2023-07-18, 03:39 PM (ISO 8601)
Roy Greenray and the Rocket Squadron
Narrator: The asteroid base is dark and cold as Roy Greenray and the Rocket Squadron explore its corridors. First in line is our Hero, Roy Greenray, who carries his family's heirloom raygun. Roy is followed closely by the Cyborg Dr. Durkon, his friend and faithful ally, whose skill in the arts of healing and chemistry are second to none. Behind them are the master Mechanic Haley, and Roy's faithful, (but not very bright,) Sidekick Elan. At the rear are Professor Vaarsuvius, an Inventor and sage from the Trojan Moons, and the Anti-Hero Belkar, former evil minion who is now helping to save the galaxy under the watchful eye of Roy, who seeks to reform the errant Holbytlan native of his evil ways.
Belkar: Okay, where is this long-winded joker hiding? I'm going to force-feed his spleen to him!
Haley: That's the narrator. You can't see him, he's a Hero-class feature.
Belkar: I'm a Hero-class character, why didn't I get a narrator?
Professor Vaarsuvius: Pray, tell, did you once have an invisible friend that you murdered at a very young age?
Belkar: Sure. Chatty wouldn't shut up.
Professor Vaarsuvius: Chatty would have been your narrator, had he survived.
Roy: Can you all be quiet before the Moon Men hear us?
Dr. Durkon: Am I the only one who feels like we should be upgrading to a newer edition right about now?
Narrator: The party patiently waits...
Haley: Was that...
Elan: Pizza's ready!
Professor Vaarsuvius: ...So you see, Rockets and Robots had only one publication run, and with 42.32% of its original print unsold, the staff at Totally Sucky Retread Games abandoned the concept to focus their energies on more lucrative fantasy role playing games. The author died shortly after acquiring the rights to the game, and it was never revamped. Ironically, the original print rulebooks for R&R currently sell online in used condition for ten times their inflation-adjusted original purchase price.
Belkar: you mean we're stuck in a world based on a game that is only valued now because it sucked so hard that it was unplayable?
Haley: I heard the author was exterminated by a dalek.
Professor Vaarsuvius: Nonsense, copyrighted characters, species, and gear are expressly forbidden under the game's license.
Dr. Durkon: What was that flash of light?
Elan: Umm, guys, I think we found the Moon Men!
Roy: How do you know?
*Elan turns to face the audience, revealing a large ray-gun burn-hole through his torso. With his left arm behind and his right arm in front he shakes his hands through the hole.*
Elan: A minute ago I couldn't do this.
Durkon: I've got you, Elan. This injection of Biosympathetic Gell will have you up and dancing in no time.
Elan: Great! I've always wanted to learn to dance.
Professor Vaarsuvius: Minions of Evil, I am Professor Vaarsuvius, Inventor of the Orb Of Somulance. In mere moments I shall render your bodies into gelatinous masses robbed of purpose while your minds are robbed of awareness and intent! Your very existence will hinge, not upon the ideals and dreams of your collective and personal experiences, but upon my very whim! Observe, as I hurl my grenade amongst you, the helplessness...
Haley: Great job, Professor V! They're all knocked out! Whoo! It smells like low tide at the garbage dump in here!
Roy: Fantastic work, Prof! I'll make short work of these Moon Men with my heirloom raygun!
*Pew, pew, pew pew pew*
Professor Vaarsuvius: But, I have not used my grenade...
Belkar: Yeah, but you really should try using mouthwash; your halitosis is deadly.
Belkar: I thought we were supposed to find loot here. Where is the loot?
Haley: What loot?
Belkar: In that contract Roy made us sign, we're to get equal shares of the loot.
Elan: You should have taken a smaller share and gotten a percentage of the residuals. Everyone knows these sci-fi serials do better in syndication.
Belkar: I have a feeling that somehow I won't live through the pilot episode, so collecting on residuals seemed like a sucker bet to me. But if there is no loot, why are we even here?
Narrator: Indeed, why are the adventurers here? Is it for loot? For the regular paychecks derived via syndication? Merchandising, perhaps? Or is it...
