINNER: Who said that? ALPO: I did! ATHINNER: Well, that tells me a lot! [Out of an exit in the rear of the Starc Ruiser, 200 Pylon raiders appear] ATHINNER: All right! Fighter combat! Let's give these monotone chrome domes a real workout! [They all push "TURBO" and speed off toward the Pylon mass. As they approach, each Pylon raider fires a blast in a random direction for no apparent reason, and doesn't fire again for quite some time. [Alpo makes the first move. He decides to try a new twist, and takes a shot at a reflective meteor conveniently placed directly behind his wiper. The shots bounce off the meteor and jump from Pylon to Pylon, killing twenty-seven in all. 'Well done!' he thinks as he pushes a button which causes a hand to appear and give himself a pat on the back. [Next is Athinner. She begins by holding down the "FIRE" button and sending several rounds of laser torpedoes off in a pointless direction] PYLON # 1: Look-sir! A-Colognial-wiper-is-firing-a-stream-of- shots. What-should-we-do? PYLON # 2: What-else? Dive-right-into-the-line-of-fire! [The Pylon raider does just that, and is, of course, destroyed] ATHINNER: I've heard of suicide missions, but that was ridiculous! [The fragments of the Pylon raider eventually destroy 24 others. However, this required Athinner to fire 23 times] ATHINNER: Good! My average is improving! [Now it's KaBoomer's turn] KA-BOOMER [firing once with each sentence]: THAT'S for destroying the colonies at Carrion! THAT'S for inventing the base tar! THAT'S for killing the reptiles that made you! THAT'S for killing John Wayne! PYLON: But-John-Wayne-died-of-cancer! KA-BOOMER: . . . and THAT'S for inventing cancer! ALPO: The Pylons sure got around, didn't they? KA-BOOMER: . . . THAT'S for organized religion! THAT'S for the emotional plague! And THAT'S for getting around so much! ALPO: Well done! At a kill rate of about nine Pylons a shot, that's a total of . . . 72! Not bad. KA-BOOMER: All in a secton's work. [Unfortunately, the other 77 Pylons aren't going to take this lying horizontally. They actually start FIRING!] ATHINNER: Alpo, I'm hit! ALPO: Did that Pylon fire on you? I told them specifically not to do that! Just wait'll he asks me for a lollipop afterward! Did he scratch your paint, Athinner? ATHINNER: This is no time to be thinking about sex! ALPO: No, no, I don't mean your paint, I mean . . . I mean . . . your paint! ATHINNER: Oh . . . no. He just disabled my number one engine. ALPO [with a look of "Oh, my god!" on his face]: Oh, my god! OH- DAMMIT! OH-DAMMIT! WE'RE IN TROUBLE OUT HERE!! OH-DAMMIT: Uh oh. That's Alpo's famous distress call. All engines ahead! NEONLITE: How fast, sir? OH-DAMMIT: The speed of light! NEONLITE: But sir, going the speed of light requires an infinite amount of power, and we haven't pushed the engines that hard in a long time! OH-DAMMIT: I don't care! All engines ahead at the speed of light! AND STEP ON IT! KERNEL DIE [fending off the giant foot that just appeared]: Commander, I think the writer is getting a bit tired of the bad puns. OH-DAMMIT: Are you? WRITER: Yes I am! That's why I capitalized the Pylons. I wanna see how well you'll do under genuine stress. [The battle continues, and the Pylons are holding the upper hand] OH-DAMMIT [pondering]: I just remembered something. KERNEL DIE: What, sir? OH-DAMMIT: An old legend handed down from the lords of Cobalt through the generations to the Council of Eleven-and-a-half. KERNEL DIE: Don't you mean the Council of Twelve? OH-DAMMIT: No, they never liked me very much. Anyway, the legend said that on the second secton of the thirty-third crossing of the moon of Blastula with the star of Pontifobilousness (that's right now), a ship the shape of an isoceles triangle with a multi-level cone construction would carry the last of the Pylon empire into battle. That means that ship out there contains the last of the Pylons! [opening communication channels] Hey, gang, that ship out there contains the last of the Pylons! ALPO: That's all fine and well, but I don't think we can hold out much longer! These last 77 Pylon raiders really mean business. ATHINNER: Yow! I see what you mean! We haven't got a chance! PYLON: Colognial-wiper-craft-in-sights. Nothing-can-possibly- save-you-now. Preparing-to -- [With a flash of brilliant white thrust, a wiper thunders right through the center of the Pylon cloud at a nearly immeasurable speed. The Pylons panic in terror] STARTREK: Hey, hey, would you look at those Pylons run! They never knew what hit 'em! PYLON # 1: What-hit-us? PYLON # 2: I-don't-know. I-suggest-we-go-into-battle-formation. PYLON # 1: What's-battle-formation? PYLON # 2: This! [pushes a red button marked "BATTLE-FORMATION" in Pylonese. The rest of the Pylon raiders respond] We- run-like-frightened-hamsters! ALPO: STARTREK!!!!! STARTREK: Geez, you don't have to yell! ALPO: You really saved our gludions back there! I guess I owe you one now. STARTREK: Well, when you're right, you're right. ALPO: Say, Carrion is hundreds of light-yarons away. How did you get back so quickly? STARTREK: The same way I got there. I went through a loophole in the plot! Anyhow, I'm still recovering from the in-flight movie: "Planet of the Female Computers." ALPO: Chosen by Antagonice, right? STARTREK: Natch. JELLY: Hey! I didn't get my turn to fire on the Pylons yet! ALPO: Okay, then, you blast them before they get out of range. JELLY: With pleasure! [With a single laser bolt, he destroys all 77 remaining Pylons] ALPO [astonished]: Jelly, you may have the least social know-how, but your aim is superb! JELLY: Thank you, SIR! ALPO [burying his face in his hands]: Save it for Commander OhDammit. OH-DAMMIT: What was that? ALPO: Oh, nothing that concerns you. OH-DAMMIT: Did you destroy their pylon raiders? ALPO: You bet we did! That was easier than -- [A small door opens atop the Starc Ruiser, followed by the appearence of a medium-small laser turret. The turret twists around so that it's aimed for our 5 heroes. Fortunately, they have the foresight to hide behind Alpo's reflective asteroid before the turret actually fires. Two streaming blue bolts hurl at the five. Each shot makes only a glancing blow on the asteroid, but their combined power is enough to vaporize the rocky mass instantly. [Alpo fires at the turret, since its well away from the shielded control center. Even on this extremity of the Pylon Starc Ruiser, though, his direct laser hits only glow red and disappear] ALPO: Hoo boy. [glimpses his zucchini missile lever] A zucchini missile? That might be powerful enough to penetrate their shields! [He flips the lever that transfers control from the laser turrets to the zucchini missile launcher, just as the turret fires at him again. It's a good shot, but Alpo easily evades it. He hears the faint sound of launching doors opening, followed by the wiper's built-in alert that the launcher has been activated. He lines up with the turret and brings his thumb down on the "FIRE" button. [The missile impacts against the shield and explodes. The force of the explosion penetrates the electromagnetic barrier and destroys the turret] ALPO: All right! [Another turret appears] ALPO: All wrong! KA-BOOMER: Well, at least now we know how to hurt this thing. Everybody with me? ALPO: I'm with you! ATHINNER: I'm with you! JELLY: I'm with you! 19 OTHER WIPER PILOTS: We're with you! STARTREK: Reinforcements! It's about time. Go get 'em! [22 levers clank down into the zucchini missile position, and the battle begins. As more laser turrets spring up, more zucchini missiles bring them down. [Soon, all of the turrets are destroyed; and with them went the supply of zucchini missiles. The only one that's not destroyed is a turret labelled "BD," and from the size of the thing (Oh, my god!) BD probably stands for "Battlestar Destroyer (or Disintegrator, or --)"] OH-DAMMIT: We're maneuvering the CRAP-tica into position. We're going to use the iniolator [sic] ray to take down the heavy magnetic shield around the Starc Ruiser's control center. It's going to be a doozey of a light show! ALPO: Sounds great, but you better watch out for that -- [the BD turret fires at the CRAP-tica] ALPO: -- turret! OH-DAMMIT: Don't worry, they missed as usual. Say, the special effects of that BD beam look an awful lot like The Gun on Ice Planet Zero, don't you think so? ALPO [inspecting another beam as it goes by]: Yep. [The CRAP-tica closes to within firing range of its iniolator ray, contsantly being challenged by the BD. The