Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Empire: Security is Job 1

My last batch of meetings was a security do's and don'ts with my sections security officer. I've learned two things today. 1) Security is REALLY REALLY important to the Empire. 2) The Empire was kind enough to commission a bunch of 4th rate actors to make a holo on this whole thing for us. I'm going to try my best to translate their inflections to writing, but needless to say, they're not ready for prime time holonet shows yet.

The best way to read this is to say it outloud with the way I've punctuated it. That will give you an idea of how the "performance" was in this holo.

Host guy: (holo fades in with Host Guy standing in front of some terminals. officers are in the background) Welcome! To the Death Star you are the best of the best and we are so pleased. To have you here with us.

Host guy starts walking past the terminals. Some of the officers in the background have started craning their necks to see what is going on - apparently, they didn't tell the skeleton crew what they were doing.

Host guy: In the Empire, security is of up-most importance. That's why, we've GOT some rules to go over with you.

At this point, a guy in a plastic Darth Vader helmet and a black cape walks into camera view. Off camera, you can hear a dilligent sound effects man going "HOOOOOO PHAAAAAAAW" to emulate Vader's breathing noise. Darth Faker's grey imperial uniform is sticking out from underneath his cape. I have a feeling the filmmaker will be killed in a few short days.

Host guy: My GOODNESS! Lord Vader what a suprise what are you...doing here?

The fake Vader begins to speak. His voice has not been dubbed over; in fact, it is the actor's voice spoken at his lowest possible monotone level THROUGH the mask. While his intentions as an actor were probably spot on, the fact that he had a big plastic mask and a guy off camera making breathing noises didn't help.

Darth Faker: (incoherent monotone mumbling)

Host guy: (big smile) That's right, Lord Vader. Security! Is job 1. With the Empire.

Darth Faker: (more incoherent monotone mumbling)

Host guy: Ha ha. Ha ha. Ha ha. Oh Lord Vader you flatter me I am not in charge of security.

Darth Faker: (grunting question noise and points to himself)

Host guy: No Lord Vader it's not up to you EITHER!

Darth Faker: (shrugs his shoulders, shakes his head before raising his arms in an "A ha!" moment of inspired method acting)

Host guy and Darth Faker in unison: (turn to the camera and point at it) It is up to YOU (Darth Faker shakes his hand) to ensure the security and safety of your fellow officers. On the Death. STAR!

I'm assuming Darth Faker said the same line as the Host Guy. In reality, it sounded like Host Guy talking over a garbaled transmission slowed down by a factor of 10.

The holo then cuts to Host Guy standing with a group of stormtroopers and officers in front of the docking bay.

Host Guy: Now you KNOW that when shuttles land. ANYONE. Can be on board. If you don't know them they might, just be, a Rebel spy the Death Star code strictly states. That you don't reveal any tech...technical data about this station to any new landing parties that, um, (his eyes squint) you...you...you...don't know let's see an example.

Stormtrooper A and Officer B step to the forefront. This is gonna be good.

Stormtrooper A: May I see your landing clearance please sir.

Officer B: Oh no I must have left it on the Star Destroyer I am so sorry for this mishap might you show me a readout. Of the. Facility. So I can get to a comm sta...station and contact them.

Stormtrooper A: (shakes his head from side to side) I am sorry sir? I can escort you to a comm station. But I cannot allow you to see. Any tech-i-ni-cal data.

Host Guy: (walks over and puts his arm around Stormtrooper A) Good job! Trooper. Without proper landing, clearance, you don't know who just might be a Rebel spy it's best to take them to the comm station. And witness their verification in person.

Officer B and Stormtrooper A both turn to the camera and flash a big Imperial thumbs up. The holo cuts to Host Guy standing with another stormtrooper (Stormtrooper B) in front of a hallway.

Host Guy: Certain areas of the death STAR. Are only axeble (accessible) with code clearance each door has a detector that sense. Whether...or not you have code clearance now let's watch an example?

Stormtrooper B: (walks down the hallway and stops in front of the door) I need to speak with the officer in the next room.

Stormtrooper B begins again and walks straight into the door with a notable THUD. He turns around and walks to the camera scratching his helmeted head.

Stormtrooper B: Oh. My. I must not have clearance. What can I do now.

Officer B walks into the camera view with a memo tablet. He stops, looks at the floor and back at the camera, squints to the left off camera, and takes another two steps forward before handing the memo tablet to Stormtrooper B.

Officer B: I, um...I...um...you'll be needing...(looks off camera) to fill out this tablet. Forpermission. I mean. Fill out this tablet for permission...(looks off camera)...and you can get access to this, um, section. I...um...(sighs and looks at floor, then back off camera, then back to the stormtrooper) are available at any section officer's station just ask for Netto that's me. Oh! That's me (Officer B flashes the Imperial thumbs up while his brow furrows and his eyes squint). That's me.

Host guy walks back into view while Officer B's shoulders slump and he shakes his head.

Host Guy: For reasons of up-ah-most security the Empire requires access on a...need-to-go basis this protects both you and us. And remember!

Officer B and Stormtrooper B flank Host Guy and the give the Imperial thumbs up in unison.

All three: TOGETHER WE ARE THE DEATH STAR FAMILY (family).

I could go on as there was another hour of actors plucked out of the worst outer rim drama schools telling us about the dangers of carrying charged rifles, what to do in case of a fire, and when one drink in the pub is too much. But I won't make you suffer through it. I just had to show you a small glimpse of this horror.

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