Captain N: The Game Master
"PRINCESS FOR A DAY"
Saturday, November 7, 1992, 8:30 AM
"Next!" Lana called after typing a note on her laptop.
Two men in black suits and wearing black sunglasses walked into Lana's
"Thank you for seeing us, Your Highness." the man on the left said.
"We hope you can help us with our problem." the one on the right said.
"You're welcome, and I'll try." Lana said. "I need your names."
"Tommy Lee Jones." the one on the left said.
"Will Smith." the one on the right said.
Lana typed it down. "Video world?"
"News World." Will answered.
"Boring world, boring names." Lana commented to herself, typing.
"What was that?" Tommy asked.
"Nothing." Lana said. She folded her hands in front of her. "And your
"Well," Tommy said, "we're neighbors. I like to listen to country music."
"And I like to listen to rap music." Will said.
"Can we say 'oxymoron'?" Lana commented to herself.
"What was that?" Will asked.
Lana shook her head. "Nothin', nothin'."
"And we both like it nice and loud!" Tommy said.
"But the walls of our houses are cheap." Will said. "They're hollow. I
keep hearin' his redneck crap, 'n' I can't listen to da beats!"
"I keep hearing his gangster garbage, and I can't hear my - "
Lana held her hands out in front of her. "Stop. I get the point. Look,
I'll figure something out, all right."
"All right." Tommy said.
"Thank you for seeing us." Will said.
The two men turned and walked out the door.
Lana typed a note on her laptop, then, after a moment, decided to shut it
"Kevin!" Lana called.
Kevin poked his head into the room. "Yeah, Lana?"
"Close the door."
"You heard me."
Kevin walked into the room, followed by Stacey. Kevin pressed some
buttons on the keypad to the right and unlocked the door, closed it, and
locked it again. Complaining could be heard from the long line of people
"What's up, Lana?" Kevin asked.
The Princess sighed. "I can't take it anymore, Kevin. I've seen thirty
people this morning! Do you know what that can do to a person's sanity?!"
Kevin couldn't help but laugh. Lana frowned at him.
Kevin stopped. "Sorry."
Lana pushed her laptop aside, rolled her chair back, and put her feet on
"Man, you're tired!" Kevin said. He had a gift for stating the obvious.
"Why did I schedule so many appointments?" Lana asked sadly. "Do I hate
"Lana, how did your father keep up with all this?" Kevin asked.
"By taking a break every once-in-a-while." Lana replied.
"So I was right." Kevin said, then he snapped his fingers and pointed at
her. "You need a vacation!"
"I'd love one, Kevin, but I've got too many responsibilities here!"
"Lana, you're the Ruler of Videoland!" Stacey said. "You can, like, do
anything you want!"
"Stacey, you have no idea what being a ruler is like!" Lana told her.
"Well, maybe I don't, but it couldn't be that hard!"
Lana laughed. "Harder than you think!"
Stacey chuckled. "Yeah, right! I could do just as good a job as you!"
Lana lowered her feet to the floor as she thought of an idea. "Oh,
really. Wanna try?"
Lana stood up, placed her hands on her desk, and leaned forward. "I
challenge you to take my job for a day."
"Are you serious?"
Lana nodded. "Yeah. If you think you can handle it, be my guest and take
"For real?" Stacey asked.
Lana nodded again, laughing. "For real! You want it or not?!"
Stacey nodded. "Like, totally! You are on!"
"All right," Lana said, taking her crown off her head, "I hereby transfer
the title of Ruler of Videoland, and all its related powers and
responsibilities, to you, Stacey Anderson." She placed the crown on Stacey's
head and offered her left hand.
Stacey shook Lana's hand. "Thanks."
Lana grinned. "Congratulations, Princess Stacey."
Stacey smiled. "'Princess Stacey'. Has a nice ring to it."
"Well, I'm off." Lana said, heading for the door. "The office is yours.
I'm gonna go to my room and change into something a little more comfortable,
and then me and Kevin are off to California Games for vacation." She looked
at Kevin and smiled.
