Disc Wars

a parodic screenplay by Beth Einspanier

based on the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, and the Star Wars series by George Lucas, plus a dash of Spaceballs [by Mel Brooks] and a few others, just because this *is* a comedy. All rights reserved.

Author's note: Please excuse any funky formatting... this is my first time sending a screenplay, and I don't know how it will handle differing line lengths. You may notice some changes in social status with this recasting of Star Wars, but I tried to fit the characters as best I could. As with "Watchmen in Black", this started as a freestyle brainstorm and sort of evolved.

A Century of the Fruitbat production.

EXT-SPACE

Title: Somewhere at the edge of the probability curve...

STAR WARS FANFARE.

EXT - SPACE

Title:

DISC

WARS

Title crawl:

Episode IV - A New Hope

[Yes, we know it's stupid to call the first episode in a trilogy Episode 4, but that's the way George Lucas wanted it. Just repeat to yourself, "It's just a parody, I should really just relax...."]

It is a time of mild annoyance in a little pocket of space near the Discworld. Like nearly everything else, it started when one guy declared himself the supreme tyrant of the galaxy, and everybody except a small pocket of dissenters decided, hey, that's a great idea. For those of you taking notes, it's the supreme tyrant who is mildly annoyed at the pockets of dissenters. So the tyrant gets the idea in his evil little mind to kidnap himself a princess who also happens to be part of the group of dissenters. However, he really ought to have done his research, because only a complete fool kidnaps a wCARRIER LOST

The Star Wars Fanfare winds down abruptly. There is an awkward silence as the text continues to scroll. Then:

Damn AOL...

The Star Wars theme winds back up to its original speed, only now it is more sinister and, well... Imperial.

A royal cruiser buzzes past, followed closely by a Star Destroyer, the latter shooting at the former. As we watch, a beam of light arcs out from the Star Destroyer and hits the cuiser, holding it in place for boarding.

INT - ROYAL CRUISER

PONDER THREEPIO, a polished, golden protocol droid modeled after a young bespectacled wizard who happens to NOT be Harry Potter, dashes - okay, shuffles quickly - down a corridor, looking for his charge.

PONDER THREEPIO

Your Majesty! [under breath] Godsdammit, wouldn't you know it... the first time in THREE HUNDRED YEARS I'm not assigned to a wizard, and we get attacked... [shouting] Your Majesty! [under breath] It really makes one want to take a stroll out of an airlock...

ELSEWHERE IN THE CRUISER..

PRINCESS ANGUA, a lovely young woman with her ash-blond hair coiled into braided buns that cover her ears, stands facing ARTOO, a small droid shaped roughly like a futuristic wastepaper basket.

ARTOO

[Note: Artoo speaks only in beeps and whistles throughout the screenplay.]

[Subtitle: Man, this blows.]

PRINCESS ANGUA

Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi... you're my only hope.

ARTOO

[Subtitle: That's it. We're doomed. But I guess for the sake of plot continuity I'll humor her...]

Angua finishes recording and sticks the holorecording device into Artoo for safekeeping.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Go. Get to safety.

Artoo scoots away, beeping and whistling under his breath. He trips up Threepio at a T-junction.

PONDER THREEPIO

AAAARGH! [crash] Why don't watch where you're going?

ARTOO

[Subtitle: Do you see any visible eyes on me? Yeesh. YOU watch where I'm going.]

PONDER THREEPIO

[getting up and brushing himself off] We don't have time for this. Have you seen Princess Angua?

ARTOO

[Subtitle: Let me see here... tall chick, blonde hair in a cinnamon bun style?]

PONDER THREEPIO

How many princesses do you think are ON this ship?

ARTOO

[Subtitle: All right, all right. She just told me to abandon ship. You can come with me if you want, since everybody will think I'm cursing anyway.]

PONDER THREEPIO

[dryly] How charitable.

ARTOO

[Subtitle: With you around, we can tell people to Up Thine in their native language!]

Artoo scoots away, with Threepio trailing behind.

ARTOO [contd.]

[Subtitle: Besides, I gotta find this bloke named Obi-Wan Kenobi and tell him. I have no clue why.]

PONDER THREEPIO

Tell him what?

ARTOO

[Subtitle: That Princess Angua has been kidnapped and needs rescuing.]

PONDER THREEPIO

But she hasn't been--

ARTOO

[Subtitle: Wait about thirty seconds...]

They continue out of frame, past a door that slides open a few beats later to admit a pair of well-armed Imperial storm troopers. They stride in, followed by a figure in black armor whose silhouette should be familiar to Star Wars fans everywhere, if they discount the fact that he's about a foot and a half shorter than he ought to be. The visor is currently up, revealing a lean face with a neatly trimmed moustache and goatee. Near one shoulder he wears a yellow happy-face button. At least he's still taller than Rick Moranis...

An Imperial trooper approaches him. There is an awkward pause as the trooper must still get used to having a ruthless overlord who is shorter than him, if only slightly.

DARTH VETINARI

Well?

TROOPER

We've captured the princess, sir. It wasn't easy, though.

DARTH VETINARI

[attentive silence]

TROOPER [contd.]

She kicked several of us, sir.

The silence from Darth Vetinari continues, sucking at each pause.

TROOPER [contd.]

Let me say, sir, that I am very grateful that you approved the budget to add codpieces to our armor. Sir.

DARTH VETINARI

Is that so.

TROOPER [sweating]

Yessir.

DARTH VETINARI

Transfer her into a cell on my ship. [thoughtful pause] One without scorpions... I'm feeling charitable today.

Darth Vetinari brushes past the trooper, who looks as though he's considering his future chances of reproduction should he carry out this order, and is noticing that they look rather bleak. Through a window in the background, we see a small escape pod floating away from the royal cruiser, hurtling towards the Discworld.

A'Tuin, the world-turtle on whose back rides the Discworld, looks up briefly at the projectile with almost a bored expression, then continues on with a lazy flap of one flipper.

EXT - THE DISCWORLD

It is true that in the vacuum of space, no-one can hear you scream... but as the escape pod plunges into the atmosphere of the Discworld, we can hear Ponder Threepio's dopplerized screaming...

PONDER THREEPIO

ohshitohshitOHSHITOHSHITAAAARGHAAAAARGHNONONONO HELPHELPHELPTHISISALLYOURFAULTARTOOIAMGOINGTO KILLYOU...

The pod impacts somewhere in the Ramtop Mountains, and bounces a number of times.

PONDER THREEPIO

[the pod bounces] Ow! [bounce] Ow! [bounce] Ow! [bounce] Ow!

[The pod begins rolling at high velocity] AAAARGHRGHRGHRGHNGNGNGNGNGHHH... [it rolls over a cliff] AAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrghhhhhhh... [thud]

The pod has finally settled to a stop. It is looking very battered and doesn't look like it's going anywhere for a while, let alone up. Threepio groans from somewhere inside it.

PONDER THREEPIO

Artoo?

ARTOO

Bleep?

PONDER THREEPIO

Whose idea was it to crash-land IN THE MOUNTAINS?!

ARTOO

[Subtitle: I thought YOU were driving!]

PONDER THREEPIO

[growls at length in an alien language. Subtitle: Oh darn.]

Threepio pounds at the mangled steel panel formerly known as a door until it finally gives way and falls off the pod. He climbs out slowly, and drags Artoo out after him. Once they are both out, they gaze silently up the sheer cliff they now must climb.

PONDER THREEPIO

[sotto] Well, being a droid isn't all bad...

He taps a button on a panel on his chest, and little rockets on his feet propel him upwards. After a pause, Artoo follows in the same manner.

INT - STAR DESTROYER

Darth Vetinari strides along, in perfect cadence to the Imperial March. He passes by two officers, one male and one female, both with their backs to him. They are chatting in a manner that doesn't sound very ruthless. Vetinari pauses and glances meaningfully at the back of the woman. Suddenly, she jumps and slaps the bewildered male officer in the face. Vetinari enjoys a moment of private humor before continuing on.

He arrives in the prison area of the ship and approaches a bearded guard.

DARTH VETINARI

I trust she has been forthcoming?

BEARDED GUARD

Sir?

DARTH VETINARI [infinite patience]

The whereabouts of the rebel base. Has she told you anything about that?

BEARDED GUARD

No sir. On the other hand, I learned that I have a Wookiee somewhere in my lineage.

DARTH VETINARI

Is that so.

BEARDED GUARD

She was kind enough to tell me as much.

The guard smiles, elated that he now knows who one of his parents is.

DARTH VETINARI

Just as a point of reference... when was the last time you shaved?

BEARDED GUARD

This morning, sir.

DARTH VETINARI

Ah. Just curious. Back to the matter at hand...

BEARDED GUARD

Yessir?

DARTH VETINARI

I would like to interrogate her myself.

BEARDED GUARD [uncertain]

Sir?

DARTH VETINARI

I trust that will not be a problem.

BEARDED GUARD

Major villains don't usually do that, sir. They send in flunkies or hired torturers to do that. Sir.

Darth Vetinari sighs with mild impatience.

DARTH VETINARI

Let us assume for a moment that you have a greater intelligence than the common asteroid. The aforementioned method of interrogation by proxy is *precisely* why major villains lose in these movies. The beautiful captive seduces the naive and/or sympathetic interrogator and convinces him to let her go and to join her side. Now the villain is minus a perfectly good soldier who *incidentally* also knows all of the villain's plans. Do you see the problem? [pause; when there is no response:] Good. Now, make arrangements for a formal interrogation. [echo] Now. [/echo]

The guard salutes, turns on his heel, and marches into the dungeon proper.

EXT - THE RAMTOPS

Threepio and Artoo trudge over the unforgiving terrain of the mountains. Both are rimed with frost by now, and Artoo must frequently detour around difficult spots.

PONDER THREEPIO

I wasn't designed to function at these temperatures. My joints are starting to positively freeze up. We need to find someplace to warm up or it's big red lever time for me.

ARTOO

[Subtitle: Quit your complaining, Goldenrod. At least you can step over rocks instead of having to scoot around them.]

PONDER THREEPIO

This whole place is rocks. I don't think there's a single piece of flat terrain around here.

ARTOO

[subtitle: There's plenty of flat ground. The trouble is, it's mostly vertical.]

PONDER THREEPIO

That's what I mean! [peers into the distance, and then brightens a bit] There's a light up ahead! Finally! Civilization!

Threepio breaks into a somewhat faster shuffle, heading in the direction of the light. Artoo grumbles and meanders his way after him.

Upon reaching the abode, they find that it is a lot smaller that they had anticipated - nearly Artoo-scale. However, seeing no other options, Threepio knocks at the door.

OWEN [within]

[dwarvish. Subtitle: Carrot, son, will you get that?]

Something hits the underside of the roof hard enough to rock the cottage on its foundations. The two droids back away in alarm.

OWEN [contd.]

[dwarvish. Subtitle: And please try to remember to duck sometime?]

The door opens. To the strains of "Also Sprach Zarathustra," CARROT SKYWALKER unfolds himself from the cottage like a clown exiting a clown car. Carrot is a very muscular, handsome, but slightly naive young man with short-cropped red hair and broad shoulders. At six foot six, he towers over Threepio, Artoo, and the cottage.

CARROT [cheerfully]

How can I help you?

PONDER THREEPIO

We've been wandering through the mountains for the past hour and a half - through no fault of my own -

ARTOO

[subtitle: Bite me.]

PONDER THREEPIO

And we just need someplace to thaw out for a bit. After that, we'll be on our way.

CARROT

Do you need help getting somewhere?

PONDER THREEPIO

As a matter of fact, we're looking for someone. But really, it's colder than a witch's -

ARTOO [hurriedly overriding him]

BLEEP!

PONDER THREEPIO

- out here, and I can feel my inner workings locking up. So if we could just come in for a few minutes...

Carrot sidesteps out of the doorway.

CARROT

By all means.

[calls into the cottage in dwarvish.]

[subtitle: Mom! Dad! It's a couple of frozen droids.]

OWEN [within]

[replies in dwarvish]

[subtitle: Let them in. This could be an important plot development for all of us.]

Artoo scoots in past Mount Carrot, and Threepio ducks through the doorway after him. Carrot squeezes in last and shuts the door against the chill wind.

INT - DWARVEN COTTAGE

"Mom" [BERU] and "Dad" [OWEN] turn out to both be dwarves, though the general hirsute androgyny of the race makes telling "Mom" from "Dad" difficult, at best. Even sitting on the floor, Carrot fills a significant portion of the room.

ARTOO

[subtitle: I hope you caught some of that.]

PONDER THREEPIO

[aside to Artoo] The dialect is fairly common in this portion of the Ramtops - usually associated with mining dwarves, particularly the Ironfounders Clan and their allies.

[addresses the dwarves in this dialect]

[subtitle: Greetings, sirs. I am Ponder Threepio, protocol droid in the service of the royal family von Uberwald.]

BERU

[dwarvish. Subtitle: So what are you doing here?]

PONDER THREEPIO

[dwarvish. Subtitle: Our charge has been fricasseed.]

Carrot, Owen, and Beru chuckle. Threepio looks puzzled for a moment, then realizes what he said.

PONDER THREEPIO

[labors a bit in dwarvish. Subtitle: I mean stolen... Taken away without permission... Kidnapped! Yes. She has been kidnapped.]

OWEN

[dwarvish. Subtitle: By whom?]

PONDER THREEPIO

[dwarvish. Subtitle: Some very dangerous people. She told Artoo about someone named Obi-Wan Kenobi.]

OWEN

[dwarvish. Subtitle: He sounds like one of those weird people from Ankh-Morpork.]

BERU

[dwarvish. Subtitle: EVERYONE in Ankh-Morpork is weird.]

OWEN

[dwarvish. Subtitle: Weirder than usual, I mean.]

PONDER THREEPIO

[dwarvish. Subtitle: I've spent the last three hundred years serving wizards. Weird people don't bother me.... Much. Just point us in the direction of Ankh-Morpork, and we'll be on our way.]

OWEN

[dwarvish. Subtitle: Take Carrot with you. The road to Ankh-Morpork can be pretty dangerous.]

CARROT

[dwarvish. Subtitle: Not that I've noticed.]

OWEN

[dwarvish. Subtitle: That's my point. Now you get bundled up, lad, and take these droids wherever they need to go.]

CARROT

[dwarvish. Subtitle: Yessir.]

Carrot somehow manages to stand up and bend over in one fluid movement, keeping his head just clear of the low ceiling, and ducks through a doorway into the next room. The droids watch him go.

ARTOO

[subtitle: Biggest dwarf I've ever seen.]

PONDER THREEPIO

Must be the mountain air.

ARTOO

[subtitle: I just hope wherever we go next is more hospitable than this place.]

EST - ANKH-MORPORK, THE MENDED DRUM

The Mended Drum is the sort of tavern bored fighters go to, mainly because the way in which fighters alleviate their boredom is by hitting someone else. In the Drum, this is not only acceptable but encouraged - we join one of their scheduled nightly brawls, already in progress.

INT - THE MENDED DRUM

In the middle of the chaos, a lone man at a corner table calmly sips his beer. He has silver-grey hair and a full beard, which indicates that he is at least smart enough to have lasted several decades as a smuggler. This is RIDCULLY. No first name, just Ridcully. Sitting next to him is a large adult male orangutan, likewise sipping its beer. As we watch, Ridcully ducks absently just in time to avoid a thrown tankard, which bounces off the wall where his head had just been. Presently the orangutan drains its tankard, and leaves the table for a refill.

Almost immediately a slightly rodentlike character named DIBBLER sidles into the chair across from Ridcully.

RIDCULLY

[mock-cordial] Hey, Dibbler. Welcome to my little corner of paradise.

DIBBLER

Hello Ridcully. Long time no see... Jabba was starting to get worried.

RIDCULLY

He's worried about me? How sweet.

DIBBLER

[makes a noise that could be interpreted as either a laugh or a cough] Not about you, old man. There's still the matter of the loan he was so gracious as to make for you. He's not feeling very gracious right now.

RIDCULLY

So you've come to deliver me to him?

DIBBLER

He wasn't very specific on that. I think he'd be happy enough if I just brought your singed head to him.

RIDCULLY

[doesn't flinch] Is that so. Well, I've got a little message for him. I'm sure you'll be more than happy to deliver it to him.

There is a TWANG under the table, and Dibbler jerks once, then slumps facedown onto the table.

The business end of a heavy-duty crossbow bolt protrudes from the back of the chair at about midriff-height on Dibbler. The orangutan returns with a full tankard of beer. It looks curiously at the skewered corpse.

RIDCULLY

Nothing to worry about, Chewie. Just business as usual.

The orangutan, whose name is apparently Chewbacca [because this *is* a Star Wars parody], ooks at length.

RIDCULLY

Yeah, the dead body *does* kind of depress the mood at this table.

They move to another table and leave the corpse where it is.

INT - STAR DESTROYER - DARTH VETINARI'S QUARTERS

Darth Vetinari stands before a small cluster of advisors. He have only a one-quarter view of him, as his back is mostly to the camera.

DARTH VETINARI

Now there is no right or wrong answer... I just want your opinion on the matter.

ADVISORS

[terrified silence]

DARTH VETINARI

Does this look menacing enough to interrogate a political prisoner?

ADVISORS

[Variously] Oh yes... certainly... very menacing... etc.

Vetinari turns to a small child of about six, who is wearing a miniature Imperial uniform. Vetinari's back is still mostly to the camera.

DARTH VETINARI

[to the child] And what do you think? Do I look menacing enough to interrogate a prisoner?

JUNIOR IMPERIAL OFFICER

Your zipper's open.

Vetinari looks down in annoyance and zips his fly. Then he whirls on the adult advisors, who shrink back.

DARTH VETINARI

None of you noticed this?!

ADVISORS

[sputtering excuses]

DARTH VETINARI

Just how menacing do you really think I could be, interrogating someone with my fly open? Hmm? [no response] I thought so. I will deal with each of you when I return.

The Imperial March starts up as he thunders out of the room.

ADVISOR #1

[mutters to the child] Overlord's pet.

INT - DUNGEON

Darth Vetinari strides down the corridor. The Imperial March continues to play.

He stops in front of the bearded guard we saw earlier. The guard pushes a button to open the door, which slides up like a portcullis. It stops about a foot shy of fully open, unbeknownst to the guard.

GUARD

All ready, sir. Follow me.

He turns smartly and bashes his forehead against the bottom edge of the door. He gives Darth Vetinari an embarrassed smile, and thwacks the door with his fist. It slides the rest of the way open, and they proceed through, Darth Vetinari shaking his head in disbelief.

INT - ANGUA'S CELL

Angua sits on the bunk, lost in her own thoughts. Presently the door is unlocked, and she glances up as it slides open to admit Darth Vetinari. She stands up defiantly as he approaches.

DARTH VETINARI

Princess Delphine Angua von Uberwald, I presume?

PRINCESS ANGUA

You should know. You kidnapped me.

DARTH VETINARI

Indeed I did. I know that you are a member of a rebel alliance against the Empire. I find this very rude, considering what the Empire has done for the good of the galaxy.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Like enslaving entire races to further your nefarious plans?

DARTH VETINARI

[after the briefest of pauses] Besides that.

PRINCESS ANGUA

How about taxing everyone you can find within an inch of your life, and making sure those who can't or won't pay are conveniently never seen again?

DARTH VETINARI

[annoyed] I provide a sense of security to those who follow me! I protect them from anarchy! And neither you, nor anyone else, will disrupt my plans for this territory! [takes a deep breath to compose himself] What do you have to say about that?

