It is said that, in space, no one can hear you scream.
This is not true aboard the Satellite of Love.
"YAAAH! Son-of-a...! It bit me!"
"Well, you shouldn't try to pick him up by the ears, darling." Helen
shook a reproving finger in Diane's direction, then bent down and
scooped up the little brown dachshund that was sitting on the floor
with a decidedly smug look on its face. As the Mistress cradled it,
the dog turned and stuck its tongue out at Diane.
Helen chuckled and scratched the dachshund behind the ears.
"You'll be a good boy for the Mistress, won't you," she cooed.
As the dog nodded, she carried him over to the large tub that
took up most of the Satellite's cramped workshop and set him
down inside it.
The tub was a piece of work in and of itself. It had begun life as
a simple piece of plasticware, a large and rather tacky yellow
washtub of the sort found in most discount stores. That existence
was far behind it now. Every open space on its outer surface had
been painted with strange and disturbing glyphs and odd runes
that seemed to writhe blasphemously when seen from the corner
of the eye. Around it on the floor was traced an elaborate
pentagram circumscribed with the names of forgotten gods, grim
candles burning at each point.
"Does everyone have their water pistols?" Nyssa asked as she
dragged the last of the parabolic antennas into position and aimed
it at the eldritch washtub. There was one of these in each corner of
the workshop, all focussed on the washtub and all connected by
thick cables to an elaborate device that looked rather like someone
had cross-bred a mainframe computer with an industrial dry-
"Locked and loaded," Doug replied, brandishing his Super-Soaker
4000. Diane, still rubbing at the dog bite on her hand, held up her
own water gun. Hers was marked 'COLD' on the side, while Doug's
was 'HOT'. Helen picked up two more and took up position beside
the shop faucet, ready to fill them as needed.
"Are you sure this is safe?" asked Diane. She gave the whole
setup a distinctly skeptical look.
"Why, of course it's safe!" Nyssa's tone was chipper, upbeat, and
confident, but she was also putting on a lead-lined apron, safety
glasses, and a hardhat. She slipped around behind the machine
and flipped up an armored defensive shield in front of the controls.
Diane's skeptical look totally failed to vanish. "Then what's with all
your gear, there?"
"Oh, that's just for... my allergies," Nyssa's voice lilted back.
"What are you allergic to?"
"Shrapnel. Now, do you all remember what you are to do?"
Doug nodded. "After you speak the ritual, you'll turn on the
quantum phase disruptor and use it to maintain the structural
malleability of the target area around Number One. When he starts
glowing purple, we spray him alternately with cold and hot water to
trigger his distorted Curse response, repeating until he eventually
shifts and locks into human form."
"Let's have a hand for Sir Douglas Exposition," Diane snickered.
Helen sighed. "We aren't riffing right now, darling. This is the
opening prose segment."
There was a rumble in the distance as bits of the Fourth Wall
"Well, I'm still none too comfortable with all this," Diane said.
"It all seems on the dodgy side of dodgy."
"There is _nothing_ to worry about," Nyssa's voice reiterated
from the depths of her safety equipment. "This is pure _science_.
Now, go ahead and sprinkle the chicken blood while I recite the
invocation to Yog-Sothoth..."
In the chill emptiness of space, several hundred miles from the
Satellite, an object hurtled through the void in a decaying orbit.
As it skimmed ever-lower into the ionosphere, questing radar
beams registered the object's presence, causing a stir of excitement
at the ground station.
A steady, tooth-loosening throb beat at the air in the Satellite
workshop as the small patch of Reality at its center was converted
to a state of quantum fluidity. The lights dimmed as Nyssa's
nameless machine channelled more power through the parabolic
dishes, holding the forces of Normality at bay.
The little brown dachshund that was Number One began to glow
a pale purple, while the symbols on the tub around him pulsed and
writhed in a hideous country line-dance.
"Now!" cried Nyssa as Doug took aim and sent a blast of hot water
at the ensorcelled wiener dog. There was a shimmer of change
...a small hedgehog stared back at Doug, shaking its head. Diane
stepped up and blasted the animal with a stream of cold water.
