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Interviews from Across the Stars: Reba Haws interviews Lydia and Kitty

Announcer: Well, after Miss Haws chased off the nightmares that had been coming after Black Jack Hannigan at the end of the last interview, and after she and Mr. Hannigan exchanged tips on how to recover one’s sanity after having lost it on multiple occasions (Reba is apparently by far the most experienced in this matter), she returned to record another show. Though first she fired Alice over in Programming by tossing her to the werewolves. Now with a new Director of Programming– a Mr. Lucy– we have a pair of fresh new guests.

So join us now as Reba Haws interviews Lydia and Kitty.

Reba Haws: …You call it paranoia, I call it common sense. Now trust me; I want that priest blessing the entire building. I don’t care how innocent our guests may appear to be, I’m telling you it’s– What? They’re sitting right before me? Oh.

(Reba looks up, flashes a quick smile to our guests, then grabs for the microphone.)

RH: Hello and welcome to another ill-fated episode of Interviews From Across The Stars. Today’s guests are Lydia and her pet Kitty… What, no last name? Huh.

(Sitting across from her is a woman with dark amber hair dressed up in what looks like a spacer’s outfit adorned with a few nicknacks from the Renaissance Period. Squatting down on the floor next to her is one very large jungle cat.)

Lydia: It’s just Lydia, and this is not my pet but my companion, named Kitty.

Kitty: I’m actually an intelligent artificial lifeform, created specifically to assist in demanding environments.

(Kitty’s remark, as for all her remarks in this interview, was actually transmitted directly into Miss Haws’ mind. Fortunately, we’ve recently acquired some ‘telepathy-to-audio’ hardware as part of the new studio’s standard equipment, so that shouldn’t be a problem.)

Lydia: Now, I realize that Kitty may be a bit much to process for someone from such a primitive world, but–

RH (deadpan): A cat the size of a kodiak bear that’s not only sentient but telepathic? That’s probably as close to ordinary as any of my guests get in this studio.

Lydia: Oh, well, I guess… That’s the second time I’ve underestimated the locals.

RH: Let’s start with the basics. Where are you from originally?

Lydia: The Imperium. Homeworld, specifically, but I hadn’t been there in quite a while. I was with the rebels trying to–

RH: Lift off the yoke of oppression then things went terribly south? What happened, your Imperium have a bigger navy than you did?

Lydia: That would actually be space navy. The Imperium spanned several star systems. We’re a star-traveling civilization.

RH: I see. That explains the spacer garb, but what’s with the rest? Looks like you’ve gone native or something.

Lydia: Oh, just a few things I picked up from my new home, but that’s getting ahead of me.

RH: Okay, then let’s get back to that rebellion of yours. What happened to it?

Kitty: Turns out we were far from alone in the universe.

Lydia: What Kitty means, is that even though the Imperium had been finding evidence of cultures in numerous civilizations, they were all long since dead and gone. We’d always wondered as to the reason… now we know.

RH: I’m starting to get a tingling at the back of my spine but I’ll ask anyway… What happened?

Lydia: I… I watched from the edge of the system as a… something erased all life on Homeworld. The battle was over in a matter of minutes, and I was able to confirm that the outer worlds were left as no more than space dust. Of all the people in the Imperium, the fleets from both sides, me and Kitty are the only ones left.

Kitty: And we barely escaped with our lives.

RH: Did you see what did it? And do you know if it followed you here?

(As she says this, Reba is holding a finger poised over the panel of buttons on the Security panel to her left.)

Lydia: It was a ship. Spaceship, I guess, but the size of a planet, with an attending fleet I couldn’t begin to count. And no, I don’t think it followed us. My ship was damaged and sort of went off the rails when I activated the jump drive when it was damaged.

Kitty: It was either that or get blasted into interstellar road-kill.

RH (relaxing her hand from the Security panel): I see. Well, this definitely sounds like an incredible story; just the sort of thing I’ve been looking for… for once. So, you escaped then landed here on Earth?

Lydia: No. What was left of my ship did find its way to another world. An incredible one that broke all my expectations. In fact, that’s where I picked up some of these little knickknacks I’m wearing.

(Lydia begins pointing to each item hanging from her suit in turn as she talks about them.)

Lydia: This neckerchief, for instance, is what the local sailors use to indicate rank; Thirdocians, they’re called. And this little pendant has a spell on it to help adapt me to the local environment.

Kitty: Lots of gravity on that world; I’m built for it, but Lydia needed the help or she’d never be able to leave her spacesuit.

RH (starting to look really suspicious): Oh?

Lydia: Then I have a couple of items I picked up in the port a few miles away from the Castle, a little decoration the elves made for me, a charm I found at Harbor Of The World, though Sabu tells me it’s worthless but it looks cute.

(It is at this point that Reba’s left eye starts to twitch.)

RH: A wizard named Sabu, you say? Harbor of the World? Excuse me for a second.