There is a tense pause as the two glare at each other. Angua glances briefly downward. Vetinari notices this.

DARTH VETINARI

[cautiously] What?

PRINCESS ANGUA

Your fly's open.

DARTH VETINARI

WHAT?! I just fixed--

He looks down to check, just as Angua grabs the shoulders of his cloak, pulls him forward, and knees him hard in the groin. The Imperial March hits a number of sour notes as his expression of bewilderment changes quickly through shock and on into agony. As she releases him, he doubles over and crumples slowly downward out of frame, holding his injured, um, pride. With a look of satisfaction, Angua sits back down on the bunk.

GUARD

Are you okay, sir?

DARTH VETINARI

[through visor; this deepens his voice and amplifies his breathing and in effect cancels out any changes to his voice caused by being kneed in the voonerables] GIVE ME A SECOND...

GUARD

[to himself] Wow. She must be the first person in history to kick a Sith Lord in the nuts and not get her larynx crushed.

DARTH VETINARI

[through visor] I COULD DO WITHOUT YOUR COMMENTARY. NOW HELP ME UP.

[The guard does so.]

[to Angua] KNOW THIS, PRINCESS... YOU WOULD DO WELL NOT TO TRY THAT AGAIN. I CAN MAKE YOU VERY UNCOMFORTABLE IF I SO WISH.

He turns with a flourish of his cloak and strides out of the cell as the guard shuts the door. However, the door shuts on a corner of the cloak, and there is a brief, if muffled, spate of Vetinari cursing, then yelling at the guard to open the door. The door slides open about an inch, and Vetinari extracts his cloak from the gap and strides off. The Imperial March fades as it follows him down the hall.

PRINCESS ANGUA

[sotto] Butthead.

ANKH-MORPORK - THE MENDED DRUM - INT.

Carrot, Threepio, and Artoo cautiously meander their way through the tavern.

PONDER THREEPIO

Are you quite certain we'll find this Mr. Kenobi here?

CARROT

Of course. The Mended Drum is one of those places where everyone goes at some point. Let's see... any clue what the chap looks like?

[the droids shake their heads]

Hm.

PONDER THREEPIO

If it helps, it's possible that Obi-Wan Kenobi is not a name but a title.

CARROT

How do you figure?

PONDER THREEPIO

Well, in one dialect of the Agatean Empire, Obi-Wan Kenobi means Great Wizard.

A patron jostles Artoo fairly hard. As the little droid resettles on his scooters, a hologram of Princess Angua appears, projected by Artoo. By chance, the small image appears in someone's beer glass.

PRINCESS ANGUA [in hologram]

Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi... You're my only hope.

The owner of the beer gives a shout of alarm and throws the apparently haunted beer glass across the room, knocking out a fighter who had been busy pulping another man's face with a set of brass knuckles. The hologram vanishes.

ARTOO

[subtitle: Well, that should narrow it down a bit. Anyone who is someone's only hope sure as hell wouldn't hang out here.]

Artoo starts to scoot towards the door. He passes by a table occupied by a slightly bedraggled figure named RINCEWIND and pauses, looking at the bearded man curiously. Rincewind wears wizardish-looking robes that clearly have seen better days - though a few defiant sequins remain - and a pointy hat with a floppy brim, roughly the same shade as his robes, with the title WIZZARD sewn crookedly in sequins across the crown.

CARROT [of the hologram]

Who was that?

PONDER THREEPIO

Our charge. She's in a lot of danger, I fear.

CARROT

We'd better find this Great Wizard soon.

As Artoo watches, the Rincewind levitates a beer glass up to his mouth and drinks. Then he reacts as he realizes he's being watched, and the glass drops back to the table.

RINCEWIND

You didn't see that. Okay?

ARTOO

[subtitle: Okay... HEY GUYS!]

This last is translated from a loud whistle, of the sort generally used by humans to attract the attention of others. Rincewind curses and there is a neat little blurring effect as he dives under the table. Any further retreat is halted by Artoo's manipulator arm clamping over Rincewind's bicep.

CARROT

This Kenobi guy sounds like a powerful magic user of some sort.

PONDER THREEPIO

Or maybe he was just a sage or something. That would easily rule out most wizards.

CARROT

Wait a sec. Aren't wizards supposed to be wise and all knowing?

Artoo is still beeping frantically for attention.

ARTOO

[subtitle: HEY GENIUSES, OVER HERE!]

PONDER THREEPIO

[not hearing Artoo] Her Majesty said that Kenobi was a Jedi, which meant that he could perform great mental feats using the Force, and he had lightning-fast reflexes. And he had a great sword, with a blade made of light. It must've been really cool. [he suddenly realizes that he is starting to sound like a fanboy, and he clears his synthesizer metallically] All these abilities would easily have convinced the Agateans that he was a great sorcerer or something.

Artoo approaches, towing Rincewind, who must walk in a half-crouch due to the height difference, behind him.

RINCEWIND

Ow! Little creep! All right, I'm coming!

ARTOO

[makes a little "ta-da" noise, similar to the default shutdown wav in Windows 95]

Carrot and Threepio look politely at Artoo's catch. Rincewind looks back at them pleadingly. Finally:

PONDER THREEPIO

Artoo, are you drunk?

Artoo makes a rude noise at Threepio.

ARTOO

[subtitle: I found him! I saw him performing amazing mental feats using the Force, and he tried to bolt as soon as I saw him, and he moved so fast I barely caught him, and look!]

[another of Artoo's manipulator arms pushes the edge of Rincewind's robe away so the handle of a lightsaber is visible.]

[subtitle: A lightsaber! Just like Princess Angua said he'd have!]

PONDER THREEPIO

Artoo... this guy doesn't look like a great wizard.

RINCEWIND

I try not to.

PONDER THREEPIO

He looks like he couldn't use the Force to save his life.

RINCEWIND

[sheepish] Well, actually...

At that moment a fighter staggers into Rincewind, turns in startlement, and draws a dagger on him.

VYOOM...

Rincewind becomes a blur of light and movement, and in the space of two seconds, Artoo's manipulator arm is severed, freeing Rincewind, and half the dagger's blade clatters to the floor.

In the startled pause that follows, the fighter looks at the remnants of his dagger, then at the spectacular lightsaber in Rincewind's hand. He drops the dagger and runs.

Meanwhile, Rincewind looks like he's about to wet himself in terror. He deactivates the saber and returns it to his belt, very carefully. The claw part of Artoo's manipulator arm is still grasping Rincewind's arm above the elbow, and he pries it off like it was a tarantula and drops it on the floor.

CARROT [impressed]

[as he scoops the severed claw off the floor] Wow.

ARTOO

[whining noises]

[subtitle: That bastard cut my arm off!]

RINCEWIND

I'm really very sorry about all that. It's just something that happens when I'm in danger.

PONDER THREEPIO

You're a *compulsive* Jedi?!

RINCEWIND

Could be worse. I could be old and befuddled *and* a compulsive Jedi.

ARTOO

[frantic beeping and hopping up and down.]

[Subtitle: THIS REALLY *%&#ING HURTS!]

PONDER THREEPIO

[to Artoo] You watch your language. [to Rincewind] We really really need your help--

RINCEWIND

No.

PONDER THREEPIO [continues unheeding]

-- to rescue a beautiful princess from the clutches of the Empire--

RINCEWIND

Absolutely not.

PONDER THREEPIO

-- and did I mention that if you don't help us, her father will be really pissed off?

RINCEWIND

He has to catch me first.

PONDER THREEPIO

Don't test him. He's a magnificent hunter.

RINCEWIND

[sarcastic] What'll he do, mount my head on the wall?

[long pause; when Threepio says nothing:]

He wouldn't.

[Threepio only shrugs]

Oh, gods...

PONDER THREEPIO

[as if the issue of hunting had never come up] And the royal family von Uberwald will be more than happy to pay you for your services.

[Rincewind is now very pale. He whimpers.]

However, first things first: getting up to the Star Destroyer where Her Majesty is being held.

CARROT

I noticed some sort of a starship out back.

PONDER THREEPIO

[to Carrot] Anything specific about it?

RINCEWIND

[whimper]

CARROT

Besides the fact that it was parked right next to the stables?

PONDER THREEPIO

Ah. Good. Wait here. [re: Rincewind] And make sure he doesn't go anywhere, okay?

He meanders off into the milling patrons.

Ridcully's head jerks up at the whining and crackling sound that essentially signals a public address system clearing its throat. Threepio's voice echoes across the tavern, greatly amplified.

THREEPIO'S VOICE

Would the owner of the starship parked near the stables please report to the bar? Your lights are on. Thank you.

RIDCULLY

When the hell did the Drum get a P.A. system? [to Chewbacca] Go see if he's right. This might just be a ploy.

Chewbacca nods, and Ridcully heads for the bar while the ape heads for the door. Once there, he finds no barkeep, and after some looking around he encounters Threepio.

PONDER THREEPIO

Excuse me, sir. Are you the owner of the starship?

RIDCULLY

Co-owner. Whaddaya want?

PONDER THREEPIO

Is it spaceworthy?

[Ridcully frowns]

The reason I ask is because my associates and I would like to hire your ship for a mission of the greatest importance whose success would certainly guarantee the continuance of free trade to and from all the world-turtles in this galaxy.

RIDCULLY

Pull the other one, it's got bells on.

He starts to turn away.

PONDER THREEPIO

The mission in question involves a rescue.

RIDCULLY

Do I look like some sort of action hero to you?

PONDER THREEPIO

The subject of this rescue is a princess.

[pause; Ridcully looks like he's nibbling at the bait]

The only daughter of a very, very, very rich royal family.

[pause]

She's single.

Ridcully turns back to face Threepio.

RIDCULLY

What the hell... my copilot could use a little company on the long space voyages.

PONDER THREEPIO

[after the briefest of pauses] Very good, sir.

RIDCULLY

And I expect to be paid in actual credits.

PONDER THREEPIO

Will you accept gold?

RIDCULLY

[almost before the 'd' in 'gold' is out of Threepio's synthesizer] Done.

PONDER THREEPIO

Follow me. You'll want to meet your other passengers.

INT - STAR DESTROYER - HANGAR

Two Imperial Officers stand near the royal cruiser, comparing lists.

OFFICER #1

Item: One princess, oldest daughter of the von Uberwald family.

OFFICER #2

Kidnapped and accounted for.

OFFICER #1

Item: Contents of princess' personal suite.

OFFICER #2

Confiscated and catalogued. Everything accounted for save the location of the Rebel base and two pairs of ladies' pink lace underthings.

There is an awkward pause. Then:

OFFICER #1

[clears throat] Item: Four handmaidens to aforementioned princess.

OFFICER #2

Captured and sent to a separate ship for detainment.

OFFICER #1

Item: Four escape pods.

OFFICER #2

Three escape pods remain on cruiser, fourth pod launched with no lifeforms aboard. We've determined this to be a simple malfunction.

OFFICER #1

Item: one protocol droid, 3PO model.

Officer #2 looks confused and leafs through his list a few times. Officer #1 looks at him curiously.

OFFICER #2

There was a protocol droid on the charter?

OFFICER #1

Yeah. And an astro-droid, an R2 unit.

Officer #2 looks through his list again. He is starting to look worried.

OFFICER #2

You're positive?

OFFICER #1

Of course I'm positive! It says so right here!

Officer #1 shows Officer #2 the charter, which says, in very large letters, YOU'RE SCREWED.

OFFICER #2

[grasping at straws] Maybe they're hiding.

OFFICER #1

I'm not going to be the one to tell him.

OFFICER #2

I don't wanna tell him!

OFFICER #1

This isn't my fault, Mr. That Pod Must Have Malfunctioned!

OFFICER #2

Then he won't kill you when you tell him!

OFFICER #1

That's because you're going to tell him!

DARTH VETINARI [o.s.]

Tell me what, exactly?

Both officers freeze, then slowly turn towards the doorway currently occupied by the black-armored dark Jedi. [note: He has added a polished black codpiece to his armor since the interrogation scene] His stance is relaxed, with his hands clasped easily behind his back. Despite his casual manner, he still projects an aura of looming.

BOTH OFFICERS

[pointing at each other and shouting at the same time] It's all his fault!

Darth Vetinari closes his eyes for slightly longer than a standard blink.

DARTH VETINARI

You know, I was in a fairly good mood today. Then it seems like everything is going slightly awry. Now, dealing with an uncooperative prisoner is certain to put anyone in a sour mood... so perhaps you chaps might be able to turn things around before I really start getting grouchy, hmm?

OFFICER #1

[nervously hopeful] How about good news-bad news?

DARTH VETINARI

Ah yes. The good news offsetting the effects of the bad news. That might work. Go right ahead.

OFFICER #1

Okay, okay... [fake-cheerful] Good news! We've figured out where the princess hid the file containing the location of the Rebel base!

DARTH VETINARI

Aha. That's very good news. I think I'm starting to cheer up a bit. [turns to Officer #2] Perhaps you'd be kind enough to deliver the bad news?

Officer #2 freezes.

OFFICER #2

Um... [fake-cheerful, following Officer #1's lead] Actually, that's the funniest thing... [forced chuckle] because... you know the escape pod that was missing... [laughs harder] the princess... the princess must've given the file to her droids... who incidentally are also missing... [his laughter has a hysterical edge to it now] and, and, and jettisoned them in the cruiser!

As Officer #2 continues laughing like he just told the best joke in the galaxy, Vetinari exchanges a glance with Officer #1, then gazes fixedly at Officer #2 for a few seconds before Officer #2 starts choking.

DARTH VETINARI

[resigned] Well, I *was* in a good mood.

Officer #2 gags, tugging at his uniform collar.

DARTH VETINARI [contd.]

Don't feel bad. You're only a nameless minor character whose only purpose is to allow me to demonstrate how thoroughly ruthless I am.

OFFICER #2

[chokes]

Darth Vetinari closes one fist in front of Officer #2's throat as he really puts some effort into the strangulation. The doomed officer's bloodshot eyes plead with the overlord for mercy, but find none.

OFFICER #1

[to camera] That's the only trouble with working for an evil overlord. You only get job security when the boss is in a good mood.

A few seconds later, Officer #2 falls to the floor, dead.

DARTH VETINARI

That felt good. I believe my mood's improved again.

OFFICER #1

[obediently] Nothing like a good strangling, sir.

DARTH VETINARI

Now, to find the aforementioned droids and the plans they're carrying.

He walks away, a bounce to his step. Officer #1 looks like he isn't entirely certain now which is worse - Vetinari's bad moods, or his good moods.

EXT - THE MENDED DRUM'S STABLES

The camera PANS slowly along the stables, so that we see horse... horse... horse... donkey... horse... end of stable... frontmost landing strut for a large starship. The stablehand, in a geniune attempt to be helpful, has hung a nosebag on one of the pneumatic pistons on the strut. PULL BACK to reveal the rest of the starship; though it is small by starship standards, it is very large compared to the stables. Meet the Millennium Falcon, the slightly worse-for-wear smuggling ship Ridcully pilots. Our intrepid heroes approach the Falcon, dragging the protesting Rincewind behind them. A stablehand - presumably the same one who hung the nosebag on the landing strut - trails behind them until Ridcully unhooks the still-full nosebag and flings it at him, catching the stablehand in the stomach.

RIDCULLY

[proudly] Here we are. The Millennium Falcon. This lass and I have been together for years, and she hasn't aged a day.

Something falls off the ship's underbelly and hits the ground with a metallic CLANG. After a beat, Chewbacca emerges from a service cavity under the ship and looks at the part with an expression of annoyance.

PONDER THREEPIO

Um... who's that?

RIDCULLY

That's Chewbacca, my copilot.

Chewbacca hoots a greeting and gives them all an upside-down wave before swinging out of the service cavity and dropping down to retrieve the item.

PONDER THREEPIO

That's your... copilot.

He's obviously remembering Ridcully's comment about the princess and the aforementioned copilot.

RIDCULLY

Yup. [calls to Chewbacca] Hey Chewie! Get that thing patched up and let's go! We've been hired for a rescue mission of some sort

ARTOO

[subtitle: I don't think he'll need the princess to keep him warm.]

PONDER THREEPIO

Artoo!

Ridcully points a small remote at the Falcon. There is the chirp-chirp of an alarm being deactivated, and the boarding ramp whirrs downward. While they board, Threepio pauses to watch Chewbacca reattach the fallen part with a length of duct tape.

PONDER THREEPIO

[sotto] This is going to be a long voyage...

He climbs the ramp resignedly. After affixing the part to his satisfaction, Chewbacca knuckles up the ramp after him, and the ramp whines back up and seals.

INT - MILLENNIUM FALCON - COCKPIT

Ridcully sits in the pilot's seat, flipping switches and powering up the antique starship. He turns away from one panel to attend to another, and panel #1 malfunctions and starts to power down. Ridcully turns back sharply and glares at panel #1 and it powers back up. As he continues the process, the others join him [except for Rincewind], with Chewbacca jostling between Threepio and Carrot and vaulting over the back and into the seat of the copilot chair. Once the whole control panel is humming nicely, there is an expectant pause. Instead of taking off, Ridcully sits there, drumming his fingers on the console.

PONDER THREEPIO

What are you waiting for? There's a princess that needs rescuing!

RIDCULLY

Wait for it...

PONDER THREEPIO

[confused] Wait for WHAT?

RIDCULLY

[pulls out a pocket watch and looks at it] Blast it. They're late.

PONDER THREEPIO

[lost] WHO ARE?!

Through the cockpit window, the protagonists see an Imperial starship approaching.

RIDCULLY

Them.

PONDER THREEPIO

[panicky and completely confused now] But... but... those are the people we're trying to rescue the princess from!

RIDCULLY

Great Jehosephat, boy, didn't you get a script?!

PONDER THREEPIO

What script?

Ridcully pulls a bound sheaf of paper out from under the console.

RIDCULLY

This script.

He flips through it and stops partway in, indicating a passage with his finger. Threepio leans over to see what he's pointing at.

PONDER THREEPIO

[reading] "Disc Wars shooting script Page 34... Scene 47: Harrowing last-minute escape from Imperial For--" What the hell IS this?! Why didn't I get a script?!

RIDCULLY

I dunno. [points somewhere off-camera] Ask him.

PONDER THREEPIO

[in the indicated direction] Why didn't I get a script?!

GEORGE LUCAS [o.s.]

I *gave* you a droid script.

PONDER THREEPIO

Well, *I* never saw it.

GEORGE LUCAS [o.s.]

I gave it to Artoo.

Threepio looks at Artoo. Artoo burps.

PONDER THREEPIO

[making throttling motions at Artoo] Why you little--!

RIDCULLY

Later, you two... we've got a harrowing last-minute escape to perform.

Ridcully punches a few overhead buttons.

RIDCULLY [contd.]

All right, Chewie... Let's rock.

Chewbacca ooks in agreement and hits a button which causes loud rock music to flood the cockpit. The droids stagger backwards through the doorway under the acoustic forces. Carrot covers his ears and follows.

Outside the cockpit, the music is more bearable. Threepio looks at something offscreen with a bit of confusion.

PONDER THREEPIO

Rincewind... just what do you think you're doing?

Rincewind is clearly trying to jimmy open the boarding ramp with the handle of his lightsaber, with no luck. He looks up guiltily as Threepio addresses him.

RINCEWIND

Ummm... meditating?

EXT - MILLENNIUM FALCON

Even outside the ship, tinny rock music is audible as the Falcon rises slowly into the air to meet the Imperial starship and the landing struts fold into the underbelly.

IMPERIAL PILOT [loudspeaker]

Please land your starcraft and shut down all systems. This is a routine random check. Failure to comply will lead to your death and/ or revokation of piloting license.