He smiled back at her.
"Fine." Stacey said. She went over and sat in Lana's chair, then put her
feet on the desk.
Lana smiled and shook her head. She entered a code on the keypad. The
door unlocked, opened, and locked.
All of the people were still waiting outside.
"Say hello to your new ruler, Princess Stacey!" Lana called.
She and Kevin walked out of the office and went down another hallway,
which was empty.
"You think she can handle the job?" Kevin asked.
"No, that's why I offered it to her in the first place." Lana said, then
smiled. "By this time tomorrow, she'll be begging me to take it back!"
Kevin smiled also.
Twenty minutes later, Kevin had a picnic basket packed with lunch for
two. He had changed into swimming trunks, and Lana was wearing her green and
pink bathing suit.
Lana was carrying her royal clothes, earrings, necklace, and bracelets.
Kevin and Lana pushed their way through the line, saying "Excuse me" and
"Pardon me" along the way. The crowd complained and told them to wait their
Finally, the two teenagers made their way into Stacey's office.
"Kristen?" Lana asked in surprise.
The twenty-year-old hairstylist was sitting in the chair behind the desk.
"Lana, hi!" Kristen greeted cheerfully. She stared at Lana, standing in
front of her just in bailey, and licked her lips. "Lookin' good!"
"What are you doing here?" Lana asked, ignoring the remark, as she and
Kevin approached the desk.
"If you're here to see Princess Stacey, you need an appointment."
"You didn't answer my question."
"I'm her secretary."
"Her secretary?" Lana asked in surprise.
"Yeah. I'm . . . uh, hold on." Kristen took off a piece of white paper
that was taped to her red shirt. "'The Official Secretary to the Ruler of
Videoland'. I got a little badge, too. Ain't it neat?!" she asked, smiling,
and held it out to Lana.
Lana took it and looked it over. Sure enough, that's just what it said on
the badge - written multi-colored in crayon.
"I don't believe this." Lana said. She handed the badge back to Kristen,
who put it back on her shirt.
"Stacey stopped by my house and told me about how she was now the big
cheeset around here, and asked if I'd like to help out, and I said yes."
"And what, may I ask, is so important for Stacey to do that she needs a
secretary?" Lana asked.
Kristen pointed with her right index finger over to her left. Kevin and
Stacey was standing over there, hitting a ping-pong ball repeatedly with
Lana sighed and shook her head. "Stacey!"
Stacey's concentration was broken, and she didn't hit the ball. She
turned towards Lana in anger. "What?!"
Lana handed Stacey her royal clothes and jewelry when Stacey came over.
"These are for you. If you're gonna be the leader, you gotta dress the
Stacey laughed, then looked at the clothes. "Wow! Extra extra spiffy!
Lana smiled. "Don't mention it."
Stacey walked back into the office ten minutes later, dressed in Lana's
royal clothes. "Well?"
Kevin, Lana, and Kristen looked at her.
"Wow!" Kevin said in amazement.
"Cool!" Kristen added.
Lana giggled. "Uh, you look great, Stacey."
Stacey grinned. "Don't I always?!"
"Okay, so we got Princess Stacey, Ruler of Videoland, and Lana . . . uh,"
Kevin snapped his fingers a few times as he looked at Lana, "uuuhhhh . . . "
Lana giggled. "It's been a long time since my family used their last
name. When my home world was settled almost one-thousand nine-hundred
ninty-two years ago, my ancestor, Harold, declared himself leader. Since he
was so loved, the rest of the settlers readily accepted his rule. Ever since
that time, the time at which our calendar began, Harold's family - my family
- has ruled our world, and eventually all those video worlds that have
become our allies."
"In other words, Videoland." Kristen said.
"Right." Lana said. "Anyway, when Harold became Ruler, his family dropped
its last name, but not officially."
"So, what's your last name?" Kevin asked.
Lana laughed, shaking her head. "I don't know. I can look it up. Uh, may
I?" she asked, gesturing at her laptop with her left hand.