Elan: I know, it's to defeat the evil Technomancer Xykon...
Narrator: As I was saying, the Rocket Squadron...
Elan: You're telling it all wrong, let me tell it!
Narrator: Hush, you ninny! I am a professional!
Elan: You're a ninny! And a dummy dum dum! Let me tell it!
Narrator: No! I... Ouch! My eye!
Elan: Take that, and that! And one of these!
Belkar: So, that's pretty ridiculous. An idiot fighting an invisible idiot.
Professor Vaarsuvius: Indeed. One can only anticipate its conclusion, the result being an improvement in the galactic average IQ.
Elan: We're exploring the Dorukon Asteroid Base in search of the Technomancer Xykon who leads an evil army of Moon Men...
Haley: And Moon Women!
Elan: And Moon Women and assorted other species and genders, in a mad scheme to conquer the galaxy.
Narrator: You left out the part about sworn vengeance against the man who murdered his father's teacher.
Elan: No I didn't, that part comes at a later point in the story.
Belkar: Does this story even have a point?
Narrator: And you never said "meanwhile" or "long ago in a serial far far away."
Elan: Hey, stop butting in! As a sidekick I have a class feature: Revealing Anecdote! It lets me tell a story about my Hero without you butting in and ruining it!
Haley: Boys, boys, stop fighting! You both have unique abilities and there will be plenty of opportunities for you each to demonstrate your charm and eloquence! This is just the beginning of...
*Two meaty thumps accompany Elan's dramatic flop to the floor*
Haley: Professor V, did you just use your grenade?
Professor Vaarsivius: Annoyance is the mother of invention, and they were both annoying mothers.
Roy: This looks like a safe spot. Dr. D. and Prof, recharge your batteries, while the rest of us take turns standing guard.
Haley: No can do. I will have to spend the next six hours in the makeup trailer getting my hair done and getting a mani-pedi before the next episode.
Belkar: Me neither.
Belkar: Because the stage hands have a betting pool on which of you I kill first, and I want in on the action.
Roy: You are going to bet on which one of us you'll kill first?
Belkar: Hell no, I want to be surprised like everyone else. I'm going to kill Frank and take all of the bets. It's a win-win for everyone!
Roy: Okay, it's me and you Elan.
Elan: Roy, have you ever pondered the beauty of a dust mote floating in a beam of light? Oh! It left the light! Come back! Come back into the light, dust mote!
Roy: Okay. Looks like it's just me. I suppose I can polish the bakelite on my raygun while I stand guard.
Roy: What the...
Narrator: A translucent image appears of our Hero's long lost father...
Eugene's Ghost Image: Son, I recorded this message eighteen months ago, but please do me a favor and tell your Narrator to shut up.
Roy: If you recorded this on an imagizer you installed in my raygun eighteen months ago, how do you know what I'm saying?
Eugene's Ghost Image: I'm smart enough to know that you asked a question, but I didn't bother to use my Probability Calculator to deduce what it would be, so do us both a favor and do something you have never done before: shut up and listen to me!
My Probability Calculator gives a 92% chance that you will be betrayed. When that happens, remember: When the goat flies, shoot red.
Roy: But my raygun only shoots green rays!
Eugene's Ghost Image: Don't be any stupider than you have to be! Of course, your raygun shoots green rays. Obviously, it is a metaphor. Probability is inversely accurate to the clarity of the prediction. If I tell you exactly what is most likely to happen it won't happen!
Roy: How did you know what I was going to say if you didn't use your future TV to see what I was going to say?
Eugene's Ghost Image: It's called 'being a father.' I've known you all your life, so I know exactly what you'll do in virtually any situation: whatever is most likely to piss me off.
Roy: Like when I went to State instead of Tech so I could play football and score with cheerleaders?
Eugene's Ghost Image: Taking a level of Hero I could have lived with, if you had then focused on a properly powerful class like Inventor, but did you have to be an athlete? What kind of university gives a degree in sportsball?
Roy: I have a Liberal Arts degree.
Eugene's Ghost Image: Stab me in the heart, son.
