Monday, January 08, 2007

alison's tale--"It's a Breeze in the Tropics" part 2

(continued from yesterday's post...)

Intercom: And, that area happens to be in familiar territory for your team - Puerto Rico. [Choopie smiles slyly while not missing a beat in his slurping.]

Big, looking at Choopie, groans and shakes his head: I just know this is going to be bad - somehow.

[In skipper] Arisa: Choopie, I know what's going through your mind.

Choopie: No you don't.

Arisa: Yes, I do, Choop, even without tapping in - you know I wouldn't without your permission. Listen, you need to keep a low profile in Puerto Rico. Nothing overt and above all, stay away from the goats!

[Big and MG talking quietly] MG: Why is Arisa giving a special earful to Choopie?
Big: Well, aside from Choopie having put the overt in covert, he was captured and put under the evolvo-ray in Puerto Rico. And while he advanced quite a bit, and while he is making due with his blood boxes - he says there is nothing in the world as good as the fresh goat blood in Puerto Rico. It is a major temptation for him.
MG: hmmmm, to each his own I suppose...

[Skipper approaching the island]
Arisa: Big, how close can we land to the Lajas hot zone?
MG: Why can't we just land nearby?
Big: They have an aerostat installed in that area to detect UFO activity. Arisa, just land anywhere outside of a 40 mile radius and we should be alright.
Molly: And then we drive?
Arisa: Yep.
Choopie: Oh good, we get to take in the local flavor, uh, sights! [Arisa shoots him a warning glare.]

[Cut to: Their van pulls up into a thickly wooded area alongside a lagoon.]
Arisa: Okay, MG and I are gonna take the skipper into the lagoon for a look around. We have no idea what's down there, so I think it's best we try to keep this first descent low-key. You three stay up here in the cover of these trees. Hopefully we'll be back soon and with no problems.

[Arisa and MG travel deep under the lagoon surface and detect on the radar a definite well worn path of sorts on its floor and they follow it. It leads to a wall that looks like it is covered with waving long fingered plants that suddenly reach out and attach to the skipper, pulling it into the wall. The wall isn't a wall at all, though, but a pneumonic device that shoots the skipper into an enormous, but not deep lake within a cave. The skipper sidles up to a dark shore, Arisa and MG get out. They break out some glow sticks and find a low, natural tunnel which they crawl along. They come out on a ledge that overlooks a landing. Below the landing is a massive room with sophisticated looking equipment set up all around and four or five different types of spacecraft being worked on by obviously intelligent creatures. The creatures are stereotypical aliens - only about 4-5 feet tall with overly large heads inset with large almond shaped eyes.]

MG: Arisa, how are we going to go about this? This doesn't look like the usual mindless hoard we have to wrangle.

Arisa: I'm not quite sure. Wait, one is coming up the steps, I'm going to try to see what's on his mind. [The alien appears at the top of the steps and seems to be carrying a bucket and mop. Arisa rises a bit from her perch and concentrates, but she is suddenly thrown down onto the floor of the landing, her body rigid as if laid out on an operating table. The alien impassively stares down at her. MG immediately attempts to tackle the alien in one flying leap but finds himself suspended in mid air instead. The alien has one hand raised in his direction, though still staring at Arisa. Then just as suddenly MG finds himself sitting on the floor next to Arisa, who is also sitting up, rubbing her temples, the alien still hasn't moved from his spot or stopped staring.

MG to Arisa, one eye on the alien: Are you all right, what did you find out?!?

Arisa: Umm, nothing, but I think he just scanned my brain completely.

Alien, with a voice that sounds like nails scraping against a blackboard: Hello, but I do not welcome you.

Arisa: What is this place and why are you here? You don't belong here and we're here to work out a plan to dismantle this operation of yours, send you back where you came from, and stitch up the rift behind you.

Alien: Obviously I know all that, but I just clean the floors here. My knowledge and abilities are very basic. I have no authority here.

MG: Well then, take us to your leader. [groan] Did I really just say that?

Alien: He will come to you if he so desires, but you must leave right now. [Points to a much more comfortably sized tunnel for them to walk through.] You are a contamination and I must clean.

[Arisa and MG, having no other plan for dealing with the larger group below, leave.]

[They find Big dozing in the buttresses of a large old ceiba tree, Molly hovering up in its branches watching a coqui, and Choopie hopping around its base restlessly.]

