Listen In by Ennien
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Listen In


(Nb: This story is based on the BOTP episode in which Mark impersonates Zoltar. Princess states that she has caught at least 5 hours of Zoltar on her cassette recorder.)


Transcript of recording, May 27, 20**

Location: Spectra operations base.

Operative: G-3



Ed> In order to effect the plan for Mark to impersonate Zoltar and throw the Spectran mission, it was necessary to record Zoltar's voice so that an accuate imitation can be made. I was assigned this task. I spent a good 5 hours in the Spectran base. I had found a good location in the eaves above the central control room, behind a chink in the drywall above a mainframe. No sooner had I settled myself in and turned on the recorder, than Zoltar swept into the room.. literally.


Zoltar: Do I have to do everything around here??

Soldier #1: Sire?

Zoltar: What *are* these things, anyways, who was eating them and why can't they pick up after themselves?? It's like dealing with children!

S1: Umm, I think they're called peanuts, sire. Corhassan was eating them,sire. He's a slob, sire. Yes, sire.

Z: Everything by the book for you, isn't it?

S1: Sire?

Z: Never mind..........

Ed> That crash was the broom falling off the shelf Zoltar had leaned it against. That was a sigh of exasperation, even though it sounds like the air conditioning starting up. Zoltar has just crossed to his station and is looking down at his chair in bemusement.

Z: There is a doughnut on my chair.

S1: Yes, sire. Corhassan again, sire.

Z: I see.

S1: Sire.

Ed> The doughnut is disposed of. I can't quite see it from here, but it appears to be a sugar doughnut because Zoltar has to spend several minutes dusting off the seat before he can sit down. The next several minutes are devoid of conversation, as the soldier returns to his task and Zoltar activates his terminal.

Z:

S1: Sire?





Z: Well, where the hell is it?

S1: Sire?

Z: Was anyone useing this terminal?

S1: I believe Captain Amagosta was, sire.

Z: You wouldn't know what he was doing, would you?

S1:

Z: What did he do to my terminal, soldier?

S1: Installed a new game, sire.

Z: A game....

S1: Sire.



Z: Captain Amagosta to Comm Room 1, NOW!



Z: He did, too, I don't believe it...

Ed> Captain Amagosta enters the room. And I thought Zoltar's outfit was silly...

Captain Amagosta: HAIL SPECTRA!!

Z: What the did you do to the reconn files??

CA: I DON'T UNDERSTAND, SIRE!

Z: Stop shouting, I can hear you just fine.

CA: SIRE!

Z: Is this your game? (Ed> the game is just visible on the screen. it looks like some sort of war game. The graphics would make Jason swoon)

CA: COMMANDO 101, SIRE! ITS ALL THE RAGE! THE GRAPHICS ARE SO GOOD YOU CAN MAKE OUT THE VEINS ON THE INTESTINES!

Ed> Zoltar appears to be both cringing and giving this captain a "look". Its hard to tell under the mask.

Z: It's taking up 8 mgs of my disk space.

CA: CAN'T BE SIRE. I FORMATTED IT.

Z: You WHAT??

CA: FORMATTED IT, SIRE. IT MAKES IT..

Z: I know what it does. It also corrupted my reconn files. You know, the files that compile all of the information the spies have collected and gives us a nice picture of the attack site and its defenses??

CA: (Ed> This guy is also chewing on peanuts and has a doughnut in his hand. He's getting both all over the floor, the terminal and Zoltar's clothes.)

CA: UH... I GUESS YOU HAVE TO DO THEM OVER AGAIN, HUH?

Z: No. I won't. YOU will. In fact, since the information those files were collated from was also in the directory you toasted, it will have to be gathered all over again. You can do this personally, of course, I wouldn't trust anyone else with such an important task AND WILL YOU QUIT SNOWING ON ME??? (Ed> Oops, there goes the doughnut..)

CA: OF COURSE SIRE! I AM HONOURED YOU HAVE CHOSEN ME FOR THIS VITAL MISSION! I SHALL PROCEED IMEDIATELY!

Z: you do that....

(Ed> icing sugar doesn't mix with whatever fabric it is Zoltar's outfit is made of. It's not coming off)

Z: Guy doesn't even realise when he's being punished.. I really hope some security guard catches him.. then I can promote someone else to Captain.. someone competant. Then I might actually get some *work* done around here..

Soldier #2: Sire, the Luminous One demands a report. Oh, Corhassan gave you a doughnut too, sire?

Z: I'm surrounded by idiots......