INT - MILLENNIUM FALCON - COCKPIT

RIDCULLY

Huh. Revokation of piloting license. I guess they mean business, Chewie. What do you suggest?

INT - IMPERIAL STARSHIP - COCKPIT

The pilot of the Imperial starship squints through the windscreen, not entirely sure if he's really seeing what he thinks he's seeing. His confusion is warranted, because Chewbacca has a big grin on his face, and is giving him the finger. Ridcully grins at the Imperial pilot.

INT - MILLENNIUM FALCON

Ridcully picks up a hand-microphone clipped to the dash.

RIDCULLY

[into microphone, in his best airline pilot voice] Welcome to Ridcully Airlines. Please fasten your seatbelts and make sure all luggage is secured in your overhead compartments. We may be experiencing a bit of turbulence at the beginning of the flight, but try not to worry. This is perfectly normal for me.

He pushes sharply forward on a joystick at his left hand, and...

EXT - MILLENNIUM FALCON

... the Falcon jigs upwards about thirty feet, a split second before the Imperial vessel opens fire. The laser blasts whine past the underbelly of the Falcon and explode against a number of buildings but leave their target unscathed.

PONDER THREEPIO

I've got a bad feeling about thi-HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIS!

...as the Falcon roars forward, sideswiping the Imperial vessel and leaving it spinning in midair. When it stops spinning, it shakes itself to clear out the cobwebs, and gives chase, firing at the Falcon's tail. The two ships swoop and dive as the Falcon tries to lose its pursuer and dodge laser fire. The Imperial vessel is easily keeping up - in fact, the nose of the vessel taps the Falcon's back bumper once or twice, further marring an already damaged bumper sticker which currently reads: "Ho_'s my dr_vin_? Call 1-_00-F___-YOU." The two ships dodge around buildings and buzz rooftops, the Falcon actually cutting one residence so close as to relieve it of the top two-thirds of its chimney.

INT - MILLENNIUM FALCON

Chewbacca points to a Little Red Button [tm] on the console and gibbers a question to Ridcully.

RIDCULLY

I dunno, Chewie... you know we only got enough for one go.

Chewbacca chatters a response, punctuated with a grin and a thumb's-up.

RIDCULLY

Oh... you filled up at Harga's House of Ribs?

Nod-nod-nod.

RIDCULLY

Hmm. I almost feel sorry for those saps behind us.

[he regards the LRB for a few beats, drumming his fingers on the console.]

Almost.

He pushes the Little Red Button.

EXT - THE CHASE

The smuggling ship emits an unmistakable sound, one appropriate for the cloud of blue flame that roars out of the tail of the Falcon, enveloping the enemy vessel while giving the Falcon an extra burst of speed. The Falcon speeds away into the sky, while the discombobulated Imperial vessel and its gagging crew careen into a building and explode.

As the Falcon leaves the atmosphere, the rock music echoes away and fades altogether, as far as any outside observers can tell.

INT - MILLENNIUM FALCON

The music is still playing inside the cockpit. The whole interior is shaking violently under the force of the acceleration.

RIDCULLY

[obviously exhilarated] YAAAA-HOOOOOO!

Chewbacca is pumping one simian fist into the air and going "Ook! Ook! Ook!"

PONDER THREEPIO

Those are two syllables I hope never to hear from the mouth of a seventy-year-old man ever again.

ARTOO

[subtitle: What if he's talking about a search engine?]

PONDER THREEPIO

Shut up.

The protocol droid sits down heavily on a cargo crate, obviously relieved at their escape.

RIDCULLY

[over his shoulder to Threepio] So... where'd you say this princess was, again?

Threepio sighs, gets back up, and heads towards the cockpit as the shaking settles down. When he resumes his previous position behind the pilot's chair:

PONDER THREEPIO

By the way... what the devil was that burst of speed all about?

RIDCULLY

Ah. Very simple, my boy...

[he fishes a bottle out from under the console and shows it to Threepio]

Wow-wow sauce.

PONDER THREEPIO

Hot sauce did THAT?!

RIDCULLY

Not just any hot sauce... This recipe has been in Shem Harga's family for generations. Burn it, and one of the by-products is a bloody great cloud of burning methane.

PONDER THREEPIO

[slowly] So what you're saying is... we farted on the bad guys.

INT - STAR DESTROYER

CU of Darth Vetinari's face. His eyes are closed, and his head is shaking slightly in disbelief.

DARTH VETINARI

He... what?

OFFICER

The sensors say the ship they were chasing hit them with a cloud of burning methane. Played hell with the engine, sir.

DARTH VETINARI

I want you to find that ship. Nobody farts on the Empire and gets away with it.

OFFICER

Apparently this one did, sir... we've lost all trace of it.

DARTH VETINARI

Then find them! [pause] But don't kill them. I want words with them. [cruel smile] Words like... 'scorpions.'

OFFICER

Yessir.

INT - MILLENNIUM FALCON

Carrot is sitting cross-legged beside Artoo, busily reattaching the droid's manipulator arm, with Chewbacca occasionally handing him tools.

CARROT

Good thing it was a clean cut. Most of the motors are still salvageable, with a little tinkering.

ARTOO

[subtitle: No thanks to Jerkwad the Jedi over there.]

RINCEWIND

Look, I said I was sorry!

CARROT

You know, I didn't think anyone else ever had a cutting torch like that but me.

RINCEWIND

It's not a cutting torch. It's a finely balanced Jedi weapon that takes months of dedicated training to master.

CARROT

Really? I use mine as a cutting torch.

RINCEWIND

Figures. I guess next you're going to tell me your dad gave it to you under mysterious circumstances and told you to take really good care of it?

CARROT

[genuinely surprised] How did you know that?

Rincewind groans.

Carrot finishes repairing Artoo's arm, and the droid retracts it into one of many such compartments.

CARROT

Let's see if there's anything else that needs fixing. Threepio tells me you two had a pretty rough landing.

ARTOO

[subtitle: I maintain that it wasn't my fault.]

He opens a maintenance panel in the droid's side and starts fiddling around inside.

RINCEWIND

I hope you know what you're doing.

CARROT

My dad taught me how to fix all sorts of droids - the ones we buy off traders don't always work, so we get a great deal on them... but they generally need only simple repairs, like replacing a control rod or something. Whoops. Looks like you've got a screw loose there, Artoo. [to Chewbacca] Phillip's head.

[Chewbacca hands over a screwdriver, and Carrot tightens the offending screw.]

There you go.

Artoo hiccups. The hologram projector comes on again, and Carrot and Rincewind lean over to see.

PRINCESS ANGUA [hologram]

Great Wizard, the rebel forces are in dire peril. Even as I make this recording my cruiser is being attacked by an Imperial Star Destroyer. I have stored in this astro- droid the coordinates of the current Rebel base, as well as the plans for a weapon of mass destruction that the Empire is building. If the Empire finds our base all is lost. You must reach the Rebels and give them the plans so that we can destroy this weapon before it can be used against us. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi... You're my only hope.

The hologram fades. Carrot is still gazing at the spot where she was, enchanted by Angua's beauty. Threepio has approached during the replay of the holographic message.

PONDER THREEPIO

Master Carrot, I've given Ridcully the last known coordinates of...

He realizes Carrot is not paying him any attention, and leans around the huge man to look at his face, then follows his gaze to where the hologram had been. Threepio slowly waves a hand in front of Carrot's face.

RINCEWIND

Forget it. He's gone. He's fallen in love with that hologram.

PONDER THREEPIO

Could be worse. We might have had virtual reality in this universe, and then where would he be?

Threepio snaps his metal fingers in front of Carrot's face, and Carrot finally blinks. He looks dazedly around until he sees Threepio.

CARROT

Was that Princess Angua? She's beautiful!

PONDER THREEPIO

Forget it, sir. [pats Carrot on the shoulder] Only a complete fool goes and falls in love with a w--

ARTOO

[overriding him] BLEEP!

PONDER THREEPIO

[annoyed] Will you cut that out?!

ARTOO

[subtitle: He wouldn't understand. Trust me. Look at him.]

[Both droids look at the smitten Carrot]

[subtitle: He's gone, mate. I know that look.]

RINCEWIND

I hope he fancies women who are only six inches tall.

INT - STAR DESTROYER - DUNGEON

The full-sized Angua looks up from her inner contemplations, at the sound of the Imperial March approaching from down the hall. As the cell door slides open, we catch a glimpse of Darth Vetinari's companion, a man in an Imperial uniform and a shoulder harness on which a pair of speakers are mounted, blasting the Imperial March, before he steps out of view. He still casts a shadow on the wall across from the dungeon cell, visible until Vetinari shuts the door.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Doesn't that get annoying?

DARTH VETINARI

Only for other people. Now... I know you have friends on the Disc who are helping you. I want their names.

PRINCESS ANGUA

What are you talking about?

DARTH VETINARI

The droids.

PRINCESS ANGUA

What about them?

DARTH VETINARI

[slowly] Who is helping them?

[silence; when Angua doesn't answer]

I daresay they'll try to rescue you.

[no response]

When they do, we'll be ready for them. They will all die a horrible death.

PRINCESS ANGUA

So much for kinder and gentler.

DARTH VETINARI

I'm not in a very kind or gentle mood. Once we capture those droids, we will know where your rebel base is, and they will also die horrible deaths.

Angua is studying Vetinari's face with great interest.

DARTH VETINARI

I see I have finally caught your attention. Do you have something to tell me now?

PRINCESS ANGUA

Yeah.

[he looks triumphant]

You've got a really long nose hair that needs tweezing.

Mortified, he immediately covers the lower part of his face with his gloved hands, and then slams down the visor.

DARTH VETINARI

[through visor] YOU MAY MOCK ME NOW, PRINCESS... BUT YOU WON'T BE LAUGHING FOR LONG.

He turns and storms out of the cell. We see his shadow on the wall shove aside that of the human boom box. There is a thud and the sound of a short circuit, and the Imperial March stops abruptly. Bits of electronics scatter across the floor, and Angua lunges forward and grabs a few of them before the door slides shut.

INT - MILLENNIUM FALCON

Rincewind is reading a sheaf of paper that we now recognize as the Disc Wars script. He is midway through, and he is very pale.

RINCEWIND

Oh gods...

CARROT

What is it?

RINCEWIND

I'm going to die. Look. [points to the page]

CARROT

[reading] "Darth Vetinari has Rincewind backed against the wall. There is no escape. Rincewind: You know that if you strike me down, I will become greater that you will ever imagine." That doesn't sound so bad.

RINCEWIND

The bastard cuts me in half! How is that 'not so bad'?!

CARROT

Well... do you believe in predestination?

RINCEWIND

No - but apparently it believes in me. I started out studying as a wizard. Then it turned out, whoops, I'm not a wizard, I'm a Jedi, and I can't do a blasted thing about it.

CARROT

Well, who says you have to follow the script?

RINCEWIND

You know, it should really be *me* giving *you* the morale-boosting pep talk.

CARROT

[ever cheerful] Says who? I rather enjoyed it.

Carrot walks away. Rincewind fumes slightly.

RINCEWIND

[calls after Carrot] You know, you're really annoying when you're being sensible!

Meanwhile, Threepio has almost gotten his nerves back from the Harrowing Last-Minute Escape, when:

RIDCULLY [from cockpit]

Hey Golden Boy! C'mere!

PONDER THREEPIO

[heads towards cockpit] That man is really starting to get on my nerves...

When Threepio re-enters the cockpit, the view through the windscreen is reflected in his spectacles. If droid could pale, he would - because they are approaching an Imperial Star Destroyer.

RIDCULLY

[jovial] So, is this the right one, or is it another one just like it?

PONDER THREEPIO

I hope you've got plenty of Wow-wow sauce left. How do you expect us to get aboard?

INT - STAR DESTROYER

Single shot of: A communications officer sits at a console, wearing a set of headphones with a mike jutting off them. He tilts his head slightly, listening to something. He speaks into the mike.

COMM OFFICER [into mike]

Sir?

Single shot of: The comm supervisor marks his place in the book he was reading. He wears a similar apparatus. Alternate single shots of each man for the next four lines of dialogue:

COMM SUPERVISOR [into mike]

What is it?

COMM OFFICER [into mike]

There's a starship hailing us, sir. The pilot wishes to dock.

COMM SUPERVISOR [into mike]

What for?

COMM OFFICER [into mike]

Apparently someone ordered a pizza. Sir.

Two shot of both the officer and the supervisor, who are sitting at adjacent consoles.

COMM SUPERVISOR [into mike]

Tell them to go away.

The officer taps a few keys.

COMM OFFICER [responding to hail]

Nobody has ordered a pizza aboard this ship. Please leave immediately.

INT - MILLENNIUM FALCON

Ridcully pushes his own microphone away, his brow wrinkled in frustration.

RIDCULLY

Blast.

PONDER THREEPIO

[indicating the mike] May I?

RIDCULLY

Knock yourself out.

PONDER THREEPIO [into mike, in Ridcully's voice]

Well, your funeral... unless there's more than one person around here named 'Vetinari.'

Ridcully blinks at Threepio in amazement.

RIDCULLY [harsh whisper]

How the *hell* did you do that?!

INT - STAR DESTROYER

Panic and divers alarums.

COMM SUPERVISOR

When the hell did his Lordship get here?!

COMM OFFICER

Search me! I never heard anything about it!

COMM SUPERVISOR

Well, you know how he is - always keeping people off-balance like that! Let them dock, dammit!

COMM OFFICER [into mike]

[shaky] Proceed at once to docking bay three. We will send guards to pick up the pizza.

He closes the channel, then lets out a breath at his presumed narrow escape. He then taps a few keys, opening another channel.

INT - STAR DESTROYER - DOCKING BAY THREE

The Millennium Falcon lands in the docking bay, just as three armored storm troopers enter same and approach the ship. The boarding ramp whirrs down, and the troopers board the ship.

TROOPER #1 [within]

Hey, look at that!

TROOPER #2 [within]

What?

TROOPER #1 [within]

That big red monkey over th--

A simian war howl overrides him, and there are sounds of fighting, screaming, and general chaos inside the Falcon. A few laser blasts are fired. Then silence. Footsteps. Three armored storm troopers - one average sized but with a silver beard sticking out from under his scratched helmet, one a little too thin for his slightly dented armor, and one who was just able to cram his broad-shouldered frame into his scuffed and scraped-up armor - leave the ship via the ramp, accompanied by Chewbacca.

They are met at the docking bay exit by two other guards.

TROOPER #1 (RIDCULLY)

Just somebody's idea of a practical joke. All we found on board was this ape. He was a pretty mean bastard, too.

GUARD #1

Yeah, I heard these space monkeys can be pretty vic--

More chaos as Chewbacca attacks Guard #1, while Guard #2 tries in vain to get the ape off him. None of the troopers makes a move to help the two beleaguered guards.

TROOPER #2 (RINCEWIND)

Especially if you call them monkeys.

Behind the troopers, the two droids exit the ship and make their way to an access port in the wall. Artoo extends a plug and jacks into the port.

ARTOO

[subtitle: Wow.]

PONDER THREEPIO

What is it?

ARTOO

[subtitle: Check out the servers on this babe!]

Threepio rolls his optical sensors.

PONDER THREEPIO

Honestly, Artoo...

ARTOO

[subtitle: Hey honey, wanna come back to my place and see my startup routines?]

PONDER THREEPIO

ARTOO! This is not a singles bar!

ARTOO

[subtitle: All right, all right... yeesh.]

[continues interfacing with the computer]

[subtitle: Says here they recently put someone in cell 42.]

PONDER THREEPIO

[into small handheld microphone] Hey guys, recent addition to Cell 42 in the dungeon level.

The three troopers and Chewbacca have left the guards behind.

RIDCULLY

Righto. Cell 42. [to the others] Come on.

INT - STAR DESTROYER - DUNGEON

The three heroes in stormtrooper uniforms, towing a fierce-looking orangutan in shackles, enter the main guard station just outside the dungeon proper. [Note: The guard does not have a beard]

RIDCULLY

Hiya.

GUARD #3

What's this?

RIDCULLY

We're transferring this prisoner.

GUARD #3

Reason?

RIDCULLY

He tied a man's legs behind his head.

GUARD #3

Well, you know who we already have in here.

RIDCULLY

We'll be careful.

The guard looks at Carrot, who appears to be nurturing a slight wedgie.

GUARD #3

What's with him?

RINCEWIND

His armor shrank in the wash.

GUARD #3

Look, ah... I'm gonna have to get authorization to move this... prisoner into the same block as You Know Who.

He taps a few keys.

GUARD #4 [thru radio]

Henderson here.

Before Guard #3 can say a word, he is lifted out of his ergodynamic swivel chair by a thick arm, and his head put through the ceiling with a CRUNCH and a shower of tiles. Carrot, at the other end of the arm, then lets him gently back down in the chair. The flexing of muscles has sprung several clasps on his borrowed armor.

GUARD #4 [thru radio, contd.]

Hello? What was that noise?

Ridcully leans over, presses the talk button, and improvises:

RIDCULLY

Just wanted to know if you wanted some pizza. We ordered from Pizza Wookiee and... [glances at Guard #3's name tag] Kennison gave the delivery guy a lousy tip.

GUARD #4 [thru radio]

Eh, Pizza Wookiee tastes like crap. I'll pass.

RIDCULLY

All right.

He switches the radio off. Then he glances over at Carrot, who is trying to fix the sprung clasps, with Rincewind's help. Finally Rincewind gives up.

RINCEWIND

No good.

RIDCULLY

Let's move. It's only a matter of time before they find those jokers in the docking bay.

CARROT

That's not a very nice thing to say about the droids.

RIDCULLY

I mean the troopers we mugged. [into handheld mike] Hey Golden Boy. I really hope we're on the right floor.

Threepio is watching with some disgust as Artoo continues to try to pick up the ship's computer.

ARTOO

[subtitle: So, what's your sign?

COMPUTER

[similar pattern of beeps and whistles]

[subtitle: My sign is Microsoft.]

Artoo reacts negatively to this information.

RIDCULLY [through microphone]

Hey, Lug Nuts! Anyone home?

PONDER THREEPIO

[into microphone, slightly exasperated] What is it?

RIDCULLY [through microphone]

[carefully enunciating] Are we... on... the right... floor?

PONDER THREEPIO

[into microphone] You should be. Cell 42 is right down the hall.

RIDCULLY [through microphone]

Right.

Ridcully clips the microphone to his belt.

RIDCULLY

[to the others] This way.

They head into the dungeon.

RINCEWIND

I still don't see why I couldn't have waited in the ship.

RIDCULLY

Think of it this way... we left unconscious guards behind us. They'll likely blame it on anyone they find in the docking bay

RINCEWIND

Oh. Right.

CARROT

Here we are... Cell 42.

They regard the keypad next to the door in silence for a few moments.

RINCEWIND

Anyone think to get the code before we knocked the guard out?

RIDCULLY

Chewie's an expert at picking locks, aren't you, Chewie?

Chewbacca grins, slips off the unlatched shackles, and clobbers the keypad with the shackles, completely destroying the face.

They look at the door expectantly, but it doesn't move.

RIDCULLY

Damn. They've installed the locks that stay shut when you smash them instead of the ones that open when you smash them.

Carrot crouches on his haunches to look at the mangled lock, inadventantly causing the demise of several more armor clasps.

CARROT

This might be salvageable. Let's see here...

He takes a pair of wires from the tangled mess and touches together the bits where the insulation has been damaged. A tiny green light bulb tangling at the end of one of the eviscerated wires comes on, and the door slides open.