Arisa: Well, I guess we just settle in and wait. How's it been up here?

Molly: Quiet except for these adorable little frogs.

Choopie: Boooorrrrriiiiinnnnnggggg. I could've been doing this back at BEDLAM - in the comfort of my chair!

[After a few hours of doing more of nothing, Arisa receives a clear thought message to return to the cave below.]

MG: But it's almost daybreak, we can't chance it.

Arisa: If the guys stay in the cover of the trees here it'll be alright.

[Show skipper descending in the lagoon.]

[Cut to: Big, still asleep, but now alone]

[Cut to: Molly hovering under the spread of a huge mango tree on the other side of the lagoon, looking with longing at the porch scene of Don Luis in the hammock, strumming a guitar, and singing softly for Doña María... "Mamita, bonita, amor mia...." Doña María, in her rocker, head leaned back, soft smile, crocheted shawl draped loosely around lower back and her arms, which are resting on arms of rocker.]

[Drawn in by the mood of their love, Molly comes in close, ushering in a drop in temperature. Doña María draws shawl up around her shoulders and gathers it close across her chest.]

[Molly reluctantly withdraws - torn between wanting to be a part of their warmth and knowing that her prolonged presence would drive them indoors.]

[Don Luis stops playing and picks his head up.] "uf, foh, Mamita, what is that stench? It smells like rotten eggs marinating in battery acid."

MAAAAAAAA - gak!! [An awful sound comes from around the side of the house. Don Luis and Doña María run to the small, rustic corral there to investigate, and scream.]

[Looking beyond the backs of Don Luis, Doña María, and a hovering Molly (who because of being completely horrified by scene is involuntarily somewhat visible), we see a surprised Choopie staring at them - tongue still in nape of goat's neck.]
Choopie: "uh o."
Molly: CHOOPIE! [Molly throws her hands to her mouth and an "oops" pushes out from behind them just as the couple spin around and see her.]
[Couple then spin heads back at Choopie and take off running to their battered truck and peal out.]

[Choopie and Molly take off in a panic in the wrong direction, toward the hills.]

[Crowded, rustic open air local bar, old couple's truck in front] words from inside mingling with the sound of coquis outside: Chupacabra! Fantasma! Laguna Catagena! Machetes! Pistolas!

[Guys with guns and machetes tramp out of hills toward lagoon.]

[Inside cave, Arisa and MG disembark and an alien looking like the first one, though this one being about seven feet tall, is waiting for them.]

Alien in a voice not as grating as that of the first: Captain Miss Arisa, you would please to look in my mind to see that my intentions are true.

[Arisa does so] Thank you and yes, you may board our craft to communicate with BEDLAM.

[Alien, Arisa, MG in front of computer screen - choice BEDLAM scientific/administrative staff on screen]
Alien: Officials of BEDLAM, on behalf of the Sulid Trifiguration I ask your forgiveness for our delinquency in contacting you concerning our presence here.

We have no home - we are a space based community- and while our docking stations throughout the universes work for most things, there are some craft repairs that require certain stabler conditions. Earth affords a few areas where such conditions exist.

We strive to remain invisible and noninvasive to those living here, though every now and then a young rash pilot will buzz the local fishermen [could be drawn]

or touch down to see who can burn the most perfect design into tall vegetation, an ancient test of pilot proving of which some feel they must partake. [could be drawn] These errant youth we reprimand and send to maturation training.

Then we do have some of our older pilots who simply make errors in judgment, such as traveling with their running lights on. They are duly assessed and in most cases, given a set of aurora wings to hang in their capsule and they are released from service. [could be drawn]

[Alien continues earnestly explaining] And then, as happened recently, and it was a first I must tell you, we had a minor incidence here at the base. A malfunction in one of our larger geoaerothermostasis units caused an explosion of its central core, creating a very slight earth fissure that reached to the crust, releasing a harmless gas through it. We immediately reverse pressured the air flow, sucking it back down along the fissure and into a contaminant tank. As you must imagine, by pulling it back we would be bringing earth contaminants along with it. We assure you, these contaminants will be disposed of properly. And the fissure was promptly sealed. We do run an operation that is up to code, well, except for the occasional mishaps as I have already mentioned.

