The Green-Eyed Monsters
by Dave Stone
The Green-Eyed Monsters
Written by Dave Stone
Directed by Gary Russell
Music, Sound Design and Post Production by David Darlington

Lisa Bowerman (Professor Bernice Summerfield) Stephen Fewell (Jason Kane), Harry Myers (Adrian Wall), Steven Wickham (Joseph the Porter), Maria Darling (Lady Ashantra du Lac).

It isn’t all fun for a new mum.

Not only do you have to deal with the lack of sleep, the occasional embarrassing leak and the constant round of unexploded nappies -- you have to deal with a couple of testeronically-charged idiots who won’t get it through their skulls that you don’t want either of them to be the Dad. Even though one of them technically is.

So when Benny gets the chance to skip off for a while, heading into a Goronos System packed with duplicity and peril to authenticate certain highly significant artifacts and totems, she doesn’t have to think twice.

Only, sometimes, as she’ll learn, when heading into duplicity and peril, it’s not a good idea to leave a hostage to fortune behind ...

  • This is the sixth audio in Big Finish’s new series of The Adventures of Bernice Summerfield.
  • Released: July 2002

  • ISBN: 1 903654 68 6
(drn: 56'34")

While tending to Peter, Benny listens to a song called Adventure is My Game, but turns it off after a moment, wondering what she could have been thinking. Her porter Joseph prepares to record an entry in her new holostatic diary, but her retelling of the strange story of Peter’s conception is interrupted by the arrival of the biological father, Adrian Wall. He’s claimed that the males of his species have no role in the child’s upbringing, but as he shows Benny the plans for the Collection’s new xenoarchaeology wing, Benny notices a stuffed fluffy rabbit toy in his pocket. Jason Kane then pops in, “just in passing,” and, seeing Adrian, he begins to snipe jealously at him, driving Adrian into a rage until Benny throws them both out. Irritated, she decides to ask Braxiatel for permission to get Joseph fitted with a lethal countermeasures package capable of frying anyone who comes within ten metres of her room.

Benny then tries to resume her diary, but is once again interrupted, this time by a call from Lady Ashantra du Lac of Goron IV. Lady Ashantra offers Benny a job authenticating certain significant artefacts and totems, claiming that Benny is the most highly qualified people in the galaxy. Benny accepts the commission, unaware that Lady Ashantra wasn’t speaking of her academic qualifications. After signing off, and chastising the moronically inbred royal twins Boris and Ronald, Lady Ashantra makes a second call to the Braxiatel Collection -- this time on the secure line, to a certain Mister Sloatie.

Benny leaps at the opportunity to get away for a while, but she has to do something with Peter -- and thus, she asks Adrian and Jason individually to meet her at the pub. Before either can react to the other man’s presence, Benny breezes in, explains that she’s off to Goron IV, hands Peter to Adrian, gives Jason a bag with nappies and changing powder, tells them where to find the baby formula in her room, drinks Jason’s boilermaker, and breezes back out again, leaving them stunned and holding the baby. Like it or not, they’ll have to work together to take care of Peter, but changing nappies, warming formula, and preventing the baby from crying proves to be far more difficult than they could have imagined. Jason soon works out that they’re being told in no uncertain terms that they have no part to play in Peter’s upbringing... but he and Adrian are determined to prove themselves capable, nonetheless.

The Goronians offer Benny a first-class berth on one of their own merchant ships, but Benny instead chooses to take one of the Braxiatel Collection’s shuttles; it’s less luxurious, but if things turn nasty she’ll have a quick way out. As it happens, the Goronos system is on the verge of war, as each of the five separate planets in the federacy believes that it should be in charge of the entire system. Goronos was out of contact with Earth for several centuries and thus developed its own internal mythologies and social structures, and one of the legends which has recently resurfaced speaks of the reincarnation of twin kings whose eyes glow green in the presence of -- as Benny quickly deduces -- certain significant artefacts and totems.

As the crowd turns out for Benny’s arrival, Lady Ashantra forces Boris and Ronald to dress in nice clean shirts, and orders them not to drool too much and to keep their hands to themselves when Benny arrives. The Braxiatel shuttle lands, and Lady Ashantra effusively welcomes Benny and her son to Goron IV -- but seems quite taken aback when Benny reveals that she didn’t bring Peter with her. Lady Ashantra recovers quickly, and introduces Benny to Boris and Ronald, explaining that due to the legends every House Royal tries to breed for twins... with frequent unfortunate genetic side-effects. Benny wonders whether flashing green eyes are in fact the most important qualification to rule a planetary system, but accepts that her job is simply to authenticate the significant artefacts and totems, to ensure that they are in fact the genuine deal before the twins are brought before them.

Lady Ashantra sees Benny to her rooms -- and then contacts Sloatie, enraged by the absence of Benny’s son when Sloatie had assured her that Benny was utterly devoted to the child. Sloatie apologizes desperately, but the thing about Benny is that sometimes you just don’t know which way she’s going to jump. Lady Ashantra makes it quite clear how she will jump if anything goes wrong, and Sloatie, sweating profusely, agrees to see to matters. Meanwhile, Benny settles into her rooms, which are supplied with all the best liquors of the galaxy and a bathtub so large that it still might not be completely full when the time comes for her to leave. She decides to call the Braxiatel Collection to see how Peter and the boys are getting on, but finds she’s unable to place a call off-world. Oddly, moments after she makes the attempt, Lady Ashantra calls in person to apologize for the inconvenience, claiming that all communications lines have been jammed by the large number of people making travel arrangements for tomorrow’s ceremony. The explanation sounds plausible, but Benny, concerned, asks Joseph to activate his galactic positioning signal beacon... just in case.