RIDCULLY

Showoff.

They cluster at the now-open doorway of the cell and see...

Four frightened handmaidens clustering together in one corner of the cell. They huddle closer together at the sight of the three apparent storm troopers, until Rincewind takes off his helmet.

RINCEWIND

All right, who did we just rescue?

[takes the mike off Ridcully's belt]

[into mike] Threepio, unless your princess is able to reproduce by spontaneous cloning, I think we've got a problem.

HANDMAIDEN #1

[uncertain] Thank you for rescuing us... but our princess is in another Star Destroyer!

The three human rescuers execute a perfectly synchronized forehead slap.

PONDER THREEPIO [through mike]

Uh-oh... that sounds like one of the handmaidens. But... this is the only cell that's had any traffic recently...

Ridcully rips his helmet off.

RIDCULLY

Godsdammit, we're on the wrong ship! What're the odds?

PONDER THREEPIO [through mike]

[not missing a beat] 437,294 to one, sir.

Ridcully closes his eyes, as though asking for the willpower not to tear off the protocol droid's head next time they meet.

Carrot takes off his helmet, ducks into the cell, and starts leading the handmaidens out.

RINCEWIND

[looking back down the corridor] Oh, shit.

RIDCULLY

[not paying attention] Now, I may be a ruffian, but I at least know what not to say in the presence of women.

Rincewind grabs Ridcully's arm and points. Ridcully's face goes blank as he sees what Rincewind is pointing at.

Their escape route is blocked by entirely too many real storm troopers.

RIDCULLY

Oh... shit.

Presently Carrot emerges with the last of the handmaidens and freezes when he sees the storm troopers. The troopers aim rifles at the rescuers. Rincewind apparently comes to a decision.

RINCEWIND

[waving his hand frantically at the troopers] [echo] Why are you pointing those snakes at us? [/echo]

The troopers look down at their rifles in confusion, and there is a moment of mass panic as they variously throw their guns on the floor and stomp on them, or else beat them against the corridor walls. The rescuers duck the resulting random laser fire.

RIDCULLY

[sarcastic] Brilliant, Rincewind. Absolutely brilliant.

Rincewind shrugs sheepishly as the heroes duck back into the cell to escape the laser fire.

RINCEWIND

Give me a little credit, willya? I didn't hear you coming up with any plans.

RIDCULLY

*My* job is to pilot the ship. *Your* job is to be the enigmatic Jedi AND GET US OUT OF TROUBLE!

RINCEWIND

Fine. Hey Chewie, did you know that chilled monkey brains are a delicacy in the Empire?

Chewbacca looks at him, horrified.

RINCEWIND

I know for a fact that the chaps in the hallway were just eating them. What do you think of that?

Chewbacca bares his fangs

RINCEWIND

I suggest you go and teach the lot of them a lesson.

Chewbacca howls and charges out of the cell. Further screaming and chaos.

RIDCULLY

[chuckling] That wasn't very nice.

RINCEWIND

Chewie will be okay.

RIDCULLY

I didn't mean... oh, never mind.

When silence reigns again, a slightly bedraggled but entirely unhurt Chewbacca reappears in the doorway. He is wearing a storm trooper helmet with both eyes punched out.

RIDCULLY

Let's go. [to the handmaidens] We're going to go rescue your princess. It might be a little dangerous, so if you like we can drop you off somewhere safe.

RINCEWIND

[brightly] Okay.

RIDCULLY

[to Rincewind] Not you.

RINCEWIND

[dejected] Awww.

INT - STAR DESTROYER - DOCKING BAY

The two droids nervously wait in the shadows for any word from their human companions. Threepio hears conversation nearby and peers around the corner to see who it is. Two Imperial officers are sneaking a smoke out in the docking bay.

PONDER THREEPIO

[sotto] Uh-oh... Think fast, Ponder...

The officers jump and snap to attention at the sudden sound of the Imperial March. One of them still has a cigarette sticking out of his mouth, until his companion sees it and rips it away.

DARTH VETINARI'S VOICE [o.s.]

[smoothly] I received a tip recently that somebody has been smoking in here... it's a good thing, too, because we can't be very efficient when everybody's sneaking off for cigarettes, can we?

OFFICERS

[scared shitless] NO SIR!

DARTH VETINARI'S VOICE [o.s.]

I trust you both have duties to perform now? Don't let me detain you.

The officers, relieved at their near-miss, take off running out of the docking bay. The Imperial March stops abruptly.

ARTOO [o.s.]

[subtitle: That was eerie.]

PONDER THREEPIO [o.s.]

[smug] Thank you.

Several seconds later, there is a simian howl and the sound of both officers screaming. Threepio winces. Chewbacca knuckles in, with a large scrap from an Imperial uniform caught in his teeth, followed by the others. Well, no time for questions, though it is clear Threepio has a number of them.

PONDER THREEPIO

I wager whatever you lot have been doing will bring the entire security staff down on our heads shortly.

RIDCULLY

Give us a little credit, lad... we rescued part of the royal party.

He gestures at the handmaidens.

PONDER THREEPIO

Be that as it may, I strongly suggest we go now.

RIDCULLY

Does your friend the trash can know where the princess is being held? She sure as hell wasn't on this ship.

ARTOO

[subtitle: No worries. I chatted up the computer a bit, and within a few cycles she was putty in my modem.]

PONDER THREEPIO

[loosely translating] "Yes. We'll give you the coordinates once we're all aboard." Can we go now?

Ridcully deactivates the alarm system on the Falcon and lowers the boarding ramp. As soon as Chewbacca is aboard and out of sight:

TROOPER

Get em!

As this signal, about a dozen storm troopers [led by three in their shorts] leap into the docking bay from a number of entrances and start firing at them.

RIDCULLY

[more annoyed than worried] Oh, sod... [to Threepio] You didn't notice this?!

PONDER THREEPIO

I was busy trying to keep Artoo from catching a social disease from the ship's computer!

Two of the handmaidens freeze at the base of the boarding ramp in terror at the sight of the storm troopers. Carrot gathers them in his arms and braces himself, using his body to shield them from the laser fire.

RINCEWIND [in ship]

Carrot! What the devil are you doing?!

RIDCULLY

The really annoying thing is... it's working.

Carrot grimaces under the impacts as the laser blasts ricochet off the borrowed storm trooper armor. The handmaidens scream, fully expecting to be perforated at any moment. Carrot stoically makes no sound, save for a growl when a laser bolt finds the space where his arm guards popped open, leaving a charred patch under his arm.. At a lull in the shooting, Carrot scoops up the handmaidens by their waists, one under each arm, and runs up the ramp. Ridcully closes the ramp when he is halfway up.

ARTOO

[subtitle: I think we've established who the hero of this movie is...]

Carrot sets down the two handmaidens, then falls to his knees, coughing. His back is smoking and the armor is scarred with laser burns. Chewbacca takes a small fire extinguisher and sprays it over the smoldering armor.

Meanwhile, Ridcully drops into the pilot's chair and starts up the Falcon as the laser fire resumes outside.

RIDCULLY

[to the ship] All right, let's see how fast we can get this bastard started up.

Something malfunctions and starts powering down.

RIDCULLY

[shouting] I am really not in the mood! Now either you start working or we all get blown up!

The malfunction resolves itself and the ship begins powering back up.

PONDER THREEPIO

Is verbal abuse really the best course at this time?

RIDCULLY

Shut up!

PONDER THREEPIO

Yessir.

The Falcon slowly rises into the air.

RIDCULLY

Might wanna fasten your seatbelt, boy.

PONDER THREEPIO

[realizes too late] Oh shi-IIIIIIIIIIIIIT!

... as the Falcon surges forward again, Threepio is driven backwards out of the cockpit by inertia, trips over Artoo, and falls full-length onto the floor. Chewbacca holds up a scorecard that reads "5.4".

PONDER THREEPIO

[to Chewbacca] Shut up.

[pause]

Did anyone think to check if the docking bay door was open?

Outside, the storm troopers sprint for the airlocks as the Falcon heads, full throttle, for the CLOSED docking bay door.

Ridcully's teeth are bared as he glares at the door, then braces a half-second before impact.

CRASH! Fragments of door spiral away into space as the Falcon rockets away, its nose somewhat dented.

ARTOO

[subtitle: Good thing I disabled all the TIE fighters. Otherwise we'd REALLY be in it deep.]

Threepio pushes himself up just enough to look at the little droid.

PONDER THREEPIO

You *what*? [starts laughing] What else were you up to in there? [beat] Wait, don't tell me, I don't want to know.

Artoo beeps smugly.

Once they have left the Star Destroyer in their proverbial dust, Ridcully slumps in relief, then sets the autopilot, gets up, and leaves the cockpit. He looks down at Carrot, whose adrenaline rush is wearing off.

RIDCULLY

You know something? That has got to be the single stupidest thing I've ever seen any man do in my life!

[he breaks into a grin and claps Carrot in the shoulder. Carrot winces.]

If I was thirty years younger, that'd be me.

Chewbacca nods in affirmation that, yes, Ridcully would actually have done that; then he takes a small prybar and pops the remnants of the armor off Carrot. The beleaguered armor virtually disintegrates when it hits the floor.

RIDCULLY

Rincewind, Chewie. Help Rambo here to the infirmary.

[Rincewind and Chewbacca support Carrot between them and stagger towards the infirmary, Chewbacca leading]

Artoo, you and Threepio help me feed the coordinates of that other Star Destroyer into my ship's computer.

PONDER THREEPIO

[to Artoo] And no flirting!

RIDCULLY

Pardon?

PONDER THREEPIO

Never mind...

INT - STAR DESTROYER

Darth Vetinari is not a happy camper.

DARTH VETINARI

I have a hard time believing that four people could just waltz out of a Star Destroyer with four prisoners, without anyone stopping them.

He is holding the officer previously identified as Henderson by the throat. Henderson's boots dangle helplessly a few inches off the ground.

DARTH VETINARI [contd.]

Now, when I hear about incidents like this, I get upset.

HENDERSON

Milord, I had no way of knowing--

DARTH VETINARI

You said you heard a man's head go through the ceiling!

HENDERSON

Well, delivery wookiees are very touchy about tipping.

DARTH VETINARI

The more you talk, the more I hear poor dungeon management, improper security protocols and - above all - overwhelming stupidity within the ranks.

HENDERSON

Sir--

DARTH VETINARI

[echo] SILENCE! [/echo] You must understand, Henderson, that it's all Darwinian. Survival of the fittest. Elimination of the old, the sick...

[he twitches his hand sideways just a fraction, and there is a crunch as Henderson's neck is broken. He falls limp]

... and above all, the stupid.

He drops Henderson onto the floor. A cluster of passing maintenance droids shaped like Dow Scrubbing Bubbles scoot up to the corpse and shuffle it away. Darth Vetinari reaches around to massage the shoulder that had been supporting Henderson.

DARTH VETINARI

[slight annoyance] I think I wrenched something...

He wanders away in search of the Imperial masseuse.

INT - MILLENNIUM FALCON - INFIRMARY

Carrot lies prone on a small cot about a foot too short for him while Chewbacca bandages the laser burn on his arm. The man's bare back is a grim sunset of bruises. Behind Chewbacca, the four handmaidens they just rescued watch in concern. Rincewind, leaning against a wall, glances at the handmaidens, then at Carrot.

After tying off the bandage, Chewbacca chatters something to them in ape.

RINCEWIND

[absently translating] He'll be okay. Nothing broken, just watch the arm for a few days, and his back'll be tender for about a week.

Chewbacca raises his eyebrows at Rincewind.

RINCEWIND

[tiredly, to Chewbacca] Don't ask.

In the cockpit, Artoo is interfacing with the shipboard computer.

ARTOO

[subtitle: Did you hear that? She thinks I'm cute!]

PONDER THREEPIO

Consider who programmed her.

Artoo looks speculatively at Ridcully, then shudders and continues relaying the coordinates.

RIDCULLY

According to these coordinates, we should be there in a day or so.

PONDER THREEPIO

I don't know if we have that long. They're bound to be pretty upset that we sprung the handmaidens.

RIDCULLY

They'll get over it.

PONDER THREEPIO

Have you ever seen a man's larynx crushed by the sheer power of another man's will?

RIDCULLY

No.

PONDER THREEPIO

That's what the overlord of the Empire can do. And frequently does.

RIDCULLY

Sounds like a real son of a bitch.

PONDER THREEPIO

I wouldn't know, sir.

RIDCULLY

Well, in that case we better not try the pizza scheme again. What we need here is a REAL distraction.

He gets up and leaves the cockpit.

PONDER THREEPIO

[to Artoo] I've got a bad feeling about this.

ARTOO

[subtitle: Will you stop getting bad feelings already? Everything you get a bad feeling about something, you're usually right!]

PONDER THREEPIO

While you're in there, see if there's a working hyperdrive on this wreck. And a cloaking device.

ARTOO

[subtitle: Hyperdrive, yes. Working, maybe. Cloaking device... wrong universe.]

PONDER THREEPIO

At least there's a hyperdrive...

Presently Ridcully reenters the cockpit and sits down, popping the top on a can of beer.

PONDER THREEPIO

Excuse me sir, but it has come to my attention that there is a hyperdrive available on this vessel.

RIDCULLY

Your point?

PONDER THREEPIO

Well, at our current velocity, we will reach the Star Destroyer in 32.5 hours. But were we to use the hyperdrive, we would get there in 5.4 seconds... barring any mechanical failure. I understand that it would be futile to attempt to appeal to your altruistic side... since you don't appear to have one. However, may I present the possibility of an opportunity to get them back for what they did to your ship?

The can of beer stops halfway to Ridcully's lips. He turns in his seat to look at the protocol droid.

RIDCULLY

They did something to my ship?

PONDER THREEPIO

I wager all the laser fire flying around couldn't have been good for the finish. Laser burns don't buff out easily. You might need to replace whole panels. On an older ship such as this, the restoration costs would be prohibitive. Then there is the matter of the nose of the ship, dented as it was from crashing through the docking bay doors--

Ridcully picks up the hand microphone.

RIDCULLY

[airline pilot voice] This is your captain speaking. I would like to inform you that in one minute we will be entering hyperspace. Please secure all luggage, valuables, droids, handmaidens, and recovering injured so none of the above suddenly fly up and stick to the back wall upon acceleration.

During this announcement, Threepio finds a seat and buckles himself into it. Artoo scoots over and clamps several manipulator arms onto Threepio's leg.

PONDER THREEPIO

The gesture is really quite touching, Artoo... but you weigh about a hundred and fifty pounds, and if you go flying towards the back wall, my lower leg is likely to go with you.

Chewbacca straps Carrot to the bed, pats him on the head to reassure him, and then knuckles towards the cockpit. Rincewind has his arms wrapped around a support column in such a way as to indicate that nothing short of a nuclear blast will get him off. Presently, the handmaidens approach the support column one by one and wrap their arms around it and, by extension, him.

RINCEWIND

Uh, ladies... not that I'm complaining or anything, but I don't think this one beam will support all of us when the ship goes hyper.

HANDMAIDEN #2

Are you the Great Wizard that Her Ladyship spoke of to us?

RINCEWIND

... Sort of.

HANDMAIDEN #2

Then you will protect us.

None of the handmaidens move.

RINCEWIND

[after a pause] Are you from the Agatean Empire or something?

[they smile]

You are. Okay. Just checking.

HANDMAIDEN #3

You see? He can read our minds! He knew right away that were were Agatean.

HANDMAIDEN #4

If he can read minds, then... [she giggles and blushes]

Rincewind whimpers, a noise generally specific to a man who knows that he is in over his head and that everyone fully expects him to know how to get himself and everyone else in the immediate area out of it.

RIDCULLY [over speakers]

Everybody better be secure by now. Ten seconds to hyperspace.

In the cockpit, Chewbacca is already strapped in and prepares to push the lever that will send them into hyperspace.

RIDCULLY [into mike]

Nine.

Threepio braces himself and his leg against the force of acceleration.

RIDCULLY [speakers]

Eight.

Carrot lays securely strapped to the cot.

RIDCULLY [speakers]

Seven.

There is a slight sucking noise as Artoo locks himself to the floor next to Threepio.

RIDCULLY [speakers]

Six.

Rincewind and the flock of handmaidens hold onto the support beam for dear life.

RIDCULLY [speakers]

Five.

In the cockpit...

RIDCULLY

Four. Three. Two. One. Hit it!

Chewbacca shoves the lever forward. The stars turn from pinpoints to streaks. Time is frozen... Chewie frozen in an expression immediately prior to "Ook." Threepio fully expecting his leg to be torn off at the knee. Carrot holding onto the cot. The handmaidens frozen in midscream. Rincewind looking like he's about to hurl.

Then there is a downward jolt that restores the forward progression of time, and everyone who was about to scream or make noise, does. The screaming stops as abruptly as it started, as everyone realizes that the downward jolt was all that was going to happen.

ARTOO

[subtitle: That was a bit anticlimactic.]

RIDCULLY [speakers]

All right. We're here. Please feel free to move about the cabin, and thank you for choosing Ridcully airlines.

As Rincewind peels himself off the support column, we see that he has left finger-marks in the metal.

PONDER THREEPIO

I take it you don't like hyperspace.

RINCEWIND

What gave you that impression?

INT - STAR DESTROYER - RADAR STATION

A radar technician sits at his station, nearly asleep. BING. His hand jerks, and as it had until then been the only thing supporting his head, his face hits the keyboard hard enough to wake him up. He shakes his head a little. BING. He peers closer at the screen. BING. He taps the technician next to him on the shoulder.

RADAR TECH #1

Hey, check this out.

Radar Tech #2 leans over to see.

RADAR TECH #2

Where'd that come from?

RADAR TECH #1

I dunno... might be a ship. It's a little bugger, too.

RADAR TECH #2

Who'd be daft enough to come around here?

RADAR TECH #1

Huh. It's only a derilict. Look, it's breaking up.

EXT - SPACE

Something leaves the belly of the Falcon and heads towards the Star Destroyer, propelled by little jets. As it leaves the shadows of the Falcon, we see that it is about twenty feet across, roughly spherical, silver, and multifaceted. As it picks up speed, it slowly turns, reflecting the starscape around it. It is moving at an impressive clip by the time it is halfway to the Star Destroyer.

INT - STAR DESTROYER

Darth Vetinari pauses, an alert expression on his face.

INT - MILLENNIUM FALCON

Rincewind likewise psychically catches wind of something and tenses. He stares out of the windscreen to watch the projectile continue to pick up speed as it nears the Star Destroyer.

INT - STAR DESTROYER

DARTH VETINARI

I sense a disturbance in the Force...

EXT - STAR DESTROYER

The sphere hits the command tower of the Star Destroyer and explodes in a shower of white sparks that more resemble fireworks than an incendiary explosion.

INT - STAR DESTROYER

BAROOOOOOM! The corridor shakes, knocking Vetinari off his feet. He sits down hard.

DARTH VETINARI

Ah. There it is.

Then the corridor is flooded with randomly flashing colored lights, CO2 smoke effects, and blaring disco music: "Disco Inferno." Vetinari gets up in annoyance, strides to a door, and opens it.

The bridge looks like a 70's nightclub, with more randomly flashing colored lights, smoke effects, music, and a mirror ball, a smaller version of the projectile, rotating slowly on the ceiling. All the officers are, as far as we can tell, having the time of their lives dancing.

As Vetinari stares in horrified disbelief, an officer dashes up to him, fighting a similar urge. He tries to salute, but instead hits a Travolta-esque pose.