Roy: You don't have a heart, Dad. Even before you died.
Eugene's Ghost Image: Okay, I'm done here. But remember, I will be here waiting to say "I told you so," when you eventually face a challenge bigger than kicking a ball around for an hour.
Dr. Durkon: Hi, Sleepy, got a good night's rest while you were on watch?
Roy: I wasn't asleep, I was talking to my father.
Dr. Durkon: Your deceased father?
Dr. Durkon: The one who did everything in his power to make you follow in his footsteps, and disapproved of every choice you ever made?
Roy: He planted an imagizer in my raygun with a recorded message.
Dr. Durkon: Mind if I view this recording?
Roy: Sure. Here, let me... I did this... Wait. Okay,
Dr. Durkon: There's no image.
Roy: I don't understand, it worked a few minutes ago...
Haley: Hi, boys! What's going on?
Dr. Durkon: Roy fell asleep and had a nightmare.
Roy: It was an imagizer!
*Click! Chick! CLANK!*
Haley: What kind of nightmare would make him want to play with his raygun the minute he wakes up?
Dr. Durkon: He's getting out the raygun polish. Let's see what's going on... Over there.
Hailey: How much farther into this asteroid do we have to go to meet this Xykon guy?
Roy: I'm thinking we have to go down two levels.
Haley: Good, I will leave a little surprise on the stair's landing for anyone who follows us.
Elan: Oooh, like an antipersonnel mine?
Professor Vaarsuvius: I could invent a device which eliminates pheromones, thus rendering scent tracking moot.
Haley: Will it come in potpourri aroma?
Professor Vaarsuvius: It would eliminate odors, so the default assumption would be, no, it will not create an odor. That would be antithetical to its purpose.
Haley: I really need some potpourri about now.
Roy: Let's get moving. The Technomancer Xykon won't just sit there and wait for us to come to him.
Dr.Durkon: And yet I feel that is exactly what will happen.
Belkar: How many levels do we want to go down?
Roy: At least two, but as many as we can.
Belkar: Okay, I'll go first so I can kill whatever is in the way.
Roy: You're a bloodthirsty little alien, aren't you?
Belkar: I think of myself as a humanitarian. I kill quickly, you take hours to talk your victims to death.
Professor Vaarsuvius: If we intend to complete this expedition we should resume our travels expeditiously.
Belkar: Prof, you really should try a breath mint.
Professor Vaarsuvius: I have. With two drops of Retsyn.
Belkar: Then what is that horrific stench?
Haley: I'm back. Why is everyone staring at me?
Roy: No reason. Lead the way, Belkar. Expeditiously.
Haley: On our next mission I will insist on having a ladies' room on the base, planet, or rocketship. My agent will have that in writing, or I don't set foot on the set.
Roy: So, Haley, you're a red-head, right?
Haley: Actually, I'm dirty blond with freckles on my nose and arms, but my character bio says 'red'. Since this production is filmed in black-and-white, nobody can tell what my real hair color is.
Dr.Durkon: What are you getting at, Roy?
Roy: Something my father said.
Dr.Durkon: in your dream?
Roy: In the imagizer.
Dr.Durkon: The one only you saw while you were asleep on watch?
Roy: I wasn't asleep!
Dr.Durkon: Don't get testy! This isn't the military where we shoot you for sleeping on watch.
Roy: I wasn't sleeping! It was an imagizer!
Haley: Okay, okay, don't get all excited again! Your raygun polish has to last until we can get to a new base.
Elan: Guys, I think Belkar's found something!
Professor Vaarsuvius: A door. It is called a door, Elan.
Haley: Don't touch it: it may be trapped. Let me examine it first.
Roy: She's very nimble with her gravity boots turned off.
Haley: Looks safe, but there's no way to know what's on the other side.
Roy: Rocket Squadron, assemble!
Professor Vaarsuvius: Don't say that! We don't want an unexpected visit from copyright lawyers employed by Marvelous Comics.
Dr.Durkon: Lawyers are the worst. No practical adventuring skills, no mechanical aptitude. They are even a worse class choice than Sidekick.
