Matter of Light(bulb) and Dark

(Or) "How Many Alphans (or Aliens)
Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb?"

by David Welle

COMMISSIONER SIMMONDS -- One. This delicate issue must not delay the Meta Probe launch, so I am sending up a new commander to deal with the situation.

CMDR. GORSKI -- Commander Koenig, that is your problem now. Good luck.

CMDR. JOHN KOENIG -- Simmonds, nine men have already died trying to fix this problem, and I want to find out why.

TONY VERDESCHI -- Four.... Security; this is Security Officer Verdeschi. Send down a detail to look for signs of sabotage. Technical; this is First Officer Verdeschi. Send someone down there with a replacement light bulb, and wait outside for further orders. I will be there in a minute.

GUIDO VERDESCHI -- Three. I'm Tony's elder brother, and his smarter brother -- and his handsomer brother.

ANTON ZOREF -- Three-hundred: by the time I'm done wandering the base, every light will require replacement.

THE BETA CLOUD -- Zero: we have sent for it ourselves.

MAYA -- Oh, that's easy: three point one four one five nine two six five three five, approximately. It is a sort of elliptical object, so I could do ellipse-based math directly on it, and one circumference...

DR. BOB MATHIAS -- Two: one electrical technician and one medical technician. If the electrician cuts himself, we must eliminate needless blood loss, or the possibility of death in the case of injury.

DORZAK -- One and a quarter: just my mind forcing someone else to actually do it, and that someone else.

DR. HELENA RUSSELL -- None. If we leave the bulb alone, we will have more life support energy. If we save enough, perhaps Alphans can start having more children.

MALE "WAR GAMES" ALIEN: Why do you have so much fear for the darkness?

THE "PRIMITIVE" DARIANS -- The old bulb is now a Mutant!

THE "ADVANCED" DARIANS -- Where are the replacement parts?

AARCHON ("Voyager's Return") -- None: you will all be dead. The light bulb's previously reckless leaking of radiation has destroyed many of our people, and we seek revenge.

MENTOR -- There is no other energy source. Psyche... needs all of your light bulbs.

MacDONALD ("Journey to Where") -- Light bulb? A tuber that shines?

TAYBOR -- Twenty: I have to keep my collection of beautiful things well-lit.

CAPT. ALAN CARTER -- Twenty-eight: one Eagle pilot (me) to bring the bulb, one co-pilot, two people in the back (since they'll likely die during the mission), one person in Main Mission to bring in the Eagle by remote, one to lower the pad, two technicians to maintain the pad, three to maintain the Eagle, one to maintain the power cores, two to maintain the Eagle hangars, two to manufacture replacement parts, eight to repair the Eagle when I'm done with it, and four stand-by technicians. What? You mean we have replacement bulbs on Alpha! Wheeuw, I thought you meant this was a planetary mission.

SERVANT OF THE GUARDIAN -- Tsk, tsk, so much needless movement. Come to Piri, where there is peace eternal.

GREG SANDERSON -- Four, at least: we must first hold a seance to determine what to do.

DAVID KANO -- I don't care: it isn't a Computer problem.

CABOT ROWLAND -- We have the secret of light bulbs which burn forever. No more will we lose valuable time replacing bulbs, but can instead launch into space, leaping galaxy to galaxy. Together we shall be as gods!

JACK TANNER -- Darkness... has... dominion.

TED CLIFFORD -- Zero. Surely, if I keep pressing all these keys, one of them will turn the light back on.

NUMBER 8 -- Zero: the light-bulb is a machine entity that we were waiting for the right people to come and destroy.

REGINA KESSLANN -- One of me; two of anyone else.

LEE RUSSELL -- See a restored light bulb, and it will be so.

CAROLYN POWELL -- However many I want!

ZANTOR -- It is diseased, but I will allow it aboard.

VINDRUS -- Zero: when that bulb moved from the realm of light into the reverse realm of darkness, another bulb moved from the dark into light; so all is balanced.

VOICE PROBE 248 -- Two: One to remove the destroyed unit, one to bounce a replacement sphere off the floor; the new bulb will find the correct stand on its own from that point.

VOICE PROBE 748 -- Indeterminate: We must await the rebirth of the first of our builders.

THE "IMMUNITY SYNDROME" BEING: What did you do to my mate? I find other life, someone like me, and you kill her?

ARRA -- Zero: do nothing; destiny must be fulfilled.

THE ARCHON ("The Dorcons") -- One tenth. All we need is the stem of the bulb. Get me that light bulb, Consul Varda!

CONSUL VARDA -- Commander Koenig, we have journeyed half the galaxy to find that one light bulb. If you do not surrender it to us, we will destroy every other light bulb on your base.

MALIC -- None. My uncle and Consul Varda did all the work. My uncle had a most excellent plan. Take the stem from the alien light bulb and make it part of one of our bulbs, and the result will shine for eternity!

This not-for-profit amateur/fan publication is designed for entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to infringe upon the rights of Gerry Anderson, ATV, ITC, Polygram, Carlton, Granada Ventures, or any other current copyright holders of Space: 1999.

First written ~1998 as part of an email thread, but have since separated, expanded, and improved on my post, and turned it into a webpage.

May be further enhanced from time to time. Current version W-02/20/08.