Giant Prawn From Planet Spectra by Grumpy Ghost Owl
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DISCLAIMER
This is an original work of fan-fiction.  Gatchaman and Battle of the Planets are the property of Tatsunoko and Sandy Frank Productions. Iron Chef belongs to Fuji Television. No profit, gain, hire or reward is received by the author for this work.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This story was written after a particularly manic session on the Gatchamaniacs Gathering talker. Thanks to:

Lori Fegely, for starting it all by telling us how she corrupted her children's minds by telling them that the crawfish in the fishmonger's shop were actually miniature mecha, and for providing copy of the narrator's blurb.

WyldKat, for not only logging the session but editing it as well and contributing hugely to the post-mania discussion and providing additional information on the opening and closing narration. The rubber brain concept has little to do with this story but I will always associate the two in my mind.

Naa Dei Nikoi, for providing her much-valued beta-reading skills under duress (she was in the middle of moving house.)

Mark Stalter, for beta-reading and providing the right sound effect for 1-Rover-1's bum.

Nishiko, for providing Iron Chef resource information.

Everyone, including those already mentioned, who was on line for that session and contributed to the madness.

Shadow the Barn Owl, for assisting with the re-write.




BATTLE OF THE PLANETS: A Lost Episode

[Opening theme.]

NARRATOR:
Battle of The Planets!
G-Force!
Princess! Tiny! Keyop! Mark! Jason!
And watching over them from Center Neptune...
Their computerized co-ordinator, 7-Zark-7!
Watching, warning against surprise attacks from alien galaxies from BEYOND SPACE!!




GIANT PRAWN FROM PLANET SPECTRA!


[Exterior shot of Center Neptune, the same exterior shot they always open with... and there are those same fish we always see, swimming in the same little fishy formation at the same depth, at the same speed, at the same time, every weekday afternoon just after school gets out...]


7-ZARK-7:
(voice over): Here at Center Neptune, deep beneath the sea, I maintain a constant look-out for alien activity that could signal another invasion attempt from the evil Planet Spectra!


[Cut to Nerve Center interior. The robot stands on tiptoe, extends an arm and wipes the top right hand monitor.]


7-ZARK-7:
[He giggles] Ahhhhhh! That's better! It wouldn't do at all to mistake a speck of dust for the latest killer ship from evil Planet Spectra, now, would it, 1-Rover-1?


[Yellow cybernetic canine sits abruptly on the floor, hindquarters hitting the antistatic vinyl with a hollow clank.]


1-ROVER-1:
Nyaaaaaap!


7-ZARK-7:
I'll just check on G-Force. They're up at Center City today, carrying out some special guard duty!


[Cut to exterior shot of the ISO building in Center City -- aka Utoland City, aka pick-a-planet, you know the drill -- while Zark continues burbling in voice over.]


7-ZARK-7:
Today is the hundred and twenty fifth anniversary of the signing of the treaty that brought the Intergalactic Federation of Peaceful Planets into being. Of course, I wasn't around back then -- I'm still under warranty, you know, having been specially engineered and custom made for the G-Force team! But I appreciate history (sigh!) just like everyone else... except Zoltar! It wouldn't surprise me if that evil Zoltar tried to disrupt today's celebrations! That's why G-Force is stationed around Federation Headquarters, to stave off any attempted attack on today's big banquet. (Sigh...) I love parties... or at least, I think I would... if I'd ever been invited to one... still, as Princess says, I'm simply too important to ever leave my post here at Nerve Center... we must all make sacrifices when we work for... G-Force!


[Camera closes in on ISO building and fades in to high-angle interior shot looking down on a very large foyer with people standing around in a slightly blurry and washed-out looking still shot. We hear background sound of murmuring voices and footsteps, even though none of the painted characters are actually moving.

Cut now to floor level, and a still shot of Mark in civvies, standing beside a large potted rhododendron, evidently watching the crowd. Cut again to another still of Jason, ostensibly reading a newspaper near the elevators, but people who are really reading the newspaper tend not to glare over the top of said newspaper in quite such a predatory manner... Cut to still of Princess, sitting on a bench next to an indoor fountain, looking winsome.

