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A Dismal Performance - B7 in The Weakest Link

By Marian de Haan
Page 1 of 9

(Transmitted on Terran Federation Channel One, one year prior to The Way Back:)

PRESENTER: And now it's time for The Weakest Link, the longest running vizcast quiz of the Galaxy, presented by Ann Crusher. Watch and shiver!

[Shot of nine people sitting on couches and sipping drinks from large glasses. A curly haired man is talking earnestly with a large, plain looking man and a very thin woman with dark curly hair. A young man with flashing teeth is chatting with a short-haired, black girl. Two blond women, one with long straight hair and the other with shoulder-length curls, are entertained by a small man of non-descript appearance and shifty manner, who is showing them a card-trick. A dark-haired man with an arrogant face sits pointedly ignoring the others.]

PRESENTER: [Voice over]: Here are today's nine players, preparing for the show where just one of them will bring home the prize money of up to ten thousand Credits. The rest will leave with nothing, as their team mates vote them The Weakest Link.

[Close-up of quiz-master Ann, a lady of stern appearance with short red hair and a forbidding stare.]

ANN: Welcome to The Weakest Link. Any of the nine people in the studio here today could win up to ten thousand Credits. They don't know each other, however, if they want the prize money, they'll have to work as a team. But, eight of them will leave with nothing as round by round we lose the player voted The Weakest Link. Let's meet the team.

[The nine players now stand on the podium in a semicircle. In front of each is a console with the contestant's name on it and a blank space beneath the name. Ann, her slim figure dressed in black, stands just outside the half circle, facing them.]

CONTESTANT ONE: My name's Tarrant. I'm 22 years old, a student at the Federation Space Academy where I've come top of my class three times in a row.

CONTESTANT TWO: I'm Cally, a 29 year old communication specialist from Auron.

CONTESTANT THREE: I'm Gan, I'm 35 and I work as a paramedic at the Second Level Hospital.

CONTESTANT FOUR: My name's Soolin, I'm a 21 year old bodyguard from Gauda Prime.

CONTESTANT FIVE: My name's Blake. I'm 32 years old, a resident of London Dome and I work as an engineer.

CONTESTANT SIX: I'm Jenna, I'm in my twenties and I'm a free-lance pilot.

CONTESTANT SEVEN: My name's Avon. I'm a top line computer consultant currently engaged in a government project here in London Dome and my age is nobody's business!

CONTESTANT EIGHT: My name's Dayna. I'm 19 and I'm doing a course in Weapon Design at Belhangria University.

CONTESTANT NINE: I'm Vila. I'm a 30 year old self-employed security systems specialist.

ANN: Now the rules. In each round the aim is to answer enough questions correctly to reach your thousand Credit target within the time limit.

[On the left of the screen a Credit scoreboard appears with an empty score box at the bottom and above that, from bottom to top, the numbers: 20, 50, 100, 200, 300, 450, 600, 800 and 1000.]

ANN: The fastest way is to create a chain of nine correct answers.

[On the scoreboard the numbers 20, 50, 100, 200 and 300 are consecutively highlighted.]

ANN: Get your question wrong and you break the chain and lose all the money in that chain.

[On the scoreboard the number 20 is again highlighted.]

ANN: But, if you say "Bank!" before the question is asked, the money is safe. However, you start a new chain from scratch. Remember that at the end of the round, only money that has been banked can be taken forward. In round one there are three minutes on the clock. We'll start with the person whose name is first alphabetically. That's you, Avon. Let's play The Weakest Link.

[Rousing music.]

* * * * * * * * *

ANN: The first question is for twenty Credits. Start the clock! Avon, what is the shortest distance between two points?

AVON: [Looks utterly bored.] A straight line.

[On the scoreboard the light jumps from 20 to 50. It will continue to jump one place further up at each correct answer.]

ANN: Correct. Dayna, which popular group was top of the charts with "Why should I care?"?

DAYNA: Hearts of Stone.

ANN: Correct. Vila, who won this year's Ladies Galaxy Tennis Championship?

VILA: Venetia Lambrusco.

ANN: Correct-

VILA: Best legs in the field!

ANN: [Deals Vila a withering look before turning to the other side of the semicircle.] Tarrant, what is sixteen multiplied by ten?

TARRANT: Uh... [Counts on fingers.] Sixty.

[The light on the scoreboard drops from 200 to 20.]

ANN: A hundred and sixty. Cally, what would you use a loom for?

CALLY: [Seems to go into a trance for a few seconds. This will happen every time she gets a question.] Weaving.

ANN: Correct. Gan, after what metal was the Pre-Atomic country Argentina named?

GAN: Pass.

[The light on the scoreboard drops from 50 to 20.]

ANN: Silver. Soolin, finish this saying: No good deed goes...

SOOLIN: Unpunished.

ANN: Correct. Blake, in geology what name is given to the molten rock beneath the Earth's crust?

BLAKE: Magma.

ANN: Correct. Jenna, which planet is nearer to Earth, Cephlon or Aristo?

JENNA: Cephlon.

ANN: Correct. Avon, what are the most durable power cells available?

AVON: Do you mean regarding to shell or capacity of charge?

ANN: Charge, of course! Don't try to be clever with me!

AVON: [Haughtily:] Flutonic power cells.

ANN: Correct. Dayna, in sport, who won the Earth-to-Caspar space rally?