Jason and Adrian finally get Peter to sleep, and although Jason takes advantage of the fact that Adrian now can’t shout to needle him further, they’re both quite proud of themselves for proving that they can take care of Peter... at least until masked men burst into the room, gun them down and run off with Peter. Adrian wakes with a blinding headache to find that Jason has already been awake and working for some time. When Adrian remembers what happened, Jason has his hands full keeping him calm and preventing him from rushing off and making things worse. The hit was professional, but the kidnappers shot to stun, not to kill -- which implies that the wrongdoers are local types, not the really nasty kind. This in turn implies that Peter is relatively safe, at least enough for Jason and Adrian to be able to do something about getting him back.

Benny examines the significant artefacts and totems, and is amazed by how shamelessly fake they are. The statue of the seven-armed swamp goddess Raghi Ani is a knock-off from the Garazone bazaar; the fabled Book of Dreams from the lost citadel of Hokesh is just a copy from the Apocryphal Publishing Consortium -- and it’s not even the deluxe edition. In short, it’s all a load of old junk which wouldn’t fool a blind man, so why does Lady Ashantra think Benny will verify it without being threatened? On her way back to her rooms, Benny finds Lady Ashantra berating the twins, training them to flash on cue the eye implants which Lady Ashantra purchased from the Catan Nebula. When Benny confronts her, she openly admits that she spread the legends of the reincarnated god-kings through bribes and rumours, and that she intends to rule Goronos from behind the scenes once the twins are on the throne. She can afford to tell the truth, for she’s just received a holo-recording from the Braxiatel Collection -- proof that Peter is perfectly safe and happy in the hands of her cohorts. Benny can go wherever and do whatever she wants until the ceremony tomorrow; she’ll never be able to get back to the Collection in time, and she knows just what will happen if she does anything Lady Ashantra doesn’t like...

Jason leads Adrian to a particularly unpleasant club on the Collection; Adrian is shocked by what he sees there, but Jason explains that Braxiatel tolerates its presence, knowing that the criminal element can get in anywhere and that if he clamps down too hard, he’ll be left with only the most hardcore criminals. Jason has contacts here, including one Mister Sloatie, who is sure to know something about the kidnapping. Jason advises Adrian to keep calm, but nearly beats the hell out Sloatie himself before Adrian pulls him back. Jason quietly and privately explains to Sloatie that, though he doesn’t particularly care for Adrian, he and Sloatie know just what is likely to happen if Adrian starts making waves... and if that happens, then Jason will just have to call in a favour from certain associates. Or Sloatie can arrange for Peter to be returned within the next ten minutes, and then rest easy knowing that he and everyone he knows, loves, or has ever bumped into casually at some point in his life will remain perfectly alive. Sloatie apparently agrees, although he seems to have some difficulty swallowing, and Jason takes Adrian back out of the club, confident that they’ll get a break quite soon.

Representatives from every planet in the Goronos system are arriving for the ceremony. The plan is as follows: Lady Ashantra shall introduce Benny, who shall authenticate the significant artefacts and totems; the royal twins will then flash their eyes on cue in the presence of the artefacts and totems, and Lady Ashantra will be free to rule Goronos as she sees fit and to dispose of all those who whisper about her behind her back when they think she isn’t listening. However, Adrian and Jason are also on their way to Goron IV, in an interstellar battle corvette which Jason borrowed from certain friends. On the way, Adrian admits that his species does have certain biological imperatives -- they mate for life. Adrian knows it wasn’t really Benny he mated with, and that Benny doesn’t feel the same way about him, but sometimes it’s very hard for him. And Benny must never know. Jason in turn admits that he has a certain vision of his relationship with Benny which never quite seems to match reality, but some part of him simply knows that she’s his wife, and will never believe any differently.

The ceremony begins will all pomp and circumstances, and suitable oohing and aahing when the significant artefacts and totems are presented. Lady Ashantra calls Benny forward, and Benny must choose between placing a homicidal tyrant in control of the Goronos system or having her son killed. Fortunately, Adrian and Jason arrive just in time to deliver their message: Peter is safe and well, and there’s no need for Benny to panic, particularly if she didn’t actually realize that Peter had been in danger until now, in which case she should forget that they said anything. Realizing that the game is up, Lady Ashantra tells Boris and Ronald to have fun with Professor Summerfield. Fortunately, Joseph reveals that he does have a countermeasures defence system installed after all, and while he deals with Boris and Ronald, Benny chases down Lady Ashantra and knocks her out. Lady Ashantra is imprisoned, but vows to have her revenge.

Benny returns to the Collection and to Peter, but while she’s Goronos has been saved from the rule of a tyrant, the system will probably still go to war to determine who will lead in her place. Jason and Adrian finally return, after dropping off their borrowed corvette in a sector of space known to be controlled by the Plague Dog pirate band... but it’s probably best not to inquire too closely into the nature of Jason’s friends. For a moment, it appears that all is well; Jason and Adrian have proven that they can work together, and they’ve even saved Peter’s life. But within seconds they begin squabbling again, and as Benny tries to shush them, Peter wakes up and starts squalling, repeatedly interrupting the closing theme music.

Source: Cameron Dixon
Continuity Notes:
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