Cut to -- ah, finally, some animation! Cut to Tiny and Keyop, strolling around the foyer...]


TINY:
I'm hungry.


KEYOP:
Barrrroooot-toot! Always... hungry!


TINY:
Yeah, well so would you be, if you knew what they're cookin' up in the kitchens, here.


KEYOP:
Prrrrrrippp-pip! Not... rrrrooot-toot... sending out... for pizza?


TINY:
They got a special team of expert chefs in to cook up a huge banquet for all the big-wigs. It's not fair... the Chief gets to go to this shindig, and we pull guard duty!


[A crafty look crosses Keyop's face.]


KEYOP:
Barrrrrooot-doot-toot! Maybe... need to... check out... drrrrrooot! Kitchen... for spies....


TINY:
Heeeeeeeyyyy.... Now that sounds like a plan!


[Cut to still shot of extremely large and expensively appointed kitchen with lots and lots of stainless steel and big knives and shiny pots and pans and a veritable mountain of that standard-issue plain white china that's actually becoming fashionable, these days.

Cut to close up of three Japanese chefs, Kobe, Sakai and Morimoto, the Iron Chefs!

Tiny and Keyop wander through the kitchens, following delicious and unidentified aromas, expressions of culinary bliss on their faces.]


TINY:
Wow! Oh, man, I think I died and went to heaven!


KEYOP:
Drrrrrrrrreeeep! Shrimp!

[Keyop rushes over to a big stainless steel bowl, which is full to the brim with raw shrimp, pathetic little legs and feelers sticking out everywhere... the shrimp, not Keyop... although... no, no it's definitely the shrimp.]


TINY:
Yuuuuuummmmmmmmm!


MORIMOTO:
Hey! You! What are you doing?


[Tiny gets that stupid bug-eyed grin that anime artists draw on their characters' faces when they're sprung at something, which really detracts from the character, IMHO.]


TINY:
Uuuuhhhh... er... Security!


KOBE:
Security, huh? Since when does Security search the shrimp?


SAKAI:
If you're security, then get back to work! Out of the kitchen! Out! Go on!


MORIMOTO:
Out! Out!


KOBE:
Out! Out!


SAKAI:
Out! Out!


[The Iron Chefs chase Tiny and Keyop out of the kitchen -- close up of the bowl as we see Keyop's head and shoulders, followed by Tiny's torso and three white-clad torsos bringing up the rear passing from right of shot to left... One of the shrimp catches the light, its eye giving off that telltale metallic gleam and that funny noise the foley operator makes to let the audience know that this particular shrimp is not just a shrimp!]


[The Iron Chefs' aprons return, moving left to right of shot, this time.]


KOBE:
Galaxy Security must be scraping the bottom of the barrel...


[In the stainless steel bowl, the eyes on the suspect shrimp begin to glow red!]





-- STATION BREAK --





[Stock footage of those same trained fish swimming past Center Neptune again. Cut to interior shot of Nerve Center, where Zark is wearing his natty little No. 7 sweater, and 1-Rover-1 is chewing on a wrench.]



7-ZARK-7:
Everything appears to be going well with the preparations for the big celebration at Federation Headquarters! I'm so pleased, I -- Uh-oh... My sensors are picking up some Unusual energy readings! I'd better alert G-Force at once!


[Cut to interior - kitchen scene. Again, it's a still shot of the chefs busy at their work... busy and... unmoving, but we'll overlook that because it's an anime tradition to accept that still shots with background noise represent group activity. Close up of the stainless steel bowl on the sink where the shrimp are draining... One of the little guys has glowing red eyes, which is generally not what you'd expect to find in somebody's seafood cocktail. The shrimp begins to grow -- in stages, because that's another anime convention.

Oddly, nobody seems to notice that dinner is suddenly big enough to cater for an extra fifty people -- no, make that seventy five -- no, one hundred fifty, one hundred fifty and counting... This is one big shrimp!

So big, in fact, that it can no longer be classed as a shrimp.

No, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, this shrimp is now...

THE GIANT PRAWN FROM PLANET SPECTRA!

- Dramatic music sting -


Another still shot, now, showing the Iron Chefs having turned in horror to see that the shrimp bowl has been upset and supplanted with the Giant Prawn (with glowing red eyes) ]


MORIMOTO:
Oh, no! Prawns that big go tough when you cook them!


SAKAI:
Morimoto-san, I think a more appropriate response at this time would be --


KOBE:
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!


[The camera pulls back and the Giant Prawn lumbers out of the kitchen into the lobby. G-Force, now clustered together in a neat little knot encompassed by a single camera shot, for reasons not adequately explained by the script-writer, turns as a unit with suitably stricken facial expressions to see said abnormally large crustacean smashing its way into the elevator shaft.]


PRINCESS:
It's... a Giant Prawn!


JASON:
I knew there was a reason I never liked seafood!


MARK:
Transmute!


[More stock footage as we go through the transformation routine the coloured lights, the eagle flying across the sun (nice birdie) and the image of Mark standing gazing dramatically into the distance with the wind making his cape billow back from his shoulders in a very striking way (never mind that he's indoors) and then after all this focus on Mark-precious-angst-muffin, we see that the whole team is transformed.

G-Force runs towards the elevators and the foley operator makes that stupid little pitter-patter noise for footsteps instead of a decent thudding (they really must weigh what the people at Tatsunoko say they do...) ]


PRINCESS:
It's heading for the conference room!


MARK:
The Federation Delegates!


KEYOP:
Arrrrroooot-toot! Have to... stop it!


[Action shot of Giant Prawn making its way up the elevator shaft, tearing great chunks out of the concrete as it does so, accompanied by suitably dramatic background music.]


TINY:
[Peers up into elevator shaft interior] Going up!


[Jason steps past Tiny and leaps into the shaft, using the internal structures and cables to leap and bound up after the Giant Prawn, followed by Mark, Princess, Tiny and Keyop.

Cut to interior shot of Nerve Center, where Zark is in the shower... yes... the shower, scrubbing his dorsal surface with a brush and... >cringe!< singing something that may or may not resemble a mangled version of John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High" in the key of pi R squared, very badly. He shuts off the oil faucet and wraps a towel around what we suppose to be his... er.. nether regions. Me, I don't want to think about it.]



7-ZARK-7:
The Headquarters of the Intergalactic Federation of Peaceful Planets is being attacked by a Giant Prawn from Planet Spectra!


1-ROVER-1:
Nyaaaaaap!


7-ZARK-7:
That's right, 1-Rover-1, the dignitaries who have gathered at Headquarters for the banquet celebrating the Federation's one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary are all in grave danger! But G-Force is there to protect them! I'm sure the team is doing everything they can to stop this new menace from outer space!


1-ROVER-1:
Nyaaaaaap!


[Interior, ISO Building: the Giant Prawn is marching down a corridor (presumably looking for the building directory with the little red dot and the yellow arrow labelled "You Are Here") wreaking havoc and causing excessive wear to the carpet.

Cut to the elevator doors, which lie in a twisted heap after the Prawn smashed its way through (being unwilling to press the button and wait) and we see Mark burst out of the darkness, which is odd because Jason was ahead of him the last time we checked, and you just know that's going to give the YAOI writers something to get their teeth into (so to speak) and the next thing you know there's going to be this whole crop of X-rated fanfiction appearing on Lori's Archive all revolving around how the trauma of facing a Giant Prawn made Mark realise... Geez, what am I saying?! Anyway, Jason is next out -- and don't even think about going there -- followed by Princess, Tiny and Keyop.]


MARK:
[Points dramatically] There it is!


[Mark hurls his Sonic Boomerang, but the weapon bounces harmlessly off the Giant Prawn's armoured carapace! The Prawn, which takes up most of the corridor, effects a 180-degree turn (how it manages to do this in such confined quarters is yet another thing inadequately explained by the script-writing team) and fires laser beams out of its sinister red glowing beady eyes! G-Force scatters in a very showy fashion, all capes and sound effects, dodging the laser fire.