Belkar: Okay, are we done with the banter? There has to be something I can kill beyond this door.
Narrator: Indeed, what lies beyond the mysteriously untrapped door at the bottom of the stairs? Loot? Undreamed of inventions? More untrapped corridors and doors? The secret Elixir of Life? A well-provisioned pantry? Raygun polish?
Tune in next week, when Belkar says,
Belkar: For crap's sake! Crap!
Narrator: Belkar opens the mysteriously untrapped door only to see beyond the second intelligent species native to the Holbytlan homeworld: a Cobalt.
Belkar: Intelligence is relative. Compared to toe fungus, maybe, or pond slime.
Narrator: *ahem* Beyond the Holbytlan's traditional rival stands a Barbarian, a Hawkwoman, an Inventor from the Dark Trojans, a Cyborg, and a sidekick with a purely coincidental similarity of appearance to our own sidekick Elan.
Other Sidekick: I'm not a sidekick. I've taken levels in Hero, Inventor, and Mechanic to provide me with a broad array of skills and abilities. It is definitely not just a more complicated way of simulating the Sidekick class.
Elan: If you are a hero, where's your Narrator?
Other Narrator: *in a feminine voice* I'm here, I just don't have anything Interesting to say, so I say nothing.
Roy: Could you teach that trick to my narrator?
Elan: Surely you have something to say about meeting a group so similar to your own?
Other Narrator: Well, now that you mention it, you'd look much better with a goatee, your Cyborg friend is getting rusty, your Inventor needs a Tic Tac, your Mechanic should choose clothing from catalogues published after 2440, and it is obvious that your Hero spends too much money on raygun polish.
Belkar: Sing it, sister!
Elan: What about Belkar?
Other Narrator: Obviously he is a loose cannon who will probably murder you all in your sleep. Hey, Short-Stop, need a better job? We're hiring.
Belkar: See? Now that's a Narrator! You and me, we could do evil things together!
Other Not-Sidekick: She's already employed, with a lifetime contract.
Belkar: I'm sure we could find a way to get around that. Some kind of termination clause.
Roy: Okay, Narrator, tell us something about these new guys.
Narrator: She has a lovely voice.
Belkar: For crap's sake! Crap!
Elan: It's pretty obvious that this is the whole 'Evil Opposites' trope, here.
Other Not Sidekick: Clearly. But we won't simply vanquish you because you are Evil. We're the kind of Good Guys who reform our Evil foes.
Elan: That's not what I meant...
Other Not Sidekick: No, no! No need to protest. We understand: brought up by evil parents whose villainous plots and schemes never seemed to work out, reform school, public housing, that sort of thing. But you can be better! Let's begin reforming you by showing you by example how Real Heroes™ behave.
Elan: That's not what I meant at all!
Other Not Sidekick: I will begin by demonstrating something called 'manners.' In polite society, one begins social interactions with introductions. My companions are Thog, native of the desert-world Orcrakis, Sabine of Accipitoria, Dizztri of the Dark Trojans, Hilgya of the asteroid mining Cyborg folk, the Cobalt Yik-yik whose real name is unpronounceable, and myself, Nale, son of the great General Tarquin, Liberator of Westworld!
Elan: Hey! My mother told me my father is the vicious, cruel, megalomaniacal dictator General Tarquin.
Nale: The one who flies around in a Death Star?
Elan: I think, maybe?
Nale: Different guy. My father is strictly a ground warfare specialist. Besides, your mother was a terrorist responsible for the deaths of dozens of helpless slaves before she escaped justice and went into hiding.
Elan: How do you know anything about my mother?
Nale: Common knowledge.
Haley: So, Sabine, is it? I'm Haley, and I am so jealous of that outfit! Girl, you look hot in form-fitting black leather!
Sabine: It's bright red according to my character description, but since we're filming in black and white, the cameras would make real red look grey.
Haley: Still, looks hot. Mind if I borrow a suit for the wrap party?
Sabine: Think you could squeeze into it?
Haley: I hate you.
Last edited by brian 333; 2023-08-05 at 11:54 PM.