Stacey nodded. "Uh-huh."
Lana turned the laptop around and did a quick search. She then turned the
laptop back to its original position. "Deschain."
"That's your last name?" Kristen asked.
"Lana Deschain." Kevin said to himself, then smiled. "I like it!"
Lana looked at Kevin, smiling. "All right, let's hit the beach!"
Kristen touched Lana's left arm with her right hand, causing Lana to turn
and face her.
"Have a nice trip." Kristen said.
"Uh, yes, well, we better get going." Lana said, grabbing hold of Kevin's
right arm with her right. "Wanna soak up some sun!"
She and Kevin left the room.
The world of California Games was a great place for a vacation. When
Kevin and Lana arrived, they immediately felt the warmth of the sun. Even
though it was November, it was warm. California Games was always warm.
"Ah, I could live here!" Lana commented, enjoying the sun.
Kevin laughed. "Now, don't get too attached! Your vacation ends tomorrow
"Hey, I just realized something." Lana said with a smile. She pointed at
Kevin with her right index finger. "You're not on vacation!"
"You gonna send me home?" Kevin asked with a smile.
Lana thought for a moment. "Mmm, . . . nah!" She curled her arms around
his neck and kissed him on the lips.
"Like, I'll send someone over there to fix the leak." Stacey said, typing
a quick note.
"Thank you, Your Highness." the woman said, then turned and left the
"Next!" Stacey called. She looked over at Kristen, who was playing with
the ping-pong paddle, and smiled. "This is easy!"
Kristen smiled without missing the ball.
Two men walked into the room.
Stacey folded her hands in front of her. "Yes?"
"I'm Mr. Jones, and this is Mr. Smith. We're from News World. We came in
earlier to speak with Princess Lana."
Stacey checked the file on the laptop. "Oh, yeah, the dudes that dress
"Excuse me?" Tommy asked.
"What can I do for you guys?" Stacey asked.
"Where is Princess Lana?" Will asked.
"She's on vacation. I'm the temp."
Tommy sighed. "Oh, boy."
"Well, we still don't have a solution to our problem." Will said.
"Uh, . . . how about just not listening to your rap or music?" Stacey
"Look, be serious, all right?!" Will asked. "We came here for help!"
"Well, I'm trying!" Stacey said. "But I've never done this before!"
"Can we have another suggestion, please?" Tommy asked.
"Move far away from each other?" Stacey tried.
Tommy and Will sighed, shaking their heads.
"Call us when Princess Lana gets back." Tommy said, then he and Will
turned and left the office.
Stacey sighed, shaking her head. She typed a quick note on the laptop.
On California Games, Lana Deschain and her boyfriend, Kevin Keene, were
enjoying their vacation. They went surfing, roller skating, skateboarding,
and bicycle riding. This was the first vacation Lana has had in months, and
she really enjoyed herself.
"Look, if your parakeet has been cussing you out, sell it to Dennis
Leary!" Stacey yelled.
"Who?" the man asked.
"Never mind, just sell it!"
"Okay, okay! Thanks!" The man turned and left the room.
Stacey typed a quick note, then looked over at Kristen, who was playing
with the ping-pong paddle again. "You would think that people would be able
to solve stuff like this on their own and not come to the Ruler of their
universe for help on every stupid problem they have!"
Kristen shrugged and continued paddling. "Guess it's not as easy as you
thought it was gonna be, huh?"
"You have a call." a female voice coming for the laptop's speaker said.
Stacey answered it. A woman's face appeared on the screen.
"Yes?" Stacey asked.
"Who am I speaking to, please? Isn't this Princess Lana's office?"
"She's on vacation. I'm Princess Stacey."
"Oh. Well, I would like to request an audience with you."
"Problem with your canary?" Stacey asked.
Stacey shook her head. "Nothin'. Listen, if it's all right with you,
could you please come in tomorrow afternoon? Princess Lana will be back by
then, and I'm way too busy with stuff today."
The woman smiled. "Certainly."
Stacey quickly checked tomorrow's schedule. "2 PM okay?"