Cut to undisclosed location for a largely unnecessary scene in which Zoltar is grovelling before the Giant Blue Chicken of Spectra.]


ZOLTAR:
[Grovelling] O, Great Light of Wisdom, the attack on Federation Headquarters is proceeding well!


SPIRIT:
So far, your plan is succeeding, Zoltar, but G-Force have not yet been defeated!


ZOLTAR:
[Still grovelling] O, Luminous One, it is only a matter of time before the Giant Prawn takes the President of the Federation prisoner, and then G-Force will be helpless to stop us!


SPIRIT:
Very well, Zoltar. Continue with the attack! And do not fail me again!




-- STATION BREAK --




[Wide angle shot of Nerve Center, where 7-Zark-7 is emerging from that weird little perspex tube thingy wearing a cape and helmet over his antennae. He flaps the cape and... flies across the room to where 1-Rover-1 is standing next to the monitor screens.]


1-ROVER-1:
Nyaaaaaap!


7-ZARK-7:
That's right, 1-Rover-1. G-Force is at Federation Headquarters, fighting off an attack from Zoltar's Giant Prawn! I'm worried about them... Mark's sonic boomerang appeared to be ineffective against the Prawn's armour! I'd better see if I can find a weakness in the Giant Prawn's design that G-Force can use to defeat it!


[Cut back to the Federation building where very little appears to have happened, despite Zark's ten second oil break and the commercial. We replay the last five seconds of footage in order to cater to an audience whose assumed attention span is less than three minutes.

Jason fires his cable gun at the Giant Prawn, but the grapple slides off the Prawn's shell. Princess throws her yo-yo, but it bounces off, as do Keyop's bolas.

The Giant Prawn lashes out with one of its long feelers, slicing through light fittings and carpet tiles. (Did I mention before that this was no ordinary prawn?)

G-Force leaps clear.

(The foley operator is having a field day with largely random sound effects.)

Further down the corridor is a large blue double door guarded by two nervous looking soldiers in UN uniforms with those natty little blue berets. The Giant Prawn approaches, and the guards open fire.

Cut to an interior shot of a large conference room filled with men in suits and stereotyped figures in ethnic kit. The camera closes in on none other than Security Chief Anderson, who looks suitably alarmed (as you do when a Giant Prawn tries to batter its way in to a meeting uninvited and you have no conceivable, let alone adequately explained way of keeping your glasses on your face.) Gunfire and explosions can be heard from without.]


ANDERSON:
Remain calm! G-Force is in the building. They'll deal with this.


[Close up of President Kane]


KANE:
If we've ever needed them to come through for us, now is the time.


[Cut back to the corridor. The Giant Prawn is battering away at the big blue doors, which, for (yet again) no adequately explained reason, have thus far held up quite nicely against its attempts to gain entry. And while I'm here commenting, how about President Kane? Never mind all the times Spectra has gone about wiping out cities and stuff, he figures that now is the time we need G-Force, seeing as how this time out, his precious hide's on the line... man... politicians! Notice that the two UN guards are now nowhere to be seen. We can safely assume that they are in fact dead, but that this was edited out and Zark is hoping that we'll ignore the gap in the continuity.]


JASON:
Anybody got a couple hundred gallons of boiling water and some lemon?


[Jason dodges a whip-like antenna and fires his gun at the Giant Prawn.]


MARK:
I thought you didn't like seafood, Jason.


JASON:
After today, I like it even less!


PRINCESS:
If the comedy routine is over, that... thing is nearly through into the conference room!



[Close up of the Giant Prawn as it bashes the doors in at last. Cut to the delegates. Kane is looking alarmed, and Security Chief Anderson has flung an arm out in front of the President, like it'll protect him or something... against a Giant Prawn... an arm... This is the kind of quick thinking and initiative that it takes to become Chief of Galaxy Security, ladies and gentlemen.

Cut back to one of those lovingly detailed shots of Mark (again) looking brave and alarmed and heroic. Several members of the audience -- not the ones who sighed earlier -- gag.]



