The Whirkermas Ball

Artemis, coming from a wealthy family, was no stranger to fancy balls (and parties). This was probably the fourth he had been to (that he remembers). The last one he attended before taking his position on Blue Dwarf was the Guild of Science's Sol Ball, a lovely event that was held on Sol Station orbiting the sun. Artemis remembers attending, getting drunk, singing "The Point of Know Return" with Lindstrom, throwing up on an admiral, and finally eating all the cheese and passing out, eventually waking up the next day in a motel next to a garbage robot. This time Artemis planned to drink lightly, and try to enjoy himself. He picked out a white dress suit, cloak, and hat combo to wear and picked up a mask on his way there.

Artemis and the Missus reached the ball in the early evening. After the pair was scanned they entered the main promenade. The plaza was wonderfully decorated with what Artemis referred to as "native holiday ornaments with mixed pagan-christian influence". Rodent waiters went about milling about, serving cheese and strange alcoholic beverages. "Drinks for Humans?" a waiter asked, catching Artemis by surprise. "Why, of course!" Artemis took a glass from the tray, the waiter stood idly , waiting for something. Artemis took notice to other guests kissing the servers each time they received a drink. When in the Promenade, Artemis thought. He awkwardly kissed the server, who happily turned to serve someone else. Artemis gagged and spat into a flower pot. The Missus voiced her disproval (OOC-I imagine that she would speak in the same fasion that astromech droids do in Star Wars). "Well, would you like me to anger our hosts by trampling on their traditions?" Artemis retorted. The Skutter shook her head. "You knew what you were getting are such your mother sometimes...." Artemis took a sip of the wine. It was very salty and dry, almost like drinking a mouthful of saltine crackers. He choked it down, and tossed the glass into the aforementioned flowerpot. "Okay dear, let's find the others shall we?"

Artemis saw a wheelchair toting human across the way, Seymour. Seymour was one of the few survivors that Artemis remembered from before the accident, as Seymour had on numerous occasions employed him for various reasons, even before he worked on Blue Dwarf. He didn't find him annoying, and actually enjoyed his company to an extent. But then again, Artemis tended to enjoy the company of anyone who wasn't trying to one-up him. Artemis gravitated towards Seymour, who at the time was by himself. "Mr. Niples!" right away Seymour recognized Artemis' voice. "Dr. Pritchard! By god I thought you had been killed!" "Nope, just frozen by a faulty experiment. How have the last few years treated you?" "They've been interesting, to say the least....." the two middle-aged men began a long winded conversation that continued for some time. Eventually, they were joined by Phi, whom Artemis hadn't really met yet. "You must be Mr. Moreau!" Artemis said. "Uh....yes....aren't you..." "Dr. Artemis K. Pritchard VI, but you can call me Artemis!" "Dr. Pritchard? I think I remember you, don't you work in the science department with Phil?" "Yes and no, though were are both men of science we work in separate departments and haven't really spoken to each other except in passing. I didn't really speak to anyone outside the Innovative Sciences Department really, which was just me and Frank Cadbury...hmm" Artemis was beginning to realize why nobody really remembered him, he hadn't spent too much time outside the lab before the accident. As Artemis stood idly in thought, a pair of other Dwarfers approached them. Shortly after their arrival, a rodent took the stage.....

"Welcome to the annual Whiskermas ball!" There was a huge cheer and the crowds went wild. "As is our tradition, we start with the subconscious karaoke. Whiskermas is a time to share what you feel. So what better way than with music!" The crowds cheered again. "Those who fail to sing will be put in...." He paused for dramatic effect as something was lowered from the ceiling. "The Dark Ball."

"What do you think is in there?" Artemis asked the woman standing in front of him, who he believed was Jade.

"Who cares? I'd rather sing my soul out than find out." She replied

After a quick back and forth between the group of humans, the announcer began again.

"Ok, our first singer is one of the humans! Come up here Jade!"

Jade went up to the stage, and after an embarrassing debacle, she charged out of the ball.

Artemis and Phi made to go after Jade, but just as they did, the rodent on stage called out "Wait! Doctor don't want to leave, you no want to sign Kansas?" Artemis was stopped by the name of the familiar band. "You want sing to Point of Know Return?" How could Artemis resist? He charged up on stage and snatched the microphone. "Okay, last time I sang this I was how we humans say "bombed off my gourd" the crowd laughed. "Buuut I think I can remember the lyrics, turn the screen off!" The host turned off the lyrics display and started the music.

The music started, and Artemis remembered the lyrics seconds before his cue.
"I heard the men saying something, the captains tell they pay you well, and they say they need sailing men to how the way, and leave today
Was it you that said, "How long, how long?""

The crowd of broke out into laughter, the Dwarfers were bewildered.

"They say the sea turns so dark that you know it's time, you see the sign,
They say the point demons guard is an ocean grave, for all the brave,
Was it you that said, "How long, how long,
How long to the point of know return?"

During the instrumental break, Artemis danced around the stage like a maniac, and right before he was to start again, had the host cut the lights. A lone spotlight shined on the crazed scientist

"Your father, he said he needs you!
Your mother, she says she loves you!"

The crowd broke out lighters and started swaying back and forth.

"Your brothers, they echo your words: "How far to the point of know return?"
"Well, how long?""

Artemis whipped off his jacket, the missus caught it. A few whoops came from the audiance.

"Today I found a message floating, In the sea from you to me. It said that when you could see it, You cried with fear, the Point was near
Was it you that said, "How long, how long
To the Point of Know Return?""

Artemis continued the chorus until the music cut out. The lights came back on and the crowd roared. "Give me a few minutes to cool off and I'll sign the best hits of The Ramones" the crowd continued to roar as he walked off stage, collected his jacket, and returned to the Dwarfers, who exchanged mixed comments on his performance. Artemis could tell this was shaping up to be a fun night....

(OOC-Look up "The Point of Know Return" on youtube, the band is Kansas. Once you hear it straight through you'll be able to better picture Artemis prancing about on stage like a madman!)


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