DARTH VETINARI

[screaming partly out of anger and partly so he can be head above the din] WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?!

OFFICER

[shouting above the noise] I DON'T KNOW SIR! IT'S HORRIBLE! EVERYONE'S CAUGHT... [he swallows hard] ... BOOGIE FEVER, SIR!

Camera on Vetinari's face as he assumes a menacing pose. The music fades into the background.

DARTH VETINARI

Only one man would dare give me boogie fever...

[he slams the mask down and the camera pulls slowly in towards his face]

[thru visor] I JUST WISH I KNEW WHO HE WAS SO I COULD WRING HIS NECK.

He turns to say something to the officer, but the camera is still headed towards him.

CAMERAMAN [o.s.]

Look out!

The camera rams into the side of Vetinari's head, knocking him over.

DARTH VETINARI [o.s.]

[thru visor] YOU IDIOT!

The camera wobbles and pitches as the cameraman is choked with the Force, then suddenly points straight up to the ceiling when he dies.

OFFICER [o.s.]

I think we've pretty much demolished the fourth wall, sir.

DARTH VETINARI [o.s.]

[thru visor] GIVE ME A HAND WITH THIS THING.

The camera's view wobbles and pitches in a motion-sickness-inspiring dance, before they manage to stabilize it, pointing it back towards the scene. Vetinari and the officer run back to their places. Vetinari takes a deep breath to recompose himself.

DARTH VETINARI

[thru visor] NOW... WHERE WERE WE?

OFFICER

The end of the scene, sir.

DARTH VETINARI

[thru visor] OH.

INT - MILLENNIUM FALCON

The protagonists gaze out of the windscreen at the Star Destroyer. Multicolored lights flash and oscillate out of every window.

PONDER THREEPIO

Erm... what did you just do?

RIDCULLY

[proudly] Now that's what I call a Distraction. I remember back in my youth when they had places where you could hardly concentrate for the lights... the dancing... [reverently] the disco. I get so nostalgic at times like these...

RINCEWIND

I think I'm going to be sick.

PONDER THREEPIO

[flatly, to Ridcully] Do you often give your enemies boogie fever?

ARTOO

[subtitle: Maybe he's a carrier.]

Ridcully steers the Falcon closer to the Star Destroyer.

RIDCULLY

They'll never knew what hit them. We'll be in and out in two shakes of a dancer's booty.

RINCEWIND

I'm really starting to feel violated now.

PONDER THREEPIO

That makes two of us. My neural net wasn't built to handle this.

RINCEWIND

What about *my* neural net?

PONDER THREEPIO

You're human. You don't *have* a neural net.

ARTOO

[subtitle: That explains a lot.]

RIDCULLY

[ignoring them] If we move fast, we won't catch it. Just get in, get the princess, and get out.

CARROT [o.s.]

That sounds simple enough.

They turn. Carrot stands in the doorway, resting most of his weight on the doorjamb. Ridcully stands up in an effort to be nose-to-nose with Carrot, but settling instead for nose-to-collarbone. He looks up at Carrot, trying to look paternal and authoritarian.

RIDCULLY

You are staying here, young man. You just soaked a bunch of laser blasts. You still need time to heal.

RINCEWIND

And I'd be more than happy to watch over him while he recovers.

RIDCULLY

[to Rincewind] Don't be silly. She might need a familiar face to comfort her after her ordeal.

RINCEWIND

What about Threepio?

PONDER THREEPIO

[slightly indignant] I wasn't programmed to offer comfort.

RIDCULLY

You weren't programmed for comic relief, either, but I haven't had this much fun in *years*.

CARROT

[to Rincewind] You're still upset about the script, aren't you?

RINCEWIND

[flatly] No comment.

CARROT

Well, he can't fight both of us and win, can he?

RINCEWIND

[to Ridcully] Tell you what. I'll go with you if Carrot does, too. He needs the Jedi training, right? I mean... he can swing his lightsaber around okay, but he needs, you know, little tidbits of Jedi wisdom... that can only be learned in the field, and... [helplessly] stuff?

RIDCULLY

[sighs] Chewie!

[the ape peers around Carrot]

Get the lad bandaged up. He's coming with us.

Chewbacca looks uncertainly up at Carrot.

CARROT

[defiant] I can handle it.

Chewbacca shrugs and tows Carrot by the wrist back to the infirmary.

RIDCULLY

This time let's open the docking bay door BEFORE flying through it.

PONDER THREEPIO

A capital idea, sir. Artoo?

Artoo begins transmitting signals through the Falcon's radio. As they near the docking bay door, it begins to slowly open.

INT - STAR DESTROYER

Darth Vetinari and the Officer, apparently the only two as yet unaffected by boogie fever, stride down the corridor, with Vetinari walking in perfect cadence to the Bee Gees.

DARTH VETINARI

I sense an old enemy has come to challenge me. I must prepare myself for combat.

OFFICER

Shall I arrange to have your lightsaber polished then, sir?

There is an awkward pause.

DARTH VETINARI

I'll pretend you didn't say that.

OFFICER

[reddening] Sorry, sir.

DARTH VETINARI

You know I always polish my own lightsaber.

There is an even longer awkward pause. Vetinari covers his eyes with one gloved hand. The officer clears his throat.

DARTH VETINARI [contd.]

[very quietly] You know what I mean...

ELSEWHERE IN THE STAR DESTROYER...

The docking bay is another bewildering scene of sensory overload, as Our Intrepid Heroes discover when they open the boarding ramp. They shout to each other over the music:

RIDCULLY

My finest work! It really makes a man proud!

PONDER THREEPIO

Yes, the music IS very loud!

RINCEWIND

How the hell am *I* supposed to know if the Princess is well-endowed?!

CARROT

Yes, it IS hard to see through this smoke cloud...

ARTOO

[subtitle: Hoo boy...]

There are a few seconds of relative silence between them until they leave the docking bay. Rincewind looks like he's getting another premonition. He slows until Carrot catches up with him.

RINCEWIND

Listen... I need to go take a leak. I'll catch up with you later.

CARROT

What?

RINCEWIND

[a bit louder, trying to be heard above the music] I need to go take a leak!

CARROT

[cupping a hand to his ear] Sorry?

RINCEWIND

[yelling] I... NEED... TO... TAKE... A... LEAK!

A split second before he shouts "leak," the current song ends. There is enough of a pause before the next song for the word to be heard quite clearly. There is an awkward pause as the music resumes.

RINCEWIND

[talking directly into Carrot's ear, but not yelling] I'll catch up with the rest of you later!

CARROT

You know where the men's room is?

RINCEWIND

I'll find it. [tries to smile reassuringly] Jedi senses, right?

He darts away along an erratically lit side passage and looks for the appropriate facilities, making sure to keep to the shadows in case of Imperials. He presses himself into a doorway moments before an Imperial conga line speeds past. Everyone is too occupied to notice him attempting to appear like part of his background. Once they are gone, he exhales and continues down the corridor.

The conga line snakes down the corridor past the rest of the rescue party, who stop to watch them pass. Threepio leans over to Ridcully.

PONDER THREEPIO

If I were to ask what was in that projectile, would I like the answer?

RIDCULLY

Probably not.

PONDER THREEPIO

Ah. Just checking. It's just that conga line of 43 Imperial guards has just passed us without incident or even noticing us. Now, considering that we are not masquerading as Imperial guards in any form...

RIDCULLY

Don't think about it too hard.

PONDER THREEPIO

Exactly the conclusion I was getting at.

They continue on their way.

RIDCULLY

I trust that Artoo was able to get the exact cell number where they're keeping the princess?

PONDER THREEPIO

She's being held in the maximum security level. Even with your distraction, I'm not certain of our chances of getting in and getting her out.

RIDCULLY

Leave that to me.

PONDER THREEPIO

Somehow I was afraid you'd say that.

Rincewind now stands in front of three doors. Door #1 is labeled "Men," beneath the familiar male stick figure. Door #2 is labeled "Women," beneath a female stick figure. Door #3 is labeled "Other," beneath a stick figure of a Roswell gray alien. As Rincewind heads through Door #1, it opens into a perfectly ordinary public restroom, decorated with polished white tiles and porcelain fixtures.

As the door shuts on its pneumatic hinge, the disco music is greatly muffled. Rincewind heads to one of the urinals. We see him from only the shoulders up as he gets ready to take care of business, absently whistling the "Star Wars" theme. Behind him, someone in one of the stalls flushes. The whistling stops with a squeak and a look of absolute horror settles on Rincewind's face as the stall door opens and the Imperial theme starts up. We hear Darth Vetinari's amplified breathing as he exits the stall. Rincewind's face screws up as he braces himself for the confrontation he knows is coming.

RINCEWIND

[sotto] Challenged to a lightsaber fight in the men's room. The story of my life.

INT - STAR DESTROYER - DUNGEON

The bearded guard looks up from a magazine with a picture of a scantily clad humanoid alien female on the cover, snatching it closed as the door hisses open and stuffing the guilty pleasures into a drawer of the console. Ridcully enters, carrying a cup of what looks like apple cider.

RIDCULLY

Hey, there's a hell of a party going on out there.

BEARDED GUARD

I'd love to... but I can't leave my post, see?

RIDCULLY

No worries. Here. I brought you some cider.

He offers the cup to the guard, who looks at the contents doubtfully.

BEARDED GUARD

What's in it?

RIDCULLY

Apples.

BEARDED GUARD

Ah. That should be okay then.

The guard takes the cup and drains the contents, wiping his mustache on the back of his hand. He smiles at Ridcully. Ridcully smiles back.

After a few seconds, the guard slumps facefown on the console.

RIDCULLY

Well... mainly apples.

He retrieves the empty cup, then grabs the guard by the hair and lifts his head up. The guard's eyes are still open, and they roll crazily in their sockets as he looks over at Ridcully with something approaching panic.

RIDCULLY

One question.

BEARDED GUARD

[garbled sounds]

RIDCULLY

The Princess' cell.

BEARDED GUARD

[garbled inquiry]

RIDCULLY

That's right. We need the combination for the lock. Now... you should still have minimal control over your extremities, so just tap out each number with your fingers.

The guard doesn't move.

RIDCULLY [contd.]

Alternatively, I could just bash your head against the desk and you could grunt when I've tapped out each number. I don't much care which.

BEARDED GUARD

[whimper]

INT - IMPERIAL MEN'S ROOM

Rincewind stands absolutely still, still holding onto himself, as the dark apparition of Vetinari approaches.

DARTH VETINARI

[thru visor] WELL. THIS IS QUITE A SURPRISE. I MUST SAY I DIDN'T EXPECT YOU TO HAVE THE BALLS TO COME HERE AND CHALLENGE ME.

Rincewind glances down, as if to reassure himself that everything is, in fact, still there.

DARTH VETINARI [contd.]

[thru visor] ACTUALLY, I WAS EXPECTING YOU TO BE HIDING IN SOME DARK HOLE FAR AWAY FROM HERE.

RINCEWIND

Look, I just came in here to take a leak...

DARTH VETINARI

[thru visor] IT SEEMS FATE HAS OTHER PLANS.

RINCEWIND

[starting to panic] I really do have to pee, and I can't really do that with you staring at my back and breathing heavily.

DARTH VETINARI

[thru visor] BRAVE WORDS FROM AN AVOWED COWARD.

Rincewind sees something out of the tail of his eye, and looks over to see the spectre of Death standing there. Death touches his cowl to Rincewind. Rincewind immediately returns his eyes to face front. He is shaking badly.

DEATH

[note: Death has a resounding bass voice to rival that which comes out of Vetinari's visor]

NOT EXACTLY THE PLACE I WOULD HAVE CHOSEN FOR A FINAL BATTLE.

RINCEWIND

Not exactly the place *I* would have chosen, either. I guess you think you know what's going to happen.

DARTH VETINARI

[thru visor] WELL, THERE ARE TWO POSSIBLE OUTCOMES TO THIS FIGHT.

RINCEWIND

I wasn't talking to you!

DEATH

HE'S RIGHT, YOU KNOW.

RINCEWIND

I can't believe this is happening to me... but I know *you* certainly don't care either way.

Vetinari clears his throat pointedly.

DARTH VETINARI

[thru visor] I KNOW THIS IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS, BUT IF YOU WANT TO TALK TO YOUR LITTLE LIGHTSABER IN THE BATHROOM, PLEASE DO SO WHEN THERE AREN'T THREE CAMERAS ROLLING AND A MAJOR VILLAIN STANDING BEHIND YOU.

RINCEWIND

I am *not* talking to my little lightsaber! I'm talking to him! [nods in Death's direction]

DARTH VETINARI

[thru visor] WHO?

DEATH

HE CAN'T SEE ME.

RINCEWIND

[mutters something in a foreign language. Subtitle: (Really folks, you don't want to know!)]

DEATH

THAT WOULD TAKE SOME TALENT TO ACCOMPLISH.

RINCEWIND

[getting desperate now] Look! Could both of you just turn around or something? I really really have to go!

Death shrugs but wordlessly turns his back. Vetinari sighs and turns around, making sure to keep between Rincewind and the door. Rincewind begins urinating with a sigh.

INT - DUNGEON

Princess Angua has been busy since we saw her last. She has fashioned a crude knife from the bits of circuitry she scavenged from the human boom box. She crouches just inside the door as voices approach the door. We hear beeps of different tones as someone enters the code, and the door hisses open. She leaps out with a shriek, attacking the newcomers with the knife.

RIDCULLY

Ow! Hey!

Threepio interposes himself between Angua and Ridcully and pushes the Princess back. Ridcully steps back, holding his shoulder where she cut him and glowering at the Princess.

PONDER THREEPIO

Your Majesty! We're here to rescue you!

Angua looks down sourly at where the droid's hands have ended up. He follows her gaze, and a beat later he selfconsciously plucks his hands away from her chest and clasps them behind his back.

PRINCESS ANGUA

[to the others] So, you're the rescue team, are you?

RIDCULLY

[dryly] If getting rescued isn't beneath your station. What the hell is wrong with you, attacking us like that?

PRINCESS ANGUA

[unapologetic] I thought you were someone else.

ARTOO

[subtitle: It's her time of the month.]

Threepio kicks Artoo hard enough to elicit an indignant squawk from the astro-droid.

PONDER THREEPIO

Your Majesty, I would like you to meet Ridcully, the pilot we hired...

[Ridcully touches his forelock to her in a purely procedural fashion.]

... His copilot, Chewbacca...

[Chewbacca grins and waves hello.]

... Carrot, the young man primarily responsible for ensuring the safety of your handmaidens when we rescued them...

[Carrot smiles shyly at Angua]

... and Rincew-- Where'd he go?

CARROT

He said he would catch up to us later. He's... [glances at Angua and chooses his words carefully] um, paying a visit.

PONDER THREEPIO

Apparently you didn't think this was important enough to tell the rest of us.

CARROT

He shouldn't be very long about it. What with Ridcully's distraction, what kind of trouble could he get into?

INT - IMPERIAL MEN'S ROOM

Rincewind finishes fastening up his trousers and flushes the urinal.

RINCEWIND

Okay, okay, I'm done. Happy?

Darth Vetinari ignites his lightsaber. It hums menacingly as the Sith Lord advances on Rincewind.

RINCEWIND

... Right.

Rincewind blurs as he steps onto the rim of the urinal, then onto the plumbing on top. As his trailing foot steps off the rim, Vetinari's lightsaber sweeps across, a hairsbreadth from Rincewind's toes, and shears the porcelain bowl in half, leaving the defenseless urinal charred and smoking where the lightsaber hit. Rincewind, still blurring, runs across the tops of the urinals. When he gets to the end of the row, he ignites his own lightsaber and leaps towards the wall. Vetinari charges forward, and Rincewind pushes off the wall with both feet and flips over Vetinari, whose lightsaber plunges to the hilt in the white tiles.

Rincewind lands behind Vetinari, breathing in terrified gasps. Vetinari turns and raises his visor. He releases the lightsaber stuck in the wall and golf-claps at Rincewind.

DARTH VETINARI

Impressive.

RINCEWIND

I really hope I don't have to do that again...

DARTH VETINARI

Why not?

RINCEWIND

I don't think I can.

DARTH VETINARI

Well. [shuts the visor again] THAT'S REALLY NONE OF MY CONCERN, NOW IS IT?

He rips his lightsaber out of the wall [leaving a black scar of melted tiles] and advances on Rincewind.

RINCEWIND

[genuinely terrified] Please... don't make me do something I don't want to do...

Vetinari advances confidently and raises his lightsaber.

INT - DUNGEON

The rest of the rescuers head back towards the docking bay, with Angua in tow. The disco continues around them, and they occasionally ricochet off dancers in their hurry.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Who is responsible for this?!

PONDER THREEPIO

It's Ridcully's distraction. I don't know how it worked, but it did.

PRINCESS ANGUA

I hate disco!

Ridcully whirls on her.

RIDCULLY

Well excuse the hell out of us for wanting to save your royal ass!

PONDER THREEPIO

Please... we have to keep moving!

PRINCESS ANGUA

[drawing herself up haughtily at Ridcully] I *happen* to be Princess Delphine Angua von Uberwald, daughter to--

PONDER THREEPIO

Your Majesty--

RIDCULLY

I *know* who you are! Now if you want to *stay* princess, you better shut your yap and quit complaining about [falsetto] "I hate disco!"

PONDER THREEPIO

Sir--

PRINCESS ANGUA

Never, in all my life, has anyone dared--

PONDER THREEPIO

Your Majesty--

RIDCULLY

Maybe more people should! Maybe then you'd be a little more grateful--

PONDER THREEPIO

Sir--

PRINCESS ANGUA

*Grateful?!*

PONDER THREEPIO

Your Majesty--

RIDCULLY

Of course, we could just put you back in that--

PONDER THREEPIO

[shouting at the top of his synthesizer] WILL BOTH OF YOU PLEASE *SHUT UP*?!

Both Ridcully and Angua stare at Threepio in startled silence.

ARTOO

[subtitle: Wow. You even use proper protocol when telling people to shut up.]

PONDER THREEPIO

Now. Mr. Ridcully said that we only had a limited amount of time before we catch boogie fever like the rest of the ship.

[Angua gives him an odd look.]

[tiredly] Don't ask... My point is, we have to find Rincewind and get back to the ship and get away from here before that happens. Now, for the record... Ridcully, you're an asshole. Your Majesty, you're a brat. You can pick up the argument from right there *after we're safely away from here*!

RIDCULLY

[to Angua] Disrespectful little whelp, isn't he?

CARROT

[to Ridcully] He's right.

RIDCULLY | PRINCESS ANGUA [simultaneously]

She's a brat? | He's an asshole?

CARROT

We have to get out of here. Quickly.

RIDCULLY/ PRINCESS ANGUA

Oh.

ARTOO

[subtitle: Hey look, they're fighting like wet cats. I sense a romantic subplot developing.]

PONDER THREEPIO

[to Artoo] Oh, please. He's old enough to be her grandfather.

Ridcully and Angua, hearing Threepio's response, look at each other speculatively, then simultaneously shudder.

ARTOO

[subtitle: He's almost *hairy* enough to be her grandfather.]

Threepio rolls his eyes and continues on down the corridor, following an internal map that appears in his vision like a ray-traced dungeon from an old computer adventure game, with little arrows indicating the path they took.

PONDER THREEPIO

[to the others] Come on, this way. He haven't got much time.

CARROT

I'm sure Rincewind is okay. After all, he's Obi-Wan Kenobi, a Great Wizard.

RIDCULLY

Kinda sad that our "only hope" is currently elsewhere taking a leak while we're doing all the dangerous stuff.

