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Babylon Crackers

Or, A Day At A Race Through Dark Places

Or, The Fall Of A Night At The Opera

Or, Cat Soup

© 1996 by Tom Smith

[Fade in to The Zocalo. Assorted beings reading and pointing at a poster, which reads:

ANNOUNCING
The Arrival of
The Celebrated
EXPLORER OF
THE OUTER RIM,
CAPTAIN RUFUS T.
SHERIDAN,
The New Commander
of BABYLON 5.

[Fade out; fade in to Earhart's Lounge. Many Earthforce personnel, aliens, assorted diplomats. A nervous Ivanova paces. Suddenly, Zack Allen appears in the doorway.]

ZACK: Captain Sheridan has arrived!
G'KAR: At last he's finally here!
LONDO: [singing] So now we'll know who'll be C.O....
FRANKLIN, IVANOVA, DELENN: [singing]
... Of Ba-byl-on... this... ye-e-ear!

[Sheridan appears in the doorway, shakes Zack's hand, and smiles and waves at everyone as he descends the stairs.]

ALL: [singing] Hooray for Captain Sheridan,
The Babylon Commander!
Like Jeff Sinclair, but grander!
The Captain has arrived!

[Sheridan stands amid the parted crowd and begins to sing.]

SHERIDAN: [singing] Hello, I've always been here,
From far away, I came to say I've always been here.
IVANOVA: [singing] What you say can't be true --
a minute, maybe two,
You're logic's looking pretty thin here.
SHERIDAN: [singing] You wouldn't understand --
just trust me, I'm The Hand,
The whole thing has been planned --
[spoken, aside to camera] Hi, Joe!
[starts to resume song, then does a take
and again speaks aside to camera] Hi, Mom!
[singing] I've always... been here.

ALL: [singing] Hooray for Captain Sheridan,
The Outer Rim Explorer!
SHERIDAN: Those Shadows are a horror!
ALL: Hooray, hooray, hooray!

[Sheridan does a little dance.]

ALL: [singing] He took the Agamemnon,
Out where resides all life's dread!
SHERIDAN: [singing] I wonder if my wife's dead?
ALL: [singing] Hooray, hooray, hooray!

[Again, Sheridan does a little dance.]

SHERIDAN: [singing] Am I someone you'll like, or
Someone that you'll regret?
Perhaps I work for Psi Corps,
But no one's certain yet.
ALL: [singing] Hooray for Captain Sheridan!
SHERIDAN: That's me.

[singing] I am the Smiling Captain,
I'm always filled with cheer,
But think how Saran-Wrap-thin
My smile will be next year.
ALL: [singing] Hooray for Captain Sheridan!
SHERIDAN: That's me-e-ee!

ALL: [singing] Hurray for Captain Sheridan,
The smiling Earthforce warrior!
SHERIDAN: [singing] It's likely to get gorier!
ALL: [singing] Hooray, hooray, hooray!
Hooray, hooray, hoo-raaay!

SHERIDAN: In the words of Abraham Lincoln...
ALL: [singing] Hooray for Captain Sheridan,
The Outer Rim Explorer!
Hooray, hooray, hoo-raaay!

SHERIDAN: In the words of Abraham Lincoln...
ALL: [singing] Hooray for Captain Sheridan,
The Outer Rim Explorer!
Hooray, hooray, hoo-raaay!

SHERIDAN: The next one of you who does that, gets blown straight to hell.
IVANOVA: Captain Sheridan, let me say what an honor it is to have you here on Babylon 5.
SHERIDAN: Well, I would let you say that, but apparently you already asked somebody else.
IVANOVA: You are the bravest Captain in the fleet.
SHERIDAN: Certainly the bravest who came back.
IVANOVA: And we're all breathlessly awaiting your tales of adventure.
SHERIDAN: Oh, yeah? If you really were breathless, that tunic of yours would be even more
impressive.
IVANOVA: Captain, I am an officer of Earthforce, sworn to serve under you.
SHERIDAN: I'm not touching that one for a boatload of fresh oranges. (Leans toward Ivanova) But ohhh, would I like to.
IVANOVA: Captain, please!

[Sheridan sweeps her into his arms.]

SHERIDAN: My wife Anna was killed when her ship blew up. Her heart grew three sizes that day... at
several thousand miles per second. It was murder. Morden that... it was murder on her wardrobe. She never owned a stitch of clothing in her life -- she'd rent her garments. Always dressed casual, too; she liked blue jeans, and I hated that -- they made her look too common. I was the Lease Common Denim Anna Hater. I've been dwelling on her for two years. And let me tell you, she's starting to smell. There was only room to live on her torso, and that was a lot of rent gone to waist.
IVANOVA: [twisting free] Captain, the rest of the crew is dying to meet you.
SHERIDAN: And isn't that an ominous way to put it.
ZACK: Security Chief Chicobaldi.

[Chicobaldi comes through the door. As he descends the stairs, he alternates waving at one side of the room, whirling around suddenly to keep the other side covered with his PPG, then "recognizing" them but suddenly covering the first side.

[Sheridan clears his throat. Chicobaldi ignores him. Sheridan taps him on the shoulder, and Chicobaldi clutches his own chest. He turns around slowly, gasping.]

CHICOBALDI: Don't do dat. I ain't got much hair left as it is.
SHERIDAN: You're the Security Chief?
CHICOBALDI: Atsa me.
SHERIDAN: Well, this place isn't very secure.
CHICOBALDI: Atsa fine. I'm-a not very good. I've-a had a hard year.
SHERIDAN: Imagine that.
CHICOBALDI: Yeah. I fell off da wagon, I been-a shot inna back by my own-a guy, an' my girl left
me but-a stayed inna same-a place. Lately, I've-a been da In-Security Chief.
SHERIDAN: So you're in charge of security for this burg, hah? I guess that makes you the Burgher Chief.
CHICOBALDI: Hey. Wit da last guy, it was Burgher Chief and Jeff.
SHERIDAN: I suppose I should be glad we're not on that other station. You could've been the Borg-er Chief.
CHICOBALDI: Naw, I droid dat. I Jean-Luc it at all. It was like havin' a scab I couldn't-a pick.
SHERIDAN: Kinda like Robert Foxworth. Well, maybe you didn't Picard enough.
CHICOBALDI: Ayyy, shouldn't we be punning about our show?
SHERIDAN: Well, I wouldn't be Zocalo as to suggest it.
CHICOBALDI: In-a dat case, I better Londo-p the usual suspects.
SHERIDAN: Of core-shuttle be somebody like your man Welch.
CHICOBALDI: Yeah, Lumati done it.
ZACK: The Vorlon Ambassador Kosh-o.

To be continued -- maybe....

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