Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Episode 10: Gravity's Rainbow

This is a summary of an episode performed during Improvised Star Trek's initial live run at iO Chicago from October 17, 2009 until May 8, 2010. You can click here to listen to our most recent adventure on the podcast, subscribe to us on iTunes using the links to the right, or find out about upcoming opportunities to see us live here.

The USS Sisyphus is heading to Deep Space 6 for diagnostics until Captain Baxter decides to take advantage of the break in their schedule and orders the ship to Prankeria IV, the April Fools Planet. Anticipating a tomfoolery-fill shoreleave, the crew stages an intervention with Science Officer Crick Watson, warning him that he won't be allowed to ruin everyone's fun with his no-nonsense attitude and boring adherence to protocol. As the the ship arrives in orbit, the captain announces another surprise: he's arranged for a Prankerian Corporate Training group, Gravity's Rainbow, to do a workshop with the senior officers. The Rainbow team are soon hard at work teaching the crew to succeed using their signature methods of positivity, eroticism, and bodily fluid collection. The latter two are too distressing for Winslow Heffington, coming as he does from the the primitive and prudish 20th-Century, and he asked to be relieved of duty. Lt.Cmdr. Watson confides with Dr "McCloud" that he's developing hives, a sign that he's being pranked, and Counselor Whitman laments that the outsiders are more adept at getting the crew to open up than he's ever been.

While Gravity's Rainbow incites numerous interpersonal breakthroughs and draws attention to dysfunction in the Sisyphus' workings, their focus on collecting the vital fluids from the crew eventually raises suspicion. Unfortunately the crew is too deeply under their erotic influence to act on their suspicions, and a desperate Dr. "McCloud" has the Computer beam the team and himself to a cargo bay. Immune to sexual desire, he intends to face them alone, but Security Chief Lady Cola follows against orders. After months of flirting with her crewmates without reciprocation, her sexual frustration has reached breaking point, and she is desperate to learn the Rainbow's teams secrets of seduction. Dr. "McCloud" valiantly tries to win back Lt. Cola and fight off Gravity's Rainbow's Corporate Concepts, but eventually succumbs to their powerful buzzwords. At the last minute Captain Baxter arrive phasers blazing, incapacitating everyone in the cargo bay.

The Prankerians admit that they're not really Corporate Trainers; they had hoped that collecting the sexual fluids of the crew might save their planet, rendered sterile and dessicated in a prank gone wrong. The Captain explains the Federation is always ready to fill a cup in the spirit of friendship, and orders a shipwide fluid drive with free cookies for participants. Within hours the planet is saved, and as the Sisyphus departs Lt. Cola, using her recent assertiveness training, informs Lt.Cmdr. Watson that they're now a couple. He initially objects, but the rest of the bridge crew convince him that Lt. Cola's interest in him is his only interesting characteristic.

With Special Guests Jet Eveleth, Brian Jack, Holly Laurent and Jake Schneider of The Reckoning as Gravity's Rainbow Corporate Training


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