INT - IMPERIAL MEN'S ROOM

Vetinari swings his saber down at Rincewind as Rincewind cowers against the wall, covering his eyes with one arm.

CRKKSHHH...

Energy crackles angrily as the blades lock together. Rincewind opens one eye, having come to the conclusion that he is not dead yet. He looks up at his free arm and sees it holding his lightsaber out and blocking Vetinari's saber from the deathblow. Blue lightning crackles around the two sabers.

RINCEWIND

Holy shit...

DARTH VETINARI

[thru visor] SO, YOU ARE NOT AS EAGER TO DIE AS YOU HAD BE BELIEVE.

RINCEWIND

Really, I'm very happy alive. No intention of dying at all. I hope.

DARTH VETINARI

[thru visor] WE SHALL SEE ABOUT THAT.

Vetinari disengages his blade and steps back. Rincewind turns away from the wall to face him, though the expression on his face indicates that someone else is now in control and Rincewind himself is just along for the ride.

RINCEWIND

[under breath] OhShitOhShitOhShitOhShit...

Vetinari attacks. Rincewind screams as his arms, under their own volition, parry the Dark Lord's blade, sweeping the point away a second before it can stab him through the face. Rincewind counters with a slice towards Vetinari's side, which Vetinari easily blocks, holding Rincewind's lightsaber in place while he punches Rincewind in the face with his free hand. Rincewind staggers back, dazed, falling back against the porcelain tiles with a bloody nose. He dabs at it with his free hand, looks at his bloody fingers in something approaching amazement, then wipes his nose with the back of his arm.

Darth Vetinari has Rincewind backed against the wall. There is no escape.

RINCEWIND

You *do* realize that if you strike me down, I'll become more powerful. You *do* know that, right?

DARTH VETINARI

[thru visor] SO I'M TOLD.

RINCEWIND

Basic rule of powerful Jedis?

DARTH VETINARI

[thru visor, sotto to Rincewind] YOU'RE TAKING A FEW LIBERTIES WITH THE SCRIPT.

RINCEWIND

Bugger the script!

Rincewind extinguishes his lightsaber and, blurring, dives between Vetinari's legs. As he stands up again, he flips Vetinari's cloak over the dark Jedi's head and takes off for the door while Vetinari is disentangling himself. Once Vetinari finally flings the cloak back behind him, the only evidence of Rincewind's passage is the bathroom door hissing shut the last few inches on its pneumatic hinge. Vetinari looks with some annoyance at a lightsaber-induced tear in the fabric of his cloak, then storms out of the bathroom after Rincewind.

Rincewind, meanwhile, pelts down a corridor at full speed, only to skid to a halt in the doorway of a room filled with about a hundred storm troopers engaged in the Electric Slide. He looks over his shoulder to see if there were any usable doors back the way he came. He hears the distant echoes of the Imperial March, getting louder. He cranes his neck to look over the heads of the dancing storm troopers. Aha. There's a doorway at the far side of the room. Presently he sees his friends hurrying past the doorway, headed down the corridor on the other side.

You can do it

It's electric!

Boogie woogie woogie...

He steels himself and dives between the two nearest troopers, slides on his stomach between the feet of another one, and curls into a protective ball as they all hop and turn to the right. Once he is no longer in danger of getting jumped on, he crawls on his hands and knees as fast as he can between the rows of storm troopers, and flattens himself against the floor to avoid getting kicked in the head. He peers between the dancing feet back the way he came and sees a pair of black armored legs standing in the doorway with a black cape swirling dramatically behind them.

Darth Vetinari scans the rows and rows of white-armored dancers, a look of murderous determination on his face. He strides at the first row of storm troopers, shoving two of them aside so he can pass.

Rincewind mouths a curse and army-crawls on his elbows between the storm troopers, occasionally twisting aside to avoid a stomping dance step.

Darth Vetinari shoves his way through the rows of dancers.

Rincewind reaches a wall approximately halfway between the two doorways and pulls himself up, trying to catch his breath. The top of Vetinari's helmet is visible from his vantage point, barreling its way between the white storm trooper helmets. Vetinari reaches a space between rows, then turns his head to look directly at Rincewind. Their eyes lock. Vetinari smiles evilly. Rincewind presses himself against the wall as though trying to ooze through it. Vetinari turns and starts advancing. Rincewind takes a deep breath.

RINCEWIND

[echo] SLAM DANCE! [/echo]

Vetinari pales.

DARTH VETINARI

Oh f--

INT - IMPERIAL MEN'S ROOM

RIDCULLY

Fine job the housekeeping staff is doing around here...

CARROT

Well, that answers two questions...

RIDCULLY

How's that?

CARROT

Was he here, and why hasn't he caught up with us yet.

They silently survey the battle-scarred public restroom. Four of the six urinals have sustained lightsaber damage, including two cut in half, and there is a long, curved gash in one wall, the ceramics at its edges having by now cooled into shiny white stalactites.

PONDER THREEPIO

I don't imagine it lasted too long... but whether that's good or bad remains to be seen.

PRINCESS ANGUA

No bloodshed.

RIDCULLY

None that we can see, anyway.

PRINCESS ANGUA

But something did happen. Whoever was last in here was scared out of his mind.

Ridcully gives her an odd look.

RIDCULLY

Who are you, Deanna Troi or something?

Angua glares.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Call it women's intuition. Wouldn't you be scared of someone who has a weapon that cuts through porcelain like it's nothing?

RIDCULLY

No.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Well, all *that* proves is that you're an idiot.

RIDCULLY

Now, someone who attacks urinals might be unbalanced, but I deal with people like that all the time. Now if someone was trying to stick that thing in *me*, then I'd be concerned. Now, princess, does your "intuition" say anything about where they went?

PRINCESS ANGUA

[pointing] That way.

PONDER THREEPIO

That's back towards the Falcon!

RIDCULLY

In that case, we better hurry up and get back ourselves.

CARROT

What about Rincewind?

RIDCULLY

Well, if he's smart, he'll head back to the ship. If not, he's gotten himself killed by now and we're trying to beat the bad guy back to the Falcon.

As they get ready to head down the corridor in the direction Angua indicated, a storm trooper slides out of a side corridor on his back, hits the opposite wall helmet-first, and lays very still.

PONDER THREEPIO

I suggest going another way.

The others nod as they stare at the fallen storm trooper.

ARTOO

[subtitle: That's odd. The Rancor isn't until Episode 6.]

PONDER THREEPIO

Fanbot.

INT - ELECTRIC SLIDE TURNED SLAM DANCE

The storm troopers mill about like armored bumper cars, crashing into each other. Darth Vetinari is finding it hard to move in the direction he wants to go as he rebounds off one storm trooper after another. Presently he punches a storm trooper in the face hard enough to crack the face mask and shatter the lenses in his helmet. The trooper falls unconscious.

Rincewind, still pressed against the wall, edges his way towards the door as quickly as he can, not daring to take his eyes off the Sith Lord as Vetinari forces his way slowly towards him. Rincewind's questing fingers find the doorway, and he pulls himself through.

On the other side, he puzzles over the door's control panel for a few frenzied moments before desperately punching at it with his fist. The door slides closed as Rincewind massages his bruised hand. The control pad is left unharmed.

There is a THUD from the door, and Rincewind jumps back as he sees Vetinari's face suddenly pressed against the plexiglass panel in the door, distorting it bizarrely. The Dark Jedi appears to be trying to claw his way through the window with his gloved fingers. Rincewind takes off running again.

Boogie fever briefly takes hold of his limbs, and he capers manically down the corridor like Christopher Walken in the "Weapon of Choice" video for a few beats, only regaining his personal equilibrium and breaking back into a perfectly normal sprint when he ricochets off an Imperial guard.

The rest of the rescue team is fighting the pull of boogie fever as well. As they run, Angua, Ridcully, Carrot, and Threepio find their arms involuntary forming the letters Y M C A as the Village People sing in the background. Artoo whistles merrily along to the tune.

PRINCESS ANGUA

[trying to force her arms out of the "Y" formation] I swear, Ridcully, if we get out of here alive YOU ARE A DEAD MAN!

RIDCULLY

[as the "M"] Aw, come on, Your Worship, you can't honestly say that years from now you won't look back on this and laugh...

CARROT

[as the "C"] [to Threepio] Are we there yet?

PONDER THREEPIO

[as the "A"] It's just up ahead... [sotto] I'm going to have to boil myself once this is over. I don't even know how I'm being affected. [out loud] Right through that door!

Threepio reaches the door first, and the others pile up behind him as he's trying to figure out the lock.

RIDCULLY

Hurry up, Shinypants! We don't have much longer!

PONDER THREEPIO

This is a very complicated lock--

RIDCULLY

Just *kick* the bloody thing!

Threepio gives him a skeptical look.

PONDER THREEPIO

*Kick* a sliding door?

RIDCULLY

[shrugs] It's always worked for me.

Threepio looks at the uncooperative door for a few moments. Then he shrugs and kicks at the door as hard as he can, right in the center of the lock. The lock emits a pattern of beeps, then slides open. Threepio grins, showing his chrome teeth.

PONDER THREEPIO

Cool!

ARTOO

[subtitle: You really don't want to know what that door just called you, Threepio.]

PONDER THREEPIO

[flatly] I heard it.

They head through the door at a dead run. Ridcully deactivates the alarm on the Falcon as they are approaching it. The boarding ramp whirrs down. Just as they reach it, Carrot turns and glances behind him cautiously, having heard a rhythmic anomaly in the thudding disco beat: Running footsteps, approaching at high velocity. Carrot turns to face the doorway from which the footsteps come, and ignites his lightsaber, assuming a defensive stance while with his free hand he pushes the Princess behind him.

ON THE DOORWAY

Rincewind desperately hauls ass through the doorway with every fiber of his cowardice, blurring mightily. As he sees the glowing lightsaber in Carrot's hand and by extension right in his path, he shrieks and reflexively dives. His momentum carries him forward, sliding on his by-now-beleaguered stomach across the polished docking bay floor, and between Carrot's feet to finally slow to a halt with his outstretched fingertips touching the bottom-most edge of the boarding ramp. Sweat pours down his pale face, and his breath comes in ragged gasps.

Carrot is still straddling him, and presently Carrot looks down at Rincewind's limp legs in bewilderment. After a beat, he extinguishes the lightsaber and returns it to his belt.

RIDCULLY

Well, get him inside before he has a heart attack!

RINCEWIND

[weakly] Actually I think my heart exploded about thirty seconds ago...

Ridcully and Carrot each pick him up under an arm, while Chewbacca picks up his feet, and together they carry him up the boarding ramp, followed by Angua and the droids.

ARTOO

[subtitle: Considering this universe doesn't have baseball, that was the best slider I've seen in a really long time.]

PONDER THREEPIO

Technically, we aren't supposed to even know about that...

Once everyone is inside, the ramp closes and the ship begins powering up.

INT - SLAM DANCE

Darth Vetinari holds his lightsaber in a defensive posture, his back against the door. The storm troopers have backed away from him to about a foot beyond his saber's reach. Occasionally he swings the saber to make sure this perimeter stays put.

DARTH VETINARI

All right. Just so we understand each other, the next one of you assholes who attempts to slam dance with me gets disemboweled. Got it?

The storm troopers mumble sullen agreements.

DARTH VETINARI

Now... I have some good guys to kill. When I get back, I better not find any of you dancing. I mean it.

He extinguishes the lightsaber, keys open the door, goes through it, and shuts the door. A half-second later the first bars of the Macarena start up. The storm troopers look up uncertainly.

RANDOM TROOPER

The Macarena's only three minutes long, right?

The others look at him

ON VETINARI

as he stomps along the corridor and reaches the door leading into the docking bay just in time to see the Millennium Falcon fly through the bay doors. The leather on his gloves creaks as he clenches his fists. He turns on his heel and heads back down the corridor, passing by the same door he just left, through which he can see and hear the Macarena in full swing. He stops, bristling, and takes a few deep breaths.

DARTH VETINARI

[under breath] The only thing that could possibly make my day any worse would be if the Princess escaped.

He continues on down the corridor towards the dungeon.

INT - MILLENNIUM FALCON

Rincewind is sprawled limply in a chair like a deflated blow-up doll.

RIDCULLY [o.s.]

Well, don't get up on my account...

Rincewind's head lifts slowly until he is looking unsteadily at Ridcully.

RIDCULLY [contd.]

What happened, did something crawl out of the loo and attack you?

RINCEWIND

Something like that.

RIDCULLY

"Something like that"? What crawled out of the toilet?

RINCEWIND

A Sith Lord.

He lets his head drop again. There is silence for a few beats.

RIDCULLY

[pensively] They must have really lousy plumbing in the Empire.

RINCEWIND

[not looking up] Tell me about it.

Another beat.

RIDCULLY

Comfy?

RINCEWIND

[still not looking up] Very.

RIDCULLY

Relaxed?

RINCEWIND

[still not looking up] Yes, thank you.

RIDCULLY

Shall I tell the TIE fighters outside to go home then?

Rincewind's head snaps up, and he stares at Ridcully, wide-eyed with sudden failure of relaxation. After a few seconds, Ridcully can't keep a straight face, and he starts laughing. Rincewind sighs with combined relief and exasperation, and lets his head drop again.

RINCEWIND

You're sadistic, you know that?

Ridcully, still laughing, just walks away.

INT - COCKPIT

We hear the screaming-elephant sound of TIE fighters roaring past.

Ridcully settles nonchalantly into the pilot's chair and picks up the hand microphone.

RIDCULLY

[into mike] Hey there.

TIE PILOT [radio]

Who's this? How'd you get this frequency?

RIDCULLY

[into mike] What you doing out here? There's still a party going on in the ship.

TIE PILOT [radio]

We're just getting back from a patrol. What's this about a party?

RIDCULLY

[into mike] The big guy's holding a huge shindig to celebrate the capture of some assholes who tried to spring the Princess.

TIE PILOT [radio]

[uncertain] He doesn't seem the type...

RIDCULLY

[into mike] Hell, get a few drinks in him and he's a regular party animal.

TIE PILOT [radio]

Wow. Then he wouldn't mind if we joined the party...

RIDCULLY

[into mike] Not at all. Knock yourselves out.

The TIE fighters veer away towards the star destroyer. Ridcully closes the channel and bursts into the sort of uproarious laughter that comes naturally with Ridcully's massive personality.

RIDCULLY

[once he has his breath back] This is the most fun I've had in *ages*!

Outside the cockpit, Threepio turns from his observation of Ridcully and taps Chewbacca on one hairy shoulder.

PONDER THREEPIO

Is Mr. Ridcully always like this?

Chewbacca nods.

CHEWBACCA

[chattering in ape. Subtitle: Where he goes, chaos follows, even if he has to drag it on a leash.]

Carrot wanders past, trying to take a look at the laser burn on his arm. It's obviously bothering him. Chewbacca, noticing this, makes an inquiry of Carrot in ape.

CARROT

It's okay.

Chewbacca frowns and points firmly at Carrot, then at the infirmary door. The orangutan folds his long arms and glares at Carrot, tapping one handlike hindpaw, until Carrot resigns and retreats to the infirmary. Chewbacca starts to follow, but Angua puts a hand on the ape's shoulder. Chewbacca looks up at her quizzically.

PRINCESS ANGUA

I got it. I want to talk to him anyway.

Chewbacca makes a great show of backing off, putting his hands up in a gesture of surrender. His expression indicates he has a fair idea of the subject matter of this upcoming discussion. Angua gives him a sardonic look and steps into the infirmary. After a few beats, Chewbacca tries to peer around the doorframe into the infirmary. The door slides shut.

INT - INFIRMARY

Carrot is still trying to look at the laser burn, but he looks up as Angua enters. A bit surprised by her presence, he stands up respectfully. She smiles benevolently.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Sit down... I won't bite.

Still bewildered, he does so. Unconsciously, he scratches at his bandaged arm.

PRINCESS ANGUA

That was very brave what you did.

CARROT

Pardon?

PRINCESS ANGUA

You were willing to put your life on the line to defend me. Padme and Neela tell me you even used yourself as a shield to protect them from laser fire.

CARROT

Well, I figured that you might need them when we found you...[blushing slightly] Nothing a well-mannered dwarf isn't supposed to do.

Angua raises her eyebrows in confusion.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Dwarf? You don't look like a dwarf.

CARROT

Mom says I'm just big for my size.

PRINCESS ANGUA

[dropping the subject for later exploration] Never mind. Padme says you even took a laser bolt to the arm while you were shielding them.

CARROT

Just a scratch... it looks worse than it really is. [scratches at the bandage and winces]

PRINCESS ANGUA

Look, you don't have to impress me. [smiles] You already have.

She leans down and kisses him lightly on the cheek. He blushes an interesting shade of red as she straightens up and heads for the door. She pauses and turns back to him.

PRINCESS ANGUA

And let Chewbacca look at that burn. You don't want it getting infected.

The intercom crackles. Angua and Carrot look up towards the ceiling to listen.

RIDCULLY [intercom]

Well, looks like we're clear for awhile. I'm gonna shut down some of the nonessentials so we can get some sleep.

PRINCESS ANGUA

That reminds me...

She keys open the infirmary door and exits, meeting Ridcully as he leaves the cockpit. Chewbacca passes her going the other way to attend to Carrot's laser burn in the infirmary.

RIDCULLY

[perfunctory] Your Majesty.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Where are we to sleep? I hope you don't expect us all to sleep on the floor.

RIDCULLY

Hell no. The cargo area stays at a constant temperature no matter what--

PRINCESS ANGUA

The *cargo* area?!

RIDCULLY

[abruptly shifting gears] Oh yes! They've been very useful in the construction... I don't think I could have finished it without them.

DARTH VETINARI

Good. I would hate to think you were feeling deprived in any way.

LEONARD

I could use some more parchment and ink.

DARTH VETINARI

Done. Anything else?

LEONARD

[smiles] No, thank you.

Vetinari shuts the hatch, plunging the scene into darkness.

INT - MILLENNIUM FALCON - CARGO AREA

Angua sits at one end of the dim cargo area, having her long hair combed out from the braided buns by two of the handmaidens, one of whom is wielding a wide-toothed beard comb, the other using a detangling brush.

Near the middle of the cargo bay, Rincewind, Ridcully, and Chewbacca stand, making a point of keeping their backs to the royal grooming activities.

RIDCULLY

[sotto] Don't know why it takes two of them to comb out her hair... and my best beard comb too...

[Chewbacca inserts a comment]

... and Chewie's detangling brush.

RINCEWIND

Does she know she's using the same brush Chewie uses?

RIDCULLY

Are *you* gonna tell her?

There is a long, thoughtful silence.

RINCEWIND

Nope. You?

RIDCULLY

Hell no. She's a hellion, she is.

RINCEWIND

[a bit surprised] Her?

RIDCULLY

She attacked me with a knife when we opened the cell door.

RINCEWIND

I didn't think they taught that in princessing school.

PRINCESS ANGUA [o.s.]

Ridcully?

RIDCULLY

What?

PRINCESS ANGUA [o.s.]

Do you have a robe or anything I can sleep in?

RIDCULLY

Well, there's the one Chewie uses when he gets out of the bath...

Chewie bares his fangs at Ridcully, as if to say, "Don't you dare."

PRINCESS ANGUA [o.s.]

Well, it wouldn't be proper for me to sleep in the altogether...

A thoughtful atmosphere settles over the three males as they enjoy this mental picture.

PRINCESS ANGUA [o.s.]

It's kind of a shame we left all my clothes on the Star Destroyer.

