Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Episode 103: Skull Island

While KOBAYASHI and XENO returned to the ship for "supplies", the rest of the crew explored SKULL ISLAND, and found that a long palisade, 10 feet in height, cut the island in two. On the far side, a large stone skull that resembled the QUANTUM LODESTONE held a drunken and teetering MECHALANCE. On the near side, a tribe of bongo-beating PYGMIES had gathered in front of the one gate in wall. On a scaffold in front of the gate, XOE stood, lashed to the beams and wearing the #2 maille from BILLY'S arena.

While GIGAMESH helped SPENCER over the fence, TAKEMIYA detached his head and flew over the fence, causing Mechalance to lose his footing and fall from the skull. After making sure he hadn't hurt himself too badly, Takemiya then circled back to where the pygmies were congregating, and delighted to see Xoe again. He buzzed the pygmies, and drove them back into the surf with cries of "WHEEEEEEE!!!!"

Gigamesh and Spencer ceased their attempt at wallclimbing, and joined the others at the gate in the palisade, where Mechalance soon arrived to open the gate that was, in fact, barred from his side.

Lance proceeded to show the group the skull, which was in fact an ancient OBSERVATORY, complete with a stationary telescope. He put on some barbecue, served drinks, and the group passed the hours before nightfall making merry and dining on pulled pygmy.

When night arrived, Lance made some guarded comments about what he had already seen in the telescope. The group, expressing certain reservations, decided to take a look for themselves.

Spencer peered into the eyepiece and saw a KALEIDOSCOPE which revealed twisting, turning colors; and as he pulled away he found himself in an orange AMC Gremlin with three others, apparently lost on their way back to Woodstock '99 at Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, New York. The group stops to ask directions from a man who bears a striking resemblance to portraits of the anglicized Jesus. The man is walking his dog and offers the group amiable assistance. Art, from the back seat, offers half an eight of mushrooms as a thanks. As the car pulls away, Spencer's eye returns to the kaleidoscope for a few moments - but when he next pulls himself away, he has returned to the observatory, much to his dismay and wonder.

Gigamesh found himself looking through a RIFLE SCOPE at a window casement, where he could catch the occasional glimpse of LEE HARVEY OSWALD. Hearing the motorcade approaching, he prepares to take out Oswald, discovers he's wearing the traditional garb of a 33RD DEGREE FREEMASON and misses. Other shots are fired, screams are heard, and he flees down the staircase of the DALLAS COUNTY RECORDS BUILDING and back into the observatory, much to his dismay and wonder.

Takemiya took a look and found himself peering at cells under a MICROSCOPE. The cells turned out to belong to his wife, Marie, who had contracted cancer from an unsafe attempt at replicating COSMIC BACKGROUND RADIATION. The test had relied heavily on CHAOS THEORY to emulate the first moments after the Big Bang, but a 'bleeding redshift' during the experiment caused a cascading overload in the Dyson matrix and Marie was inundated with protocosmic rays. Takemiya took one last look at the cancerous cells, and as Marie asked if anything could be done, he sat up and found himself sitting at the telescope with a heavy heart.

Xoe was the last to look, and as she stood on tiptoes to peer through the viewer, she saw what looked like tiny insects chewing tunnels through a gray, spongy material. As she dialed back the viewfinder, the words "HELP ME" written in a flowing script resolved themselves out of the insect's tunnel. Other creatures appeared, each chewing the same message. As Xoe pulled away from the eyepiece, she found herself holding an OTOSCOPE, and saw that the messages she had seen were in fact being written on the brain of the elderly man in what appeared to be her doctor's office. The old man then complained about fatigue, listlessness, and an overall desire to end his own life. He, in his own words, "can't take much more of this" and asks Xoe for help. She takes one more look inside the ailing man’s mind before finding herself back at the observatory.

As the party sits and quietly finishes the rest of the pulled pygmy and vodka, Mechalance reveals that his look into the telescope revealed a horrible, lurid star in the night sky - one that seemed to be three colors at once. It appeared to be crawling with hideous, tentacular forms and gave him "the heebie jeebies", the only cure for which seemed to be vodka gimlet after vodka gimlet.

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