Friday, September 23, 2005

Han to Fluke: A Stroke of Luck

Han: Hey, Fluke. I just want to say, good luck in the challenge today.
Fluke: Thanks, but I don't need lu- Hey! That's your line!
Han: Today, I think we all need all the luck we can get.

We lined up and J.J. shouted "Go"! And we went.

I ran through the entrance, everything tasted purple for a second and...

I went blind! Who turned out the lights? Oh, wait, I just left the blast shield down on my helmet. I lifted it up and checked out my surroundings.

Everyone else was gone. I was alone in a room with only one hallway in front of me. A sign hung over the hallway: "This way to the great egress!"

I looked behind me, and there was only a stone wall. How did I get in here? Never mind that, I had a challenge to win! I took off down the hallway.

It opened into another room, distinctly lacking in giant eagles (or whatever egresses are). It also lacked exits, but on the far wall was a giant circle filled with shimmering light, like the surface of water.

(voice): Are you the keymaster?

I spun around. Several times, actually. On the third try, I managed to face the direction the voice had come from.

Man: Your weapon is not necessary.

I noticed I had drawn my blaster...wait, blaster? It was Han's blaster, I could tell by the presence of a small mirror on the handle. Where was my lightsaber?

Fluke: Who are you?

His coke-bottle glasses and an awkward haircut screamed 'beat me up and take my lunch money!'

Man: I am the gatekeeper. Are you the keymaster?

I looked around. No one else was here.

Fluke: Uh, sure. Yup. I’m the stairmaster alright.
Man: Then, you seek the Pearl, yes?
Fluke: The pearl?
Man: No, the Pearl. She is very wise.*
Fluke: How do you know?
Man: (smiling) I'm her father.
Fluke: You're the father of Pearl. (Sigh, so close)*
Man: Yes. Step through the eye.

He gestured toward the water/circle thingy on the wall. I shrugged; what's the worst that could happen? I tried not to think about that, and stepped through. Everything tasted green for a second, and...

I was under water! No oxygen....lungs filling with water...!

Wait....I felt fine. I was breathing water...freaky. I looked around (fast becoming my favorite activity, after mambo dancing of course). It looked like some kind of nightclub, filled with shellfish and other sea dwellers. A mermaid swam up to me.

Mermaid: Welcome to Atlantis! Can I take your order?
Fluke: Uh, is Pearl here? (speaking under water felt *weird*)
Mermaid: Oh, you know Pearl? Who are you?
Fluke: I'm Fluke (I glanced at Han's blaster) I think.
Mermaid: Fluke, huh? Nice name. Pearl's the bartender. Beware though, she's kind of crabby.
Fluke: Thanks. And you are?
Mermaid: Her mother.
Fluke: (Sigh again) Too late, the moment has passed.

I worked my way through the crowd. The place was packed*. Who knew sea-folk liked to drink so much*? I got to the bar and tried to get the attention of the mermaid behind the counter.

Fluke: Pearl!
Pearl: (one glance at Fluke) Anago!
Fluke: Anago?

An eel swam up. A BIG eel. Why did it have to be eels? I hate eels. Wait, no I don't. What was I thinking of?

Anago: You called?
Pearl: Human, Anago. Sic 'em.
Fluke: Wait! Listen, Indigo, I just want-
Anago: Anago! My name is Anago.
Fluke: What? Oh, Unagi, I just want to-
Fluke: Sorry. Hamo, I just want to ask-
Anago: Hamo? Now you're just doing it on purpose.* Listen, shrimp. The time for talking is over. Now, we gotta fight.
Fluke: Fight? don't have any arms! Are you going to punch me with your tail?
Anago: Don't discriminate against me! Come at me with everything you've got.

Boy was he steamed.

My friend Bruce once said to me: "Careful there, I think that blaster's charged." That was the last thing he said to me. Before that though, he also spoke about fighting: " water. Put water in a glass, it becomes the glass. Put water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle." Of course, I was surrounded by water, and I never understood that advice to begin with, and Bruce wasn't around right then anyway. So never mind.

I faked a right hook and sucker punched Angelo (or whatever his name was) square in the jaw. He dropped*. Or, sort of floated slowly downward.

Fluke: I just want to know how to get to the top of the Pillar of Doom!
Pearl: Wait, that's it?
Fluke: Yes!
Pearl: Oh. Sorry then. I thought you were someone else.
Fluke: And you just send your attack-eel after me?
Pearl: Hey! I'm under a lot of pressure right now! I said I was sorry. Do you want my help or what?
Fluke: Help! Help!
Pearl: (mollified) OK. You want to get to the top of the Pillar of Doom? Where do you think you are now?
Fluke: Um...somewhere inside the Pillar?
Pearl: Well, sort of. Let's start with an easier one: Whom do you think you are now?
Fluke: Fluke Starbucker, Founder of the New Jedi Order wannabe.
Pearl: Sure about that? Since when do you carry Han's blaster around?
Fluke: How did-
Pearl: The mirror on the handle.
Fluke: Oh. Right. Wait, you know Han?
Pearl: (wistful sigh, smile) Yeah... Anyway, why do you think you have Han's blaster?
Fluke: I...uh... Well, J.J. said that when you enter the Pillar, you turn into someone else. So I must have turned into Han.
Pearl: No. Think harder... You have Han's blaster. You're wearing Han's clothes.
Fluke: ...Han turned into me?
Pearl: Right! But...why do you have your own blast helmet?
Fluke: Uh....
Pearl: Yeah. Reality here is...fluid.
Fluke: Oh. That's deep.
Pearl: Wait 'till I get going! Your helmet is part of your identity.
Fluke: Woah. This whole thing is hard to ... understand*.
Pearl: Now, draw your weapon.

After she took my pencil away, I pulled out Han's blaster.

Pearl: Ah, now, that's Han's weapon. Concentrate on your weapon.

I looked down at the blaster in my hand, and imagined I was holding my lightsaber...for a moment I thought I could actually see it...

Pearl: Ah, so close. Anyway, that's how you can get to the top. Picture yourself being there. Can you picture it? You've got to see it in your mind! But your concentration needs work. Use a focus point: click your heels together three times saying "There's no place like the top"
Fluke: For real?
Pearl: For imaginary.
Fluke: That's pretty ridiculous.
Pearl: Fine. Stay here and get pruney, see if I care. (she turns away)

I lowered the blast shield on my helmet. I could do this. Concentrate!

Fluke: (click) There's no place like the top... (click) There's no place like the top... (click) There's no place like the top...

Everything tasted orange for a second, and...

Woah. Dizzy.

J.J.: Well, it's about time you made it.
Han: Weird. Why is my blaster filled with water?

*Bad puns I left out:
  1. Pearl of wisdom
  2. Mother of pearl
  3. Packed like sardines
  4. They drink like fish/They like getting tanked
  5. On porpoise
  6. Dropped like an anchor
  7. Hard to fathom
You're welcome.


Blogger Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

I knew it, Fluke is full of carp.

7:34 PM, September 23, 2005  
Blogger JawaJuice said... said that for the halibut, didn't you?
Fantastic post!
Don't forget to vote.

8:14 AM, September 24, 2005  

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