RIDCULLY

[aside to Rincewind] It is?

Rincewind elbows him sharply in the ribs.

PRINCESS ANGUA [o.s.]

And I'll want at least a pretense of privacy for myself and the handmaidens. I don't suppose it would be too much trouble to hang up a curtain or something down here?

RIDCULLY

[sourly] She's starting to get a little bossy now...

RINCEWIND

She's a princess, after all...

RIDCULLY

But that doesn't make her better than us or anything.

RINCEWIND

Well, actually...

Threepio enters the hold, carrying a garment, and heads over to the royal pajama party.

RIDCULLY

Say, that looks like one of my--

PONDER THREEPIO

I found a robe upstairs, Your Majesty... it's a little big, but I'm sure Mr. Ridcully wouldn't mind loaning it to you.

Ridcully casts a dirty look at the droid's back.

Angua stands up, takes the robe, which, though old, appears to be reasonably clean and in good repair. She inspects it at arm's length, as though daring it to be stained.

PRINCESS ANGUA

This'll do fine. Thanks, Threepio.

She kisses the droid on the cheek.

PONDER THREEPIO

[bowing slightly] One is happy to serve.

RIDCULLY

[aside to Rincewind] That droid of hers brings her an old robe to sleep in, and she kisses him... Wonder what she'd do for human men who help her out?

There is a very long thoughtful pause. The two men exchange a glance.

RINCEWIND

[aside to Ridcully] She said something about wanting a privacy curtain, right?

RIDCULLY

Right.

They go from defiant to enthusiastically obedient in about two seconds, dashing away to find suitable curtain materials. Chewie smirks and shakes his head in amused disbelief, then knuckles after them.

PRINCESS ANGUA

[to Threepio] See? *That* is the power women have over men. Now, if you don't mind...?

She makes a circling motion in the air, indicating for Threepio to turn around. He bows again and turns his back. The camera angle is such that he mainly blocks the camera's view of her as she changes into the robe. Threepio allows himself a private smile.

PONDER THREEPIO

[sotto] One is very, *very* happy to serve...

PRINCESS ANGUA

I heard that.

Threepio freezes briefly.

PONDER THREEPIO

[duly humble] A thousand pardons, Your Majesty.

[pause]

May I speak freely, Your Majesty?

PRINCESS ANGUA

Go ahead.

PONDER THREEPIO

I know that, due to various factors and recent events, you are under a bit of stress...

Angua ties the belt on the robe.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Yes?

PONDER THREEPIO

Your emotions might be a bit... [hesitates]

PRINCESS ANGUA

Yes?

PONDER THREEPIO

... unpredictable.

[he waits for any response]

With all due respect, Your Majesty, may I suggest that you not take Mr. Ridcully's behavior personally? It would be difficult to explain to your father why you disemboweled one of the people who rescued you from the dungeon. It would be... unbecoming. [pause] And a bit off-putting to the young man.

Angua walks around Threepio so they are facing each other.

PRINCESS ANGUA

"The young man"? You mean Carrot?

Threepio realizes he has slightly overstepped the boundaries of protocol in breaching this particular subject.

PONDER THREEPIO

[hedging] Well... you must realize that I'm no judge of human emotions... but I can observe behavior.

Angua leans forward menacingly. At the same time, Threepio leans back to approximately the same angle.

PRINCESS ANGUA

And exactly how much behavior did you observe?

PONDER THREEPIO

Only... Master Carrot's reaction to...

PRINCESS ANGUA

[prompting] To...?

PONDER THREEPIO

[quickly] To whatever you discussed with him in the infirmary. I don't know the exact content of the discussion, but it left him slightly red in the face.

Angua puts a hand over her eyes, then rakes her fingers through her hair. Her focus has turned elsewhere, and Threepio relaxes slightly.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Gods... [to Threepio] Do you really think... ?

PONDER THREEPIO

I'm not programmed to offer opinions in emotional matters, Your Majesty.

PRINCESS ANGUA

I mean do you really think it might be serious?

PONDER THREEPIO

It might just be puppy love.

PRINCESS ANGUA

[acidly] That was uncalled for.

PONDER THREEPIO

[contrite] Sorry.

PRINCESS ANGUA

[ribbing a bit] Go help them with that curtain before you get in even more trouble.

PONDER THREEPIO

[grateful for the opportunity to exit with his pride intact] Yes, Your Majesty.

He hurries away.

PADME (HANDMAIDEN #1)

He *is* cute.

PRINCESS ANGUA

[feigning ignorance] Who is?

PADME

Carrot, silly! You can't look at him and tell me otherwise.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Yeah... I mean he's brave and all... and kinda sweet. I dunno, he's like a great big teddy bear more than anything else.

PADME

Yeah, a big, strong, muscular, handsome teddy bear with a great big lightsaber!

PRINCESS ANGUA

[laughing, but trying to sound shocked] Padme!

She is about to further admonish Padme for her annoying talent for reading minds when Ridcully and Rincewind approach with materials for the privacy curtain - namely, bedsheets that are at least in the same ZIP code as cleanliness. Chewie follows then, clutching a staple gun in one hindpaw as he knuckles along behind them, towards the future site of a makeshift royal bedroom. Threepio trails after them, feeling like a fifth wheel.

As they begin stapling the bedsheets to the rafters of the cargo bay, Angua catches Ridcully's attention.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Mr. Ridcully. A word, please?

RIDCULLY

What do you want now?

PRINCESS ANGUA

Does this ship have an autopilot?

RIDCULLY

[cautious] Yeah.

PRINCESS ANGUA

I would like for you to set it to the coordinates I placed in Artoo for safekeeping.

RIDCULLY

Why?

PRINCESS ANGUA

There is a secret base at those coordinates.

RIDCULLY

And?

PRINCESS ANGUA

The people there need another file in Artoo.

RIDCULLY

Fine. Just send Artoo.

PRINCESS ANGUA

I don't *want* to just send Artoo! Honestly, Ridcully, do you *have* to make everything so difficult?

Threepio's danger sense kicks in, and he peers around the curtain in progress to keep an eye on Angua and Ridcully.

RIDCULLY

No. I *like* making things difficult. Especially for people who think someone died and made them commander of any ship they like.

PRINCESS ANGUA

You are about *this close* to--

Threepio darts in between them, making a T-shape with his hands.

PONDER THREEPIO

Time out! Time out!

He pushes them apart, taking care to touch Angua on the shoulder.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Threepio, this is none of your business. Just tell Artoo to set the coordinates.

PONDER THREEPIO

Yes, Your Maj--

RIDCULLY

Hold it! This is *my* ship. *I* give the orders around here! Threepio, you are *not* to have Artoo enter *any* coordinates into the computer until I say!

PRINCESS ANGUA

[to Ridcully] Well, I can see that you wouldn't recognize the inherent authority of my rank if it bit you on the ass.

PONDER THREEPIO

Behind, Your Majesty.

PRINCESS ANGUA

What?

PONDER THREEPIO

He wouldn't recognize the inherent authority of your rank if it bit him on the *behind.*

RIDCULLY

You're not helping.

PONDER THREEPIO

Well, if she's going to insult you, she doesn't have to be unladylike about it.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Maybe I don't feel very ladylike right now! Now you go tell Artoo--

RIDCULLY

As long as you're on this ship, you will take orders from me!

Threepio is getting conflicting instructions from his protocol subroutines by now, and he looks terribly bewildered.

PONDER THREEPIO

Hold it, please, both of you! I can't process conflicting instructions like this! Can't we form some sort of compromise?

PRINCESS ANGUA/ RIDCULLY

NO!!

Rincewind, startled by this outburst, accidentally staples his sleeve to the rafter. He mouths a curse and tries to free the cloth with as little damage as possible.

PONDER THREEPIO

[sotto] Forgive me, Your Majesty... [aloud, to Ridcully] Do you really want to spend any more time cooped up in a ship with this woman than you have to?

Angua looks like she's about ready to belt Threepio. The protocol droid very pointedly avoids catching her eye.

RIDCULLY

Hell no!

PONDER THREEPIO

Then I suggest we use the time during the sleep cycle to get to the base as soon as possible. With any luck, we'll be there by morning.

RIDCULLY

[grumbles] That means Chewie and I will have to monitor the computer in shifts.

PONDER THREEPIO

Or Artoo and I could--

RIDCULLY

No you won't.

PONDER THREEPIO

As you wish.

RIDCULLY

Chewie!

[The orangutan pokes his head between two sheets that have already been stapled in place.]

We're gonna be doing some night travel. First or second shift?

[Chewbacca holds up one long finger.]

Right. You make sure Artoo doesn't mess with the computer, and come get me at one.

[Chewie nods and vanishes back behind the curtain.]

[to Threepio] Once we're done here, you go tell Artoo to set the nav computer, *but he is to touch nothing else.* Got it?

PONDER THREEPIO

Yessir.

Only now does Threepio risk a glance at Angua. She looks slightly less angry than she did when he first referred to her as "this woman," but Threepio surreptitiously sidesteps out of her reach all the same. He gives her a sheepish bow by way of apology.

INT - STAR DESTROYER - VETINARI'S QUARTERS

Vetinari appears to have achieved serenity. He sits, his legs folded in the lotus position, a few inches above a red velvet cushion on the floor. In the background, classical music - Mozart - plays softly. The door chimes, and Vetinari drops gracefully onto the cushion.

DARTH VETINARI

Come in.

The door hisses open. An officer pokes his head in.

OFFICER

Someone to see you, sir. [pause] A woman, sir.

DARTH VETINARI

[condescending] Oh, certainly you've heard of women in folklore, at *least*. Send her in.

Vetinari unfolds himself from the meditative position and stands up as the officer leaves the open doorway. The Sith Lord coolly brushes off his sleeves, then dusts the palms of his gloves together. The officer reappears in the doorway, escorting a woman clad in a white gown and a gray traveling cloak. We only see her from behind, however, and her face is obscured from this angle by the hood of her cloak. Vetinari politely lifts his brows in greeting.

DARTH VETINARI

Good evening, madam.

The officer drifts over to Vetinari.

OFFICER

[aside to Vetinari] Sir, I really don't think this is proper. I mean, having a woman in your personal quarters - people may talk--

DARTH VETINARI

Currently, three people know about this meeting: You, me, and her. I hope you aren't planning on spreading this around?

[There is a glint like the edge of a dagger in Vetinari's eye as he looks over at the officer.]

Gossips tend to be *so* accident-prone...

The officer swallows hard.

OFFICER

I won't breathe a word of this to anyone.

DARTH VETINARI

Good to hear it. I trust you have other duties?

[The officer hesitates.]

[echo] Go away. [/echo]

The officer flees. Vetinari and his guest watch him go, then she turns back to face Vetinari.

DARTH VETINARI

I must say, the light here more suits you than that in the dungeon. [beat] Of course, candlelight ill-suits most people, save for romantic dinners. Considering the circumstances, I must commend Mr. Da Quirm on his craftsmanship. Now, do you know why you are here?

She nods.

DARTH VETINARI

Good. You will find everything you need in Cargo Bay 5.

WOMAN

Where shall I go?

There is something slightly familiar about her voice, but also a metallic timbre to it, as though she were speaking through a coffee can, minus the echo.

DARTH VETINARI

Uberwald. I have a task for you there...

Vetinari smiles evilly.

INT - MILLENNIUM FALCON

Title: 5:29 a.m.

Everything is quiet in the darkened cargo hold. At one end of the hold, Angua and the flock of handmaidens sleep peacefully, surrounded by the improvised curtain. Chewie and Ridcully have changed watch by now, and the orangutan is asleep at the other end of the hold, curled in a ragged blanket that likely has been one of his possessions for quite some time. His face rests less than three inches from that of the slumbering Rincewind, who has his limbs drawn, spiderlike, into a fetal position, with his cloak pulled around him. Occasionally the compulsive Jedi's face twitches in response to some aspect of a dream.

Presently, the time changes to 5:30 a.m., and a number of things happen in rapid succession.

First, Ridcully turns on a wakeup call that sounds like it's being played by Lennie Kravitz. The first to respond to the pounding rock anthem is Rincewind, whose eyes snap open. The first thing he sees is Chewie's face at very close proximity, and he screams in alarm. This wakes Chewbacca, who likewise shrieks, and man and ape backpedal away from each other, still screaming.

All the shouting wakes up Angua, who sits bolt upright, looking around a bit before standing up and flinging aside the curtain.

PRINCESS ANGUA

What is the meaning of this?!

Rincewind and Chewie immediately shut up and look over at Angua with identical deer-in-the-headlights expressions. Rincewind offers an embarrassed shrug by way of explanation. Angua sighs in exasperation and shuts the curtain again.

She turns and is startled by Threepio, who had approached her from behind almost as soon as she got up.

PONDER THREEPIO

Good morning, Your Majesty. I trust all is--

PRINCESS ANGUA

[sharply] I'm not talking to you right now.

PONDER THREEPIO

I understand you may still be a bit upset about last night, but I assure you it was all for the--

PRINCESS ANGUA

Shut up.

She sweeps past him. Three of the handmaidens get up and follow her.

PONDER THREEPIO

[deflated] Shutting up, Your Majesty...

PADME

You're in it deep, Threep.

PONDER THREEPIO

[flatly] So I surmised.

Padme pats the droid reassuringly on the shoulder and follows the royal party out of the cargo area.

Angua emerges from the cargo hold, followed by her train of attendants. She and Ridcully reach the bathroom at the same time. The back-and-forth seems to be a bit more relaxed this morning than it has been previously - she may be taking Threepio's advice to heart after all.

RIDCULLY

Dibs.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Rank.

RIDCULLY

Captain of the ship.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Princess of a country.

RIDCULLY

Seniority.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Beauty.

RIDCULLY

I know how the plumbing works.

PRINCESS ANGUA

We outnumber you.

The handmaidens form a wedge-shaped point guard behind Angua and fold their arms at Ridcully.

RIDCULLY

All right, we'll do this equitably.

He puts his fist out. She mirrors the gesture. They bob their fists once, twice, thrice. He has Scissors. She has Rock.

RIDCULLY

Don't take all morning.

Angua tries not to smile as she and her entourage file into the bathroom.

PRINCESS ANGUA [within]

Where's the soap?

RIDCULLY

Good heavens, woman... don't you know your way around a bathroom?

She pokes her head out.

PRINCESS ANGUA

I've never had to. Humor me.

RIDCULLY

There's a shelf above the sink.

She vanishes into the bathroom again.

RIDCULLY [contd.]

The green bar with the hair on it is Chewie's.

PRINCESS ANGUA [within]

Wow. You've even got soap with moisturizer in it.

RIDCULLY

That's... mine.

She pokes her head out of the bathroom to give him a disbelieving look.

RIDCULLY

[defensive] It was a gift!

She shrugs.

PRINCESS ANGUA

I didn't say anything.

She retreats into the bathroom again.

RIDCULLY

I know. I could hear you not saying it.

PRINCESS ANGUA [within]

Shampoo?

RIDCULLY

Same bar.

PRINCESS ANGUA [within]

Okay, now I *know* you're kidding.

RIDCULLY

All right, all right, I'm kidding. [pause] I use the green bar.

[There is a long silence within the bathroom]

[smirks] There's a bottle under the sink.

PRINCESS ANGUA [within

I guess it would be too much to ask for scented bath oils.

RIDCULLY

Well, there's the stuff Chewie uses.

PRINCESS ANGUA [within]

An ape uses scented bath oil?

RIDCULLY

[shrugs] It clears up his fleas.

Angua pokes her head out of the bathroom to glare at him.

RIDCULLY

Come on, Your Worship... this is a bachelor pad!

PRINCESS ANGUA

Nice midlife apocalypse you got here.

RIDCULLY

Apocalypse?

PRINCESS ANGUA

It's a lot longer and more severe than a crisis, and it's generally terminal.

She vanishes into the bathroom again and shuts the door. After a few beats, Ridcully starts chuckling and turns away from the bathroom door.

RIDCULLY

[sotto] A singular wit, that girl...

INT - STAR DESTROYER - DARTH VETINARI'S OFFICE

Darth Vetinari is looking over an appointment book. The entries, written in a spidery script, include things as diverse as "Tea with Lord Rust - 4:00 p.m." and "Check on Mimes in Scorpion Pit - 3:30 p.m." In the background, a grandfather clock ticks softly, but slightly arrhythmically: Tick, tock, tick... tock, tick, tock... and so forth. This apparently fails to get on Vetinari's nerves. The office door chimes. Vetinari looks up.

DARTH VETINARI

Come in.

The door slides open, and the bearded guard enters, looking very proud of himself and carrying a slim file folder. Vetinari raises an eyebrow in polite inquiry.

BEARDED GUARD

I found out who one of the people was who broke out the Princess. See, I fed in the description of the bloke who gave me the apple cider, and cross-referenced it with a description of the derelict ship spotted near the Star Destroyer just before--

DARTH VETINARI

Is this information in the folder you are carrying?

BEARDED GUARD

Yessir.

Vetinari holds out his hand for the folder in question.

DARTH VETINARI

I am quite literate. I will read it at my leisure.

BEARDED GUARD

[deflated] Yessir.

He hands over the folder. Vetinari sets it aside and returns to his appointment book. After a few beats he looks up at the bearded guard again.

DARTH VETINARI

[coolly] Is there something else you wanted?

BEARDED GUARD

Well... I heard... I don't remember who told me... but... I heard you give rewards to people who get information for you.

DARTH VETINARI

Did you?

The guard nods nervously.

BEARDED GUARD

Yessir.

DARTH VETINARI

[deadpan] What an amusing concept.

[the guard sags in disappointment]

Don't let me detain you.

BEARDED GUARD

[meek] Yessir.

He turns and heads for the door as Vetinari pushes aside his appointment book, then picks up a sealed letter and a stiletto letter opener. When the guard gets most of the way to the door:

BEARDED GUARD

[muttering under breath] Don't see why I couldn't've gotten something after all the work I did... bloody unfair... tyrannical bas--

The letter opener whizzes past the guard's ear, scrapes off a thin stripe of beard, and sticks, quivering, into the metal doorjamb. The guard pales and starts sweating profusely.

He ventures a glance over his shoulder at Vetinari, who is now standing, and is just lowering his hand from throwing the letter opener. The Sith Lord's expression is rather reminiscent of that of a T-1000 on the prowl.

A puddle spreads out from the insole of the guard's left boot as he stands there, frozen in suddenly-renewed terror of Vetinari.

DARTH VETINARI

[icy] In the future, you might wish to mind what you say in my office.

The guard flees, his damp boot squishing slightly.

Vetinari reaches one hand towards the letter opener, and it dislodges itself from the doorjamb and flies back into his hand. Then he sits back down and, as he picks up the letter to open it, his eye falls on the file folder. He sets the letter down again and slides the folder into the middle of the desk, tilting his head to read what is indicated on the file tab. He opens the folder.

Inside is a black-and-white composite of Ridcully, adorning what appears to be a rap sheet of some sort.

Vetinari picks up the top sheet and it unfurls into a few pleats, as the rap sheet continues for three pages. He skims the list of dirty deeds done cheap for a few beats, mildly impressed, then collapses the rap sheet again into a neat stack and shuts the folder, setting it aside.

He slides his appointment book back in front of him and opens it as he charges a quill with ink. He adds an entry to one of the pages in his spidery handwriting and underlines it:

Acquire Ridcully

As the camera holds on the entry, Vetinari reaches across and guides the camera around so he stares directly into the lens.

DARTH VETINARI

I couldn't help but note your curiosity. What is in my appointment book is my business.