MARK:
Let's put this ugly puppy on a leash!


KEYOP:
Arrrrooot-toot-toot! Here, boy! [He whirls his clackers menacingly.]



[Jason and Tiny fire their cable guns, and this time, the barbs wrap around two of the Giant Prawn's legs. Mark throws his Sonic Boomerang and manages to sever one of the feelers. Keyop assists Tiny and Mark joins Jason (which will give those YAOI writers more ammunition, I just know it) and they haul back on the cables, incongruously dragging the Giant Prawn back from what's left of the doors.

Princess fiddles frantically with her yo-yo, which seems like a sensible thing to do in a crisis.

Close up of the Giant Prawn's feet, dragging across the carpet and leaving tracks that are just going to be so hard to get out, especially out of that colour. What was the ISO/Federation/Galaxy Security thinking, putting pale beige carpet in a heavy traffic -- or heavy Prawn -- area?

The foley operator appears to go into some kind of fit at this point with sound effects that most people wouldn't readily associate with seafood, but there you go. The reason for the foley frenzy is that the Prawn is struggling against the cables, and the severed feeler is regenerating! With accompanying dramatic music! Intriguingly, the other, undamaged feeler appears to be pretty much ineffective against G-Force. I know, I know... consistency is not an option...

The Prawn is now an illogical several yards from the somewhat-the-worse-for-wear big blue pile of firewood (and what are those funny red marks in the carpet underneath, hmmmm?) and Princess tosses her yo-yo with the dexterity of a virtuoso, over the top of the Giant Prawn to loop around one of its legs on the other side.

Princess then detonates the yo-yo and G-Force hits the deck (with a snappy crescendo from Mr Curtin) and the blast slams the Giant Prawn up against the wall just below a conveniently located picture window, cracking the plate glass very badly.]


MARK:
Whirlwind Pyramid! Go!

The animators are clearly having a lazy day of it, because they recycle the same old cels: Jason and Tiny link arms, Mark and Princess leap up on their shoulders (and the heels on those boots have got to hurt) with Keyop making up the zenith of the "pyramid." They start to spin, and the force generated by the whirlwind, hurls the Giant Prawn out through the window to crash down in the square below.

There is much rejoicing.

Wide angle shot of Anderson and Kane hurrying out of the conference room, apparently none the worse for wear despite Princess having set off a bomb in an enclosed space in what has to qualify as an unsafe manner. Just who is the Occupational Safety representative for G-Force, anyway? Zark? Anderson and Kane join G-Force at the window.]


KANE:
Well done, G-Force!


JASON:
[Leaning out the shattered window] Don't speak too soon, Mr President.


ANDERSON:
[Joins Jason at the window] It's regenerating itself!


[Cut to high angle shot of the Giant Prawn, whose feeler is growing back the exact same bit that we saw growing back in the previous "regenerating feeler" shot, but in the excitement of the moment, nobody notices.

It gets to its feet (not an easy task when you consider the sheer number of legs involved) and whips those repaired antennae around again, smashing the heck out of the concrete footpath in an act of wanton crustacean vandalism.

As it does so, it gets bigger... and bigger... and bigger...

Hey, it ain't called "Giant Prawn" for nothing, you know!]


KANE:
Sound the General Alarm and evacuate to the shelter!


MARK:
[To Anderson] The Phoenix is on the roof. [To the rest of his team] Let's go!


[Stock footage of five sets of booted feet running with that irritating "pitter patter" sound again and a blurred background riddled with "speed lines" to indicate that the G-Force team are in fact running very fast.

Cut to the square below the Federation building where the Giant Prawn, viewed quite cleverly from ground level, has now fully regenerated its feeler, is approximately equal in height to a modest two-storey bungalow and appears to be in a very bad mood.

- Dramatic music sting - Launch into one of those "dramatic/action" pieces of music that heralds the arrival of our heroes.

Now we do that clever "change of focus" thing that always impressed the hell out of me when I watched this show as a kid
while the frame essentially remains the same, the Giant Prawn goes all fuzzy and out of focus and we see the Phoenix bearing down on it from above like a vengeful seagull after a heavy meal!


