Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Prophet of Death

Time for another Funky case - if Stix and Grant can get the Mustang operational.

Cassie: Are you two STILL working on the Funky Buggy?
Grant: Cool it Cas', vehicle maintenance is the key to good crime fighting.
Cassie: But you've been in the garage since six this morning.
Grant: Well, when you're car fanatics like us it don't matter.
Stix: Hey, it says in the manual to change a flat tire you need a "jack"
Grant: Really? Well, you learn something new every day.

With the funky buggy up on blocks, Funky Squad take the bus to HQ, where the Chief has growing suspicions about a cat called Guru Badkarma. After years of "getting his blows from the feet inhaling a cauldron" - or smoking pot - the high-profile flowerchild now speaking out against legalising weed. The Chief suspects that's because he's a dealer himself, and doesn't want legal competition.

Badkarma is recruiting cult members at the University of Hip Studies, so the Squaddies go back to school and turn down the chance to study Conservative Ethics or Old Fashioned Ideals in favour of Groovy Street Wisdom. A passing hippie hears their discussion of the guru - although he has to play the tape back to be sure - and intervenes.

Hippie: Keep clear of Badkarma, that is one dangerous dude.
Cassie: Sounds like you knew the dude?
Hippie: Well, I thought I did - he was my brother.
Stix: You're brothers?
Cassie: Cool it Stix, I think he means in the spiritual sense.
Hippie: Nah, he was my brother. We thought we could change the world through transcendental meditation - but he started spinning out, stopped seeing the green in the plants and started seeing the green in the money.

Impressed by his metaphors, Funky Squad head to class, and are given new names by Guru Badkarma - Sky, Moonbeams, Starfish and, um, Poncho.

OK, neither of those actors were actually in this version. But convince yourself that there swami is actually Santo putting on a voice, and that Grant is being played by Rob Sitch, and you've got the idea. Stop complaining, you've got an imagination - you think it's easy trying to illustrate a radio play?

And then the guru makes his move...

Badkarma: Moonbeams, my beautiful child, come with me.
Stix: OK!
Badkarma: Not you, Starfish.

And soon, it's time for a wedding - between "Moonbeams" and Badkarma. Cassie is set to become the dealer's 100 wife.

Badkarma, in an evil tone: She doesn't know it yet, but she will help me make my biggest drug haul yet, by smuggling LSD in a guitar.
Stix: That's Cassie he's rapping about:
Grant: So that's how he's doing it.
Badkarma: Is that someone overhearing me?
Stix: It's us, your humble servants Starfish, Sky, and, um, Poncho. Can we come in?
Badkarma: Hang on, wait til I put my nice voice on.

When Stix burns an ant and a mosquito instead of the requested incense, the Guru lets slip that the only thing he hates more than incompetence is Funky Squad. It turns out the Squad was nearly Grant, Cassie, Stix and Badkarma (doesn't quite have the same ring to it, really) but the Guru was shafted in favour Poncho at the last moment.

The squaddies leave before Badkarma can put two and two together, and track down Cassie in the Guru's free love chamber. She's acting strangely, space-out and, as Stix points out, rather badly. Then it gets worse. She sings.

Cassie: I took one sip of the Guru's wine
It made my eyes all sparkle and shine.
Stix: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Grant: That Cassie's a really bad singer?
Stix: Yeah!
But the guitar sounds even worse than Cassie - it's the one the Guru made her cross the border to get, and it's full of acid.

The wedding goes ahead:
Celebrant: Do you, Badkarma, take this flowerchild to be your kaftan-clothed soulmate?
Badkarma: Yeah, man.
Celebrant: And Moonbeams, do you take this freaked out and often implausible character for the rest of your life, however short that may be once you've handed the guitar over?
Cassie: I...

At which point Funky Squad intervenes. But it turns out Cassie's not quite as thick as she seemed, because it's not LSD in the guitar but a gun, which she pulls on the Guru. The guru finally susses that the squaddies are, well, the squaddies. Despite Cassie's attempts to sing him his right, the guru is arrested and the drug ring broken up.

A few elements of this story later morphed into the first television episode, A Degree in Death.