The camera nods in agreement.

DARTH VETINARI

Now, I trust you weren't planning on telling anyone?

The camera pivots from side to side: Nope.

DARTH VETINARI

Need I tell you what happened to the last cameraman who angered me?

The camera indicates "No" again, much more fervently now.

DARTH VETINARI

Ah. You heard.

CAMERAMAN [o.s.]

[apprehensive] I'm his replacement.

DARTH VETINARI

Hmm. I hope you're smarter than he was. Now run along.

He makes shooing motions at the camera.

EST - REBEL BASE

The Millennium Falcon circles an adobe building that is squat enough to almost guarantee at least twenty levels are underground. The wind from the navigational thrusters is kicking up a fierce sandstorm that would make it difficult for anyone on the ground to see more than a few feet.

INT - MILLENNIUM FALCON

Ridcully is starting to get frustrated, clenching the radio mike in his hand like he was trying to squeeze juice from it.

VIMES [radio]

What did you say your name was?

RIDCULLY [into mike]

This is Ridcully, co-captain of the Millennium Falcon, requesting clearance to land.

VIMES [radio]

Are you even authorized to be here?

RIDCULLY [into mike]

[losing his temper] I've got four handmaidens, two droids, two Jedis, and a bloody princess on board who say I am!

CARROT

[sotto to Ridcully] I'm not really a Jedi--

RIDCULLY

[to Carrot] Shut up!

Through the radio, we can hear a murmured conference in the background. Then:

VIMES [radio]

[suspicious] You've got the Princess with you?

RIDCULLY [into mike]

[as though the fact should be blindingly obvious by now] Ye-es!

[very long pause from the radio]

Well, do I have clearance or not?!

VIMES [radio]

[cautious] Clearance granted. We'll send someone out to meet you.

The Millennium Falcon fires its landing thrusters and touches down on the pad outside the base. After the Falcon powers down, three figures exit the base, weapons drawn: The shortest one, at a whole four feet tall, is CPL "NOBBY" NOBBS, who suffers from adult acne and a past whupping by the ugly stick. In complete defiance of formality, he has a dogend protruding from his lips, and he leans unconcernedly on his pike. Next to him is SGT FRED COLON, aged about sixty, an overweight career soldier who looks like he's looking forward to retirement; he holds a sword. The third figure is a huge [eight-foot-tall] troll named SGT DETRITUS, who looks like he was halfheartedly carved from an uncooperative slab of granite and given armor. Due to his size, most weapons would obviously not suit him, so he holds a ballista crossbow with the ease with which most would weild a regular crossbow, pointed in the general direction of the Falcon.

The boarding ramp whirrs down, stirring up more dust in a nicely atmospheric cloud. Without further pretense, Ridcully jogs lightly down the ramp, followed by Chewbacca. The three Rebels tense slightly at this.

RIDCULLY

So. You're these Rebels that the Princess mentioned?

COLON

Is she safe?

RIDCULLY

Do you think I'd be stupid enough to come out here if she wasn't?

Behind Ridcully, Angua silently appears at the top of the ramp. The handmaidens have done a marvelous job on her hair, considering the materials at hand; the result is so elegant that it has evolved beyond a simple hairstyle into a full-blown coif.

Colon is the first to kneel, though a bit belaboredly, in deference to her rank. Nobby, after some hedging, follows, and after a long pause, Detritus glances at the other two in some confusion.

COLON

[harsh whisper to Detritus] Remember what I taught you? About showing respect to royal types?

Detritus looks from Colon to Angua, and after some more processing time, his head dips a bit lower between his shoulders - his equivalent of a bow.

Ridcully thinks at first that they're bowing to him, and he frowns in puzzlement until Angua sweeps past him, deliberately jostling his shoulder.

PRINCESS ANGUA

[turning on the air of royalty] I need to speak to Captain Vimes at once. It is a matter of the utmost importance. Also, one of our passengers was injured by a stray laser bolt and requires medical attention. I would like him cared for immediately. He is currently in the ship's infirmary.

Colon wrestles himself back upright as she continues towards the Rebel base, stopping only because he is in her path. She stares at him imperiously until he sheepishly steps aside, touching the rim of his pot-helm to her.

The two human Rebels gaze after her as the heads into the base, until Ridcully clears his throat very loudly to get their attention.

RIDCULLY

[grinning knowingly] She does have a certain animal magnetism about her, doesn't she?

Nobby apparently chokes on the smoke from his cigarette and begins coughing.

RIDCULLY [contd.]

Well, come on then... you heard the woman - we've got injured on board!

Colon and Nobby head up the boarding ramp. Detritus goes to follow, but Ridcully pointedly [and, for anyone else, foolishly] steps into his path.

DETRITUS

[note: when Detritus speaks, his diamond teeth glitter]

Get outta de way.

RIDCULLY

My ship is already scratched up enough on the outside. I don't need some rock messing it up inside.

Detritus growls.

DETRITUS

You callin' me a rock?!

RIDCULLY

My ship. My rules. Surely you can understand *that.*

They are interrupted by activity within, and curiosity overcomes enmity as they both pause to listen:

NOBBY [within]

Cor! Look at the size of this thing! It must be a foot long!

Ridcully gets an apprehensively uncertain look on his face as he glances over his shoulder in the direction the Rebels had gone.

COLON [within]

That's a lightsaber handle, you stupid prat!

Ridcully exhales.

NOBBY [within]

Yeah, but it looks like--

COLON [within]

Her Majesty told us about these. Jedis use em.

NOBBY [within]

Use em for *what*?

COLON [within]

Not what you're thinking. Now give me a hand here.

Grunts of effort are audible inside the ship. Ridcully smirks.

RIDCULLY

[shouting into the ship] It might help if you woke him up first. He sleeps like a bloody rock.

There is an embarassed pause within.

COLON [within]

Right.

NOBBY [within]

Gotcha. We'll just use the lightsa--

COLON [within]

*No*, Nobby. We wake him up like we wake our own who sleeps through revelee. One, two, three, HUP!

There is a clang, a thud, and a grunt of sleepy surprise.

NOBBY [within]

Capital cot flip, Fred.

Ridcully puts a hand over his eyes.

RIDCULLY

This just keeps getting better and better...

DETRITUS

[obviously not watching the same channel as Ridcully] Yeah. They been practicing those cot flips for years. [grins] Still takes twelve of em to flip me though.

Ridcully sizes up the troll.

RIDCULLY

I believe that.

INT - REBEL BASE

CAPT. SAMUEL VIMES stands near the radio console. He rather resembles a more jaded Clint Eastwood [Dirty Harry era], especially since he currently appears to have a lot of issues to deal with all at once. Angua pauses in the doorway and lightly taps her knuckles on the metal frame. Vimes looks up, motions for her to come in, then apparently returns to his own musings.

VIMES

I have to say, I'm surprised to see you here, Angua.

Angua smiles slightly.

PRINCESS ANGUA

You never were one for royal titles, were you, Captain?

Vimes looks up, and it is clear he doesn't share the perceived humor. Her smile fades.

VIMES

The reason *why* I'm surprised to see you here is because we detected an escape pod from your royal cruiser, heading towards Uberwald.

Angua's brow wrinkles.

PRINCESS ANGUA

When?

VIMES

Last night sometime. We know the signature of those pods. There was no mistaking it. We thought maybe you'd escaped your captors and you were heading home.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Not without giving you those plans. Are you sure there was someone aboard?

VIMES

We couldn't tell. Something was scrambling the signal. We figured maybe it was a malfunction. If it was, then Princess Angua is safe with her family and I'm talking to someone - or something - else. We have to make sure.

Angua sighs.

PRINCESS ANGUA

So... what? You're going to ask me deeply personal questions that only I would know?

VIMES

He'd have thought of that.

[he looks up at one of the viewscreens]

Of course, all things considered, his choice of kidnapping victims might have gone very hard for him, considering the timing...

PRINCESS ANGUA

[frowning] I'm a lady first... and an Uberwaldian second.

There seems to be an internal meaning in her statement that reassures Vimes of her identity.

VIMES

Are the droids with you?

PRINCESS ANGUA

They're fine. Threepio's getting a bit sassy, though. I'm starting to wonder about the company he's been keeping.

As she says "company," Ridcully appears in the doorway and waits for her to finish speaking.

RIDCULLY

Can't have him hanging around with people who rescue royalty, can we?

Angua turns, startled. Ridcully and Vimes are sizing each other up, like two alpha males of adjacent hunting territories who have decided to mark the same tree.

VIMES

[flatly] I don't think we've met.

Angua looks at each of them looking at each other.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Vimes, this is Ridcully, the captain of the Millennium Falcon and one of my rescuers. Ridcully, this is Captain Samuel Vimes, the leader of the Rebel Alliance against the Empire.

VIMES

[flatly] Charmed.

RIDCULLY

[flatly] A pleasure.

WILDLIFE NARRATOR [v.o.]

When the respective alpha males of different territories meet, as they inevitably do, there is a period of tension as each one tries to determine the other's strengths and weaknesses. The older male is stronger and more experienced in the art of fighting, while the younger male is quicker, and frequently knows tricks and techniques unfamiliar to his rival. Sparring begins with a contest of wits...

VIMES

Well. Look who Death threw back.

RIDCULLY

Heaven wouldn't let me in and Hell was afraid I'd take over. How's it feel to finally get the training wheels off your X-Wing?

VIMES

I'd say it ranks somewhere between eating a helping of my wife's pork drippings and blowing you out of the sky.

RIDCULLY

Your wife makes her own pork drippings? Ordinarily you'd need actual pork for that, but I guess in this case--

Vimes leaps at him with a roar. Their combined weight and Vimes' momentum carries them both through the doorway and into the hall outside, where they nearly trip a passerby. There, they scuffle like two boys in a schoolyard fight, each one trying to hold the other one down and punch him in the face.

WILDLIFE NARRATOR [v.o.]

Inevitably, however, communication eventually breaks down between the two contestants--

PRINCESS ANGUA

[to camera] You're not helping.

WILDLIFE NARRATOR [v.o.]

Sorry.

Presently, Nobby and Colon approach the scene, escorting Carrot between them. They stop when they see the two men apparently trying to kill each other.

NOBBY

[to Colon] My money's on the big old guy.

COLON

Nah, Vimes'll win it hands down.

NOBBY

Bet?

He leans across Carrot to extend a hand to Colon. Colon, after a few seconds, shakes it.

CARROT

Is Vimes the man fighting Ridcully?

NOBBY

Yup. Captain of the Alliance, he is.

CARROT

Someone should stop them before someone gets hurt.

NOBBY

Be my guest.

CARROT

Okay. [starts towards the scuffle]

NOBBY

I didn't mean-- [sotto] Oh gods...

Nobby takes cover behind Colon, fully expecting Something Really Bad to happen.

Carrot strides forward and picks up Ridcully and Vimes by their respective collars, pulling them apart. By this time, each of them has a black eye, Vimes has a bloody nose, and Ridcully has a cut lip. They try to claw at each other for a few beats before they realize what's happened. They look at each other, then down at the floor.

Their feet dangle a few inches above the ground.

They look at Carrot, who smiles benevolently like the largest natural-born kindergarten teacher on the Disc.

CARROT

Now... are you two going to behave, or do I have to put you in opposite corners of the base?

They grumble sullen agreements, still casting each other dirty looks as if to say, "You just wait till he's out of sight." Carrot sets them down again, keeping a rather inexorable grip on their collars.

CARROT

Now, these nice gentlemen were just taking me to the infirmary to have the burn on my arm looked at. I think it would be a good idea if you came with us and got cleaned up.

He turns and sees Angua standing in the doorway, looking annoyed at Vimes and Ridcully. He releases Ridcully to touch his forelock to her.

PRINCESS ANGUA

[flatly] Yes... I think that would be a very good idea.

CARROT

What happened here?

PRINCESS ANGUA

Oh, Ridcully was being an asshole...

RIDCULLY

Was not. I was just engaged in friendly banter when he attacked me.

VIMES

You insulted my wife.

RIDCULLY

See? Friendly banter.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Spoken like a true career bachelor.

RIDCULLY

Well, how was I supposed to know he'd take it *personally*?

Angua sighs in exasperation.

PRINCESS ANGUA

[to Nobby and Colon] Take the whole lot of them to the infirmary. Strap Vimes and Ridcully to separate cots if they try to start another fight.

Nobby and Colon, neither of whom are in good enough shape to restrain two men who are in good enough shape to nearly kill each other, exchange a glance. Angua, after some thought, comes to this very conclusion.

PRINCESS ANGUA

... Never mind. Just make sure they don't kill each other.

CARROT

I'll try, Your Majesty.

Angua is about to protest that she wasn't talking to him, then reconsiders: He's probably the only one in the corridor right now who could help out in that respect.

PRINCESS ANGUA

[in general to the three injured men] You're bleeding.

Nobby and Colon continue escorting Carrot to the infirmary. Carrot maintains his hold on Vimes and Ridcully. After they're gone:

PRINCESS ANGUA

[theatrical aside to camera] I can't believe it. Vimes and Ridcully, of all people, getting into a brawl like kids in a schoolyard. Sure, Ridcully's rough around the edges... but *Vimes*... I didn't think he'd rise to the bait. [she sighs] Then again, he doesn't takes insults to Lady Sybil lightly. [smiles] I suppose Ridcully was asking for it.

Her reverie is broken by the sound of Threepio's metallic footsteps approaching. She looks up as the droid enters the frame.

PONDER THREEPIO

[cautious] Are you still mad at me?

PRINCESS ANGUA

[light-humored] I've almost forgiven you. Why do you ask?

PONDER THREEPIO

Your family's Igor just called. He was a bit frantic, but--

PRINCESS ANGUA

Frantic? About what?

PONDER THREEPIO

[approaching the subject as carefully as he can] It's about your parents.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Threepio. It takes a lot to make an Igor frantic.

PONDER THREEPIO

Yes, Your Majesty.

PRINCESS ANGUA

[starting to sound urgent] Did something happen to my parents?

PONDER THREEPIO

I'm afraid so, Your Majesty. There was an... attack--

PRINCESS ANGUA

Assassins? Hunters?

PONDER THREEPIO

We don't know yet. Igor said that whoever it was used a lot of silver.

PRINCESS ANGUA

[starting to get pissed] That bastard Vetinari...

PONDER THREEPIO

Your Majesty, I think it would be prudent to try to ca--

Her eyes have turned yellow by the time she flashes a warning look at him.

PRINCESS ANGUA

And you know where you can stick your prudence!

PONDER THREEPIO

Yes, Your Majesty. In an obscure geographical formation near Slice, Your Majesty.

Her nails are lengthening into claws as she tries to sidestep around Threepio. Threepio tries to restrain her, which only infuriates her more. She swipes at the camera, which backs away in alarm.

PRINCESS ANGUA

I am going to kill that bastard!

PONDER THREEPIO

I don't think it would be very wise to go after Dath Vetinari at this time--

Her fangs are very obvious right now as she strains to get past the droid.

PRINCESS ANGUA

Not Vetinari!

PONDER THREEPIO

[sotto] Oh shit... [calls over his shoulder to somewhere left of camera] You might want to leave now, Mr. Lucas!

There is the sound of someone hastily vacating a director's chair.

GEORGE LUCAS [o.s.]

Good God, people! Doesn't anyone know the Vulcan neck pinch around here?

Threepio freezes for maybe a second as he scans his datafiles. Angua continues to try and fail to get to the director and tear his throat out. Finally:

PONDER THREEPIO

Me!

He manages to disentangle one of his arms from the Princess and pinch one of the bulging tendons connecting her neck to her right shoulder. After a half-beat, she falls limp in Threepio's arms. There is a lot of offscreen applause and whistles from the production crew, which Threepio sheepishly acknowledges with a nod.

PONDER THREEPIO

Now, if you'll excuse me...

Threepio scoops up the unconscious Princess and carries her to the Infirmary. A few beats after he leaves the frame:

CAMERAMAN [o.s.]

I *told* you we should've just relied on ILM for the werewolf effects, but *no,* *you* said--

GEORGE LUCAS [o.s.]

[He gets the point. Boy, does he ever get the point] Shut up already. Just... shut up.

INT - REBEL INFIRMARY

Ridcully and Vimes sit on the respective edges of adjacent cots, back-to-back, while medic droids that vaguely resemble stick insects with vaguely human faces attend to their respective war wounds. Carrot sits shirtless on a third cot while one of the relatively few human medics applies liniment to his bruised back. The laser burn on Carrot's arm has been freshly bandaged. The medic pauses and looks more closely at Carrot's right shoulder.

MEDIC

What's this?

Carrot cranes his neck, trying to see the back of his own shoulder, with little success.

CARROT

What's what?

MEDIC

Looks like a birthmark or something. Weird shape for it though...

The red birthmark is shaped like a crown.

This train of thought is interrupted as Threepio enters the infirmary, carrying the Princess. Everyone stops what they are doing and turn to look.

PONDER THREEPIO

I hope there's a clear bed. She's... fainted.

Carrot hops off the cot he was using and takes the unconscious Princess from Threepio's arms, carrying her gently over to the cot. He he lays her down, smoothing her hair away from her face. Then his brow wrinkles and he picks up one of her limp hands. Her nails are still hooked claws. He looks up at Threepio.

CARROT

Threepio? There's something...

He looks down at her hand again. The nails are now perfectly normal and well-manicured. Now he's really confused.

CARROT

... Never mind. Um, why did she faint?

PONDER THREEPIO

Something's happened to the royal family of Uberwald.

VIMES

Killed?

PONDER THREEPIO

At the very least, they're in a bad way. Their Igor couldn't say much beyond that.

There is a long, somber pause. Then:

RIDCULLY

Does this mean I'm not getting paid?

He finds himself at the epicenter of a crowd of dirty looks.

RIDCULLY

What?

FADE TO BLACK.

To be continued in Disc Wars: Episode 5...

Dramatis Personae

PRINCESS ANGUA, Princess of the country of Uberwald on the Disc.

PONDER THREEPIO, a protocol droid in the employ of the royal family of Uberwald.

ARTOO, an astromech droid in the employ of the royal family of Uberwald.

DARTH VETINARI, the overlord of the galactic Empire; a powerful Dark Jedi.

CARROT SKYWALKER, a young man raised by dwarves, who somehow has not yet caught on to the fact.

RIDCULLY, chronic bachelor, smuggler, captain and co-owner of the Millennium Falcon.

CHEWBACCA, a sapient orangutan; co-owner and copilot of the Millennium Falcon.

RINCEWIND, failed wizard, coward, and compulsive Jedi.

VIMES, the unofficial leader of the Rebel movement against the Empire.

NOBBY, a corporal under Vimes and the soundest argument against Darwin.

COLON, a sergeant under Vimes.

DETRITUS, a sergeant under Vimes, even though he easily towers *over* Vimes. This had to be explained to him at great length.

OWEN SKYWALKER, Carrot's adopted father.

BERU SKYWALKER, Carrot's adopted mother - though who can tell?

DIBBLER, all-around lowlife and entrepreneur.

LEONARD DA QUIRM, who really needs to buy a clue.

HANDMAIDENS, personal attendants and servants to Princess Angua.

REBEL MEDICS

IMPERIAL GUARDS, including the Bearded Guard, Henderson, and Kennison. Note: Carrot did not kell Kennison, and hence he is not a bastard.

IMPERIAL OFFICERS, in loving memory of those among them who didn't learn to read Vetinari's moods quickly enough.

IMPERIAL STORM TROOPERS, who dance amazingly well in all that armor.

BAR PATRONS in the Mended Drum.