Cut to the interior of the Phoenix's bridge, with Jason mantling over the Big Red Button.]


JASON:
Do you like your shrimp rare, medium or well done?


MARK:
It's too dangerous, Jason. We can't risk damaging the Federation building. There are people inside.


[Exterior shot of the Giant Prawn, rearing up as the Phoenix approaches. It springs into the air with another inexplicable noise generated by what has to be a deranged foley operator (someone should change his or her medication) as the Phoenix swoops low, and latches on to the port wing pod!

Interior
close up shot of Tiny looking grimly concerned.]


TINY:
We've picked up one mean looking hitch-hiker, Commander!


MARK:
Take us upstairs, Tiny!


[Exterior shot of the port wing of the Phoenix, with the Giant Prawn hanging on with all the legs it can muster (and that's quite a few, let me tell you.) The Phoenix is now flying over open water, which we can see glittering below. The Giant Prawn is whipping its big nasty feelers around and ripping the living daylights out of the nice red and blue paint job. The left feeler zaps at the port engine intake, and sparks fly!

Cut to interior wide angle shot of the bridge, with everybody looking alarmed. Close up of Tiny, apparently struggling with the controls.]


PRINCESS:
That thing is doing some damage out there!


MARK:
Tiny! What's our altitude?


TINY:
Five thousand feet, but I don't know how long we can stay up here with all that extra weight on our wing!


[Cut to close up of Mark looking heart-stoppingly brave and bold and daring -- several members of the audience sigh deeply at this point.]


MARK:
Prepare to transmute to Fiery Phoenix!


[Close up of a gloved hand firewalling a lever. Pull back to reveal the cabin now engulfed in rather unappealing shades of red and orange with lots of black lines. We see Mark with his head thrown back, teeth bared heroically, Jason in a similar position (those YAOI writers are going to make something of that, you watch) and Princess with Keyop in her arms looking stricken.

Exterior of the Phoenix's hull dissolving to liquid flame and the Giant Prawn exploding and the debris being engulfed in the flames of the firebird. - Cue that sythesised birdie noise they always make when they do the Fiery Phoenix thing.

The process reverses and the Phoenix assumes its less pyrotechnic form, sans Giant Prawn.

Cut to interior of the bridge, which has returned to normal.]


KEYOP:
Anyone... arrrooot-toot! For gumbo?


TINY:
No thanks! Make mine a spaceburger!


[They laugh.

Cut to interior shot of Nerve Center where Zark is standing, not concentrating on his monitors, but addressing the camera.]


7-ZARK-7:
Oh, my... [he sighs] I don't know how they do it... well, actually, I do! I worry about those five incredible young people. They're like my family, after all, and there are times when the stress quite shifts my fosdic right out of alignment!


[From left and right of frame, Mark and Princess, appallingly drawn in birdstyle, step into the shot with Zark and stand awkwardly, hands on hips, with spinal curvature that would have an orthopaedic surgeon gibbering.]


7-ZARK-7:
Why, Mark! Princess! How nice of you to drop by and see me!


PRINCESS:
We just wanted to thank you for keeping an eye on us, today, Zark. Things got pretty wild out there.


MARK:
That's right, Zark. It's always good to know that you're there for us!


PRINCESS:
See you later, Zark!


[Mark and Princess step back out of frame, the way they came in.]


7-ZARK-7:
[Sighs] Ahhhh... It's so nice to be appreciated. G-Force has saved the day, again! The President and all the Federation delegates can resume the anniversary celebrations, and Zoltar's evil plot has been foiled! The Earth is safe once more, thanks to... [he salutes] G-FORCE!


1-ROVER-1:
[Sits up on metal haunches and mimics Zark's salute] Nyaaap! Nyaaaaaap!





[Cue closing theme and credits]




Chapter End Notes:

Please note that Tatsunoko never produced an episode of Gatchaman that involved Giant Prawns. This has been a product of a deranged imagination.

No Prawns were harmed in the writing of this story.

 

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