And now it’s the final installment of my Mystery Science Theater 3000 fanfiction of Lilith Lorraine’s “The Jovian Jest”. This short story first appeared in May 1930 issue of Astounding Stories of Super-Science. The whole of the MiSTing should be at this link. Let me know if it’s not.
The story so far: a flying saucer has landed. The amoebic creature from it pokes tentacles into cattleman Bill Jones and pompous professor Ralston, slurping up their cognitive facilities. Now able to talk to humans Amoeboy begins to share where they’re from and what their deal is.
Not much needing explanation here. The Excelsior – Tuebor riff is jumping from Amoeboy’s ‘Forge on’ to the state mottos of New York and then Michigan. Oh, you may think the line about ‘Rock Gulch’ is a reference to the Fallout video games but no, I don’t know anything about Fallout. I forget exactly how I came up with that name but I’m pretty sure it’s an SCTV reference. Maybe to the Six Gun Justice serial they did that weird final season? If somebody knows what I was thinking please let me know. Oh, the Clown Sightings of 2016 … see, back when we thought 2016 was just the worst a year could get there was this weird rash of Mysterious Clown Sightings in summer and early fall. Some weird little mass hysteria that somehow ended abruptly the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November.
Note that despite the title, the alien Amoeboy does not come from Jupiter. It’s from somewhere a million light-years away. ‘Jovian’ refers to the size of the joke played at the end of this tale. Enjoy!
> We can dissolve our bodies at will, retaining only the permanent
> atom of our being, the seed of life dropped on the soil of our
> planet by Infinite Intelligence.
JOEL: Decluttering tip! Shed every part of your existence that doesn’t bring you joy!
> We can propel this indestructible
> seed on light rays through the depths of space.
CROW: However I confess we are not yet able to tell a cabbage from a lettuce.
> We can visit the
> farthest universe with the velocity of light, since light is our
TOM: *Now* how much would you pay? But wait, there’s more!
> In reaching your little world, I have consumed a
> million years, for my world is a million light-years distant: yet to
> my race a million years is as one of your days.
JOEL: For us three of our popcorn balls are like two of your candy corns!
TOM: To my race seven of your Star Wars movies are like three of our Thanksgiving Day parades!
CROW: Four things that you perceive as green are equivalent to one of our yellowy-blues!
> "On arrival at any given destination, we can build our bodies from
> the elements of the foreign planet.
CROW: We can make them stronger, faster, well, you get the drill.
> We attain our knowledge of
> conditions on any given planet by absorbing the thought-content of
> the brains of a few representative members of its dominant race.
TOM: Isn’t that going to be, like, some microbe?
JOEL: So, the amoebas?
> Every well-balanced mind contains the experience of the race, the
> essence of the wisdom that the race-soul has gained during its
> residence in matter.
JOEL: The longer that sentence ran the more I dreaded it.
> We make this knowledge a part of our own
> thought-content, and thus the Universe lies like an open book before
TOM: Even when we’re in the bathroom?
> "At the end of a given experiment in thought absorption, we return
> the borrowed mind-stuff to the brain of its possessor.
CROW: Who’s … uh … us, now! Neat how that works, isn’t it? Thanks.
> We reward
> our subject for his momentary discomfiture by pouring into his body
> our splendid vitality.
TOM: Also a $20 gift card to Jersey Mike’s.
> This lengthens his life expectancy
CROW: We hush it up because it would ruin the insurance companies.
> by literally burning from his system the germs of
> actual or incipient ills that contaminate the blood-stream.
JOEL: We leave behind the broken arm, we don’t have an administrative code for that.
> This, I believe, will conclude my explanation, an explanation to
> which you, as a race in whom intelligence is beginning to dawn, are
TOM: So, any questions? Yes, you there.
CROW: The *heck* was that all about?
> But you have a long road to travel yet. Your
> thought-channels are pitifully blocked and criss-crossed with
> nonsensical and inhibitory complexes that stand in the way of true
JOEL: Oh dear lord it’s a Dianetics ad.
> But you will work this out, for the Divine Spark that
> pulses through us of the Larger Universe, pulses also through you.
TOM: This might explain why you feel like you’re ticking and also part of the Galactic Federation of Light.
> That spark, once lighted, can never be extinguished, can never be
> swallowed up again in the primeval slime.
CROW: As long as you remember one thing: always — I mean, never — I mean, you have to make sure [ Cough, wheezes ] THUD!
> "There is nothing more that I can learn from you — nothing that I
> can teach you at this stage of your evolution.
JOEL: Nothing at all? Not, like, antibiotics —
TOM: Nope! Nothing to teach you.
CROW: Maybe how to make electronics —
TOM: Negatory! You’ve got all you can handle.
JOEL: Could you give a hint about grand unification theory?
TOM: Nah! What wouldn’t be redundant?
> I have but one
> message to give you, one thought to leave with you — forge on!
CROW: Counterfeit *everything*!
> You are on the path, the stars are over you, their light is flashing
> into your souls the slogan of the Federated Suns beyond the
> frontiers of your little warring worlds. Forge on!"
JOEL: Here’s mud in your eye!