(Reba turns back to her security panel, selects a button labeled ‘Programming’, and pushes it. The result is the distant sound of a man shrieking. Lydia immediately jumps, one hand going for a blaster gun holstered at her side.)

Lydia: What was that?!

RH: Nothing major. We’re just going to be needing a new Programming Director after this show.

(Lydia sits back down, though Kitty is starting to snarl low in its throat. Meanwhile Reba’s left eye twitches again.)

RH: Now, about this new world you visited.

Lydia: I actually call it home now. They’ve treated me very well.

RH (eye twitching and now one hand shaking): And, uh, does this world have a name?

Lydia: I doubt if you would have heard of it. It’s actually about three hundred million light-rels– Excuse me, picked up the native lingo. I mean, about a billion light-years away from here. Your world really is out in the sticks.

RH: H-humor me. What is the name of this world?

(Reba’s hand is shaking, eye constantly twitching, and there’s a catch in her voice. Lydia looks at her curiously, then shrugs and replies.)

Lydia: It’s a pretty large world, actually. Largest inhabited world I’ve ever seen, in fact.


Lydia: Easy there.

Kitty: I think she’s going to blow a fuse. Or whatever it is the people of this planet blow.

Lydia: Lay off, Kitty… It’s a world called Maldene.

(Reba’s reaction is immediate. Her entire left palm slams down on the Security panel, getting about half the buttons in one go, and activating a concerto of alarms all over the building. Auto-cannon turrets emerge from their hiding places in the corners of the studio and down the hall, metal panels slam down over every window access, inch-thick security panels down the middle of every corridor and exit, sections of metal flooring now charged with a rather respectable voltage, a few extra controls pop up in the sound-booth to make it more resemble a Fire Control booth, and Reba starts hysterically shouting into her microphone.)

RH: Attention all personnel. We have a Code Red breech. Maldene native is on the premises. Repeat, Maldene native is on the premises!

(Reba now whips out a gun she had hidden under her chair and levels it in Lydia’s direction, held in two shaking hands.)

Kitty: Was it something we said?

Lydia: Now just calm down, Reba. I don’t know what’s going on but we were getting along just great.

(Lydia starts to get up from her seat but Reba cocks back the hammer on the gun, while two auto-cannons in the ceiling begin tracking her.)

RH: Hold it right there. No spells, psychic powers, shape-shifting appendages, or nothing out of you. I don’t know how you got past Programming and our background checks, but I’ve been victimized enough from your kind.

Lydia: My kind? Listen lady–

(From through the studio security door can now be heard the patter of a dozen booted feet as an armed security squad starts racing towards the studio.)

RH: I got magic runes covering every inch of this place, every wall blessed three times, armor plating, military-grade gun turrets, and an attitude I picked up from the likes of your Sabu, Mauklo, the Dragon Lord, and that thing known as Po-Adar. So just hold still until my security squad can come in here and blast you guys into space dust!

Kitty: Po-Adar. That explains it.

Lydia: Well, I don’t care what explains it, I’m not letting some crazy lady waving some primitive pea-shooter threaten me. Kitty!

(Lydia leaps to her feet, pulling out her blaster, as Kitty bares its claws in Reba’s direction, and Reba in turn pulls off three quick shots, all of which bounce off her armor. Reba kicks over the table to use as a shield, which then proves surprisingly effective against a blast from Lydia’s own gun.)

RH: Did I mention I had the furniture reinforced as well? Now eat lead, you Maldenean freak!

Lydia: I will not have you disparaging my new home no matter what’s happened to you!

(The next shot by Reba veers sharply aside just before it can hit Lydia.)

Lydia: And did I mention that Sabu enchanted my space suit?

(As the inevitable firefight breaks out, Security comes breaking in, to which Kitty leaps while Lydia handles Reba. Lydia has that high-tech enchanted suit, while Reba has the table to shield her with; it’s three-inch thick titanium alloy.)

RH: Then let’s see how it does versus the auto-cannons. Cannons fire!

(You would think that this level of firepower raging all about would do more damage to the place than it is, but like Reba said, there’s been upgrades. Main Fire Control is now the sound booth, which is protected against anything but a direct missile strike, and our new sound guy is ex-Navy Seal.)

Lydia (between gunshots as she takes cover across the room behind some equipment): I’m not here to hurt you, Miss Haws.

RH (while firing back): That’s what they all say. Security! Break out the disintegrators.

Lydia: This world has disintegrators?!

(While it looks as if Reba will be going down in a blaze of glory, she still has enough presence of mind to reach for the microphone with one hand while still firing off a few shots with her other.)

RH: That’s it for another show. This is Reba Haws reporting from the front lines and assuring you that I will not let one of these Maldene wackos loose onto our city streets… Okay, who was in charge of vetting the guests this time!

(That actually would have been Cheryl fresh over from HR, but she’s busy running for the bunker right now before Reba catches her. Unfortunately for her, Reba can set the security guns to track more than just the guests…)

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