Kenyatta, Yayray, and Atalan are aboard a huge cavernous cargo plane on the way to their first destination, a quaint village on the edge of a wood somewhere in the wild, wilder than Gentle City anyway, and most importantly, it has a basketball hoop, no net but a hoop. someone forgot to close the door so the tiny trio's lips are flapping in the wind. their gums are exposed, too. Atalan really needs to brush more. oh yeah, there's also their camera guy. nobody ever notices the camera guy but he's the most important person.
Kenyatta: remember, picturesque more than quaint. quaint sounds dismissive.
Yayray: have you had all your vaccinations?
Kenyatta: that's not funny. i'm glad you're watching the news.
cameraguy: let's get a group shot. we're beaming this out to the whole world, let's see your good sides!
Kenyatta: wait, my lips are haplessly flapping.
cameraguy: it's good, it looks like Trent in the Closer video.
Yayray: Ken, your lips are moving but they're saying nothing...sorry...i'm out of place i know...respect your elders...that was more of a general retort to let you know i knew about that specific retort, generally, not specifically addressed at you just the retort in general.
Atalan moves the camera up to look under it, ruining the shot.
Atalan: wait, you're from CNN? this is that big of a deal?
cameraguy: matters how you look at it, we're third in the ratings.
Atalan: how did CNN get attached to me?
cameraguy: like an infection. Cotard has great weight, he was able to pull some strings as he always does.
Wolf Spritzer: Anderson, Anderson? we seemed to have lost the signal. Anderson was on location for us somewhere of note, i haven't read my notes yet, the first cup of joe hasn't kicked in, Joe Scarborough, is that you? could be, never know, i never know, i think that was coffee, it was brown water anyway, we need to clean our pipes, i cleaned her pipes last night, brown sugar, that's my nickname for my wife.
Anderson: we're here in.....ker ker ker...breaking up...not doing the breaking-up kerkerker sound, this is really happening...we're taking fire...y'know, just go to the CNN app, fuck this, i ain't risking my life for you ungrateful folks anymore, you don't even watch us, i'm outie 5000...
Wolf: Anderson seems to have booked, to use the parlance of the day. but i don't want to make myself the story. wait, do we? do we have Anderson back? i'm getting something in my ear, it's that song from the Reality Bites soundtrack.
Anderson: no, you're thinking of Singles, "Would?", Alice In Chains.
Wolf: right, i haven't been single in so long, i want to emphasize that point. and that is our breaking news, RIP Layne, death of a soulful genius, sorry wrong copy, we really need to clean our pipes. so Anderson, what the fuck is going on down there?
Anderson: i'm breaking up...with you.
Wolf: i'm sorry we only seem to talk under these difficult circumstances, it's the only time we really talk at all to each other.
Atalan: i could never be a reporter, much less a respected one. i'm too much of a fabulist, i see truth and have to make it up, i have to tell stories, stories are always more interesting than what really happened, i have a deep impulsive need to embellish and insert myself heroically in another hero's story.
Kenyatta: fiction is stranger.
Yayray: and stronger. i can't go through with this. i know you want culture for me, mama, but not yet. the hero has to go on a solitary journey first before the group one.
Yayray jumps out of the cargo plane and into the ocean below.
Atalan: i didn't know so many people were interested in my little journey. now that i know, i care, i wouldn't have cared otherwise. how many hits am i getting on my blog?
cameraguy: Cotard's blog? that is incompetently run, barely getting the minimum in order for the server to deem it valuable enough not to delete you to make room. like 5 or so hits a day.
Atalan: what? i thought i was famous.
cameraguy: the only way to get famous is to be on tv. this camera i hold in my hand has the power of He-Man's sword, it can grant you a massive audience that will transform you from a nobody who didn't forget to be awesome to a somebody that's really a somebody and doesn't need to be awesome anymore.
Kenyatta: let me get you in a sidebar when we get a break from the main action. i want to talk to you about using your sword to help me set up my makeup youtube channel. i don't care about makeup at all but those are the most-hit ones, right?
the plane (crash) lands in a dense wood, miles from civilization, which is what they all wanted. the cameraman barely survives, he wasn't wearing his seatbelt, he was explaining something to Kenyatta when the turbulence started.
Kenyatta: remember, when you greet these people, they are natives, not savages. if you don't treat them with respect, they'll savagely beat you with their spears or something.
a group of natives in resplendent regalia stops the new trio in their tracks and erases their previous tracks. others peek their heads out of their conical makeshift homes of animal leather. the women are all hot of course, the men studs. the one without muscles is of course the leader and he steps forward, his face paint is 49 shades of red deeper than the rest of the tribe.
Atalan raises his stiff open palm like he learned in the Scouts.
Emblem: -let me stop you right there, as you can hear, my tongue is brushed and learned, i have a slight accent which always spells smarts, Harvard Law, Yale Med, i'm one of those selfless ones you hear on the news who gets edumacated and then returns to his native land to make it a more prosperous place. all from the kindness of his heart, not to seek recognition, you probably saw my story on CNN. don't you dare call us spear-chuckers. it's about mutual respect. i hate you urban-dwellers, think you're all sophisticated and shit. i bet my wit is more urbane than yours. as you can see, i carry the biggest stick around here, both meanings. it's always the skinny guys. what do you want? what are you doing here? i will protect my village to the death.
the brown skin of the natives blends effortlessly with the midday sun, while it irregularly tans the intruding trio. everyone regardless of race is baked.
Ata: we're here for the basketball thingee.
Emblem: right, right this way, i'll personally escort you to the court hidden in the leaves. how did you get here? we're not on any map.