The monitor lizard in the tub did not seem pleased.
Squirt. Holly bush.
"That seems like a natural form for him," Diane commented. Helen
whapped her lightly on the head.
Squirt. Three-toed sloth.
The carnivorous dinosaur that was Number One held up a claw for
the others to hold their fire and turned towards Diane with an evil,
evil look in its eye.
Very hasty squirt. Piglet.
"Yes!" whooped the wet, buxom little redhead in the tub, either not
knowing or not caring that she was quite completely naked.
"Almost there! I'm almost my wonderful self again! Keep going!"
Doug pulled the trigger on his water gun, soaking down Diane due
to the fact that he had his hand clamped tightly over his eyes.
"Not me!' Diane shouted. "Shoot over there!"
"I, uh... Could you... I mean..." Doug stammered, still not looking.
Helen snatched the Super-Soaker out of his trembling hands.
"Here we go, darling," she cried, dousing the naked girl with hot
The change was immediate. Number One went from being a wet,
naked girl, to being a wetter, naked girl.
"What the...?! Why ain't I changing?! C'mon, more water!"
Helen and Diane emptied their water guns onto her, but the
redhead's body remained quite distinctly and emphatically female.
That maddening throb of power died away along with the purple
glow as Nyssa powered down her machine, the lights gradually
returning to normal as it cycled down. The Trakenite mad scientist
herself stepped from behind her shield and began peeling off her
protective gear, a slightly forced-looking smile on her face.
"What are you doing?!" Number One demanded. "Turn it back on!
I have to change!"
Nyssa's voice made a go at sounding soothing, but didn't quite
make it. "You're human again. Aren't you happy? Isn't it
wonderful to rejoin the ranks of intelligent beings?"
"It's a gas. Now WHY AIN'T YOU CHANGING ME THE REST
OF THE WAY!?!"
"Well, um, you see... It's rather technical, but... Well... I can't.
I must say, it's good to hear your voice again. Would you like a
towel to cover up with?"
Number One tossed the beach towel aside, too agitated to pay it
any mind. "What do you mean, you can't change me back!?"
"Well, you see, the way the process was set up to work was that
when your genetic code fell into the range of human normality, it
would then become locked in a fixed quantum state at the
subatomic level, becoming thereby immune to further alteration by
outside quantum-level stimuli--"
"What does that mean?" asked Diane.
"It means that once we turned Number One into a human again, we
couldn't change her form any more." She cocked a thumb at the
redhead. "So, what you see is what you get. Forever." Nyssa's
shoulders rolled in a polite shrug. "Still, I'm quite pleased with the
result, as my calculations indicated that there was a high likelihood
of causing the subject's component particles to simply detonate at
the speed of light. It's not her original form, but the subject _is_
human, so it's a qualified success. Half a loaf, and all that."
All eyes -- except Doug's, which were still covered -- turned to
Number One to get her thoughts on the matter...
At the radar base station, a computer model was constructed based
upon the known data regarding the mysterious orbital object.
Vectors were plotted, variables factored, flight paths worked out,
and, finally, an impact point predicted. Panic ensued.
It is said that, in space, no one can hear you scream.
This is not true aboard the Satellite of Love.
"I'm a _girl_... FOREVER?! AAAAAAAAAUUUUUUGGGHH!!"
TO DIE FOR: MYSTERY PSYCHO THEATER 3000
[cue Theme Song]
o/~ In the not-too-distant future
Not too far from This Time Round
There was a girl named Nyssa whose
Sanity was not-quite-sound.
She and some others used to fuss and fight
And destroy the pub almost every night.
So the staff and patrons of that place
Used Borusa's Time-Scoop to stick them up in spaaaaace...
"You'll regret this!!"
"We'll send them crappy fiction
The worst we can find. (la-la-laaa)
They'll have to sit and read them all
To drive the violence from their minds." (la-la-laaa)
Now keep in mind only Adric controls
When the session begins or is through
As he tries to force some sense into
This completely unhinged crew.