DAYNA: Speedy Atlan.

ANN: Correct. Vila, do chimpanzees have tails?

VILA: No.

ANN: Correct. Tarrant, what is the ionised region of the upper atmosphere called?

TARRANT: Ionosphere.

ANN: Correct. Cally, what is an android?

CALLY: A robot that looks like a human.

ANN: A robot in human shape, but I'll accept your answer. Gan, in what form does a gravitational vortex appear?

[Tension all around, as the light on the scoreboard has reached the top, which means that if Gan gets the question right the team will have reached its 1000 Credit target in this round.]

GAN: A ball?

[The light on the scoreboard drops from 1000 to 20. The other candidates look furious at Gan.]

ANN: A spiral. Soolin, is the temperature in a tundra generally cold or warm?

SOOLIN: Cold.

ANN: Correct. Blake, what drug is considered to be the greatest threat to mankind?

BLAKE: Shadow.

ANN: Correct. Jenna, do neutrons have a negative charge or no charge at all?

JENNA: No charge at all.

ANN: Correct. Avon-

AVON: Bank.

[The light on the scoreboard drops back to 20 while the number 100 appears in the score box.]

ANN: In music, which group won the 247 Galaxy-vision song-festival?

AVON: [Taps the side of his console as if in thought.] The Stardust Blizzards.

ANN: Correct. Dayna, name one of the two months in which the Zodiac sign Scorpio falls.

DAYNA: November.

ANN: Correct. Vila, which bubonic illness was responsible for wiping out a quarter of the Pre-Atomic population?

VILA: Oh uh, plague?

ANN: Correct. Tarrant, what is the colloquial name for Space City Liquor?

TARRANT: Head-basher.

ANN: Correct. Cally, in what year did president Sarkoff of Lindor lose the elections?

CALLY: 45.

ANN: 245. Correct. Gan, did penguins live on the North or South pole?

GAN: North.

[The light on the scoreboard drops from 450 to 20.]

ANN: South. Soolin, which food generally contains more Vitamin C, fruits or vegetables?

SOOLIN: Fruits.

ANN: Correct. Blake, in literature, who wrote "The Andromedan Tales?"

BLAKE: Stella Una.

ANN: Correct. Jenna...

JENNA: Bank.

[The light on the scoreboard drops back to 20 while the number 150 appears in the score box.]

ANN: What planet would you be on if you were paying in Zoks?

JENNA: Zerok.

ANN: Correct. Avon-

AVON: Bank.

[The light on the scoreboard drops back to 20 while the number 170 appears in the score box.]

ANN: What T is the name of a huge ocean wave?

AVON: [Taps his console.] Tsunami.

ANN: Correct. Dayna, in fashion, what is a Rocker?

DAYNA: A collar?

[The light on the scoreboard drops from 50 to 20.]

ANN: A dress leaving one shoulder bare. Vila, what is the hardest known substance in the galaxy?

VILA: Diamonds.

[Music indicates end of round.]

ANN: Round's over. The correct answer is feldon. And in this first round, team, you had eight correct answers in a row. If you'd banked sensibly, you could have reached your 1000 Credit target. As it is, you only managed to put a dismal 170 Credits into the kitty! Who is letting you down? Who is too stupid to be here? Time to vote off the Weakest Link.

* * * * * * * * *

[Music while the contestants type in the names on their consoles.]

PRESENTER: [Voice Over:] The strongest link is Avon, who not only got all of his questions right but also banked the most money. The Weakest Link is Gan, but how will the votes go, so early in the game?

ANN: Voting over. Time to reveal who you think is the Weakest Link.

[One for one the contestants name their choice while at the same time the name mentioned appears below their own on their console.]

TARRANT: Gan.

CALLY: Gan.

GAN: Tarrant.

SOOLIN: Gan.

BLAKE: Gan.

JENNA: Gan.

AVON: Gan.

DAYNA: Gan.

VILA: Gan.

ANN: Well, nothing ambiguous here. Tarrant, numbers aren't your specialist subject, are they? Don't they teach arithmetic at the FSA?

TARRANT: We use calculators.

ANN: And you think that a good excuse for not having to use your head?

TARRANT: It leaves me free to use my head for other things.

ANN: Perhaps we'd better not ask what other things that might be. Why Gan?

TARRANT: He got all of his questions wrong.

ANN: Well, that's one calculation you did get right. Soolin, how is it going for you?

SOOLIN: Pretty well, I got all my questions right.

ANN: Why Gan?

SOOLIN: Because he got his questions wrong and he didn't bank.

ANN: Two good reasons. Avon, you're not happy to be here?

AVON: It's a total waste of my time and abilities.

ANN: Then why burden us with your presence?

AVON: I was appointed to represent the department - one of the drawbacks of having an above-average intelligence.

ANN: You certainly seem to have an above-average self-esteem. Why Gan?

AVON: He lost us 800 Credits and he's far too dim to be of any use.

ANN: Well, it certainly looks that way. Gan, the team wants to be rid of you. You were the worst player and with eight votes you are the Weakest Link. Goodbye.

[GAN leaves the platform.]

[Close up of Gan.]

GAN: I can't blame them, really. I mean, I was the weakest link. I think Tarrant will be voted off next, because for a bright lad he isn't performing all that well. I mean, that sum was dead easy! I'd like Blake to win, he seems a nice guy.

* * * * * * * * *


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