Ed> By the end of this tape, I'll be agreeing with him. Captain Amagosa not only fails to re-acquire the information demanded of him, he gets himself shot within 15 minutes of entering the complex. Soldier Corhassan has managed to recover the damaged files and delete the game, so this seems to have at least partially redeemed him for making such a huge mess. He dumps his soda drink over his own console though, which seems to have cheered Zoltar immesurably. He needed it, since he seemed to have gotten a thorough yelling from his Great Spirit.

There isn't a lot of conversation going on, because everyone is down to work. Several more soldiers enter and take up their work stations. Zoltar seems to be the fastest typist, but he seems to be the fastest wit, too, so perhaps this isn't surprising.



Soldier #3: Sire, Captain Dorog from Section M reports a problem with their computer. Its not saving properly.

Z: Dorog? I don't recognise that name.

S3: He's a new acquisition, sire. Got his position through his family, sire. They have influence with Govornor Kahl.

Z: Joyous, another richkid... Patch him through.

Captain Dorog: Sire, our computer terminal isn't saving properly. We need a new one.

Z: Would you mind explaining to me how you came to this conclusion?

CD: It won't save.

Z: Is there a problem in the FAT table?

CD: Uh.... I lost 5 pounds.

(Ed> How did this guy get in the army??)

Z: What are you doing? What procedure are you using when you try to save something? Are you saving to hard disk or floppy?

CD: Floppy, sire. I make backups.

Z: Very good, very commendable. How are you making the backu.. no, scratch that.. Describe what you do to make the backups.

CD: I put the disk in the drive.

Z: Good start.

Cd: Then I go into the File manager and click on the file I want to save.

Z: Yes, and...?

CD: I save it to the disk. Then I check the disk to see if it saved.

Z: And it doesn't..

CD: No, it does. But it loses it.

Z: (Ed> He looks like HE's about to lose it) How do you mean, "loses it"?

CD: When I try to load it back on from the disk, its not there anymore.



Ed> What follows is a lot of technobabble. It seems like this guy has a genuine problem, something that gave even me something to chew on. Suggestions were made, concerning the reading of the disk, running a disk checker on it, using different grades, densities and makes of disk. The next hour was spent running a utilities program on the computer in question.



Z: The FAT checks out, the drive is fine, the cards are fine, the disks are fine.. You got me.

CD: Will you authorise a new computer for us then, sire?

Z: I guess I'll have to, at least until we can figure out what's wrong with this one...

CD: Okay. I'll stick up my disks and use paper until the new one arrives.

Z; Righ.. Waitasecond, what do you mean "stick up your disks"??

CD: I stick them to my desk, sire. They stay out the way that way.

Z: (looking like he knows what this guy is going to say and fervently wishing he were wrong) What do you stick them with?

CD: Oh I've got this great big magnet I use. I just stack up my disks, put 'em against my desk and stick 'em on with the magnet.



Ed> The snorting sounds really close to the microphone are me trying to keep from laughing. To top it off, Zoltar has slumped down in his chair so bonelessly that he now looks like a big pile of grape jello.

If Captain Amagosta took the cake, Captain Dorog takes the entire dessert tray. Zoltar doesn't even bother to reply, but shuts off the intercomm.



S3: If it's any consolation, sire, I had to discover why his sheet disks weren't working. (ed> I think a 'sheet disk' is the equivalent to a 5.5" floppy. It seems to be, from the described abuse)

Z: Okay, I'm game.. why?

S3: We tried everything, just like you did. Then he told me the problem happened after he labeled them. Wanna know how he was labeling them?

Z: Sure why not..........

S3: He was running them through his printer.



Ed> I had to sneak a peek around the drywall at a Spectran printer to see what was so funny about this. There are several in Comm 1, but most appear to be dot matrix or maybe inkjet types. Whatever their print medium, they seem to use a roller and tractor feed. If this guy were running disks through them....

By the way, I think this is the first time I've ever seen Zoltar actually laughing.



Z: So.. why didn't you warn me about him?

S3: Because I thought he had a genuine problem too.

Z: That's obvious

S3: Well, you would think it would be obvious that you don't put a magnet over a disk. I didn't think he was *that* dumb.

Z: Neither did I. Live and learn.

Z: Zoltar.

Mala: Did you hang up on Captain Dorog?

Z: What do you think?

Mala: If I knew I wouldn't have asked, now would I, Dear Brother? He's bothering Commisary saying you authorised the purchase of a new computer.

Z: Put a stop on that, will you? And come up with some excuse to keep him AWAY from the things..

Mala: He wants a Tarac-5000 ASV.