PSYCHO ROLL CALL!
NYSSA! ("The rockin' Traken!")
DOUG! ("This isn't what it looks like.")
HELEN! ("Me, the other white meat.")
NUMBER ONE! ("Call me 'babe', and you die.")
DIAAAAANE! ("I thought blondes had more fun?")
If you're wondering how they eat and breathe
And other science facts,
Just repeat to yourself, "It's just a 'fic.
I should really just relax."
'Cause it's Mystery Psycho Theater 3000!
[Interior bridge of the Satellite of Love]
[The bridge has been turned into a typical suburban-type living-
room, with a personal computer sitting on one end of the console
and a television on the other. A chair and couch are back-to-back
at the center, the chair facing the computer and the couch toward
the TV. DIANE (an attractive blonde woman wearing shorts and a
'What Would Lina Inverse Do?' t-shirt) sits at the computer, while
DOUG (a tall, thin man with a ponytail, wearing combat fatigues) is
watching TV right behind her.]
DOUG: Anything good on there?
DIANE: Nope. Just a typical rec.arts.mpt3k flamewar.
DOUG: Over what?
DIANE: Can't really tell for sure. Something called 'Pro-Jovanka
Trolls' appear to be involved, though.
DIANE: Anything good on there?
DOUG: Nope. Just a typical 'Sister Roxanne the Demon Killer'
DIANE: Over what?
DOUG: Can't really tell for sure. Something called 'Anti-Christ
Imps' appear to be involved, though.
[BOTH sit in silence for a moment.]
DOUG: Bit boring, isn't it?
DIANE: I suppose.
[BOTH sit in silence again. After a few seconds, MISTRESS
HELEN (a tall, well-built, auburn-haired woman in a leather
catsuit) and NYSSA (a petite, very pretty young brunette
wearing a lab coat over a short blue dress) enter from the right,
carrying a battering-ram between them.]
NYSSA: Well, we're off to have another go at getting Number
One out of her room.
HELEN: We're going to 'stage an intervention' to prevent her
from doing anything foolish.
DOUG: (to NYSSA and HELEN) Worried about her, are you?
NYSSA: No. She's got my Kikuko Inoue CDs in there, and I'm
afraid she might get blood and bits on them if she does herself in.
[HELEN and NYSSA exit to the leftt, while DOUG and DIANE
continue to stare at their respective screens. A few seconds later,
the sound of repeated impacts and much female shouting and
cursing can be heard from off-stage.]
DOUG and DIANE: (in chorus) Boring is good.
[A light begins to flash on the console.]
DOUG: Looks like Kyle, Nolt, and Borgoff are calling. [presses
[Interior back room at This Time Round]
[The room, which is ordinarily full of electronic telemetry and
broadcating equipment and a large amount of pub supplies, has
now been reinforced with layers of sandbags along the walls.
Behind the control console stand ADRIC (a black-haired teenager
in an Armani suit) and HARRY (a handsome thirtyish man with
curly hair, clad in a barman's apron). BOTH look a bit uneasy --
in HARRY's case evident only in a slight twitchiness about his
smile -- and are holding old steel army helmets in their hands.]
ADRIC: Greetings, Otaru and the Saber Marionettes. Where
are Cherry, Bloodberry, and Marine?
DIANE: Does that mean I'm Lime? [starts giggling and jumping up
DOUG: The others should be here any minute now.
[HELEN and NYSSA enter from the left, with NUMBER ONE (a
short, cute, red-haired girl wearing jeans and a 'Molly Hatchet'
t-shirt) in tow. NUMBER ONE has slicked back her hair and drawn
beard stubble on her face with a pen, her breasts are flattened
down, and there is a large bulge in the front of her jeans.]
DIANE: [looking at NUMBER ONE] What... What... Just, what?
NUMBER ONE: (deep voice) Hey thar, li'l filly. I'm just a typical
red-blooded American man, yessir.
DOUG: [lloking at NUMBER ONE] As much as I hate to ask,
what's with the... bulge?