"That'll be just fine."
Stacey typed down the information on tomorrow's schedule. "Okey-donkey,
you're scheduled for two."
The woman smiled again. "Thank you."
Stacey smiled, then ended the call.
"You know, Lana's gonna be pissed when she comes back and finds out you
scheduled all this stuff for her tomorrow." Kristen said, still paddling.
"It's no more than what she had this morning." Stacey said.
"Your Highness!" a man from outside called. "Can I come in yet?!"
"You have a call." the voice from the laptop said.
"Your Highness!" a woman from outside called. "I have to see you! It's
"You have a call."
"Hey, I've been waiting out here for hours!" another man from outside
"Hold your hippopotamusses!" Stacey yelled at him.
"You have a call."
"Oh, do I?" Stacey asked the laptop.
"Your Highness, - "
"You have a call."
"Your - "
"You have - "
"Shut up!!!" Stacey screamed.
She got up, ran over to the keypad, and punched in a code. The door
unlocked, closed, and locked.
"You have a call." the voice from the laptop told her. "You have a call.
You have a call. You have a call. You have a call. You have a call."
Stacey shut off the laptop. She placed her hands on the desk and leaned
forward, her head down, breathing heavily.
Finally, she looked up, her face red.
Kristen was standing there, looking at her. She had stopped paddling.
Stacey ran her hands through her hair and tried to regain her composure.
"Stay here and reschedule everyone out there for tomorrow afternoon." she
ordered, pointing at the door behind her.
"But Lana - " Kristen began.
"I don't care what Lana does to me! It's gotta be better than this!"
Kristen nodded. "Okay. Go get some rest. You look exhausted!"
Stacey laughed. "I've been at this for three hours!"
"Go. I'll handle this."
Stacey nodded, then turned and walked over to the door. She typed in a
code on the keypad. The door unlocked, opened, and locked. Everyone waiting
outside started complaining at Stacey.
She ignored them as she walked off.
Princess Stacey sat down on the couch in the living room. She ran her
hands over her face and tried to clear her head.
Normally, that wasn't a problem, but she was really stressed out today.
Stacey removed her hands from her face, stood up, and turned around.
Two familiar men were standing behind the couch.
"Mr. Jones, Mr. Smith, what are you doing here?" Stacey asked.
"Your secretary let us in." Will said.
"Are we intruding?" Tommy asked.
"No, not at all." Stacey lied.
"Listen, we just want to apologize for the way we behaved towards you."
"Yeah, we realize it's your first day, and we had no right." Will said.
"I'm sorry." Tommy said sincerely.
"I'm sorry." Will repeated, also sincere.
Stacey smiled and nodded. "Apology accepted."
Tommy and Will smiled.
"Look, um, since you're here, why don't I try and help you solve your
problem." Stacey offered.
"Really?" Tommy asked.
"Really." She motioned with her left hand for them to sit on the couch.
Stacey sat down, Will sat to her right, and Tommy sat to his right.
"Now," Stacey said, clapping her hands together and folding them, "how
about this: I'll pay, with funds from the royal bank account, to have all
the walls of your houses filled with solid oak. That'll block out the sound.
In the meantime, you'll enjoy deluxe accomodations at the best hotel on News
World. Sound good?"
"Are you kidding?!" Will asked.
"Definitely!" Tommy said.
Stacey smiled. "Great! Let's go pay for it."
Tommy and Will nodded, and all three of them stood up and left the room.
Princess Stacey was walking down the hallway to the kitchen when Mike ran
up to her from behind.
"Stacey." He walked with her on her right.
"What now?" she asked.
Mike read from a datapad. "I just thought you'd like to know that you've
received three-hundred official complaints from people all across Videoland
about your rule."
"Uh-huh." Stacey said, not the least bit interested.
"There's also three new video worlds that know of Videoland and wish to
join the alliance."
"And you've got a meeting tomorrow morning with a representative from
Hyrule that wishes to discuss an idea for a new irrigation system."
