The Last Days of 7-Zark-7

(and 1-Rover-1)

by Alara and Charles Rogers

(To be read by a person with an exceedingly annoying voice, while you remain gleefully assured that it could not possibly happen in Gatchaman.)

Zark: Here at Center Neptune, deep beneath the sea, I keep constant watch over the entire galaxy. (1-Rover-1 enters, flies over to Zark, all the while making a strange synthetic barking noise) Oh, dear. 1-Rover-1, what HAVE you done on the floor?

Rover: (more synthetic barking)

Zark: (in pained, old-ladyish tones) I can see that. (speaking to no one in particular) He's supposed to be housebroken, but ever since he went in for that overhaul-- (a strange beeping noise issues from the computer. Zark flaps his cape and, defying all laws of aerodynamics, flies to his monitors.) Oh my. A Spectran ship is entering our universe! (The monitor continues to flicker in a colored pattern, serving no discernible purpose) It's homing in on our galaxy, heading straight for planet Earth! Oh dear-- it's heading straight for Center Neptune! I must alert Security Chief Anderson and Mark, the commander of G-Force, at once!

Anderson: (his voice comes from a loudspeaker. He sounds as if life has become a colossal, meaningless bore.) What is it this time, Zark?

Zark: There's a Spectran ship headed straight for Center Neptune!

Anderson: (takes a moment to digest this) Oh. Order an evacuation, then. (he still sounds bored)

Zark: Right away, Chief! I'll get right to it, on the double! (again to absolutely no one) Now I'll alert Mark, the commmander of G-Force. Those five young people mean a lot to me...I would feel terrible if anything were to happen to them. (Presses some buttons to no effect) This is the sort of situation that just rattles my transistors! G-Force is in radio silence, and there's no way I can contact them to appraise them of the terrible menace of the fearsome Spectran plankton device that is about to attack Center Neptune! Fortunately, all the Security personnel have been evacuated, and-- (terrified synthetic barking from Rover as a huge explosion rocks the building. Part of Zark's monitor equipment explodes, and a live wire leaps out and strikes Rover)

Rover: PZZZBCHKTRPKLLKKZZZZAXXXB-- PKG! Pfff.... (he explodes)

Zark: Oh my! Poor 1-Rover-1! I'll contact Susan- (at this point by sheer coincidence, his radio beeps at him.) Center Neptune Control, 7-Zark-7!

Susan: (breathily) Hello, Zark.

Zark: Susan! Am I ever glad to hear from you! I could use the sight of a friendly face-- uh, I mean...

Susan: (very breathily) There's not much time. Goodbye, Zark.

Zark: Goodbye? Whatever for?

Susan: (still breathily) Because you're about to head for the Great Processing Plant in the Sky...

Zark: But I'm not dead!

Susan: (just as breathily) You will be.

Zark: But that's not fair! I never even got to see what you look like, Susan.

Susan: (annoyingly breathily) Well, Zark, you missed a rare treat... Oh, and don't worry that I'll be too distraught with grief to perform my duties after you check out. I've found a wonderful telephone comptroller computer on planet Jupiter, one who really knows how to treat a lady.

Zark: Well, that's a comfort... Wait! Susan, you--

Susan: (now just husky) Goodbye, ZZ-akchkplzzzapbfff! (The microphone shorts out and explodes, due to water pouring in through a large breach in the wall.)

Zark: Oh my! This is a terrible situation indeed! (He once again "flies" to his monitors, only one of which is still working) Poor 1-Rover-1... I won't forget you, my faithful little friend. (Zark reminisces as water pours in, but doesn't seem to fill the area.) Maybe I'll be able to get through to Mark, the commander of G-Force. (He presses a few buttons, and Mark's face does not appear on the screen, as the screen has been mostly shattered to bits)

Mark: Zark??! I thought you were supposed to be-- uh, that is, we thought you'd be-- um, that is-- well, what do you want?

Zark: Oh, Mark! Am I glad to see you! Even though I can't, really, because my monitor's broken. There's this--

Mark: Can you make this quick, Zark? We're... uh... we're on an incredibly important mission to... um... transport a, a super-weapon to... um, Riga! But we're, uh, assembling it here and we're very busy...

Princess's Voice: (in the background) Mark! It's your turn!

Mark: (continuing) Uh, Princess has all the details. But she's, uh--

Jason's Voice: (in the background) Hey, Mark, if you don't get over here right now I automatically win by default!

Keyop's Voice: (in the background) Arrr-root-toot-toot... hurry up!

Mark: Shut up, I'm coming! She's, uh, carrying boxes, so... I'll talk to you later, Zark.

Zark: But Center Neptune is being attacked!

Mark: I'm really sorry... All of us on the team will miss your incisive, biting commentary and your witty repartee. Goodbye, Zark. (Static ends the transmission)

Zark: But-- Oh,well, it seems as if there is no hope. Well, I'm glad to have spent my life serving-- (he raises his arm toward his iron-plated chest, but is interrupted by a vast quantity of salt water) G-fzzzacxrbkllchpfff!

(He explodes in mid-sentence, pieces sailing through the water as if in slow motion. When the dust settles {which is an interesting feat underwater} all that remains is a slightly worn FOSDIC and an extremely overused vocal synthesizer.