> The Voice died out like the chiming of a great bell receding into
> immeasurable distance.
TOM: The time is now 11:00.
> The supercilious tones of the professor had
> yielded to the sweetness and the light of the Greater Mind whose
> instrument he had momentarily become.
CROW: And now he’s going back to a career of explaining to waitresses that if the choice is cole slaw *or* home fries he’s entitled to get both.
> It was charged at the last
> with a golden resonance that seemed to echo down vast spaceless
> corridors beyond the furthermost outposts of time.
> As the Voice faded out into a sacramental silence, the strangely
> assorted throng, moved by a common impulse, lowered their heads as
> though in prayer.
CROW: [ As Amoeboy ] “Sorry, ah, this thing usually takes off right away. Think the battery’s a bit low is all.”
> The great globe pulsed and shimmered throughout
> its sentient depths like a sea of liquid jewels.
TOM: [ As the Terminator ] Liquid Jewels.
JOEL: For the Twee-1000.
> Then the tentacle
> that grasped the professor drew him back toward the scintillating
TOM: [ Amoeboy ] ‘C’mon and gimme a hug!’
> Simultaneously another arm reached out and grasped Bill
> Jones, who,
CROW: Was still in the story we guess?
> during the strange lecture, had ceased his wooden
> soldier marching and had stood stiffly at attention.
TOM: [ Amoeboy ] ‘You give me a hug too! It’s a hug party and everyone’s invited! Not you, Ray.’
> The bodies of both men within the nucleus were encircled once more
> by the single current. From it again put forth the tentacles,
> cupping their heads, but the smokelike essence flowed back to them
> this time,
JOEL: [ Amoeboy ] And what the heck, you’ll cluck like a chicken every time someone says ‘cabinet’.
> and with it flowed a tiny threadlike stream of violet
> light. Then came the heaving motion when the shimmering currents
> caught the two men
[ CROW, TOM scream in agony ]
> and tossed them forth unharmed but visibly
> dowered with the radiance of more abundant life.
JOEL: And they fall down the ravine to Rock Gulch.
> Their faces were
> positively glowing and their eyes were illuminated by a light that
> was surely not of earth.
CROW: They look at each other and say, wulp, nothing to do now but make out, right?
> Then, before the very eyes of the marveling people, the great globe
> began to dwindle.
[ TOM makes a low hissing noise, as a balloon deflates. ]
> The jeweled lights intensified, concentrated,
> merged, until at last remained only a single spot no larger than a
JOEL: Are we having alien yet?
> but whose radiance was, notwithstanding, searing,
CROW: Strangely lemon-scented.
> Then the spot leaped up — up into the heavens,
> whirling, dipping and circling as in a gesture of farewell, and
> finally soaring into invisibility with the blinding speed of light.
TOM: Travels for a million years, you’d think it could stay for dinner.
CROW: Got a look at this bunch and headed right out.
> The whole wildly improbable occurrence might have been dismissed as
> a queer case of mass delusion,
JOEL: Like the Clown Sightings of 2016 or the so-called state of ‘Tennessee’.
> for such cases are not unknown to
> history, had it not been followed by a convincing aftermath.
TOM: The alien coming back to ask if anyone had seen its flagellum.
> The culmination of a series of startling coincidences, both
> ridiculous and tragic, at last brought men face to face with an
> incontestable fact:
CROW: If Woody had gone right to the police this would never have happened!
> namely, that Bill Jones had emerged from his
> fiery baptism endowed with the thought-expressing facilities of
> Professor Ralston, while the professor was forced to struggle along
> with the meager educational appliances of Bill Jones!
TOM: Ha ha!
> In this ironic manner the Space-Wanderer had left unquestionable
> proof of his visit by rendering a tribute to "innate intelligence"
> and playing a Jovian Jest upon an educated fool — a neat
CROW: It’s funny ’cause it’s … I don’t know, playing on elitist pretentions? Something?
> A Columbus from a vaster, kindlier universe had paused for a moment
> to learn the story of our pigmy system.
TOM: Wonder what would’ve happened if it had eaten, like, a raccoon’s brain?
> He had brought us a message
> from the outermost citadels of life and had flashed out again on his
> aeonic voyage from everlasting unto everlasting.
JOEL: A strange visitor from beyond the stars comes to Earth with a chilling message: yeah, do whatever you’re doing.
TOM: Let’s blow this popsicle stand.
JOEL: Works for me.
CROW: [ Slowly, seriously ] Dum DA-dum!
[ ALL file out. ]
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Mystery Science Theater 3000 and its characters and situations are the property of Satellite of Love, LLC, if the footer on mst3kinfo.com doesn’t lead me wrong. I’m still geting used to thinking of Best Brains as a part of the past. I don’t know. _The Jovian Jest_ was written by Lilith Loraine and appeared in the May 1930 issue of _Astounding Stories of Super-Science_ which I believe to be out of copyright. It can be found through Project Gutenberg at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/29809/29809-h/29809-h.htm#The_Jovian_Jest at your leisure. I’m Joseph Nebus and this is 2017 for me.
> The homogeneous force of
> our omni-substance subjects the plural world to the processing of a
> powerful unity.
[ The end ??? ]