(Ed> Zoltar does a double take)

Z: You've GOT to be joking.

Mala: I don't joke about Taracs. They do well enough themselves.

Z: But a 5000???? That's stone age!

Mala: Yes, I know, but thats what he wants. And Commisary's got several they want to get rid of.

Z: Why would he want a Tarac-5000?

Mala: He says he was told they were good.

Z: By whom.. no don't tell me.. Govornor Kahl?

Mala: How did you know?

Z: I'm psychic..

Mala: Only with me and don't dodge the question.

Z: You haven't asked the question for me to dodge.

Mala: Did you authorize him to purchase a Tarac?

Z: Let's put it this way.. I ordered you to stop purchase authorization on a new computer.. but I will authorise the purchase of a Tarac.



Mala: He's confused.

Z: Again, or still?



Mala: He's gone to pick up his Tarac. What did he do that you don't want him near real computers?

Z: Sticking floppies to his desk with magnets.



Mala: How'd this guy get to be a captain? Govornor Kahl, of course, how silly of me..... Alright, I'll get on with my day..Do you know anything about the Andes project?

Z: Andes project??

Mala: I guess that answers my question..

Z: What Andes project?

Mala: The one the Luminous One evidently hasn't informed you of..

Z: Evidently..

Mala: He wants Govorner Task to oversee it, answering to me. He seems to have this notion that my little brother is incompetant.

Z: I have incompetant help. And I am NOT your little brother.

Mala: Are too.

Z: Am not!



Z: Piss off, the lot of you. You were saying?

Mala: *I* know you're not incompetant. The Spirit seems to equate the commander with the soldiers. You just had to waste time with Captain Dork there, *I* had to handle the Amagosa mess. The guy couldn't even die right, he had to spread himself around like one of those cheesy video games he was always playing.

Z: Saved by the Dork...

Mala: A *literal* mess!

Z: I understand completely.

< bark of laughter from Soldier #3>

Z: What are you l.. OH MY...!!!!

Mala: What?? What?? What am I missing??

S3: I was clearing out Amagosa's private accounts, ma'amsire. He had unusual tastes.

Z: To say the least!

(Ed> I'd kill to know what they were looking at)

Z: You gotta see this, Mala.. I didn't think that was possible!

Mala: What???? WHAT?????

S3: Transferring file, sire.



Mala: Oh. My. God.

Z: Yah.

Mala: Up to the elbow?????

Z: ... must be hollow.

Mala: That's just gotta hurt!

S3: Rougoufan won't see that one's business.

(Ed> I bet if I knew what "Rougoufan" was I'd get this conversation...)

Z: Noooo doubt.



S3: There seem to be more of these..

Z: I don't want to know....

Mala: Patch them through down here, we could use a good laugh.

S3: Transferring them all, ma'am.

S1: I'm going for tchekna.

Z: Have we gotten *any* work done around here today?

S3: I've been working on the plan of attack, sire. I've completed eliminating what *won't* work.

Z: Thank heavens someone around here has a brain in their heads...

S3: Thank you, sire.

Mala: This guy was a captain???

Z: Mala's having fun.

S2: Anybody want to try a "Twinkie"?

S3: Hmm.. I think I've found their base.

S2: What are these things filled with?

Z: What base?

Mala: Here's one for you, Zoltar...

S3: G-force's base

Z: I'll get you for that, Mala.

S1: The tchekna machine is broken again.

S2: Wanna "Twinkie"?

Mala: You don't even know what picture it is!

Z: G-force's base?? Where? When? How?

S1: These things are dry.

Z: I don't need to know what picture it is.

S3: It seems to be in the ocean somewhere. I caught a random transmission, sheer luck. I'm trying to track it.

S2: Does anyone smell sewage?

Z: Can we limit this to one conversation here???

S3: Somebody mop up that tchekna before it leaks onto the power cables.

S1: Gross, the tchekna smells like sewage.

Mala: I think this one's illegal.

S3: IF IT GETS ON THE POWER CABLES I'LL LOSE THE SIGNAL!

Z: Go mop that up. NOW.

S1&2: Sire! (Ed> and take your Twinkies with you...)

S3: Triangulating, sire.

Z: Good work, this *might* just get the Luminous One off our backs.

S3: That'd be a switch.

Z: It'd be nice for once.

S3: Could have repercussions.

Z: Such as...?

S3: You might be in a good mood. Sire.



Z: Smart ass.

S3: I try, sire. Someone has to.

Z: You got that right.

Mala: I think this one was airbrushed.