iniolator ray is incredibly powerful, but usable only once per day; so if they miss the first time they won't get a second chance. [Finally, the CRAP-tica makes it to the perfect trajectory position. The iniolator ray, having been charging all this time, is at last unleashed. Out of the iniolator ray port comes a long and winding beam that looks something like the Death Star's beam except fatter and shorter. It collides with the control center's shielding, heats it white-hot, and with one stroke reduces it to the level of the rest of the Starc Ruiser's shielding in a sphere of expanding sparks] JELLY: Some light show. I've seen better displays in the meat department! OH-DAMMIT: What was that? JELLY: Oh -- I mean, I've seen better displays in the meat department, SIR! OH-DAMMIT: Oh, go jump in a reactor. JELLY: Yes, SIR! OH-DAMMIT: Some time, I'm going to have him traded in for an old coot. At least an old coot'll show a little respect! Anyway, men, THE HEAVY SHIELDS OF THE STARC RUISER'S CONTROL CENTER ARE DOWN!! [The wiper pilots cheer] OH-DAMMIT: Now all we have to do is hit it with a zucchini missile! [The wiper pilots stop cheering] ALPO: Uh oh. I already used up my zucchini missile. KA-BOOMER: I used up mine, too. ATHINNER: And I fired mine. ALPO: Yeah, and you missed! ATHINNER: Oh, shut up! JELLY: Mine's gone. 19 OTHER WIPER PILOTS: We all used up our zucchini missiles, too! ALPO: Great! NOBODY has one le . . . ALL: . . . STARTREK???!? STARTREK: Huh? Who me? Ulp. Er, Antagonice, do we have a zucchini missile on board? ANTAGONICE: Why . . . yes, we do! STARTREK: Frak! Well, it's up to me again. Give missile launch control to my fire button. ANTAGONICE: You got it, beef legs! [Standard whir of zucchini missile launch bay doors, standard blinking red light and beeper that indicates zucchini missile launch control. [Antagonice may be a great conversationalist, but she has no targeting capability whatsoever. Startrek sights up with the control center] STARTREK: Gotta make this shot count . . . one chance . . . one -- [fires] [The zucchini missile thunders out of the Recon wiper at subatomic speed. Like a streak of Tron special effects, it rams into the weakened control center shields. The whole Starc Ruiser shakes. And finally, the ship rips itself apart from the inside! The Starc Ruiser is Pylonless and dormant forever!! The end] ALPO: Wait a minute! STARTREK: What's a minute? ALPO: Same thing as a centon. Does this mean we're out of a job? STARTREK: Hey, that's right! Now that all the pylons are gone, we won't be needed by the fleet! ALPO: Wait -- did you see how the word "pylon" was just spelled? STARTREK: Yeah, but it doesn't make much difference now. The pylons are gone. And we're next! ALPO: . . . no we're not! Why stop with the pylons?! [(the names are those of the pilots)] J.T. KIRK: Yeah! I know these bad guys called "Klingons." L."B." McCOY: . . . and the Romulans! RIKER: . . . and the Ferengi! LUKE S.: And there are these other guys called the "Empire." B. ROGERS: And what about those people on NBC, the Draconians? APOLLO: And on ABC, the Cylons! Hmmm . . . somehow, that sounds vaguely familiar! ALL: WELL, WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR? LET'S GO!!! [Each flips a switch and presses "TURBO," crossing the Network Barrier in their separate directions] NEONLITE: Sir, we've just received signals of 24 objects crossing the Network Barrier at different angles. OH-DAMMIT: Oh, my god! [sound familiar?] Our own pilots have deserted us! NEONLITE: Can't say I blame 'em, sir. OH-DAMMIT: I guess this is the end for me. NEONLITE: Well, so long. Don't take any wooden cubits. OH-DAMMIT (a.k.a. Lorne Green): No! This is not the end! Of "Battlestar CRAP-tica," yes; but its only the beginning of a new series! NEONLITE: Huh? Oh . . . I get where you're comin' from. OH-DAMMIT: Yes. Get me some black and some white paint. I'm gonna change the name of this hunk of junk. . . . from "Battlestar CRAP-tica" . . . NEONLITE: Yes? LORNE GREEN: To "BATTLESTAR PONDEROSA"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fleeing from the pylon tyrrany, the last Battlestar, Ponderosa, leads a rag-tag fugitive fleet on a lonely quest: A shining television series, known as . . . Bonanza!