Space Oil is an episode of Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars.
- Sparks Nevada - Marc Evan Jackson
- Croach the Tracker - Mark Gagliardi
- Felton - Craig Cackowski
- The Marshal Station Doors - Annie Savage
- Doc Sudo Ersatz - Paul F. Tompkins
- Folksy Hal (Narrator) - Hal Lublin
Croach the Tracker is in the marshal station whistling, when Sparks enters. Sparks says that there's an emergency, but is stopped by the revelation that Croach whistles. Croach says he's whistling because he's feeling the single greatest feeling he's ever felt, due to visiting a being he insists Sparks should visit as well. Sparks says that there's an assassin coming to take him out, and Croach says that that would explain Sparks' current state. When Sparks inquires what Croach means, Croach points out that that morning he was walking without aim around the cactoids, observing them very closely.
Sparks says that was before he found out about the assassin, but Croach again recommends that Sparks goes to see the being that made him feel great, as Sparks has been operating at "less than average capacity for several cycles." Croach explains that the being removes the oil from snakes and sells it as curatives. Sparks is very skeptical.
Pemily enters the marshal station, also giddy, and confirms she's visited the snake oil salesman as well. Croach and Pemily talk about how Sparks has not only been walking around aimlessly, but also has a rash and a bump on his forehead. Pemily also pushes Sparks to visit the snake oil salesman. Croach notes that the oils of the serpents of G'loot Praktaw truly do contain restorative properties, his people have known this for generations, and also the snakes live in artisanal wells.
Pemily and Croach tell Sparks the doctor's name is Sudo Ersatz, and he's not a doctor, "Doc" is a nickname. He mixes up elixirs to cure exactly what ails you based off of many questions he asks about your birth, and dreams. Pemily notes that with how with an assassin coming for Sparks, he needs to be in his best shape, and he seems to have lost his edge lately. Sparks says he hasn't lost his edge -- he lost his badge, but the badgesmith is on his way to replace the badge.
Croach says that Pemily is suggesting that Sparks may have lost his badge on purpose, as he's afraid of the assassin who's coming after him, and he can't practice being the marshal without the badge. He suggests that Sparks's rash, bump on his head and his limp are a physical reaction to the fear. Sparks retorts that he was looking for his badge this morning around the cactoids which he accidentally flung there the previous night during an accident with chili and a bug in his eye. The rash, limp and bump were all from trying to get his badge from the orbiting flora.
Pemily suggests that Sparks might also be feeling a lot of mortality because he recently had a birthday. Felton then enters the marshal station, crying for help, but says this time it's the marshal that needs help, while he feels empowered and even asks to be deputized after visiting Doc Ersatz. Felton, too, suggests that Sparks visit the Doc, but Sparks insists he'll be fine once he gets his badge back. Felton points out that Sparks' badge is right there in his hand.
Sparks, shocked to find he had his badge all along, agrees to visit Doc Ersatz.
At Doc's office, Ersatz introduces himself and invites Sparks to lie down on his couch to be interviewed, but Sparks insists he'll remain standing. Sparks accepts some fudge from Ersatz, which was dosed with snake oil to loosen his tongue. Ersatz learns that Sparks doesn't trust easily, then says he needs four more facts about Sparks, and demands to know Sparks' hopes and fears and dreams. The fact that Sparks says he won't tell Ersatz anything is a fact in and of itself. When Sparks says that although this routine might work for locals, it won't work for him as he's from Earth. Ersatz takes this as another fact. Sparks refusing to talk about his dreams is further information. Sparks decides to try to throw Ersatz by talking about his dreams.
Sparks says for the last several nights he's had a dream about a patch of sunlight, and in the patch is a cat grooming himself like a Frenchman. Sparks can't explain what he means about the Frenchman. This completes Ersatz's profile, and he finishes the potion, (as well as the solution).
Ersatz gives Sparks the potion, which he insists Sparks drinks. As Sparks is about to comply, he notes Ersatz has a teleporter, which he could have used to put the bug in his eye which caused the chili accident. He could have also used it to zap Sparks' badge away and then teleport it back to his hand later. Sparks figures out that Ersatz is the assassin and the potion is poison, though Ersatz says he could still be at the height of a hallucination. Sparks throws the potion away, which eats through the floor. Sparks also points out that Ersatz only took powder from a vial with a skull and crossbones on it when making the tonic. He notices stuff.
Sparks asks Ersatz why he's taking work as an assassin if he's actually great at making tonics, as he made Croach happy, Felton brave and Pemily at peace. Ersatz says his parents were assassins and always wanted him to be an assassin, and he's a people-pleaser. Sparks places Ersatz under arrest.
Before Sparks arrests him, however, Ersatz says that every night, Croach has the same dream with the cat as Sparks. Sparks says Croach dreams in fractals, but Ersatz says Croach only says he does because he's embarrassed. Sparks points out that this is what Ersatz would say to toy with his head, though Ersatz insists that's not what he's doing, it still could be.
- This is the second of two episodes performed as a part of the second annual Sparks Nevada's "I'm from Earth" Day Special. Inventor-y was the first episode performed.
- As it was the second episode and immediately proceeded the first, the Sparks Nevada theme song wasn't performed for this episode, marking it the second Sparks Nevada episode podcasted without a theme song. The first was Free Kicks.
- At the live recording, the "I'm from Earth" Day Special closed with Sparks and Croach singing a duet of "Riding the Galactic Trail" which wasn't released on the podcast.
- This is the 175th episode of The Thrilling Adventure Hour.
- The previous episode is The Cross-Time Adventures of Colonel Tick-Tock - Confederates.
- The next episode is Phillip Fathom, Deep Sea Detective - Love on the Rocks.
- The previous episode in Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars canon is Better Red Than Dead (TAH #173).
- The next episode in Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars canon is Wild, Wild Quest (TAH #177).
This episode was recorded at Largo on April 22nd, 2014 and released on July 28th, 2014.