S3: Here we go... NxNW 247...Sx

<>





Ed> It's now completely dark and silent. Evidently something has shorted the power. From the splishy noises Zoltar makes as he goes out the door, I think it must be that "tchekna" stuff. You can just barely make out what Zoltar's saying, and in some places the sound is lost altogether.



Z: ..doing??

Voice #1:

Z: Did I ask you to try to fix it?? Did I?? Are you in the head???

Voice #2: ..you a favour, sire.

(Ed> everything from here until Zoltar comes back into the room, sounds like it's in another language. I have no idea what they're saying, but can speculate that Zoltar is telling them what incompetant jerks they are and that they're the reason he's always in trouble with the Spirit.

After today, I have more sympathy for the man. He really *is* surrounded by idiots)



Z: I do not believe these people.. OW!!!

S3: Watch out for the bucket, sire.

Z: Thank you for warning me. What are you Agh! Sorry..

S3: Sorry, sire.. I'm looking for the emergency lights.

Z: Got news for you..

S3: I've got the mop out..

Z: Curtson failed to change the bulbs.

S3: What, in the emergency lights??

Z: Yep.

S3: Well.... just find yourself a chair, sire, I'll try to mop around you...

Z: No, don't worry about it, we've lost it anyways...

S3: I've sent for a repair crew, sire. I'll have to mop it up or it'll just electrocute us.

Z: Anything would be an improvement..

S3: Sire, I'm shocked!



Z: Don't start.

S3: Sire.





Ed> I get a little worried at this point, because the panel the crew needs to access is behind the mainframe that I'm hiding above. In short (no pun intended), it's right below me.



Repairman #1: Move this bank over, will you, Chat?



R1: Right.. now to get this panel off..



R1: You try this, Arnm.



R2: I think it's stuck.

R1: Is it locked, sire?

Z: Not that I'm aware of.

S3: The room was painted by Jorst and his crew.

R1: ..which means they painted over everything and the bloody panel's welded on...

Z: Joy.

S3: They're known for that, sire..

R1: Right. Well, give me that jimmy, Chat, and we'll give 'er a pry..



R1: I think that's just about.. Oh bugger!

Z: What was that and do I want to know?

R1: We're gonna need another jimmy.

(Ed> It's pitch black and I can't see my hand in front of my face, but I'd SWEAR Zoltar's giving this guy a black look)

Z: Everybody's a comedia..Ow!

S3: Sorry, sire, was that your nose?

Z: Get your elbow out of my face and get on with that mopping.

S3: Smell's getting to you, sire?

Z: That too.

the shuffling sounds are me hiding further back, because the lights have just come back on. Zoltar is sitting huddled up on a chair, staring around at the wreckage of the room.>

S3: Whoops, I've mopped it all over the cupboards..

Z: Hardly surprising when you're mopping in the dark.

S3: I was sure I had avoided those..

Z: Hardly worth worrying about.

S3: I'll get it cleaned up straight away, sire.

R1: Why don't you get the janitors to do it?

S3: They fixed the tchekna machine this morning.

Z: Oh now that gives you confidence.

S3: I'll go get a better mop. I'll be back in about 15, sire.

Z: Take your time...

R1: We need a few more parts before we can get the computers back online. Several links on the grid were blown. It'll take about a half hour.

Z: Go ahead.





Z: You can come out, now.

Ed> My heart stopped when he said this. He couldn't possibly have detected my presence...

Z: You've been recording the last couple of hours, Dove.

Ed> I was wrong.

Z: You'd best get out now, while you can. When that crew comes back, they'll have to tear out the wall to get at the grids. You'll be spotted and then I'd have to take you prisoner. And there's only one way out of the room.

Ed> He's right, of course. I snuck in through the door when the room was empty, during shift change. I had planned to sneak out again during the next shift change.

G3: And I suppose you'll let me go if I go now.

Z: That is the concept I had in mind, yes. Taking prisoners will just give me even more headaches. As I'm sure you've seen, I have enough of those as it is.

Ed> The scraping sounds are me coming out of my hiding place. What else can I do? I make my way across the floor and slip in the remaining "tchekna" He catches me... one handed.

Z: Watch yourself. Not only does machine-made tchekna smell awful, its viscous.

G3: I gather its not supposed to be?

Z: No more than coffee. Now, quick: Take the corridor to your right, then duck into the crawlspace between the door and the hanger bay elevators. Take the second passage past the third curve, then the left fork to the gantry. That'll be deserted until sundown.

G3: Second passage, third curve, left fork to gantry.. got it.

Z: Go!

Ed> I went.
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