Officials of BEDLAM, we recognize your pioneering efforts in maintaining the integrity of dimensional divisions. Your successes have not gone unnoticed by key movers in other realms. It is because of awaiting the results of the meetings of the minds of these interested parties that we have tarried in contacting you. Again, our apologies. Given the arrival of your illustrious Blue Team at our base, however, I have contacted the others and we finished our deliberations in an emergency configuration.

Those parties who are of fixed dimensions like that of earth's, wish for you to give them a BEDLAM organizational and tactical orientation for the establishment of similar facilities in their universes. Other worlds face the same types of incursions that Earth does and BEDLAM, after all, cannot police all dimensions.

Furthermore, it is recognized that there are a few groups, such as ours, that are intradimensional in nature. It has been agreed that an intradimensional travel treaty and liberties should apply to us. If you permit, I will pass the details to you now.

One of the scientists: Arisa?

Arisa: It's okay, he doesn't mean to harm us or our computer system.

Scientist: Very well, we're set to receive.

[Alien covers USB ports with his palm and documents immediately upload to BEDLAM's main frame.]

Alien: As you know, we have guarded, and according to this treaty will continue to guard, against further physical damage to the inter dimensional fabric, and we are also in the position, with this treaty, to stand guard against this particular rift being used by those without proper travel liberties.

Kind sirs and madams of BEDLAM, as much as we respect you and your mission, please know that our necessity of this repair base precludes us from accepting any answer but agreement from you. This is not a threat, just our reality.

Scientist: Well, we see here that you are also willing to station a jump dock just outside the rift in order to ensure that only seasoned pilots steer your ships into our atmosphere. Given your record and these conditions, we accept this treaty and the liberties it grants.

Alien: Thank you and your main frame will shortly receive more documents in order to proceed with the acceptance details. Captain Miss Arisa, Mr. MG, goodbye. And Mr. MG, Suleki sends regards. [a surprised by the comment Arisa thinks she catches a glimpse of mischievous on alien's face - though ever so subtle - as well a hint of color on MG's cheeks.]
MG trying to show no emotion: uh, um [he can't manage anything coherent before alien leaves] (an aside - the comment leaves open a gazillion possibilities - not just the usual thought leap to romance - afterall, we don't even know what sex or species Suleki is.)

[MG looking at console, Arisa looking at him] MG: Oh, man - look at the time - the sun is probably just rising.

Arisa: And what was that about?
MG trying for the stony look: What? [Arisa points with a jerk of her head toward the door the alien just left through.] Oh, um, I have no idea, he must have confused me with someone else.


Brian said...

Thanks for not making us wait Todd.


Nice set up. I'll be interested to see what happens to the treaty now that the angry town folk are abot to be added to the mix.

alison said...

oops, guess that's a sequel, Brian.

Thanks for your kind words on my tale thus far. Also, wanted to tell you that I read your story (a great adventure, btw. I could take some action/tension lessons from you) after writing mine and commented to Todd that it was interesting that we both had the characters descending into the unknown - and that we had different takes on how to approach said unknown - you had them go in in full alert force and I took the low key recon. approach. Just wondering if that can be chocked up to a testosterone difference between us. :-)

Brian said...

Hi Alison,

I was actually thinking on that as Todd had passed that observation on to me and I'd say it has more to do with what was at stake.

In your story, Blue Team is investigating an unknown sitch, but with, at least at this point, no harm done other than some noise and smoke. In my story, Choopie, one of their own is in danger, and thus a quicker and more pro-active initial response to the sitch is required.

That said, I have to admit that there may be a touch of TP (testosterone poisoning) involved in the fact that my solution to the question of "what is the dump monster" was to make it an ancient creature of immense evil while your aliens turn out to be a very reasonable, and environmentally responsible, group who are much more interested in mutual cooperation than world domination.

Also, forgot to mention in my initiall post, but I loved the fact that the alien who handles both Arisa and MG like they were no more a threat then a new born kitten, turns out to be the mop and bucket guy. LOL.

alison said...

:-) Thanks for the comments - and I think you're spot on with the Choopie in trouble take.

Brian said...

For any one who is interestes, Sean "cheeks" Galloway who is doing a pin-up for the upcoming 'Haps trade has posted the prelim over on his blog. It looks great, though I can't believe he passed up the chance to draw Molly. What was he thinking.