"Hap-hap-hap-happy-joy-joy!" Stacey yelled.
"What do you want me to tell them all?" Mike asked.
"The same thing I'll tell you if you don't leave me alone!"
Mike took hold of Stacey's right arm to stop her. "Stacey, - "
"No!" Stacey yelled, jerking her arm away and facing him angrily. "I am
sick of this! I'm hungry! I'm tired! I'm not cut out to be Ruler, you hear
"So, what are you gonna do?" Mike asked.
"Set things right." Stacey said. She ran off towards the room that housed
the Warp Zone Shifter.
Kevin and Lana were lying on the picnic cloth, making out, as the sun was
Suddenly, a warp opened, and Stacey ran out. "Guys!"
Kevin and Lana looked up at her.
"Stacey, what are you doing on California Games?" Lana asked. "Don't you
have a job to do, like ruling a universe?"
"You can take your job back! I quit! You hear me?! I quit!"
Lana smiled as she and Kevin stood up. "What, you mean you can't handle
it?" she asked.
Stacey shook her head.
"It isn't easy?"
Stacey shook her head again. "No! Look, I admit I was foolish to believe
you have it easy! You don't! Your job is very hard, Lana! How can you make
it through each day?!"
"It isn't easy." Lana said. "Being a ruler isn't something you're born
knowing how to do. It takes a lot of experience to be a good leader, and
even then you get stressed out!"
"Okay, I admit that!" Stacey said. "I no longer believe being Ruler is a
no-brainer! I respect you more now!" She took the crown off her head and
placed it on Lana's, then pointed at the open warp with her left index
finger. "Now get your ass back to Megaland and do your job!"
Kevin and Lana smiled and followed Stacey back through the warp.
"One-hundred-thirty-three appointments for tomorrow?!" Lana yelled,
reading the file on her laptop.
She was sitting at her desk in her office, and Stacey was standing in
front of it.
"I guess I really screwed up, huh?" Stacey asked.
"Well, you did help a few people," Lana said, "including Mr. Jones and
Mr. Smith, so you're forgiven."
Stacey smiled. "Thanks."
Lana looked up at her. "Well, I'm glad you learned your lesson."
Lana smiled. "Go take a shower, get somethin' to eat, and crash in front
of the tube."
"Finally!" Stacey said, then turned and left the room.
Lana watched her go, then turned her attention back to tomorrow's
The door chimed.
"Come in." Lana said, not taking her eyes away from the screen.
The door opened, and the person walked into the room and up to Lana's
desk. The door closed.
Lana looked up. "Kristen."
"Am I intruding?" she asked.
"No, not at all." Lana said. She shut off her laptop and folded her hands
in front of her. "What's up?"
Kristen smiled. "I just wanted to see how you were doin'. Did you have a
Lana smiled. "Yeah. Surf, sun, cycling, skating - "
"Sounds superb." Kristen said.
They both laughed.
"So, you relaxed?" Kristen asked. "Ready to get back to work tomorrow?"
Lana nodded slowly. "Yeah, . . . I am."
The two of them looked at each other in silence for a moment.
Lana held her hands out in front of her and shook her head. "Anything
else you want?"
"Yeah." Kristen said, walking behind the desk to stand in front of Lana.
Lana turned her chair so that she faced her.
"My position is 'The Official Secretary to the Ruler of Videoland'. So
that means . . . I'm your secretary."
"I guess so."
"And you want to stay." Lana said, not asked.
"If it's all right with you." Kristen said with a smile.
Lana smiled. "I guess I could use a secretary. Yeah, you can stay."
Kristen's smile broadened. "Thanks!"
"You're welcome. We'll work out a schedule tomorrow morning."
"I'll be here!"
Lana nodded. "Great!"
"Good night." Kristen said.
"Good night." Lana said.
Kristen turned and left. The door closed behind her.
Lana turned her attention back to her laptop and considered turning it
Finally, though, she decided to call it a night. She got up, went over to
the wall, turned off the lights, and left the office.
Copyright © 1998 by Mark Moore