NUMBER ONE: (deep voice) Hey, pardner, you know how it is.
Gotta keep yer equipment under control...
[HELEN slaps NUMBER ONE's 'bulge' with the handle of her whip.
There is a jingling of metal as the 'bulge' slides apart and things
start falling out of NUMBER ONE's pantsleg.]
DOUG: [looks down] Quarters? There must be ten dollars there.
DIANE: I don't care if it's a million, _I_ am not touching them.
NUMBER ONE: (normal voice) Aaaagh! I was just trying to be
my old self...
DIANE: [looking at the quarters] You were trying to be about
three times your old self, looks like. And how is your chest so
[NYSSA reaches up the back of NUMBER ONE's shirt, grabs
something, and pulls. There is a loud ripping sound and NUMBER
ONE jumps, yelling in pain, as her breasts suddenly spring
NUMBER ONE: (yelling) AAAAYOWCH!!
[NYSSA holds up a long strip of something grayish and sticky.]
HELEN: Duct tape? Ooh, can I have it?
ADRIC: Excuse me, but your tormentor is talking to you, so pay
attention! As you can tell, all is not well here on Earth.
HARRY: We're doomed, you see.
ADRIC: Indeed. Life as we know it will end sometime within the
next two hours.
DOUG: (to self) Duct tape? [shakes head] (to screen) How so,
Adric? And what's with all the sandbags?
ADRIC: That's what I've been telling you. Catastrophe looms.
Armageddon. Ragnarok und Fimbulwinter. Civilization fall down,
NYSSA: What are you babbling about, Swamprat? What's this big
catastrophe? Are Hootie and the Blowfish breaking up?
ADRIC: This is not a time for trenchant flippancy! Our radar
picked up an unidentified object in orbit this morning. When we
plotted its flight path, we found out that it is on a collision course
with Earth and, what's more, that the impact site will be somewhere
within a mile of where I am now standing. I predict chaos, anarchy,
mass starvation, plague, and species extinctions, or possibly just
the obliteration of the entire surface.
HARRY: But we're jolly well ready for it!
ADRIC: [puts on helmet] So we are.
[ADRIC and HARRY pick up a pair of old Enfield rifles and sling
them on their shoulders, then start strapping on bandoliers of
ammunition while they speak.]
ADRIC: We here at MPT3k, Inc., are prepared to fulfill our duties
to the public by seizing power in the aftermath of the spaceborne
holocaust. As the only organized force for order in the land, we
will gradually revive the glory and majesty of human civilization.
With a few improvements, of course...
[FRANCOIS the Ogron (a huge, brutish-looking humanoid) enters
from the right, carrying a large box.]
FRANCOIS: (to ADRIC) Where boss-boy wanting copies of
_Gospel of Saint Adric_ put?
ADRIC: (to FRANCOIS) Over there by the Saint Adric Prayer
Medallions will be fine.
[FRANCOIS exits to the left.]
DOUG: Well, that's one way to spread the ADF's message, I
HELEN: (hopeful) So, since the world is ending, and all, I guess
you don't have a session for us today...
ADRIC: You guess wrong, Helen. And since there's no viewer
mail today, I'll get right to the hurting. As this might very well be
my last transmission to you lot, I thought I'd make it good, or more
correctly, bad. Thematic, too. Death and doom are the motif for
the day! Your first session will be a flaccid 'fic called, with great
eponymity, 'The Death of Doctor Who: The Anniversary Special
from Hell'. If that doesn't snap your twisted wills like so many
pretzels in a pile driver, the followup most certainly will. It's a
pre-prologue to a novel, intended as a teaser for the book _Devil-
Goblins from Neptune_, and goes to show that even professional
authors can inflict savage literary pain. This day will mark my
victory! Or at least, our highest ratings.
Send them the fanfic, Harry!
HARRY: At once, your Saintliness! [presses a large and
conspicuous button on the console]
[Various alarms, lights, and sirens go off as general chaos ensues.]
ALL: Aaaaah! We've got apocalyptic fanfic sign!
[ALL run off.]