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Episode 17: I Coulda Been a Contenda!

17: I Coulda Been a Contenda!

Release Date: Nov. 20, 2006

Running Time: 80 min.

Listen Now: Enhanced Version

As I burst into the IS, time is so short that I only do three orbits of the central console for the appropriate sense of urgency before calling to my trusty robot ape Prime-8. “You’re going to need to help the old girl navigate! We must reach the original seven actors from the BBC science fiction series 'Doctor Who'. Somewhere in the 1970’s might be best!"  Khronos would have worked for Hartnell and Spuzzle fit Sylv; if only the intervening five games had been stable. It was all going so well until I had to connect Colin Baker to Mystery Date!

Suddenly the battered Ideal® Magic Window that hangs on the wall comes to life; its sand resolving into the shadowy figure of Steerpike wearing a suspiciously fake-looking goatee and a groovy black outfit that- hey, is that a Nehru jacket? Bold. “I can’t let you do this, Is!” he crows. “That show is mine! Imagine me with the unfettered power of the Spiel Foundation to do with as I please! Ha- ha-“ Oh here it comes. Yep. Yep, he’s going to do the laugh. That’ll take a while. I switch off and begin furiously pounding switches as the pop-o-matic bubble at the heart of the console clicks up and down, the dice inside coming up snake eyes with every pop. She’s still sluggish so I reach beneath the console and pull out a large mallet. I give the edge of the console a firm but gentle whack. Half the thing breaks off and what looks like chocolate pudding begins to slop out of it. This never happened to the other guy.

The screen reactivates to show Steerpike- yes still going but in the final stages of the laugh, doubled over waving one palm before him in helpless hilarity before regaining his composure. The spirit gum has come loose on one edge of the goatee. “You’re too late, Is!” he boasts. I’ve already won! Ha- ha-“ Oh dear, he’s off again.  No matter because through sheer strength of gurning, I’ve managed to land her in a burst of sparks. It’s too much sadly for poor Prime-8, who makes a squealing noise and blows apart. A noble final effort! I spring to the doors and bolt through crying, “ I have it! I have the ans-“

But the world that greets my eyes is a sobering sight indeed. Instead of the starting point of Khronos, I see- Aqua Romana? I don’t even remember- my heart sinks as I look up to the top of the page. Episode 17! That means I’ve been blown five years backward in time! No way to get back in time now; he’s won! Prime-8 staggers apologetically out, sparks shooting from orifices I had never known he had. “BBC… 1970’s… science fiction… original seven… destination… destination… destin…” and his voice sadly slows down like an old phonograph record. Always thought it was odd that such an amazing artificial intelligence communicated through magnetic tape, but no time for that now. I have the nasty feeling I’m not alone…

Steerpike's picture



Enjoy your time in 2006. Perhaps you can keep yourself amused by burying a copy of Coppertwaddle in an Indianapolis garden along with a fake note from the Archbishop of Canterbury. Who knows who will find it in time for Episode 52. Your temporal nemesis, the (Go-)Master

sconway's picture

I should have known, the Coppertwaddle "incident" must have been a result of you two mucking about in time and space....

If you're rearranging things here in Indianapolis, how about stopping a certain tree from destroying the padded cell?

Steerpike's picture

You sure it wasn't Gregory who "loosened" that tree in an attempt to bring about an alternative time line that sees the Spiel cohosted by him and me?

sconway's picture

We all know Steerpike is the villain in this story. Comes with the name.

Nice try, though...

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