Originally broadcasted 5/16/06
Radio Air Studio – Night
A female hand reached out to press one of a myriad of buttons on a large, complex radio switchboard. The corresponding indicator light changed from red to yellow, and a male announcer’s voice began to play.
“Welcome to Nerd Radio, the only place where you can hear all your favorite music and discuss all your favorite sci-fi, fantasy, horror, video games, comic books and more!” the announcer exclaimed.
Meanwhile, a hand inserted a CD into the top-most of a stack of players, then spun a dial to select the correct track. A large red clock above the switchboard showed the exact time down to the second in block numbers.
“Only on Yellow Jacket Radio. And here’s your host, the lovely DJ Trace!”
Tracey leaned forward, her lips almost touching a large microphone suspended in front of her on a long, flexible arm. “Hey everybody, this is Trace here again. We’ve got a pretty decent show lined up for you tonight. Later I’ll have my review of Mission: Impossible III. Can J.J. Abrams make me care whether Tom Cruise lives or dies? For those of us here in the States, which I’m assuming is most of you since our signal is kinda tiny, it’s almost time for the Doctor Who finale. We’ll discuss. And what graphic novels should you read that you haven’t? I’ll tell you.”
She paused. A massive pair of headphones fully covered both of Tracey’s ears, looking a little too large for her head. The pounding drums of the Battlestar Galactica soundtrack rattled in the background of the air mix.
“So…what did everyone do this week?” Tracey asked her invisible audience. “I hope everything’s going well for all the nerds out there. I was going through the emails this week, and a lot of you seem to want to know more about me. Someone even wrote in to tell me that I ‘sound hot’,” she noted, smirking. “I’m not sure how that’s even possible. It’s not like I’m doing a Barry White impersonation here.”
“Anyway,” she sighed, “the reason I don’t talk about myself much on the show is that, well, I’m pretty boring. My life would not make very good radio. So I considered this problem, and I think I may have come up with a solution. I’m just going to make stuff up, hopefully much cooler than my actual life, and it will be just like I’m telling you all about myself. Cool?” Tracey waited a moment, as if expecting an answer.
“So what did I do this week?” she continued. “It started out with a pretty typical Monday morning.”
Tracey’s Apartment – Bedroom – Morning
A very loud alarm blared from a small clock/radio, a noise somewhere between a buzz and a beep, designed to be as annoying as possible. A rumpled Tracey rolled over in bed and brought her hand down roughly on the snooze button.
To say that Tracey’s bedroom was cluttered would be something of an understatement. School books were piled haphazardly around a laptop on a desk by the dirty window. Comic books were strewn across the floor, mixed with old empty plastic bags from the Walgreen’s on the corner. The light from the twisted, uneven window blinds fell haphazardly across Tracey’s face as she tried unsuccessfully to blink the sleep out of her eyes.
“It’s not much, I know,” she mumbled. She appeared to be looking directly into a camera, talking to an unseen audience. “But it beats living with my parents or in the slayer dorm. Have I mentioned slayers?”
Tracey’s Apartment – Bedroom – Moments Later
Tracey pulled an “Evil Rabbit” Monty Python T-Shirt over her head and tugged it down over her bra.
Tracey’s Apartment – Bathroom – Moments Later
The buzzing of an electric toothbrush filled the air as Tracey poked the small white and green contraption deep into her cheek. She was humming “Beverly Hills” by Weezer in a strangled voice.
Outside Seminary Road Apartments – Minutes Later
Tracey struggled with the driver’s-side door of an older, beat-up Ford Taurus. There was a long gouge farther back on the same side of the car, implying the vehicle had experienced at least one previous adventure. With a jerk that sent Tracey stumbling, the door suddenly popped open.
Tracey’s Car – Moments Later
Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream.
I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been.
Making up in volume what she lacked in talent, Tracey sang along with Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” as she sped down the highway. The one hand she kept on the steering wheel tapped along with the song’s persistent guitar riff.
