Episode #458: Tranqulity Base Gets Scrooged: Part #4 - Present Tense

[Episode 458]
Episode #458: Tranqulity Base Gets Scrooged: Part #4 - Present Tense
Volume V / Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Episode Notes

Part #4 of "Tranquility Base Gets Scrooged!" (Part #1 here), where Scrooge's finds out what's going on right now.

The ghost/spirit/hologram of Christmas Present is a jolly one, not dissimiler to the original depictions of Father Christmas, before Coca Cola's marketing department got their hands on him. Dickens describes him thusly:

In easy state upon this couch, there sat a jolly Giant, glorious to see: who bore a glowing torch, in shape not unlike Plenty's horn, and held it up, high up, to shed its light on Scrooge, as he came peeping round the door. [...]

It was clothed in one simple green robe, or mantle, bordered with white fur. This garment hung so loosely on the figure, that its capacious breast was bare, as if disdaining to be warded or concealed by any artifice. Its feet, observable beneath the ample folds of the garment, were also bare; and on its head it wore no other covering than a holly wreath, set here and there with shining icicles. Its dark brown curls were long and free: free as its genial face, its sparkling eye, its open hand, its cheery voice, its unconstrained demeanour, and its joyful air. Girded round its middle was an antique scabbard; but no sword was in it, and the ancient sheath was eaten up with rust.

A Christmas Carol, Stave 3: The Second of the Three Spirits, by Charles Dickens

The wreath was hard to do, and I hope it doesn't look too silly. The closest I could get to a cornucopia is a gold goblet, and the feast is represented by the turkey leg. I tried adding an empty scabbard, but it meant sacrificing the luxuriant facial hair (and as he has no top hair, because of the wrath, I wanted to keep it). It also pained me to have to sacrifice the bare chest, oh well. I've also left out the two emaciated children, called Igorance and Want, that are revealed to be hiding under his robe.

As for tiny Tim, or rather the Tiny T.I.M. Of course he was going to be a little sickly robot. He's even got a crutch - in this case to prop up his missing leg. I'm a cruel, cruel person, I know. Oh and Bob and his wife (first mentioned in episode #6!) can't have children because they're incompatible species - this isn't Star Trek!

Transcript

Panel 1: A large figure with a flowing full beard appears standing on Scrooge's office desk. The figure is wearing a green robe, with a wreath on his head, and is carrying a goblet and a turkey leg.
Christmas Present:
Ho! Ho! Ho!
The Hologram of Christmas Present is present to present your present!
Scrooge:
Wha...?
Christmas Present:
Ok, Bennie babe, just come with me.
Scrooge:
Never call me "Bennie" again.
Ever.
Panel 2: The scene shifts to the holodeck, where Scrooge and the Hologram of Christmas Present observe people talking. As with Christmas Past, they can not be seen.
Caption:
Tranquility Base Annual Holodeck Christmas Party
Co-worker 1:
I invited him, but he didn't come, as usual
Co-worker 2:
"I'm Scrooge, and I'm a miserable old fart - stop having fun, Bah Humbug!"
Co-worker 3:
Guys, come on, Admiral Slog's about to start the feast!
Scrooge:
They're mocking me!
Panel 3: Close-up on Scrooge and Hologram of Christmas Present
Christmas Present:
Apparently they find you comical.
Now let's go and see what Bob is up to
Panel 4: The scene shifts to Bob's apartment, where he and his wife are looking at a small friendly-looking robot.
Caption:
Bob's Apartment
Bob's Wife:
Tim is running so slowly, I don't think he'll last another year
Bob:
Tiny T.I.M's (Twist Industries Mechanoid) battery unit is now obsolete, but we can't afford to upgrade his power supply on our salaries
Panel 5:
Bob's Wife:
But, he's a son to us, the child we could never have
Bob:
I know, so... let's make this Christmas the best one ever
Tiny Tim:
Please do not be sad mother.
Scrooge:
It's just a robot, it's not even useful for them anymore, and yet they care so much for it.
Will that little robot die, I mean, break down?
Christmas Present:
Very likely, if things proceed as they are
Panel 6: The scene shifts back to Scrooge's office.
Christmas Present:
And now, Bennie, it's almost midnight, and I must cease to be
Scrooge:
What do you mean?
Christmas Present:
I'm only here for one Christmas Present, although I have thousands of brothers.
But now, I must go, farewell Bennie babe!
Panel 7: As soon as the Hologram of Christmas Present vanishes, a dark mist swirls around the office and starts to form a shape.
Caption:
Midnight.
Scrooge (gasps):
Who... what is this?