Kenyatta: that big-ass plane over there. named Scouter.
Emblem: really? like Dragon Ball Z scouters? kinda lame, gotta be more creative, art suffers as it is, can't be stealing left and right.
a beautiful young slender woman in princess garb and little else, with dreadlocks and juicy lips and dark eyes and a darker soul and a headdress worn backwards like a rebellious baseball cap, smiles courageously at the handsome stranger.
Emblem: avert your eyes, stranger, that comes later, sprinkles are for winners.
Ata: is that your available daughter?
Emblem: my wife.
Emblem: the oldest of my three wives.
Ata: wow. i'm not thinking of porn at the moment, i'm thinking of literary porn, Hiawatha.
Emblem: i won't take offense to that, it is a masterpiece. Mohawk-
Ata: like my mohawk? (shows his hair)
Emblem: no, again lame. borrowed from another culture and corporatized to hell that even the fauxhawk punks have abandoned it. i'm afraid we are blocked from progressing to the court. as you can see, our village is destroyed.
Kenyatta: whoa, talk about presenting the best view for the postcard.
it's true, once you got past the first few rows where the elite lived, the rest of the village over the ridge, the common folk, was a devastated area of strewn trash and blackened boulders out of place, a wasteland of conical homes flattened.
Emblem: i know what you're thinking. they are conical, not phallic. don't say flaccid, that is such an uncomfortable word to say out loud. every few weeks we get a visit, if you can call it that, from the fire demon. he comes like a wild out-of-control forest fire and sets alight our homes. we are industrious and trust in the gods, so we always rebuild, there's nothing else we can do. hours upon painstaking hours of rebuilding our homes stitch by stitch, killing in the name of, putting our village back together, missing our soaps cos there's work to be done. the demon kindly waits until it is completed to come back and burn it all up again.
Kenyatta: the gods must be crazy.
cameraguy: is there any hope? spoilers. i know what's going to happen, hehe, i'll shut up now.
Emblem: there is a legend that we hold onto that hopefully gives us hope, it will break the cycle of creation and destruction which is the very cycle of life: the ice demon. or ice angel, whatever, however that celestial fight happens, don't know if you need a fellow demon's strength to resist a demon or an angel's strength, which might be foreign to the situation. is it a clear good-vs.-evil thing or demon-on-demon crime?
the villagers are tired of waiting, and tired in general, and hold their hands up exasperatingly and plop them down just as exasperatingly at the feet of the white saviors with the magic technological equipment.
Kenyatta: i'm light-skinned but i gotcha, i'm from the city, i get it.
Ata: i do want to help, but it's not up to me. let's see if i make the shot first. lead me to the court.
Emblem (exasperated): i, i, can't! remember? come on, man.
Ata: let's clear out a swath here of human sadness to the court. look, if i miss the shot, i'm all yours. i'm your Robin Hood except i'm probably poorer than Emblem. i guess i'm more like Jesus, but i don't want to brag. Jesus Shuttlesworth maybe, but again i'm not as good as him. not as good a three-point shooter but better than Shaq at free throws.
Emblem: can i just say, i mean, fuck basketball, no offense, i said that with the same calm voice i'm using now, but fuck basketball, my village is doomed, y'know, you're a nice guy, but.
the collective frustration of the villagers bubbles up and breaks into song. they all do their native dance in unison, which looks like it was choreographed in the ivory tower of a Hollywood studio. the natives' towers are gone, the towers they use to communicate and their communication towers which never existed, but they have their ancient beat which fuels them forward when lack of food won't. they move their feet and swing their arms menacingly-
-swimmingly, strangely, moving to a strange beat, strange love, like a werewolf swaying back and forth, breakdancing without breaking their backs on the hardscrabble ground, this is no game, this is life, well their life, and it matters. they dance and dance and encircle the village like they were about to invade it, flying in patterns like birds following their genealogy, the code birthed in them from birth, with their triangular fingers and toes pointing down then up, left rather than being right at perfect angles, in unison, in sync, in sync to the rhythm, skipping in place, punching and kicking the air like they would want to be punching and kicking that annoying demon. beating, both meanings. all three meanings, the beat of one's heart which knows no color. except red, that deep bright red on their faces. blood.
THE MUSIC FILLS THE CHILLY SOMBER NIGHT SKY AND GIVES PLAINTIVE WAIL TO THEIR DESPERATION, THEIR CRY FOR A CHANCE, ONE FUCKING CHANCE TO MAKE IT IN THIS STRANGE WORLD, CLICK HERE RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK.
it infects Atalan, Kenyatta, and cameraguy, they all start dancing and singing under their breaths. the cameraguy has to put down his camera first.
Emblem (dancing): don't sing under your breath, singing is meant to be boomed from the diaphragm, shouted out loud badly, the position of our trees gives this place awesome acoustics.
Kenyatta: when i sing quietly, it sounds good. same when i'm in the shower. it's when a mic is stuffed in my face that i get nervous and i come wrong.
Atalan: your singing is bad, Ken, i'm telling this to you as a friend. don't audition, stick to your day job. it's not about it being good, it's about the therapy of it, let it all out. getting all this, cameraguy?
Kenyatta (singing): maybe, maybe just once, y'know-
Atalan (singing): -y'know.................maybe maybe just once y'know....i get...
cameraguy (out of their sync but forming his own sync): can i get...(takes a beat)...what's coming to me?
everyone in the village (singing and dancing): maybe maybe just once, y'know, what's coming to me maybe maybe just once you know (collective scream) what's coming to me! maybe y'know? can i get it? get what's coming. get come. get come my way. (collective bad shout) maybe okay well maybe just once maybe maybe just once---------------