Watchers Council – Parking Garage – Minutes Later
The blue Ford Taurus pulled into an open parking space at more than a little bit of an angle. Tracey got out of the car, visually appraising its position before announcing, “Good enough.”
She walked past an RV, her feet traveling over a message spray painted on the cement that read, “Xander’s Camper Only – All Others Will Be Toad.”
Watchers Council – Kitchen – Morning
With a practiced flick of her wrist, Tracey flipped a pancake into the air and caught it in a Teflon-lined skillet. As he passed behind her, Tracey gave Andrew a quick peck on the cheek.
“Morning, Andy,” she said.
“Morning,” he agreed, without slowing down.
Watchers Council – Dining Hall – Morning
“Hey!” Tracey yelled, grabbing the wrist of a young slayer whose arm was pulled back, ready to fling a fistful of scrambled eggs across the room. “I didn’t make that so you could throw it!”
Another batch of eggs, flung at full velocity, splatted against Tracey’s ear.
Watchers Council – Restroom – Morning
Tracey’s grimace was reflected in the mirror of a public restroom, where she was trying valiantly to clean yellow goop out of her hair.
“Have I mentioned slayers?” she said, looking into the mirror with her palms flat against the sink.
Watchers Council – Kitchen – Day
Looking much cleaner, Tracey gave Andrew a peck on the cheek as she passed through the kitchen.
“Bye, Andy,” she said.
“Bye,” he agreed.
Tracey’s Car – Minutes Later
Oh, father of the four winds, fill my sails, across the sea of years,
With no provision but an open face, along the straits of fear.
“Kashmir” was still going, and so was Tracey’s singing, as she turned the steering wheel with what might be described as “loose” technique.
Baldwin-Wallace College – Later
Once again at somewhat of an angle, Tracey’s car pulled into a space. This one was outside an older-looking stone building, marked with a sign denoting it as “Marting Hall.”
Marting Hall – Computer Lab – Moments Later
With a sigh, Tracey plopped herself down in front of a computer screen, letting the bag she’d been carrying slip off her shoulder to the floor.
About twenty students occupied most of the computers in the room, while in the front of the class stood a dark-haired woman of medium build, possibly in her thirties.
“Sorry for the late start, everybody,” she apologized, as the chatter in the classroom slowly disappeared. “It’s been the strangest couple of days for me.”
Tracey turned in her chair to speak over her shoulder. “That’s Dr. Callaway, my Computer Programming prof.” Her voice rang loud in the relative silence of the classroom, but she drew no admonishment from the professor. “Not the most together woman, but she can fix code like Scotty can fix a starship engine.”
“I keep hearing these noises, you know, like there’s somebody in the house,” Dr. Callaway continued, “or I’ll be in a completely different room and suddenly the TV will turn on or a door will slam shut. Then this morning…”
Dr. Callaway’s House – Bedroom – Earlier
Dr. Callaway shut off her alarm and yawned. Her bedroom was somewhat bare, but neat.
Dr. Callaway’s House – Bathroom – Minutes Later
Dr. Callaway pulled a towel around her body as she stepped out of the shower. She opened one-half of the bathroom mirror to reveal the cupboard behind, pulling out a battery powered hair dryer. When she closed the mirror, Tracey was standing behind her, but Dr. Callaway did not react.
“This is usually the part where something creepy happens,” Tracey said, before her voice was drowned out by the sound of the professor drying her hair.
Dr. Callaway’s House – Bedroom – Moments Later
Pulling the door shut behind her, Dr. Callaway exited the bathroom. When she turned around, she stopped short, a shocked look on her face.
The entire room was turned inside out. All the clothes were torn down from the closets. The drawers had been pulled out of the dresser, emptied and thrown across the floor, along with their contents. The covers were torn off the bed. One of the sheets was now partially draped over a television set.
Tracey was perched on the end of the bed, legs crossed. “I told you so.”
End of Teaser