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The Terraformers

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Episode 22: Revenge of the Mutant Lizards

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First aired: The Signal: Season 9, Episode 8
Credits
Written by Helen Eaton
Starring Miranda Thomas as Taya Ray Parsec
Starring Kari Haley as Sarah Brunel
Featuring Kevin Bachelder as Announcer
Featuring Nick Edwards as Mister Spall
Featuring Andy King as Waiter
Edited by Andy King

Revenge of the Mutant Lizards

By Helen Eaton

NARRATOR
Starring Kari Haley as Sarah Brunel.
SARAH
At last! A proper vacation. No work to do and best of all, Mr Spall several worlds away. Out of sight, out of mind and – thank merciful Buddha – out of radio contact. Happy holidays to us!
NARRATOR
And Miranda Thomas as Taya Ray Parsec.
TAYA RAY
And what a place to spend our vacation in! I don’t think I’ve ever seen anywhere so full of cool creatures. I can’t wait to go exploring! Happy holidays to us indeed!
NARRATOR
Episode number 22 – Revenge of the Mutant Lizards

Location: Hotel garden. Rainforest noises, parrots squawking, monkeys calling, etc. Wind in the trees, creaking of hammocks. Sound effects are quiet at first, while we’re in Taya Ray’s dream, and then louder as she wakes up.

MR SPALL
(Take line from end of episode 10, It Came From Beneath.) BRUNEL, PARSEC!
TAYA RAY
(Mumbling in her sleep.) Sorry, Mr Spall... We didn’t mean it… We won’t do it again…
SARAH
(Her voice sounds distant at first, gets closer as Taya Ray starts to wake up. Speaks kindly and not sarcastically for a change.). Wakey wakey, Taya Ray. I really don’t think the subject matter of your dream is vacation-appropriate.
TAYA RAY
(Awake now, but somewhat groggy.) Huh, what? (Impressed.) How did you know what I was dreaming? Are you a reader?
SARAH
Given that you are still half-asleep, and that I’m in a good mood, I’ll resist the urge to give that last question the withering response it deserves. As for your other question, you were mumbling something about Mr Spall. It was not exactly a leap of galactic proportions to assume that the subject of your dream was therefore not a pleasant one.
TAYA RAY
You’re not wrong there! I was dreaming that a gang of killer squirrels stole Mr Spall’s new shuttle and took off in search of a purple lake, which was full of magical singing frogs. (Beat. Uncertain) Wait. That didn’t actually happen, did it?
SARAH
(Can’t resist the opportunity to tease.) Of course it did! How could you have forgotten? I mean, the paperwork involved in bringing those squirrels to justice was memorable enough, but transcribing the witness statements from the frogs was an unforgettable, and very tuneful, experience.
TAYA RAY
(Realising she is being teased.) Oh ha ha, very funny. (Yawning.) It’s very unfair to tease someone who is quite so sleepy.
SARAH
Unfair, but irresistible. I’ve got to find my entertainment somewhere. This place might be paradise, but it is a mite lacking when it comes to entertainment.
TAYA RAY
It is pretty awesome here, isn’t it? I’m so glad we decided to come here. (Beat.) Eventually.
SARAH
(Somewhat defensive.) Choosing where to go on vacation is not easy when you’re in the terraforming business, Taya Ray. You know that. I only vetoed your choices when I knew that there had been a glitch in the terraforming which would have spoiled our vacation in some way. I mean, would you really have enjoyed staying on that moon with the gigantic hornets?
TAYA RAY
(With a sigh.) No, you’re right. It was worth spending the time to find this place. Terraforming sure is a glitch-y business, though, isn’t it?
SARAH
Yeah, I think that much we can testify to more than most, but we won’t dwell on that now since… (With enthusiasm.) We’re on vacation!
TAYA RAY
(Equally enthusiastically) Woo hoo! (Clink of glasses.)
SARAH
One day everyone will find out about this place and it will become another Pelorum – out of the price range of anyone not on a decent Core salary – but for now, it’s a private paradise just for us.
TAYA RAY
And for those monkeys on the grass over there. And for those very spectacular parrots in that tree.
SARAH
And for them too. I’m good with sharing.
TAYA RAY
(Totally freaked out.) Da-shiang bao-tza shr duh lah doo-tze! (Mal’s response to Jayne’s offer to trade Vera for Saffron.)
SARAH
What are you going on about now?
TAYA RAY
(Still totally freaked.) Over there in the bush. You didn’t see it?
SARAH
No. See what?
TAYA RAY
It was a lizard. A big one. Blue body, orange head. And, um… (Realising how this sounds.) Feathers.
SARAH
(Sarcastically, not believing a word of it.) A lizard with feathers? Nice one, Taya Ray. You had me going for a minute.
TAYA RAY
There it is again! Oh, it’s grotesque! I don’t think I want to stay out here any longer, Sarah.
SARAH
(Still resolutely unconvinced.) Uh huh. Oh, the waiter’s coming. Good. I think it’s time for another drink.

Footsteps as the waiter approaches.

SARAH
Could I get another of these, please? I think my friend has had enough…
WAITER
Certainly, madam. I also have this message from you. It came in just now and was marked as high priority.
SARAH
Oh, thanks.

Footsteps as the waiter leaves.

TAYA RAY
What is it, Sarah?
SARAH
It’s from Mr Spall. I guess he misses us. Either that or he’s got some work for us. (Beat.) Yeah, it’s work. “Brunel, Parsec. Do not return to base after your holiday as urgent biodiversity readjustment protocol required in your present location. Details to follow. Think you’ll enjoy this one. (Beat. Voice falters over next sentence as she realises Taya Ray was telling the truth.) Involves lizards with feathers.
TAYA RAY
(Triumphant.) Ha!

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