Saturday, July 18, 2015

Very Short Story: Variety Show on Axan

Variety Show on Axan

Season 4, episode 19

Casting for the show had taken a long time. Minor celebrities from a dozen different planets brought together for a variety series that would test their skills and be funny at the same time. It was all about the ratings of course. Bigger celebrities who were promoting something would often come onto the show for publicity.

This episode filmed on location on the vacation-spot of Axan! Lovely 500-degree Celsius volcanic world of basalt and boiling oceans. Health spa to the galaxy!

Xebob with his exo-skeletal armor and Arnaf, the furry and wiley weaselian were two of the top contenders on the show and had built up quite the winning records and were rivals. The rivalry was built up although viewers could tell that these guys were all friends, although often made team captains.

When the teams were formed Jukk, a blob, was usually the last one chosen, he was old and slow, and was even less a celebrity than the others. At least the others found some gigs through being on the program, but who would want to hire poor old Jukk?

“Okay it is now Xebob's Red Team 5 points and Arnaf's Blue Team 4 points. This last mission is worth 2 points, so either team can still win this one.” The Producer said “It is also the final segment for this weeks episode.”

In the middle of the pool of ex-foliating Tigonian Acid there is a ball, get to the ball and throw it into one of those nets over there. “The closest net is worth 1 point, the second worth 3 points and so on until the fifth net which is worth 7 points.” The Producer told them, the writers and camera-bots were already lined up in a semi-circle to cover the scene, two hovering overhead.

Arnaff checked his list. It was Jukk's turn to compete. He hadn't really used Jukk in this episode except for the team missions like the relay race and the balancing pins. “Jukk, do you want to do this one? Can you win this for the Blue Team?” Arnaf asked the worst member of the team, clearly and obviously hoping the answer was “no”.

“Yes!” Jukk said. The producers and writers nodded to each other, they would use this footage for adding sound effects to make it funny. They always seem t be playing up misfortune and bad timing for comedy. Arnaf didn't care, at least the checks cleared.

So Jukk and Xebob stood on the edge of the pool waiting for the “go” whistle. Xebob was going to win this easily, everyone was thinking. He was the biggest and strongest and mostly the fastest competitor on the show. Arnaff's edge usually came in the more cerebral missions.

“Ready!” the producer said and both contestants nodded. The writing staff and production crew were all smiles. Both teams made to cheer on their member.


As soon as Xebob and Jukk entered the pool the acid bath had their exo-skin smoking as they pushed their way to the center of the pool. Xebob pushed Jukk away and tossed the ball into the second net with ease and then the staff threw the ball back into the pool at random locations. 3 points!

Xebob waded to the ball, holding Jukk back with one of his four arms as he threw the ball through the first net. Because Jukk was grabbing onto him. 1 point!

Then Jukk pushed toward the other side where the ball had been dropped back into play and threw the ball threw the last net. 7 points!

The team-mates cheered even louder, clearly stunned, to see Jukk of all contestants taking the lead against the strong Xebob. Their smoking skins now shiny as the ex-foliating acid did its regular job, Xebob's armored exoskeleton looking healthier while Jukk wasn't looking so great.

Soon Xebob had taken the lead with a 4-point shot and the time limit was counting down, blue team clearly shocked that they were only losing by a point. Xebob was now trying to grab and carry Jukk around as he used his other arms to get the ball but Jukk slipped through all of his hands like the blob he was.

Xebob picked up the ball and tossed it effortlessly into the second net, not realizing that Jukk had attached himself to it. Jukk had been affected badly by the acid bath and was now mostly just some loose skin but he was wrapped around the ball when thrown, making him the last to touch it and his team got the points.

“Blue team wins!” the producer announced, the overall score of the show 6-5.

As the awarding of the fruit basket, gold button or meat medley was underway the staff were trying to revive the beleaguered Jukk. They even tried to pump him back up as the credits began to roll, it might be a losing effort but whether he would be able to return the following week was up in the air when the preview of the next show was aired.

“On our next show watch as members of the band Pheremonials heat up the cast and crew while trying to keep their attention focused on the mission instead of mating!”

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